An inquiry into allegations Tony Blair's government traded political honours for cash intensified as British media reported a senior Blair aide had expressed concerns the leader's chief fundraiser had attempted to influence her evidence to police.
Officers have examined the alleged illicit sale of honours - including seats in the House of Lords and knighthoods - for around a year, but recently broadened their inquiry to examine allegations of an attempted cover-up.
The scandal has dogged Blair's final months in office and has threatened to overshadow his hope of brokering a new global deal on carbon emissions reduction before he steps down as British leader by September.
Senior Blair aide Ruth Turner, Blair's chief fundraiser Lord Levy and two others have been arrested during the police inquiry.
After the investigation began, Turner wrote a document expressing concern that Levy had put to her a version of events about the case she believed to be incorrect, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Turner had suggested Blair should be informed of her worries, the BBC reported. Blair's Downing Street office could not immediately confirm whether or not the prime minister was told about her concerns.
The BBC was allowed to report the claim after Britain's High Court lifted an injunction imposed Friday banning publication of the details of the document.
Britain's The Guardian newspaper reported that Levy - Blair's tennis partner, Middle East envoy and fundraiser - had attempted to influence Turner's evidence to the police inquiry.
The fundraiser had held a conversation with the prime minister's aide before she was questioned by investigators, the newspaper reported. The story was published after Britain's attorney general failed to win a court injunction late on Monday to ban reporting of the claims.
Levy denounced the report and others as "prejudiced and distorted." The "current round of articles in the media... are partial, contradictory, confused and inaccurate," said a statement issued Tuesday by Levy's lawyer, Neil O'May, of Bindman and Partners.
O'May said Levy was being subjected to a "media-style trial."
Blair has been questioned twice by police officers - but not under formal caution, meaning it is unlikely he is suspected of committing a crime.
In an interview last month, Blair declined to comment on the police inquiry before officers conclude the investigation. He has said no financial backers were improperly put forward for honours.
Police said in a statement they were concerned aspects of their inquiry were being "aired publicly, as we believe it has the potential to undermine the investigation."