A senior police officer will "establish the facts" about claims a newspaper hacked into the mobile phones of thousands of people including celebrities and politicians.
Click to view image: '3b689ce9b307-2.jpg' Clockwise from top left: McPherson, Prescott, Jowell and Paltrow
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson told Sky News he has asked Assistant Commissioner John Yates to report back today.
The investigation follows claims that police officers found evidence of News International staff using private investigators to illegally intercept voicemail messages.
The company, which publishes the News Of The World and The Sun, paid out more than £1m to settle cases which threatened to reveal evidence of its journalists' alleged involvement, according to The Guardian.
Sir Paul said: "I think we have got a track record of doing exactly what we are supposed to do. If we need to investigate, we will investigate.
"We will do the right thing and do what we have to do to investigate crime wherever it exists."
MPs from all three parties, including former deputy prime minister John Prescott and Cabinet minister Tessa Jowell, were among the targets, The Guardian said.
Model Elle McPherson, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and singer George Michael were also among those whose phones were hacked into, the newspaper alleged.
Mr Prescott said he wanted answers from the police over the claims they knew his phone was hacked into by private investigators working for journalists.
PR agent Max Clifford, another whose phone was allegedly hacked into, added: "If the police had this information, why didn't they act on it?
"There are lots of questions that need to be answered, serious questions."
Click to view image: 'a3c6d8667754-1.jpg' Clifford unhappy about claims
A spokeswoman for News International said: "News International feels it is inappropriate to comment at this time."
The Guardian said Andy Coulson, Conservative leader David Cameron's director of communications, was deputy editor and then editor of the News of the World at the time.
He resigned after royal editor Clive Goodman was sentenced to four months in prison for plotting to hack into telephone messages belonging to royal aides.
Mr Cameron has insisted Mr Coulson will not lose his job over the claims in The Guardian.
The newspaper said one of the settlements made, totalling £700,000 in legal costs and damages, involved a case brought by Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association.
In the Goodman trial, Mr Taylor was revealed as one of the public figures whose phone messages were illegally intercepted by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was also jailed in 2007.
News International is part of the group which also owns Sky News.
In: News, Other, Other
Tags: Police, Looking, Into, Phone, Hacking, Claims, illegally, intercept, voicemail, messages, journalist, evidence, World, Sun, McPherson, Prescott, Jowell, Paltrow
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