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Page last updated at 08:05 GMT, Saturday, 4 September 2010 09:05 UK

Coulson 'has no case to answer' over phone hack claims

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David Cameron's communications chief Andy Coulson "has no case to answer" over continuing allegations about his involvement in the News of the World phone hacking scandal, according to government minister Alan Duncan.

Mr Coulson has come under renewed pressure following an article in the New York Times alleging that he was aware of phone hacking when he was editor of the News of the World.

Mr Duncan, the International Development Minister, told the programme that such allegations are groundless. "Andy Coulson was utterly exonerated," he said. "To dig all this up again... is political."

And he added that the Labour Party 'just want to embarrass the government' over the issue, adding that the matter has already been cleared up and "there isn't any case to answer".

The News of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman, was jailed for conspiracy to access phone messages in 2007, but the paper insists it was an isolated case.

Last year, the Metropolitan Police chose not to launch an investigation into claims, made by the Guardian newspaper, that a host of public figures - including former deputy PM Lord Prescott - had had their messages hacked by journalists there.

Yesterday Lord Prescott told the Today programme that he would seek a judicial review into the affair to "find the truth" about whether he had been targeted by journalists.


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