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Cash for honours investigation 'hacks' Downing Street

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Police hacked into Downing Street computer systems during their investigation into allegations of cash for honours against the Labour Party.

Officers were authorised to break into the network. The search was made before the arrest of Ruth Turner, a top Blair aide, on suspicion of perverting the course of justice on Friday.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the Met team, headed by assistant commissioner John Yates, became frustrated with the "very slim" file of documents handed over by Number 10. More here.

A Westminster source told the paper that police computer experts used forensic-type software to trawl for files related to the allegations: "Quite clearly, in the past few days, the police have found something quite significant, possibly a file dump of some kind.

"They have been using specific software of the type they use in complex fraud cases."

According to the paper, authorisation for the hack would have been given by a senior officer, or by an independent commissioner, often a retired judge appointed by the Home Office. ®

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