1. ITV Report

Elizabeth Hurley, Elton John, David Furnish and Heather Mills settle out of court with News Group over phone hacking

Five people including Elizabeth Hurley, Elton John and Heather Mills have settled out of court with News Group Newspapers over phone-hacking.

A trial date of February 4 was set, which would have seen numerous News Group executives called as witnesses but this has now been avoided.

Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish have agreed a settlement with the publisher of the Sun and the News Of The World.

Heather Mills, the ex-wife of Paul McCartney, was involved in a phone-hacking case along with her sister Fiona Mills but they have also come to an agreement with News Group.

Heather Mills, left, with her sister Fiona. Credit: PA

A statement from solicitors representing the five read: “We confirm that the latest Trial against News Group Newspapers in the civil phone-hacking litigation due to begin on 4th February 2019 will not take place.

"Elizabeth Hurley, Sir Elton John and David Furnish and Heather and Fiona Mills settled their claims against NGN earlier this week.

"This is the fourth Trial in the last 18 months which has settled very close to the start of the trial date and marks settlement of the last claims in this wave."

The solicitors, Hamlins, also confirmed they are now starting another round of claims against News Group relating to phone hacking.

"As Lead Solicitor for the Claimants, Hamlins are applying shortly to commence the next batch of claims being brought against NGN and expect the numbers of further claimants to equal those who have successfully settled their cases in the current wave,” their statement went on.

Cases relating to News Group phone hacking have been happening for more than seven-and-a-half years since it was revealed a number of the organisation's journalists were using the practice.

Rupert Murdoch's company have now settled over 1,000 civil cases against them in relation to phone hacking.

In 2017 the company made a £91m loss, much of which was accredited to one-off costs relating to legal fees.

News Group have previously denied that phone-hacking took place at The Sun.

News Group have been asked to comment.