A senior Sunday newspaper journalist has been suspended over phone hacking claims involving the actress Sienna Miller.
News of the World executive Ian Edmondson was suspended after the new claims emerged.
A document lodged in the High Court links Edmondson with the interception of voicemail messages from the phones of Miller and Jude Law.
Solicitor Mark Thomson has said paperwork and other records seized by police from private investigator Glenn Mulcaire implied Edmondson was linked to the hacking.
Mulcaire and former News of the World reporter Clive Goodman were jailed at the Old Bailey in January 2007 after they admitted intercepting messages.
A News of the World spokeswoman said: “A serious allegation has been made about the conduct of a member of the News of the World staff.
“We have followed our internal procedures and we can confirm that this person was suspended from active duties just before Christmas.
“The allegation is the subject of litigation and our internal investigation will take place in tandem with that.
“If the conclusion of the investigation or the litigation is that the allegation is proven, appropriate action will be taken.
“The News of the World has a zero tolerance approach to any wrong-doing.”
Miller is suing the News of the World’s parent company, News Group, and Mulcaire, accusing them of breaching her privacy and of harassment.
Lawyers acting for Miller in her civil case claimed, last month, to have unearthed new evidence showing that an editorial executive on the paper had knowledge a private investigator being paid to hack phones.
The Guardian, which broke the December story, reported that Miller’s lawyers had ‘secured explosive new evidence linking one of the News of the World’s most senior editorial executives to the hacking of voicemail messages from the phones of Sienna Miller, Jude Law and their friends and employees”
Papers filed at the High Court by the lawyers referred to information seized by police – and then released to them on the orders of the High Court – from private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, in August 2006.
The News of The World and its former editor Andy Coulson have always maintained the only journalist involved in phone-hacking was Goodman and that he operated without their knowledge.
Last month’s revelations came just days after Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said there was no new evidence to bring criminal charges in the phone hacking investigation.