NoW phone-hacking whistle-blower Sean Hoare found dead

Sean Hoare Sean Hoare had told the BBC that phone hacking was "endemic" at the News of the World

A former News of the World journalist who made phone-hacking allegations against the paper has been found dead.

Sean Hoare had told the New York Times the practice was far more extensive than the paper acknowledged when police first investigated hacking claims.

Hertfordshire Police said the body of a man was found at a property in Langley Road, Watford, on Monday morning.

A police spokesman said the death was currently being treated as unexplained, but was not thought to be suspicious.

Cases referred

The spokesman said: "At 10.40am today [Monday] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street.

"Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

"The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."

Mr Hoare had told the BBC's Panorama that phone hacking was "endemic" at the News of the World (NoW).

He also said the then NoW editor Andy Coulson had asked him to hack phones - something Mr Coulson has denied.

In other developments in the phone-hacking story on Monday:

Mr Yates checked the credentials of Neil Wallis before the Met employed the former News of the World deputy editor.

Mr Wallis was arrested and released on bail on Thursday on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications.

Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, the most senior policeman in Britain, resigned on Sunday after facing criticism for the force's recruitment of Mr Wallis as a PR consultant.

Mr Yates's resignation came after he was informed he would be suspended pending an inquiry into his links with Mr Wallis.

Job probe

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin would be in charge at Scotland Yard until Sir Paul's replacement was appointed. Mr Yates will be replaced in the interim as the Met's head of counter-terrorism by Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick.

Mr Johnson said it was right for both Sir Paul and Mr Yates to stand down. Mr Yates said his conscience was clear and had "deep regret" over his resignation.

The IPCC said four referrals relating to the police's phone-hacking investigation involved Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, who resigned on Sunday, and Mr Yates, as well as two other former senior officers.

The BBC understands the other two officers are former Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke.

A fifth referral relates to the alleged involvement of Mr Yates in inappropriately securing a job at the Met for the daughter of a friend.

The BBC understands the woman to be Amy Wallis, daughter of Mr Wallis, and that she works in a civilian non-operational role.

In the Commons, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that HM Inspectorate of Constabulary would look into corruption in the police, and Independent Police Complaints Commission investigations on the same issue would be part of the judge-led inquiry into the hacking scandal.

Mr Cameron is cutting short a trade visit to Africa by a further seven hours to prepare for a statement to the Commons on Wednesday.

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