Five Sun journalists arrested in corruption probe

Eight people, including five Sun journalists, have been arrested over allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

Five men aged between 45 and 68 were arrested at addresses in London, Kent and Essex on suspicion of corruption, aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office, and conspiracy in relation to both these offences.

The men were named by Sky News as deputy editor Geoff Webster, chief reporter John Kay, picture editor John Edwards, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker, and John Sturgis, who is a news editor.

A 39-year-old serving Surrey Police officer, a 39-year-old Ministry of Defence employee and a 36-year-old member of the armed forces were also arrested at their homes on suspicion of corruption, misconduct in a public office and conspiracy in relation to both.

A statement from News Corporation, parent company of News International which owns The Sun and The Times, confirmed that five employees of The Sun were among those arrested.

It said its Management and Standards Committee (MSC) had provided information to the Elveden investigation which led to the arrests and had also provided the option of “immediate legal representation” to those arrested.

“News Corporation remains committed to ensuring that unacceptable news-gathering practices by individuals in the past will not be repeated and last summer authorised the MSC to co-operate with the relevant authorities,” it said.

“The MSC will continue to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect legitimate journalistic privilege and sources, private or personal information and legal privilege.

“News Corporation maintains its total support to the ongoing work of the MSC and is committed to making certain that legitimate journalism is vigorously pursued in both the public interest and in full compliance with the law.”

All eight people are being questioned at police stations in London, Kent, Essex and Wiltshire.

Their home addresses are being searched and officers are also carrying out searches at the offices of News International in Wapping, east London, the Metropolitan Police said.

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