On Monday evening, it was alleged that the News of the World had hacked the phone of Milly Dowler just days after the teenager went missing near her home in Walton on Thames in 2002. As Tuesday passed, it was clear that the public was both outraged and shocked by the allegations.
Politicians from all sides of the political spectrum had condemned the newspaper, if the allegations are true. As Tuesday night closed, a new allegation came to light, that the phone of some of the families of victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks were also hacked by the newspaper.
Here is a summary of what we know at this stage:
The Guardian broke the story that the News of the World targeted Milly Dowler's mobile phone just days after she was reported missing after being abducted in 2002. It has been alleged that private investigators working for the News of the World intercepted and deleted voicemails on the girl's telephone that gave the family "false hope" that she was still alive, and deleted vital pieces of evidence during the police investigation.
Prime Minster David Cameron, speaking from a trip to Afghanistan, said he was shocked and appalled by the allegations: "If they (the allegations) are true, this is a truly dreadful act and a truly dreadful situation. What I have read in the papers is quite, quite shocking that someone could do this." Labour leader Ed Miliband was quick to add his disgust and called for a public enquiry into the affair. The Labour leader said that Rebekah Brooks should "consider her position" and "examine her conscience." He continued: "[This is a stain on the character of British journalism. The culture and practice of some parts of the industry bring into question."
Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, who was editor of the News of the World at the time of the alleged hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, was put under serious pressure to resign but told colleagues at News International that she had nothing to do with what happened and condemned the actions of private investigators. News International, which owns the News of the World, last night faced a growing political backlash as senior Labour figures called for Brooks to step down.
During her time at the newspaper, Brooks campaigned for the introduction of Sarah's Law. The scheme, proposed after eight-year-old Sarah Payne's murder 11 years ago, lets parents check if anyone with access to their children has a pedophile background.
Late Tuesday evening a social networking campaign began with thousands of members of Facebook joining groups to boycott buying the News of the World. The groups had some of the fastest joining rates since the social networking site opened to the general public.
Labour MP Chris Bryant, who is pursuing the News of the World in the High Courts, spoke in front of the House of Commons, campaigning for an emergency debate on the allegations. The MP persuaded the speaker of the House to grant an emergency session which is scheduled for 3.30 p.m. Wednesday.
Late Wednesday night it was revealed by the Daily Telegraph that police believed that bereaved victims of the 7/7 attacks had their phones hacked by the News of the World. Detectives from Scotland Yard's team investigating the phone hacking scandal are in the process of contacting a "handful" of the 52 bereaved families whose names or phone numbers have appeared as part of their inquiry, sources told the newspaper.
Clifford Tibber, a solicitor for some of the families of the 7/7 victims, said that at least one family member was contacted, but was unwilling to reveal any further details.