Prince William’s wife Kate was dragged into a fresh phone hacking scandal amid claims she was targeted by a private investigator working for a newspaper.
Scotland Yard is considering widening its investigation into phone hacking to include the explosive new allegations that the Duchess of Cambridge was one of a number of targets of private investigator Jonathan Rees, a contractor who worked for the News of the World and other red-top tabloids. She was said to have been the focus of a surveillance operation in 2004, soon after she was identified as William’s girlfriend. In 2007, private eye Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for intercepting phone messages about William.
Kate, 29, was named as one of a number of alleged victims yesterday by sources who also claimed that Mr Rees targeted former Prime Minister Tony Blair. It was further claimed that the bank accounts of Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, as well as those of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, were penetrated. Other victims were said to have included Jack Straw when he was Home Secretary and Peter Mandelson when he was Trade Secretary. Labour MP Tom Watson told the Commons: “The convicted private investigator Jonathan Rees, a contractor to News International, targeted former prime minister Tony Blair for covert surveillance, and at least one former Home Secretary.”
Royal aides added to the intrigue by refusing to say whether Kate and other members of the Royal Family had been warned they might have been hacked. A Clarence House spokesman said: “This is a matter for the police and we are not going to comment.” The allegations appear to fall outside the current scope of the Met’s Operation Weeting, which has been investigating additional phone hacking by the News of the World. A Scotland Yard spokesman said last night: “We can confirm that the Met has received a number of allegations which fall outside Operation Weeting. “These allegations are being considered.”
-With express.co.uk input