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Phone hacking suspect advised Downing Street before election

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Phone hacking suspect advised Downing Street before electionDavid Cameron was drawn further into the phone hacking scandal tonight when Tory Central Office was forced to admit that Neil Wallis, a former deputy editor of the News of the World who has been arrested and questioned over hacking, may have advised Andy Coulson, Mr Cameron's closest press adviser before the last election.

It is the latest astonishing admission by Downing Street and piles further pressure on Mr Cameron over his hiring of Mr Coulson, who has also been arrested and questioned recently by detectives investigating the scandal.

Mr Wallis’s relationship with Scotland Yard has already led to the resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police on Sunday.

The journalist, known in Fleet Street as “the Wolfman,” was Mr Coulson’s deputy at the News of the World. Mr Couslon resigned over phone hacking in 2007, months before he was hired by Mr Cameron as head of communications and strategy.

A Conservative spokesman said: “There have been some questions about whether the Conservative Party employed Neil Wallis. We have double checked our records and are able to confirm that neither Neil Wallis nor his company has ever been contracted by the Conservative Party, nor has the Conservative Party made payments to either of them.

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