Thames Valley Journalist Arrested

4 November 2011, 17:38 | Updated: 4 November 2011, 17:57

A senior Sun reporter based in the Thames Valley has been arrested by detectives investigating illegal payments to police officers by journalists at News International.

District editor Jamie Pyatt, 48, has worked for the paper for more than two decades.

He is understood to be the first Sun employee to have been held in connection with either of Scotland Yard's probes into inappropriate police payments or phone hacking.

The reporter, who was shortlisted at the British Press Awards in 2006 for a story revealing that Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party, was questioned at a south west London police station.

A News International spokeswoman said: "News International can confirm that an employee has been arrested this morning.

"News International is co-operating with the Metropolitan Police in its various investigations.''

The arrest is the sixth to be made in connection with Operation Elveden, the probe into allegations that News International journalists made illegal payments to police officers.

Others questioned as part of the inquiry include former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson, former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner, the paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman and a 63-year-old man whose identity has not been disclosed.

Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson are both former editors of the News of the World, which was closed in July at the height of the hacking scandal following revelations that murdered teenager Milly Dowler's phone was involved.

Operation Elveden was launched in the summer after it emerged that News International handed documents to Metropolitan Police officers investigating phone hacking which indicated illegal payments had been made to police.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the then Met Commissioner, said in July that evidence from the publisher suggested a small number of officers were involved.

The number of possible hacking victims now stands at 5,795.