British prosecutors said today they will charge ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and Prime Minister David Cameron's former media chief Andy Coulson with conspiring to pay public officials to secure the contact details of members of the Royal family. Journalists Clive Goodman and John Kay and MoD employee Bettina Jordan-Barber are also to face charges.

Brooks and Coulson seen here on their way to court have already been charged in connection with phone-hacking offences - the original crime that sent shockwaves through the British political establishment and exposed the close ties between government and sections of the media.

British police began investigating the conduct of the press last year as part Operation Elveden that has so far seen 52 arrests, after, it emerged that staff at Murdoch's News of the World had hacked into phones on an industrial scale. Facing a public backlash, Murdoch closed the mass-selling Sunday title last year and formed an internal committee to cooperate with the police.

Mr Coulson and Mr Goodman, a former royal correspondent at the now-defunct News of the World, are to be charged with two conspiracies relating to the request and authorisation of alleged payments to public officials in exchange for information - including a royal phone directory known as the "Green Book". Coulson has released a statement denying all these charges and says he is innocent.

Mr Kay has been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on 29 November 2012.The other four are set to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on a date to be fixed.

Written and presented by Ann Salter