Former NoW deputy editor Neil Wallis arrested

Former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis has been arrested on suspicion of phone hacking.

Wallis was arrested by officers from the Met’s Operation Weeting, the unit set up to reinvestigate phone-hacking claims at the News of the World earlier this year.

He is the ninth person to be arrested over allegations of phone-hacking this year.

Wallis is a former editor of Trinity Mirror title The People and joined the NoW as deputy editor in 2003, working with then editor Andy Coulson.

Shortly after Coulson stepped down as editor in 2007 following the royal family phone-hacking scandal, Wallis was named executive editor.

The latest arrest comes after those of Coulson and former royal editor Clive Goodman last week, and that of an unamed 63-year-old man on Saturday night.

A statement released by the Met said: “At 06.30 this morning (14 July 2011) officers from the MPS Operation Weeting team arrested a 60-year-old man at a residential address in London on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to section 1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977.

“The man is currently in custody at a west London police station. It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details at this time.”

No-one has yet been charged in connection with the Weeting investigation.

UPDATE 14/07/11 5.14pm:

The Met has issued the following statement after it was revealed that Wallis worked as a communications consultant at Scotland Yard between 2009-10:

“Chamy Media, owned by Neil Wallis, former executive editor of the News of the World, was appointed to provide strategic communication advice and support to the MPS, including advice on speech writing and PR activity, while the Met’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs was on extended sick leave recovering from a serious illness.

“In line with MPS/MPA procurement procedures, three relevant companies were invited to provide costings for this service on the basis of two days per month. Chamy Media were appointed as they were significantly cheaper than the others. The contract ran from October 2009 until September 2010, when it was terminated by mutual consent.

“The commissioner has made the Chair of the police authority aware of this contract.”

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