Leveson Inquiry: Met 'assured Brooks over hacking inquiry'

Rebekah Brooks

Police told the Sun's editor in 2006 its phone-hacking inquiry would not extend beyond a sole News of the World (NoW) reporter, an inquiry has heard.

The Leveson Inquiry into media ethics heard Scotland Yard told Rebekah Brooks it would end with Clive Goodman, the NoW's royal editor, later jailed.

The information in an email was also passed to then NoW editor Andy Coulson.

The Met has been criticised for limiting its investigation despite evidence of thousands of victims.

Goodman was jailed in January 2007 with private detective Glenn Mulcaire for illegally accessing royal aides' voicemails.

Counsel to the inquiry Robert Jay QC said Ms Brooks was told detectives were confident Goodman and Mulcaire were "bang to rights".

She was told they would only widen the case to other NoW employees if they found "direct evidence" of wrongdoing.

'£1m payments'

Tom Crone, the NoW's head of legal affairs, summarised Scotland Yard's briefing in an email headed "strictly private and confidential" to then-NoW editor Andy Coulson on 15 September 2006.

"Here is what Rebekah told me about info relayed to her by the cops," he said.

"They suggested that they were not widening the case to include other NoW people, but would do so if they got direct evidence, say NoW journos directly accessing the voicemails (this is what did for Clive)."

Andy Coulson Former NoW editor Andy Coulson is suing News Group Newspapers

The inquiry also heard that police told Ms Brooks they had found evidence of more than £1m in payments by NoW publisher News International during the investigation.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said last week it was investigating a senior police officer for allegedly passing on information inappropriately to a News International boss about the 2006 inquiry.

Having also previously edited the NoW, Ms Brooks went on to became News International's chief executive, but later resigned.

She was arrested in July 2011 over phone hacking and corruption allegations, and has been released on bail until next month.

Mr Coulson edited the now defunct NoW from 2003 to 2007, resigning after the convictions of Goodman and Mulcaire.

He later became Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman but quit in January 2011, saying ongoing hacking claims were distracting him from his job.

He was arrested in July 2011 over phone hacking and corruption allegations and has been released on bail until next month.

He is suing NoW publisher News Group Newspapers after it stopped paying his legal fees in relation to the scandal.

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