Scotland Yard is battling to stop the phone hacking scandal spiralling out of control amid a storm of fresh revelations.
Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin pledged to leave “no stone unturned” as detectives restarted a “swift and robust” inquiry into the actions of staff at the News of the World.
He vigorously defended keeping the case closed for four years saying it was reopened in the light of “highly significant” new information passed to police by the newspaper.
Detectives must consider where the dossier of information will lead them under the full glare of the media spotlight as alleged victims of the controversy continue to emerge.
The move came as a steady flow of potentially incendiary developments piled further pressure on the newspaper and police, including:
:: Labour frontbencher and former Cabinet minister Tessa Jowell said she has contacted police after her mobile phone company alerted her to an apparent attempt to access her voicemail last week.
:: Actress Leslie Ash and her ex-footballer partner Lee Chapman are preparing legal action over fears their mobile phone messages were intercepted while she battled a life-threatening infection.
:: Court documents reportedly showed designer Kelly Hoppen, the former stepmother of actress Sienna Miller, suspects her phone was targeted as recently as last spring.
:: Government whip Lord Wallace of Saltaire said the press faces a “crisis of trust” matching that faced by politicians in the wake of the parliamentary expenses scandal.
The new police inquiry will be led by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, an expert in organised crime who helped Helen Mirren research her role as a senior woman detective in the TV drama Prime Suspect.