Rebekah Brooks is appointed editor of the News of the World. Aged just 32 and the youngest national newspaper editor in the country, she begins a campaign to name and shame alleged paedophiles, leading to some alleged offenders being terrorised by angry mobs. She also campaigns for public access to the Sex Offenders Register, which eventually comes into law as "Sarah's Law."
Schoolgirl Milly Dowler, 13, disappears in the London suburb of Walton-on-Thames in March. Her remains are found in September. Her murder is one of the most notorious of the decade and her killer is convicted in 2011.
Rebekah Brooks becomes editor of daily tabloid The Sun, sister paper to the News of the World and Britain's biggest selling daily newspaper. Andy Coulson, her deputy editor since 2000, becomes editor of the Sunday paper. Wade tells a parliamentary committee her paper paid police for information. News International later says this is not company practice.
November: The News of the World publishes a story on a knee injury suffered by Prince William, Queen Elizabeth's grandson and second in line to the throne. That prompts complaints by officials of the royal court about voicemail messages being intercepted. The complaints spark a police inquiry.
August: Detectives arrest the News of the World's royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire over allegations that they hacked into the mobile phones of members of the royal household.
January: The News of the World's royal affairs editor Clive Goodman is jailed for four months. Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire is given a six-month prison term. Goodman and Mulcaire admitted conspiring to intercept communications while Mulcaire also pleaded guilty to five other charges of intercepting voicemail messages. After the two were sentenced, News of the World editor Coulson resigns, saying he took "ultimate responsibility," though knew nothing of the offences in advance.
May: Harbottle and Lewis, News International's lawyers, review internal emails between Mr Coulson and executives, but find "no evidence" they were aware of Goodman's actions. Later that month, Andy Coulson becomes the Conservative Party's director of communications under leader David Cameron.
December: James Murdoch is made chief executive of News Corporation's European and Asian operations.
April: James Murdoch agrees to pay Gordon Taylor £700,000 to settle a phone hacking claim.
June: Rebekah Brooks becomes CEO of News International.
July: It emerges that News of the World reporters, with the knowledge of senior staff, illegally accessed messages from the mobile phones of celebrities and politicians while Coulson was editor from 2003 to 2007. It is also reported that News Group Newspapers, which publishes the News of the World, has paid out more than £1 million to settle cases that threatened to reveal evidence of its journalists' alleged involvement in phone hacking.
Scotland Yard says it will not be carrying out a new investigation into the allegations, but the Crown Prosecution Service announces an urgent review of material provided by the police in 2006.
News of the World editor Colin Myler tells the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee of an internal review in which more than 2,500 emails were read and that "no evidence" of wrongdoing had been uncovered.
Later that month, Mr Coulson tells MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee things went ''badly wrong'' under his editorship of the News of the World, but insists he knew nothing about alleged phone tapping by his journalists.
September: Les Hinton, chief executive of Dow Jones and former executive chairman of Murdoch's newspaper arm in Britain, tells a committee of legislators any problem with phone hacking was limited to the one, already well-publicised, case. He says they carried out a wide review and found no new evidence.
At the start of the month, Rebekah Brooks leaves The Sun to become the chief executive of News International.
November: The Press Complaints Commission says in a second report that it has seen no new evidence to suggest anyone at the News of the World other than Goodman and Mulcaire hacked phone messages, or that the paper's executives knew what the pair were doing.
February: The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee says in a report that it is "inconceivable" that managers at the paper did not know about the practice, which the legislators say was more widespread than the paper had admitted.
May: Mr Coulson becomes head of the new coalition Government's media operation after David Cameron enters 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister.
September: MPs ask parliament's standa
rds watchdog to begin a new investigation into the hacking allegations at the Sunday tabloid and its former editor Coulson.
The New York Times publishes a long article which claims Mr Coulson knew his staff was carrying out illegal phone hacking. The story also raises questions about how vigorously Scotland Yard pursued the case and prompts pressure for a new investigation.
November: Mr Coulson is interviewed as a witness by Metropolitan Police detectives investigating the phone tapping allegations. He is not cautioned or arrested.
December: The Crown Prosecution Service says no further charges will be brought over the News of the World phone hacking scandal because witnesses refused to co-operate with police.
January: British police open a new investigation into allegations of phone hacking at the tabloid called 'Operation Weeting' after actress Sienna Miller, MP George Galloway and RMT union leader Bob Crow claim their phones were hacked.
The News of the World announces it has sacked senior editor Ian Edmondson after an internal inquiry.
February: The Met Police release a statement saying officers have identified more potential victims of hacking while reviewing files relating to the original Goodman and Mulcaire case. They say they are urgently notifying people who had previously been told that police had "little or no information" about them.
Lawyers for a football agent suing the News of the World claim Glenn Mulcaire passed information directly to the newsdesk rather than an individual reporter, Goodman. They say the desk could have been staffed by "a number of journalists", and suggest that this means knowledge of phone-hacking was more widespread than previously admitted. A judge rules that Mulcaire must provide information about whether other journalists at the NoW were involved in hacking. He had tried to claim he should be exempt from giving evidence for fear of incriminating himself.
March: The BBC's Panorama reveals that in 2006, a then News of the World executive, Alex Marunchak, obtained e-mails belonging to an ex-British Army intelligence officer that had been hacked in to by a private detective.
Mr Marunchak denies any wrongdoing, while News International says it will act if shown new evidence of improper conduct.
April: Former News of the World editor Ian Edmondson, chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and senior journalist James Weatherup are arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept mobile phone messages. They are released on bail until September. The News of the World admits it had a role in phone hacking.
The News of the World publishes apologies on both its website and newspaper. News International also announces it will set up a compensation scheme to deal with "justifiable claims" fairly and efficiently. However, the publisher adds it will continue to contest cases "that we believe are without merit or where we are not responsible".
May: Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, Labour MP Chris Bryant, ex-Scotland Yard commander Brian Paddick and journalist Brendan Montague, all alleged victims of phone hacking, win a High Court bid for a judicial review into the police inquiry. They believe their human rights were breached.
Former senior Scotland Yard officer Ali Dizaei is also told by the Met Police his phone could have been hacked in 2006. If the claims are true, Mr Dizaei says he will sue.
June 7: News Group, owner of the News of the World, formally apologises to Sienna Miller for hacking into several of her mobile phones, and pays her a settlement of £100,000 for damages and legal costs.
June 9: Lord Prescott, the alleged victim of phone hacking by the News of the World, calls for the government to hold an independent public inquiry into the issue.
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard confirms it is also investigating allegations of computer-hacking at the News of the World following the March BBC Panorama revelations about e-mail hacking.
June 15: Footballer Ryan Giggs launches legal action against the News of the World over claims his mobile phone was hacked, his lawyer says.
June 20: 300 emails handed to Scotland Yard, which had been retrieved from Harbottle & Lewis, allegedly show that Mr Coulson had authorised payments to police officers.
June 22: Football pundit Andy Gray accepts £20,000 in compensation from the News of the World owner News Group Newspapers, plus undisclosed costs, over voicemail interceptions.
June 23: Police investigating the phone-hacking claims arrest a 39-year-old woman in West Yorkshire. She is understood to be Terenia Taras, the partner or former partner of Greg Miskiw, who worked in senior roles for the News of the World until 2005. She was released on bail and is due to return to a West Yorkshire police station on a date in mid-October.
June 27: Police arrest journalist Laura Elston, who covers royal stories for the Press Association, on suspicion of intercepting communications. She is released on bail until October.
July 4: A lawyer for Dowler's family says he learned from police that Milly Dowler's voicemail messages had been hacked, possibly by a News of the World investigator, while police were searching for her. The lawyers claim some of her voicemails been deleted to make room for more messages, misleading police and her family into thinking Milly was still alive.
July 5: Police reveal they have also been in touch with the parents affected by the 2002 Soham murders, where two 10-year-old girls were seized and killed by a school caretaker. Scotland Yard met the parents in May 2011 following concerns their phones had been hacked.
News International says that new information has been given to police. Reports suggest it related to emails appearing to show payments were made to police for information and were authorised by Coulson. The list of those possibly targeted includes victims of the London 7/7 bombings in 2005, and the family spokesman of Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in Portugal in 2007. Companies begin pulling advertising at the News of the World.
News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks says she is ''appalled and shocked'' that Milly Dowler's phone was hacked, while Prime Minister Cameron calls it a "truly dreadful act".
July 6: Rupert Murdoch appoints News Corp executive Joel Klein to oversee an investigation into the hacking allegations. The Daily Telegraph reports that the Sunday tabloid hacked into the phones of relatives of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Murdoch describes the phone hacking allegations as ''deplorable and unacceptable'' but backs Rebekah Brooks to continue as chief executive.
July 7: News Corporation announces it will close down the News of the World. The July 10 edition was the last.
July 8: David Cameron announces two inquiries, one to be led by a judge on the hacking scandal, another to look at new regulations for the British press. Cameron says he takes full responsibility for employing Andy Coulson as his spokesman, defending his decision to give him a "second chance." Coulson is arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and suspicion of corruption. He is bailed until October after nine hours at a police station. The News of the World's former royal editor, Clive Goodman, is rearrested in connection with a police operation looking at alleged payments to police by journalists at the paper. Police search the offices of the Daily Star tabloid where Goodman freelanced. The Star is not connected to News Corp.
July 10: Rupert Murdoch flies into London to handle the crisis. News of the World prints its last edition.
July 11: Following intense speculation, Rupert Murdoch withdraws News Corp's offer to spin off BSkyB's Sky News channel. This opens the way for the government to refer News Corp's bid for the 61 per cent of BSkyB it does not already own to the competition regulator, Ofcom, who will carry out a lengthy probe. Cameron says that News Corp needed to focus on "clearing up this mess" before thinking about the next corporate move.
Allegations surface on the same day that journalists at several News Corp papers have targeted former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Police confirm to Brown that his name was on a list of targets compiled by Mulcaire. Claims that The Sun hacked into the medical records of Gordon Brown's son turned out to be false after a member of the public signed an affidavit and came forward as the source.
July 12: John Yates, Assistant Commissioner at London's Metropolitan Police, who was criticised for deciding in 2009 not to reopen the earlier inquiry, appears before parliament's Home Affairs Committee saying he has no plans to resign. Andy Hayman, a former Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard, is pilloried by MPs as "more Clouseau than Columbo" as he faced questi
ons about his handling of the 2005 phone hacking investigation. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, the officer leading Scotland Yard's new inquiry, suggests to MPs that the scope of the investigation could be widened beyond journalists at the NOTW to include the "criminal liability of directors".
July 13: News Corporation announces that it has withdrawn its bid for BSkyB. The family of Milly Dowler meet David Cameron in Downing Street. Meanwhile, Lord Justice Leveson is named as the chair of the public inquiry into the allegations of phone hacking, and during an emergency debate in the Commons, Gordon Brown declares that News International has "descended from the gutter to the sewers".
Read full timeline of News Corp's BSkyB takeover bid
July 14: Neil Wallis, the former executive editor of the News of the World, is arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications. The 60-year-old is the ninth person to be arrested in connection with the whole affair. Rebekah Brooks agrees to appear before MPs on July 19, while James and Rupert Murdoch agree to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee after the Deputy Serjeant at Arms hand delivers summonses to News International's offices. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch says that "minor mistakes" had been made.
Meanwhile, the FBI announces that it has begun an investigation into alleged hacking of the phones of 9/11 victims and their families.
July 15: Rebekah Brooks resigns, saying that her "desire to remain on the bridge" has made her the "focal point". In her statement, she goes on to say: "This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems." Tom Mockridge, chief executive of Sky Italia, is announced as News International's new chief executive. Rupert Murdoch, "humbled and shaken", meets the family of Milly Dowler, and apologises. No 10 then releases information on David Cameron's meetings with media owners, editors and senior journalists since May 2010.
July 16: Rupert Murdoch uses adverts in national newspapers to apologise for the News of the World's "serious wrongdoing".
Foreign Secretary William Hague says inviting Mr Coulson to Chequers after his resignation was a "normal, human thing" for Mr Cameron to do.
The Metropolitan Police deny that a stay at a luxury health resort for Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson was arranged by Mr Wallis, who was working as a PR consultant for Champneys at the time.
July 17: News International has places adverts in national Sunday newspapers declaring there should be "no place to hide" from the police investigation into phone hacking and pledging the organisation is "committed to change".
Ed Miliband calls for an overhaul of media ownership rules, warning that Rupert Murdoch's influence on British politics was "dangerous". David Beckham and Paul McCartney add to the growing list of celebrities whose privacy was violated by hackers.
Rebekah Brooks is arrested on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption after voluntarily attending a London police station for a pre-arranged appointment.
July 18: Metropolitan Assistant Commissioner John Yates resigns on threat of suspension by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over his connections with Neil Wallis. It also emerges that former News of the World executive editor Alex Marunchak was employed by the Metropolitan Police for 20 years as a part-time interpreter, during which time he also worked for the Sunday tabloid.
David Cameron recalls MPs from their summer break to debate the scandal. The Prime Minister cuts short his trip to Africa to deal with the crisis.
News International is investigating allegations that former deputy editor Neil Wallis was receiving payment from the tabloid while working as a consultant for the Metropolitan Police.
Former News of the World showbiz reporter Sean Hoare, the first named journalist to allege that Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking at the newspaper, is found dead at his home. Police say they are not treating his death as suspicious.
The Sun website is hacked to display a fake story about Rupert Murdoch's death. Online hackers LulzSec claim credit for the attack. The story is later removed. Hackers also threaten to publish emails taken from The Sun and the News of the World during the cyber attack.
July 19: The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee holds a hearing with former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, former Assistant Commissioner John Yates, James and Rupert Murdoch and former News International executive Rebekah Brooks. The committee's key questions cover the individuals' knowledge of phone hacking, police payments, use of private detectives and the withholding of potentially damaging information from senior officials and police.
Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates appear first. Both are questioned on their handling of previous phone hacking inquiries and involvement with News of the World employees. Stephenson comments on his resignation statement, his relationship with Neil Wallis and his dealings with other reporters. John Yates says he attempted to brief David Cameron's chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, on the phone hacking scandal and the involvement of Downing Street advisers in the case, but was refused.
After them, MPs question James and Rupert Murdoch for more than two and a half hours. Murdoch Sr asserts that the News of the World staff, not himself, was responsible for the consequences of phone hacking. During the proceedings, a protester attempts to attack Rupert Murdoch with a custard pie only to be fended off by Murdoch's wife Wendi Deng.
Rebekah Brooks follows. She is pressed by MPs on her knowledge of the News of the World's involvement with private detectives, police payments and covering the legal fees of Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman. She denies having a close relationship with David Cameron.
July 20: In the wake of the hearings, News International suspends legal funding for Glenn Mulcaire. A judge orders police to reveal any phone hacking evidence related to Jemima Khan and Hugh Grant, the latter of which secretly recorded a former News of the World journalist describe the full extent of phone hacking. Full extent of alleged cover-up at the News of the World could be disclosed as dealings with Harbottle & Lewis are released by News International.
A row escalates between former News of the World and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan and Tory MP Louise Mensch. While questioning Rupert and James Murdoch, Mensch quoted Morgan's book The Insider as implying the former Mirror editor knew that phone hacking occurred at his newspaper, and "even won him an award". Morgan adamently denies Mensch's allegations and says her comments were an "absolute blatant lie".
David Cameron names the panelists for the forthcoming phone hacking inquiry, headed by Lord Justice Leveson. The Prime Minister reverses his earlier stance and says he regrets hiring Andy Coulson as his spokesman.
July 21: New revelations disclose that James Murdoch may have misled MPs at the Commons committee hearings, where he claimed he didn't know that more than one reporter engaged in phone hacking. Since the hearing, last News of the World editor Colin Myler and Tom Crone, the newspaper's lawyer, have come forward claiming they told Murdoch personally.
This story emerges just as News International announces it has sacked Matt Nixson, a Sun journalist who previously worked at News of the World under Andy Coulson. MP Tom Watson launches into an argument on Twitter with BBC journalist Robert Peston, where he accuses Peston of failing to see that the Nixson story was 'spin to deflect' the statement from Myler and Crone.
July 22: MP Tom Watson warns that the next scandal to emerge is the illegal interception of emails. He believes the practice was restricted to News International titles. He also warns he will ask Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers of Scotland Yard to investigate James Murdoch.
Greg Miskiw, the 'missing' former news editor at News of the World, returns to the UK for police questioning.
News emerges that Andy Coulson was never fully vetted before he joined David Cameron's staff at Downing Street. Coulson was given only a basic security clearance, allowing him to avoid more intense scrutiny of his personal life and professional history.
July 24: Surrey Police reveal that a detective working on the Milly Dowler case in 2002 was dismissed the same year for leaking information.
July 27: It emerges that Piers Morgan admitted, in 2009, that his newspapers had printed stories using information gotten from phone hacking. At the time, he said "the net of people doing it was very wide, and certainly encompassed the high and low end of the supposed newspaper market".
July 28: New reports emerge that the News of the World targeted the mobile phone of Sarah Payne's mother, Sara. The phone was allegedly a gift from he News of the World and given to Payne personally by Rebekah Brooks. Eight-year-old Sarah was abducted and killed in July 2000, and her story was the impetus behind a News of the World campaign to make public the addresses of child sex offenders; the campaign became official in 2008 under the name Sarah's Law. MP Tom Watson describes the revelation as a "new low". Sara Payne had written a piece for the final issue of the News of the World, saying her case proved the paper was a "force for good".
The BSkyB board of directors unanimously votes to keep James Murdoch as Chairman of the company.
July 29: BSkyB announces a £750m share buyback and a £253m dividend to appease shareholders. Meanwhile, MP John Whittingdale confirms he will recall James Murdoch to the Commons committee for further questioning.
PCC chairman Baroness Buscombe resigns over growing criticism of the PCC's handling of past phone hacking investigations.
Glenn Mulcaire releases a statement saying he "acted on the instruction of others", including in the Sarah Payne case.
August 2: A former News of the World editor, believed to be Stuart Kuttner, is arrested. Jonathan May-Bowles, aka Johnnie Marbles, is also jailed following his foam pie attack on Rupert Murdoch during the Commons Committee hearing.
August 10: Former News of the World editor Greg Miskiw is arrested.
August 11: Rupert Murdoch endorses deputy chairman Chase Carey as his successor instead of James Murdoch.
August 12: The IPCC reports it is investigating claims that a Scotland Yard police officer leaked information to News of the World about Milly Dowler in 2002. Meanwhile, the Sun newspaper reports a drop in July circulation of 7 percent, the paper's biggest drop in a decade.
August 16: MP Tom Watson announces the Parliamentary Select Committee will share new evidence about the phone hacking scandal, including evidence that James Murdoch knew about more than one instance of phone hacking at the News of the World.
A letter from Clive Goodman to News International executives was also released; in it, Goodman claimed that Andy Coulson fully supported reporters using phone hacking to source stories. "This practice was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the editor," Goodman wrote in the letter. He also challenged his dimissal from News of the World, claiming the paper covered the cost of his legal fees, told him he could keep his job and paid him £243,502 after he was prosecuted. A redacted version of the letter was originally given to MPs in 2007; at the time, the letter contained no reference to Coulson.
August 17: James Murdoch admits to paying £700,000 of 'hush money' to Gordon Taylor, chairman of the Professional Footballers Association. The Independent Police Complaints Commission also releases a statement saying they will not conduct further investigations into the conduct of former police officials Sir Paul Stephenson, John Yates, Andy Hayman and Peter Clarke.
August 19: News International lawyers admit to redacting the Clive Goodman letter when they originally submitted it to
MPs for review four years ago.
August 23: The BBC discloses that Andy Coulson continued to receive payments from News International for several months after he began working for David Cameron.
August 26: Glenn Mulcaire reveals to his lawyer the names of the News of the World staff who instructed him to carry out phone hacking. The information is passed onto comedian Steve Coogan's lawyers following the settlement of a highly contentious court order.
September 6: Tom Crone, Colin Myler, Jon Chapman and Daniel Cloke give evidence to to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee following their accusations that James Murdoch misled Parliament over the extent of his knowledge of phone hacking.
Tom Crone states before the committee that Andy Coulson wanted to re-hire Clive Goodman after he completed his jail sentence. Both Crone and Myler tell MPs they are sure that James Murdoch saw the 'for Neville' email - evidence that Murdoch knew phone hacking happened at News of the World.
October 21: Rupert Murdoch deflects attempts by investors to remove him as chairman of News Corp at the company's annual meeting. He also retains his sons James and Lachlan as directors.
October 28: Fury over James Murdoch's chairmanship of BSkyB did not stop him accepting a £1,300 pay rise as the broadcaster took a £16m hit for its aborted takeover by News Corp, where he is deputy chief operating officer.
November 8: It was revealed NOTW hired a private investigator to carry out undercover surveillance work on Prince William while the newspaper was being investigated by police for hacking his voicemail, it was revealed last night.
November 9: Detectives seized a dossier of evidence which apparently showed that Neville Thurlbeck warned the paper's editor two years ago that phone hacking was widespread.
November 14: Leveson inquiry into press standards begins.
February 26: The Sun on Sunday newspaper is launched by Rupert Murdoch.
February 27: Charlotte Church says she has been "sickened and disgusted" by the News of the World's behaviour in hacking her phone as she and her parents accept £600,000 in damages and costs, one of a series of pay-outs to stars.
March 13: Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie are among six people arrested by phone hacking police from Operation Weeting.