Huffington Post went live in the UK this morning with its first launch outside of North America.

And the new site wasted no time in grappling with the biggest story of the day, that of the News Of The World phone hacking scandal which is now swirling around News International.

Like its US sister site, Huffington UK promises a mix of reporting, aggregation, blogging and big name contributors.

It is edited by Carla Buzasi, the editor-in-chief of AOL Europe.

As with the US version, Huffington Post UK will not pay bloggers for their contributions, but invite them to write for free as a way of “showcasing their work to a global audience.”

This morning’s edition featured blog posts from Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt, Sarah Brown and Tony Blair’s former spin-doctor Alastair Campbell.

Tony Blair himself has been named as one of new writers for the UK site.

Ariana Huffington, who founded the US Huffington Post in May 2005 said:

“We are arriving here in the midst of a rich and thriving media culture marked by great innovation. We look forward to adding HuffPost UK to the mix, and to our real-time ‘digital water cooler’ – which embraces the best of the new (immediacy, transparency, interactivity) and the best of the old (fact-checking, accuracy, fairness, and an emphasis on storytelling) – becoming the spark for many interesting conversations.”