8 Jul 2011

Phone hack detectives raid Daily Star offices

Officers investigating the News of the World phone hacking scandal have searched the offices of another tabloid.

Police investigating allegations of phone hacking by tabloid journalists are now searching the offices of the Daily Star, a police source said.

Police investigating allegations of phone hacking by tabloid journalists have searched the offices of the Daily Star.

Investigations into hacking have so far centred on the News of the World newspaper, owned by tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

The raid on the offices of the Star, owned by businessman Richard Desmond, marks the first time the investigation into allegations of mobile phone voicemail hacking has moved beyond the News of the World.

It comes after the News of the World’s former royal editor Clive Goodman, 53, who now works for the Daily Star Sunday, was held after a dawn swoop by police at his home in Surrey.

Andy Coulson, 43, the former editor of the News of the World and David Cameron’s former press chief, was also arrested on Friday. He and Goodman are being questioned on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption at a south London police station.

Detectives are searching both Mr Coulson’s address in Forest Hill, south London, and Mr Goodman’s property.

Watch a selection of Channel 4 News film reports of the phone hacking scandal

Officers investigating Operation Elveden – the inquiry into payments to police by the News of the World – and Operation Weeting, the long-running hacking investigation, are questioning the pair.

Goodman was jailed for four months in 2007 for plotting to hack into Royal aides’ telephone messages.

Pressure on Prime Minister

Mr Cameron came under pressure to apologise for hiring Mr Couson as his communications director at a press conference on Friday morning.

The Prime Minister said that Coulson resigned from Number 10 because of things that happened “on his watch” at the News of the World.

“I gave him a second chance, and it didn’t work out, it was my decision to hire him and my decision alone and I take full responsibility for it,” he said.

Mr Cameron has ordered two public inquiries into the scandal, one looking at failings in the original police inquiry and the second examining the behaviour, practices and ethics of journalists and media organisations.

The Prime Minister has called for “specific action” on “illegal and unacceptable practices” following the phone hacking scandal that led to the collapse of the News of the World.

He said a judge would be appointed to run an independent inquiry into how the scandal was allowed to happen.

It comes after James Murdoch, chairman of publisher News International, said the 168-year history of Britain’s best-selling newspaper would come to an end when the final edition was published on Sunday.

The paper will be shut down after claims that it paid private investigators to illegally intercept the voicemail messages of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, bereaved military families and relatives of 7/7 bombing victims.

News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch made it clear that some people would lose their jobs as a result of the paper’s closure.

He told staff: “Many of you, if not the vast majority of you, are either new to the company or have had no connection to the News of the World during the years when egregious behaviour occurred. I can understand how unfair these decisions may feel.”