Putney Man at Centre of Royal Phone Hacking Storm

Leak suggests corrupt police offered Queen's phone book for sale


Clive Goodman

"Royal phone tap" - Putney man on bail

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The ever escalating furore over phone hacking by has taken a further step up with new revelations about attempts to gain access to royal phone numbers which appear to involve Putney resident Clive Goodman.

The former royal editor who was jailed in 2008 for his part in bugging the phone of the Prince of Wales, is alleged to have asked his bosses at the News of the World for funds to buy the 'Green Book' a highly confidential directory from a corrupt police officer who apparently had stolen the book.

According to the BBC's Robert Peston, the series of e-mails were sent in 2007. They show that a reporter was asking Andy Coulson for £1,000 to give to a royal protection officer for confidential information about the Queen. The phone book contained all the main switchboard numbers and numbers for specific departments within the Royal Palaces. It does not contain the direct line numbers of senior royals. Nevertheless it is regarded as so important to security that staff have to sign it out if they wish to use it.

On his BBC blog Mr Peston quotes a source saying: 'There was clear evidence from the emails that the security of the Royal family was being put at risk. It is quite astonishing that these emails were not handed to the police for investigation when they were first found in 2007.'

The police have reacted furiously to the leaking of this information at this stage of the investigation. Goodman, who is currently working for the Daily Star was arrested three days ago.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement, 'It is our belief that information that has appeared in the media today is part of a deliberate campaign to undermine the investigation into the alleged payments by corrupt journalists to corrupt police officers."

July 12, 2011