Phone hacking: Reports of James Desborough arrest

James Desborough
Image caption James Desborough's exclusives include TV host Fern Britton getting a gastric band

A 38-year-old man has been arrested as part of the investigation into phone hacking, Scotland Yard has said.

The man, named by the Guardian as former News of the World journalist James Desborough, was arrested on Thursday morning and later bailed.

Meanwhile, actress Leslie Ash has settled a claim against the paper.

Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the heart of the hacking scandal, has filed a legal action against News International.

The action being brought by Mulcaire, who has admitted phone hacking on behalf of the Sunday tabloid, is a contractual dispute understood to relate to the decision by News International to stop paying his legal costs.

Further claims

Leslie Ash and her husband, former footballer Lee Chapman, sued the NoW over allegations it illegally listened to voicemails left by their sons while Ms Ash was recovering from a superbug in hospital in 2004. They also sued Mulcaire.

Their solicitor, Charlotte Harris, told BBC News they were "pleased" to have settled the claim with him and the newspaper's publisher.

The couple now plan to take action against other newspapers, she said.

In a statement, the couple said they were pleased the issue had been resolved and they had received an apology.

Image caption The size of the agreed payment to Leslie Ash has not been revealed

The couple revealed in January that police had found documents listing their names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as the mobile details of their children.

News International has declined to comment.

Mr Chapman told BBC Radio 5 live the settlement related to a period between 2004 and 2005.

"During that period - and actually before that period and after - we felt that there were stories going into the press that we had no idea where they were coming from. There were semblances of truth, sensationalised and bits added on, going into the press that we knew could only have come from people close to us."

He said it was "scandalous" that his sons' phone messages had been accessed. "I think that's one of the reasons why News International settled so quickly because of the involvement of two teenage boys who were still at school."

Mr Chapman said he and his wife had settled early because they did not want to have "the whole process dragged through the courts" when their children were involved.

'Uncompromising scoops'

The arrest on Thursday was the 13th by the Met Police as part of their hacking investigation, Operation Weeting.

James Desborough was believed to have been held at a south London police station on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and later bailed to October.

He joined the News of the World in 2005 and was named showbiz writer of the year at the British Press Awards in April 2009, and later became the newspaper's Los Angeles-based US editor.

The judges said he "produced a series of uncompromising scoops which mean no celebrity with secrets can sleep easy".

He is among the journalists undergoing a 90-day consultation period following News International's decision to cease publication of the tabloid in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

A series of high-profile figures have been questioned by police, including the company's former chief executive Rebekah Brooks and ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson.

After the latest arrest, News International said in a statement: "We are fully co-operating with the police investigation and we are unable to comment further on matters due to the ongoing police investigation."

Mr Desborough was bailed until October.

'Widely discussed'

On Wednesday, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson was cleared of misconduct in his handling of the phone-hacking inquiry by the police watchdog.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission also cleared John Yates, former Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke of misconduct over phone hacking.

However, an independent inquiry will examine claims Mr Yates secured a Met Police job for a News of the World executive's daughter.

The announcement followed the release of a letter by the Commons culture committee that suggested senior executives at the News of the World knew phone hacking was taking place.

Written by former royal editor Clive Goodman as he appealed against his dismissal in 2007, the letter said hacking was "widely discussed" at the paper.

Following publication of the letter Prime Minister David Cameron said he would have "taken different decisions" over the appointment of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his director of communications if he had "known then all the things I know now".

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