NEWS
09/07/2017 12:44 PM IST | Updated 10/07/2017 3:29 PM IST

News Of The World Closed Six Years Ago Amid Phone Hacking Scandal - But Where Are The Key Figures Now?

Six years ago, the phone hacking scandal engulfed Britain’s most notorious newspaper.

The final edition of the News Of The World was published on July 10, 2011, amid public revulsion at reports in The Guardian that the tabloid hacked the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Thousands of potential phone hacking victims were later identified by police - from Prince Charles to politicians, celebrities, journalists and victims of crime.

PA Archive/PA Images
Printer Sean Leo reads the final edition of the News of the World newspaper as it rolls off the press in Hertfordshire

The scandal led to the one of the most complex cases in English legal history that saw the ex-editor Andy Coulson, ex-News International boss Rebekah Brooks and five others stand trial for eight months in 2013 and 2014.

It also led to the Leveson Inquiry, a raft of investigations, arrests and prosecutions of journalists and a series of compensation claims by victims.

After six years, the case casts a long shadow over the press and the police and fuels anger and argument over what has changed and what should still change.

Mark Lewis, the solicitor who represented the Dowler family and pioneered phone hacking claims against News Of The World and Mirror Group newspapers, told HuffPost UK he believed phone hacking could still be happening.

He said hacking was no longer an embedded part of newspaper culture but said individual journalists could still be doing it discreetly.

While he emphasised he had no specific suspicions about individuals or publications, he said: “Possibly the difference is, in the past, journalists at the News Of The World were so busy looking for stories so they would hack the phones of various people in the hope that that would then give them a story.

“Whereas now it’s probably, if there is a story, there might be some temptation [to hack phones] because they think ‘well I’ve got the story already, can I get any more on it?’ 

“I can’t think it’s stopped.”

Andrew Winning / Reuters
Rupert Murdoch closed The News Of The World after it was revealed Milly Dowler's phone was hacked

Lewis has previously said he fears the scale of a phone hacking has caused “fatigue” among those tasked with investigating it.

He added the cases had become “yesterday’s story” to the press.

Phone hacking claims relating to The Sun are due to go to trial at the High Court in October.

News Group, which owns the tabloid, has denied phone hacking took place at The Sun.

“News Group sacrificed the News Of The World. They fought tooth and nail to protect The Sun,” Christopher Hutchings, lead solicitor for the claimants, told HuffPost UK.

“What they’ve not yet done is admit hacking [at The Sun]. Let’s see over the next month or two where we get.” 

News UK, News Group’s parent company, declined to comment about the case.

The key figures in the News Of The World’s management, journalism and downfall have mostly tried to put the events behind them.

Some have become aggressive advocates for hacking’s victims and backed calls for the second phase of the Leveson Inquiry - which was meant to look at alleged corrupt dealings between the press and the police and which the Tories committed themselves to ditching in their manifesto.

Here is what 13 key figures in the affair did next.