News of the World journalist arrested in hacking probe

News of the World sign News of the World issued an apology to some victims last week

News of the World journalist James Weatherup has been arrested and bailed by police investigating phone hacking.

His arrest comes less than a week after the paper apologised to eight victims and set up a compensation fund.

Chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and ex-news editor Ian Edmondson were arrested last week on suspicion of having unlawfully intercepted voicemail messages.

The News of the World said it was not commenting on the latest arrest.

Mr Weatherup has also worked as a news editor with the Sunday tabloid.

Since January, the Metropolitan police have been re-examining the phone hacking scandal after receiving "significant new information" about activities at the News of the World.

In 2007, the first police investigation led to the convictions and imprisonment of the then NoW royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was employed by the paper.

Mr Thurlbeck and Mr Edmonson were released on bail until September.

Mr Weatherup was arrested early on Thursday and questioned at a London police station. He has been bailed until September.

The BBC has learned that two police officers were at the News of the World's offices on Thursday afternoon and took some items away.

'Crisis management'

"The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone-hacking. It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details regarding this case at this time," a police spokesman said.

Mr Weatherup's profile on LinkedIn describes his 25 years in the media.

It says: "As well as breaking exclusive stories, managing huge budgets, I also advised stars on PR and media related matters."

It lists "crisis management" as a speciality.

He joined the News of the World in 1987, and left the paper in 1999 but rejoined as news editor in 2004.

The BBC understands that about October 2005 he stood down to become a senior reporter at the paper, with the title associate news editor. That title changed in 2006 to assistant news editor although he remained a reporter.

Following the News of the World's unreserved apology and admission of liability on Friday to eight victims, its owner News International wrote to another nine claimants asking for further evidence that journalists intercepted their voicemail.

The BBC understood that News International was ready to settle claims with eight people, including former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, her estranged husband, lawyer David Mills, designer Kelly Hoppen, sports broadcaster Andy Gray, and Joan Hammell, a former aide to ex-deputy prime minister Lord Prescott.

Actress Sienna Miller was continuing with her legal action against the paper, despite the apology and admission, her lawyer said last week. Publicist Nicola Phillips also rejected the offer.

There are 24 active claims against the paper being heard by High Court judge Mr Justice Vos, with a meeting scheduled for Friday.

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