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The Sun's royal editor 'held in corrupt payments probe'

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The first copies of the new Sun on Sunday newspaper

© PA Images / John Stillwell/PA Wire

The Sun's royal editor was arrested today by detectives investigating corrupt payments to police and public officials, the BBC has said.

Duncan Larcombe is thought to be the 36-year-old man arrested this morning at his home address in Kent on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office.

A former member of the armed forces, aged 42, and a 38-year-old woman were also held at their home addresses in Lancashire by officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden unit.

The addresses of those arrested are being searched, confirmed Scotland Yard.

In total, 26 people have been arrested since last July in the Elveden inquiry set up to run alongside the Operation Weeting probe into phone hacking by the newspapers.

"Today's operation is the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's Management Standards Committee," said police in a statement.

"It relates to suspected payments to a public official and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately."

The Management Standards Committee (MSC) was set up by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to run an internal investigation of alleged wrongdoing at its newspapers, following the phone hacking scandal that resulted in the closure of the News of the World last July.

News international, the UK newspaper publisher owned by News Corp, confirmed that a Sun journalist had been arrested in police raids at 6am this morning.

The arrests follow a confirmation yesterday that the cases involving four journalists and seven others have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Kier Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, is now considering whether to bring charges against the suspects, relating to evidence presented by Operation Elveden and Operation Weeting.

He said that it was likely more referrals would be made as 43 individuals remain on police bail following a slew of arrests over the past year, including former News of the World editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks.

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