January 9, 2013 10:28 pm

News Group settles 130 hacking claims

News Group Newspapers has settled a total of more than 130 damages claims for phone hacking, as the publisher of the Sun and the Times looks to draw a line under the scandal.

A number of settlements have been agreed in the past few weeks. Actors Hugh Grant, James Nesbitt and Tamzin Outhwaite are among those to have agreed settlements. Jeff Brazier, former boyfriend of the late Jade Goody, and Leslie Grantham, the former Eastenders actor, have also settled.

Total costs to News Group of resolving the claims are believed to run into several million pounds.

The publisher, owned by Rupert Murdoch, is understood to have increased offers to claimants in recent weeks, indicating that the higher offers would be withdrawn if claimants refused to settle. That led to a rush of agreements in past weeks.

However, out of a total of 167 claims, about 30 cases remain unresolved. Some of those claimants are understood to be keen to take their claim to a formal trial.

A spokesman for News International said: “We’ve been keen from the start to pay the appropriate compensation to the right people and have sought to minimise the stress and duration of the process.”

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