Police arrested five senior figures on the Sun newspaper last weekend.
The arrests bring the total number arrested in Operation Elveden to 21. This operation is a police investigation into police officers accepting “inappropriate payments” from journalists.
The five arrested were: Geoff Webster, the Sun’s deputy editor; John Kay, its award winning chief reporter; Nick Parker, chief foreign correspondent; picture editor John Edwards and deputy news editor John Sturgis.
The latest arrests follow police scouring 300 million emails for evidence.
News International, the company that owns the Sun, had initially claimed the emails had all gone missing.
Now they have turned up, members of the company’s Management and Standards Committee are trawling through them with many a lawyer on hand.
An army major and his wife, who works for the Ministry of Defence, were also arrested, along with a police officer serving with the Surrey force.
This follows the arrests last month of Graham Dudman, the Sun’s former managing editor; Chris Pharo, its head of news; veteran crime correspondent Mike Sullivan and former deputy editor Fergus Shanahan.
The Leveson inquiry into press standards is about to start looking at allegations that journalists paid police too.
There has been a spate of allegations that cops took cash from journalists employed by News International.
Journalists are accused of handing over wads of cash to officers at a drive-through McDonald’s in east London in return for information.
It is claimed that in 2003 alone, News International handed over more than £100,000 to just five police officers.
The phone hacking scandal encapsulates the unholy alliance between the police, the media and the political establishment.
Top cops knew about the bribes—as did senior politicians. The links between the press and police run high.
Andy Hayman was a former assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police involved in the initial police investigation into phone hacking.
He became a columnist for the Times—which is owned by News International.
Conversely, the Met hired Neil Wallis, former deputy editor of the News of the World, to manage its public relations.
John Yates, assistant commissioner at the Met, resigned after it was revealed he had given Wallis’s daughter a job.
There is a direct line from News International via bribing police straight to 10 Downing Street. That is what the latest scandal is about.