NYT: Cameron's chief media adviser Andy Coulson "actively encouraged" NoW phone-hacking

Sean Hoare, a former reporter at the News of the World, said "everyone knew. The office cat knew."

The New York Times has published a report alleging that Andy Coulson, David Cameron's chief media adviser, "actively encouraged" illegal interception of voicemail messages while editor of the News of the World (NoW).

The report quoted Sean Hoare, a former reporter at the NoW, as saying that Coulson actively encouraged him to play tape recordings of hacked messages while they both worked for The Sun. It also quoted another unnamed former NoW reporter as saying: "Everyone knew. The office cat knew."

However, Coulson has denied the knowledge of such practices at the newspaper.

The NYT also alleged that investigators at Scotland Yard favoured Rupert Murdoch's newspaper group and cut short its investigation into the case. The paper added that the Metropolitan police force had withheld crucial evidence from prosecutors and failed to inform victims of the newspaper's crimes against them.

Downing Street rejected the latest allegations on Wednesday night.