By Ian Dunt
The Crown Prosecution Service has refused to pursue criminal charges against Andy Coulson over phone hacking.
The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said there was no evidence to bring criminal charges against David Cameron's director of communications.
The decision comes months after the Metropolitan police handed a file of evidence to him.
The decision is likely to upset privacy campaigners, who had pointed to substantive New York Times and Guardian investigations strongly implying that Mr Coulson was aware of widespread phone hacking while he was editor of News of the World.
But it will come as a relief to Downing Street, whose association with Mr Coulson has been seized upon by the government's opponents.
"In summary, I do not consider that there is now any evidence that would reach the threshold for prosecution set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors," Mr Starmer said.
"In my opinion there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any person identified in the New York Times article. In fact I consider that the available evidence falls well below that threshold."