News of the World whistleblower Sean Hoare found dead

A FORMER News of the World reporter who claimed his editor knew phone hacking was taking place at the paper and encouraged him to do it has been found dead.

Show biz journalist Sean Hoare, who blew the whistle on the phone hacking scandal last year, was discovered at his home in Watford, England, after concerns were raised about his whereabouts.

Police are investigating the possibility that he killed himself and said that the death was “not thought to be suspicious”.

Mr Hoare told The New York Times and the BBC that he was personally asked by Andy Coulson, the News of the World’s editor between 2003 and 2007 and most recently the Prime Minister’s communications chief, to hack into phones.

He said phone hacking was “endemic” in the newspaper industry.

Mr Hoare worked with Mr Coulson on The Sun and was recruited by Mr Coulson to work on the News of the World. He said that Mr Coulson’s claim that he was unaware of the practice as “simply a lie”.

“He was well aware that the practice exists. To deny it is a lie, simply a lie.”

Mr Coulson denies the allegations. He resigned after the News of the World’s royal correspondent was jailed for phone hacking in 2007 but he was subsequently hired by then Opposition Leader David Cameron.

He was arrested on 8 July this year “in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking”.

Mr Hoare was sacked over drink and drug problems, and the paper at the time said his claims should be treated with “extreme scepticism”.

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