Sun royal editor Duncan Larcombe arrested in payments probe

Duncan Larcombe
Image caption Duncan Larcombe worked at the Kent and Sussex Courier before joining the Sun

The Sun's royal editor has been arrested by detectives investigating alleged illegal payments to police and public officials, the BBC has learned.

Duncan Larcombe, 36, was held following a raid on his home in Kent on Thursday.

A former member of the armed forces, 42, and a woman, 38, were also held after a raid in Lancashire by Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden unit.

They were all released on bail later on Thursday. A total of 26 people have been arrested since last July.

The arrests all follow the inquiry set up after the phone-hacking scandal.

News Corporation provided information which led to the latest arrests, police said.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said: "Today's operation is the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's management standards committee.

"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."

Police said a 36-year-old man was arrested at his home in Kent on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt.

Officers arrested the former serviceman on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, and a 38-year-old woman on suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office, at their Lancashire home.

The arrests were made at about 06:00 BST on Thursday.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation set up a management standards committee (MSC) last July to carry out internal investigations of its newspapers following the phone-hacking scandal.

News International - the UK division of News Corp - confirmed that a Sun journalist had been arrested.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed on Wednesday that it had received the first batch of files from officers relating to Operation Elveden and Operation Weeting - the Metropolitan Police's continuing phone-hacking investigation to which it is linked.

The documents have now been handed to Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC for him to decide whether to bring charges.

The management standards committee is working with detectives to look at whether journalists at Mr Murdoch's UK papers - The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times - have been involved in corrupt payments to police and other public servants.

The News of the World - another of Mr Murdoch's publications - was forced to close in July 2011, after it was revealed that the voicemail messages of a string of public figures and celebrities had been hacked into.

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