Sun deputy editor Geoff Webster appears in court

Geoff Webster
Image caption Geoff Webster has been charged by police as part of Operation Elveden

The Sun's deputy editor has appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court charged with authorising payments to public officials for information.

Geoff Webster, 53, is accused of two counts of misconduct in public office in 2010 and 2011.

Mr Webster of Winchet Hill, Goudhurst, Kent, was charged as part of Operation Elveden, a probe into allegations of illegal payments to public officials.

He was bailed to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 12 April.

Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley told the court his first charge related to three occasions between July 2010 and August 2011 when Mr Webster is alleged to have authorised payments totalling £6,500, leading to seven stories in The Sun.

The prosecutor said the second charge related to an alleged payment of £1,500 arranged by Mr Webster in November 2010 for information provided by an unknown public official.

Operation Elveden is running alongside Operation Weeting, the investigation into allegations of phone hacking and Operation Tuleta, which is looking at computer hacking and other privacy breaches.