The Press Complaints Commission chairman Baroness Buscombe said today that "words could not describe" how angry she was at having been lied to by the News of the World over phone hacking.

Talking to Andrew Neill in a heated BBC interview, Buscombe admitted that the PCC had been misled by the News of the World. She defended the PCC's 2009 report into phone hacking, which stated it had not been misled, claiming it did not have any evidence to the contrary at the time.

Buscombe's appearance on the programme follows allegations that the News of the World hacked into the phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler while she was missing in 2002.

She defended the PCC from Neill's repeated accusations that the commission had been "missing in action" during the phone-hacking scandal and "not done a single thing" to bring the News of the World to justice.

"There is only so much we can do when this is a police investigation about criminal activity ... We are doing all we can, given there is a police investigation going on a the moment,"
Buscombe said.

The PCC's November 2009 report stated it had found no further evidence of phone hacking at the title following an inquiry in 2007, and that it was satisfied its investigation had "raised standards".

It concluded that there was no evidence that the PCC had been misled during the 2007 inquiry into private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and royal correspondent Clive Goodman, who were jailed that year for voicemail interception.

The report also stated that the Guardian's stories on the practice "did not quite live up to the dramatic billing they were initially given".

The PCC issued a statement today claiming it was "wrong to judge self-regulation in 2011 based on the legitimate condemnation of practices that took place some time ago".

The self-regulatory body was forced to apologise and pay damages to lawyer Mark Lewis earlier this year after Buscombe accused Lewis of misquoting a police officer in claiming that 6,000 people may have been victims of phone hacking.

News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of the News of the World in 2002, issued a statement earlier saying that she was 'sickened' by the allegations concerning Milly Dowler but would not heed calls for her to step down.

Dowler's parents are preparing to sue the newspaper for damages.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).