U.K. PM may face new heat in phone hacking
The British government is expected to come under pressure over an investigation into allegations an aide to Prime Minister David Cameron was involved in widespread phone hacking of public figures.
With politicians returning to Parliament on Monday, the government will likely face questions in the House of Commons over allegations that Andy Coulson, who is now Cameron's director of communications, knew of eavesdropping allegedly done by the tabloid newspaper The News of the World while Coulson was the editor.
On Sunday, the New York Times published a story in which people who were at the paper said Coulson knew about the phone tapping.
"I have stood by Andy and been requested to tap phones," said Sean Hoare, a former journalist at the paper. "He was well aware that the practice exists. To deny it is a lie."
Coulson has maintained that he knew nothing about phone tapping.
However, in light of the allegations, police are getting involved. London's Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner John Yates said the police will investigate — and charges are possible.
"We've heard what Mr. Hoare's had to say," said Yates. "It is new. We'll be considering it, and we will be consulting with the Crown Prosecution service before we do."
A spokesman for Coulson told the BBC: "Andy Coulson has today told the Metropolitan Police that he is happy to voluntarily meet them following allegations made by Sean Hoare."
The News of the World has denied there was a culture of wrongdoing at the paper.
However, in a previous case, a former royal editor with paper and an investigator pleaded guilty to illegally intercepting the voice mail of Prince William and Prince Harry. The reporter and the investigator were sentenced to jail for their roles.
Meanwhile, several Labour politicians have emerged saying their phones were hacked — some while they were ministers in Cabinet.