The phone hacking scandal surrounding News International returned to the headlines today after Members of Parliament released a letter that claims Andy Coulson knew about phone hacking, despite his claims to the contrary.

The letter was an appeal for wrongful dismissal written by Clive Goodman in 2007 to News International. Mr Goodman was the royal editor of the now defunct News of the World and was convicted of phone hacking.

He worked at the News of the World during the editorship of Mr Coulson, who went on to work for Prime Minister David Cameron, only to resign earlier this year as questions about phone hacking refused to go away.

Mr Coulson has always denied that he knew about phone hacking while he was editor, but resigned as editor of the News of the World as it emerged that phone hacking took place during his editorship.

Mr Cameron has stressed that Mr Coulson is still innocent until proven guilty but has said that his former employee should face prosecution if it emerges he did lie.

In his letter Mr Goodman claims that phone hacking was "widely discussed" at the News of the World editorial conference but that explicit mentioning of the practice was later banned by Mr Coulson.

News International has responded to the latest development in the scandal.

"We recognise the seriousness of materials disclosed to the police and Parliament and are committed to working in a constructive and open way with all the relevant authorities," a spokesman was quoted as saying by the BBC.