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MPs warned not to make phone-hacking comments

Former Downing Street director of communications Andy Coulson will stand trial at the Old Bailey next week. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Politicians at Westminster have been warned not to comment in public on upcoming trials over newspaper phone hacking.

The coming week will see former Downing Street director of communications Andy Coulson and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks stand trial at the Old Bailey.

The case has been at the centre of political debate for more than two years, but Solicitor General Oliver Heald has acted to counter the risk of commentary prejudicing the proceedings, which are expected to last for several months.

Parliamentary privilege means a politician can theoretically talk about a live case in the House of Commons without fear of prosecution.

Ex-NOTW staff cannot take appeal to Supreme Court

Five defendants, including former News of the World (NOTW) editor Rebekah Brooks and former Government spin doctor Andy Coulson will not be able to take an appeal to the Supreme Court over the prosecution of alleged phone hacking charges, judges ruled today.

The five former NOTW staff lost a last-ditch bid to attempt to block their prosecution over the reported charges.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said the defendants would only pay legal costs if they are convicted.

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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.

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

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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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