Weatherup is third News of the World journalist arrested

A senior journalist at the News of the World was arrested today by detectives investigating the phone-hacking scandal at the paper.

James Weatherup, a former news editor for the paper who went back to a more reporting-based newsdesk role in 2005, is being questioned at a London police station, sources said.

Assistant news editor Weatherup is the third News of the World journalist arrested since the Metropolitan Police reopened their inquiry into claims that staff at the top-selling newspaper hacked into the mobile phone messages of celebrities and politicians.

Weatherup was arrested by Scotland Yard's Operation Weeting team on suspicion of unlawfully intercepting mobile phone voicemail messages.

According to The Times more than 50 detectives are now working on the new criminal inquiry into phone-hacking.

A police spokesman said a 55-year-old man was arrested at 8am and taken to a London police station.

"He remains in custody for questioning after being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications," he added.

"The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone-hacking. It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details regarding this case at this time."

News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, 50, and former assistant editor (news) for the paper Ian Edmondson, 42, were arrested and questioned by police last week and have been released on bail to return in September.

Press Gazette understands that Thurlbeck has not been suspended and remains an employee at the News of the World.

Weatherup joined the News of the World as news editor in early 2004 following the resignation of Ricky Sutton. He had previously been working at the Sunday Mirror as an executive writer.

He first joined the News of the World in 1987 as a reporter and become chief reporter in 1997. He joined the Sunday People as deputy news editor in 1999, becoming news editor in 2000 before joining the Daily Mirror as an executive writer in 2001.

He stood down as news editor in late 2005 when Ian Edmondson was made news editor.

Weatherup last featured in the pages of Press Gazette when he won a darts competition (see picture above) the magazine ran in 2007 in association with bookmaker Ladbrokes.

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