08.16.11 1:11 PM ET
Clive Goodman, the former royal correspondent for News of the World, says in a newly published letter first reported in The Guardian that phone hacking was “widely discussed” at the U.K. tabloid, and his own activities pursuing the royal family had “the full knowledge and support” of top editorial staff. Goodman, in the 2007 letter, also claims that hacking was openly discussed at editorial meetings until former editor Andy Coulson told staffers not to mention it—and that Coulson had promised him his job back if he did not implicate anyone else in his scandal. Labour M.P. Tom Watson calls it "the most significant piece of evidence that has been revealed so far." News International provided a copy of the letter to an investigatory committee but redacted the most explosive allegations against Coulson.
Amid the new allegations, Parliament is likely to call Rupert Murdoch’s son James to testify before them again, Watson said Tuesday. M.P.s will want to know if Murdoch misled them in his initial testimony, in which he denied knowledge of the widespread hacking and claimed to believe that Goodman was a rogue reporter. "There is contradictory evidence that the committee is determined to get to the facts on, which is why we are inviting them back and why it would be likely that James Murdoch will come back," said Watson.