Police have launched a fresh inquiry into the phone hacking controversy after receiving “significant new information”.
The Metropolitan Police said detectives had received a dossier of evidence about suspicious activities at the News of the World in 2005 and 2006, and a new team would carry out the inquiry.
The decision was made after the newspaper handed over material gathered during an internal investigation into its assistant editor (news) Ian Edmondson.
The newspaper, whose owner Rupert Murdoch was reportedly in London this week, said Mr Edmondson was sacked as a result of the investigation.
Mr Edmondson was suspended from duty in December after he was linked to the scandal in documents relating to legal action by actress Sienna Miller lodged at the High Court.
Revealing the new probe, a police spokesman said on Wednesday: “The Met has today received significant new information relating to allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World in 2005/06. As a result, the Met is launching a new investigation to consider this material.
“This work will be carried out by the specialist crime directorate which has been investigating a related phone hacking allegation since September 2010.”
The new inquiry is one of the most significant developments in the controversy since the News of the World’s royal editor was imprisoned in 2007.
Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed at the Old Bailey after they admitted intercepting messages.
The pair used mobile phone numbers and secret codes to hack into voicemails of celebrities and other high profile people.