The hacking trial was about justice for the victims of "gross intrusion" and not "vengeance on the media", former Home Secretary David Blunkett said.

The Labour MP's affair with married Spectator publisher Kimberly Quinn came to light through phone hacking in 2004, when he held the Cabinet post.

Mr Blunkett said: "I am naturally pleased that the evidence I have been able to provide has assisted in achieving justice for all those who were victims of illegal hacking of their telephone answerphone messages and the gross intrusion into their privacy.

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"No one should misinterpret what has happened as an indictment of a free press or of the professionalism of most trained and dedicated journalists.

"Nor should they see this as 'vengeance' on the media as a whole or even one particular publisher."