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Judges allow reporting of hacking defendants' names

Court judges have allowed the names of the five defendants involved in the hacking inquiry to be reported today after they lost a bid to block their prosecution over alleged phone hacking.

The former News of the World staff, including Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have denied the charges.

But three appeal court judges, led by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, ruled today:

Contrary to the submission on behalf of the appellants, the resulting situation is not lacking in legal certainty.

We can see no possible prejudice to the fairness of the forthcoming trial.

We must not be unrealistic - there can hardly be anyone in the country who does not know to whom this case applies.

Hacking charges denied by former NOTW staff

Former Government spin doctor Andy Coulson and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. Credit: ITV News

Five defendants, including former News of the World (NOTW) editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have denied conspiracy to intercept mobile phone voicemails between October 3 2000 and August 9 2006.

They had tried to get the case dismissed at the Court of Appeal, arguing that accessing voicemails after they had been listened to by the recipient was not covered by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, under which they are charged.

But Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge dismissed their appeals today.

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Ex-NOTW staff lose court appeal over hacking claims

The former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, alongside former senior reporter James Weatherup, former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, and former news editor Ian Edmondson, lost a last-ditch attempt to block their prosecution over alleged phone hacking today.

The five defendants tried to get their case dismissed at the Court of Appeal. But Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge dismissed their appeals today.

All five are due to stand trial in September.

Brooks and Coulson lose hacking prosecution appeal

Five defendants including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and ex-News of the World (NOTW) editor Andy Coulson today lost a last-ditch bid at the Court of Appeal to block their prosecution over alleged phone hacking.

Former Government spin doctor Andy Coulson and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. Credit: PA

Boris denies Coulson claims of 'wanting to be PM'

Boris Johnson has said he is backing David Cameron in response to former media adviser Andy Coulson's claim he wanted to be Prime Minister.

Former Downing Street media adviser Andy Coulson reignited speculation by claiming the London Mayor was desperate to be prime minister but would rather see Mr Cameron "fail miserably" and take his place than stab him in the back.

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Miliband appointing Balls 'the gift that keeps on giving'

Andy Coulson, Downing Street's former spin doctor, has compared the relationship between Ed Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls to the "shamefully dysfunctional" Tony Blair and Gordon Brown partnership when Labour were in power.

Ed Miliband (left) and shadow chancellor Ed Balls. Credit: PA

He wrote in GQ: "The prime minister should pray Ed Balls remains shadow chancellor until the election. Appointing him as George's (Osborne) opposite number was the Miliband gift that will keep on giving...

"The Tories must look for the divisions and make the most of them a) because they are most certainly real - always a plus - and b) because it's history repeating itself. We are in this hole at least in part because of the shamefully dysfunctional Blair/Brown relationship.

"Labour's Two Eds dislike each other and each thinks he is smarter than the other.

"The Conservatives should imagine in some detail how it would work if they actually won...and share that vision with the British public."

Coulson: Labour front bench 'don't rate' Ed Miliband

Former Downing Street spin doctor Andy Coulson said he did not think the Labour front bench rated leader Ed Miliband, in an article he wrote for GQ.

(Left - right) Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and Harriet Harman on the Labour front bench. Credit: PA

On Mr Miliband, he wrote: "The prime minister must push him to take positions: expose his strategy (to keep his head down, silently hope that the economy continues to go wonky and, well, just be the other guy), challenge him to take a view on the tricky issues opposition politicians love to duck.

"I'm struck by how detached the opposition front bench appears to be from their leader... I just don't think they rate him very much.

"And if they don't, there's a good chance the public will feel the same way once they get to know him properly."

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