Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

HACKING SUSPECT WORKED AS POLICE 'INFORMER'; NEWS OF THE WORLD CRIME REPORTER Further Twist to Scandal as Officers Are Grilled by MPs RECEIVED SECRET DATA IN RETURN

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

HACKING SUSPECT WORKED AS POLICE 'INFORMER'; NEWS OF THE WORLD CRIME REPORTER Further Twist to Scandal as Officers Are Grilled by MPs RECEIVED SECRET DATA IN RETURN

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Harper Investigations Reporter

A KEY phone-hacking suspect worked for senior detectives while he was chief crime reporter of the News of the World, the Standard reveals today.

The activities of Neville Thurlbeck, which date back to 1995, trigger new fears of collusion between the Met and the press. Thurlbeck, who was arrested on suspicion of illegally accessing voicemail messages in April, has admitted working as an official police source under the codename "George". He gave a "substantial volume of information that was extremely useful" to Scotland Yard and the security services. In return, Thurlbeck received confidential information from the Police National Computer that helped him write a story on a Labour MP with a conviction for committing an obscene act and another article about an alleged threat to the Queen from stalkers.

The revelation came as: The two top officers who resigned over links to the News of the World were questioned by MPs.

Boris Johnson attempted to rush through the appointment of a new commissioner.

Scotland Yard director of public affairs Dick Fedorcio was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Rupert Murdoch, his son James and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks were giving evidence to two select committees.

The most damaging revelation, however, is that Thurlbeck, who became the paper's chief reporter, worked closely with Scotland Yard as official police source No 281.

He was an unpaid employee of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), a liaison body between Scotland Yard's Special Branch and MI5. Sources close to Thurlbeck said that "people right at the top of News International were aware of his role". The disclosure is yet another blow to Scotland Yard which has been fiercely criticised for failing to investigate alleged criminality at the News of the World.

Assistant commissioner John Yates resigned yesterday amid allegations that he helped the daughter of another phone-hacking suspect, former NoW deputy editor Neil Wallis, land a job at Scotland Yard.

And last night, it emerged that Alex Marunchak, a former executive editor on the Sunday tabloid, worked for the Met for 20 years as a Ukrainian translator. …

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