News of the World private investigator said to have followed Charles Clarke

The News of the World hired a private investigator to follow former Norwich south MP Charles Clarke when he was home secretary, according to a report by the BBC.

The report said Mr Clarke, who represented Norwich South until he lost the seat in last year's general election, was tracked for hundreds of miles in London and Norfolk in 2005, and was watched during a number of engagements including a visit to a police station and a hospital in Norfolk.

No story was generated from the private eye's activities. There was no suggestion phone hacking was involved.

The EDP was last night unable to contact Mr Clarke, but in the EDP earlier this month Mr Clarke's wife Carol Pearson welcomed the demise of the News of the World,

She said: 'Some are mourning the departure of the News of the World. Some have shed a tear. Not me.'

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The source of the story, who worked for the News of the World, told the BBC that so many politicians were being followed 'it was unbelievable'.

A spokeswoman from the News of the World's parent company News International declined to comment to the BBC.

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