Boris Johnson faced embarrassment last night over the disclosure of several previously unknown contacts with senior News International (NI) executives at the height of the storm over phone hacking.
They emerged when the Mayor of London was forced to release his private diary after losing a lengthy battle to keep it secret.
The document reveals he had two previously undeclared phone conversations with Rebekah Brooks, who was News of the World editor when much of the alleged hacking took place, and one with James Murdoch, the former NI executive chairman.
The Mayor met Frederick Michel, the lobbyist caught up in the furore, as well as Ms Brooks’ husband, Charlie. A spokesman for Mr Johnson said hacking was not discussed in the conversations.
Len Duvall, a Labour London Assembly member, said: “At the time the Mayor had this pattern of contact is the time when police are investigating News International and individuals working for NI.”