Rebekah and Charlie Brooks charged with perverting the course of justice over phone hacking scandal

Former News International Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks and husband Charlie have been charged with perverting the course of justice over the phone hacking affair.

Mr and Mrs Brooks had been investigated along with five other suspects, who include the head of security at News International [Mark Hanna], Mrs Brooks' chauffeur [Paul Edwards] and Mrs Brook's personal assistant [Cheryl Carter].

Rebekah Brooks will later answer her bail and will be charged with three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

"All the evidence has now carefully been considered," said Alison Levitt, QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions. "Applying the two-stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors I have concluded that in relation to all suspects except the seventh [unnamed], there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction.

"I then considered the second stage of the test, and I have concluded that a prosecution is required in the public interest in relation to each of the other six."

Responding to the charge, Mr and Mrs Brooks said, "We deplore this weak and unjust decision. After the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS we will respond later today after our return from the police station."

The six charged suspects, including Mr and Mrs Brooks, will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on a date yet to be confirmed.