Coulson arrested over phone-hacking and police payments

By Ian Dunt

Andy Coulson has been arrested in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking, it has been confirmed.

While the police refused to reveal the identity of the person they had questioned, they confirmed it was a 43-year-old man.

Mr Coulson was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

He is currently being held in custody at a south London police station.

He was arrested by officers from Operation Weeting, the phone-hacking team, and Operation Elveden, the team looking into payments from the News of the World to police officers.

A little later, police confirmed that a second man, aged 53, was also arrested at an address in Surrey, where his property was being searched.

Detectives then searched the Daily Star offices, where he worked.

Media sources named the man as Former News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman, who was a key figure in the first phone-hacking scandal in 2005.

The arrest comes on the same day as an embattled David Cameroon struggled to defend his decision to hire Mr Coulson, despite knowing that he had resigned as editor of the News of the World because of phone-hacking.

The Guardian reported today that another senior journalist at the paper was set to be arrested and questioned. That would bring the tally to seven journalists, all but one of which have come from the News of the World.

There are also reports that Mr Coulson may be questioned in the next few days over allegations of perjury. The allegations concern the court case of Tommy Sheridan and follow allegations made by Labour MP Tom Watson in the Commons on Wednesday.