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News of the World cleared in voicemail hacking investigation

LONDON - The News of the World has been cleared of misleading the press watchdog with regards to its investigation over voicemail hacking and allegations that it was still hacking phone messages in an effort to gather stories.

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The News of the World saw editor Andy Coulson resign and royal editor Clive Goodman sentenced to a prison term after it was revealed it had hacked into the voicemails of members of staff at Buckingham Palace.

This July, however, The Guardian carried reports saying that the practice was far more widespread than had initially been let on, and implied that it may be ongoing, sparking an investigation by the Press Complaints Commission.

The PCC this morning said there was no evidence that it has been materially misled by the News of the World, and no evidence that phone message hacking is ongoing at the newspaper, ruling that "The Guardian's sources suggesting a greater culture of intrusion at the News of the World were anonymous and could not be tested".

The Guardian has reacted angrily, accusing the PCC of complacency and saying that the commission does not have "the ability, the budget or the procedures to conduct its own investigations".

It also reports anger among MPs over the PCC's findings, describing the ruling as a "whitewash". A number of politicians had been named by The Guardian as being targets of the News of the World and the matter is also being looked at by a culture, media and sport select committee that promises to be "more rigorous" in its investigations.

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