Head of news Pharo and deputy editor Webster leave The Sun in the wake of Operation Elveden ordeal

Sun head of news Chris Pharo (pictured: Reuters) is leaving the paper in the wake of his arrest and trial under Operation Elveden.

Press Gazette understands that deputy editor Geoff Webster is also not returning to the paper following a long suspension after being charged and ultimately found not guilty of paying public officials.

The departures mean that nearly all the senior Sun executives suspended (and ultimately cleared) as a result of their arrests under Operation Elveden have not returned to the newsroom.

Meanwhile, in an unconnected development, Sun news editor James Clench is understoood to be leaving The Sun as well as picture editor Mark Tattershall.

Some 23 Sun journalists were arrested and/or charged as a result of information given to police by News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee.

Only one Sun journalist was convicted, Anthony France, who is currently in the process of mounting an appeal.

Pharo was first arrested in January 2012 and finally cleared last month after a second trial, alongside Sun reporter Jamie Pyatt, at Kingston Crown Court.

Pyatt was accused of paying a police officer for stories and Pharo was accused of involvement in approving the payments.

Webster was first arrested in February 2012 and found not guilty after an Old Bailey trial in March 2015.

Other senior Sun executives to leave the paper after being charged under Operation Elveden and suspended from work include: former managing editor Graham Dudman, executive editor Fergus Shanahan and picture editor John Edwards.

Sun chief reporter John Kay, 71, who was first arrested in February 2012, has also left the company. He was cleared in March alongside Webster and is believed to have retired.

Speaking after the not-guilty verdict was returned last month, Pharo said: “It's the end of a four-year long nightmare for Jamie and I but it's extended way beyond just us.

"It's damaged our families, our friends and the true human cost to everybody caught up in Operation Elveden is incalculable.

"I want to ask one simple question: how could anyone imagine spending more than £30m over four years prosecuting journalists for doing their job was remotely in the public interest?"

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