Andy Coulson
Andy Coulson: Illegal payments case droppedGetty

Allegations have been dropped against former Downing Street press chief Andy Coulson of making illegal payments to public figures.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced it will not pursue cases against nine journalists, all of whom were current or former News UK employees when they were arrested.

Former News Of The World editor Coulson was freed from prison in 2014 after serving five months for phone hacking.

He remained under investigation by Operation Elveden, which was launched in to practices inside News International – the old name of Rupert Murdoch-owned group, News UK.

Operation Elveden has seen £20m of public money poured into investigating journalists. A total of 29 reporters have been arrested by police, with two convicted in court.