Sun journalist arrested in News Corp blow

City A.M. Reporter
The phone hacking scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch's newspaper business has threatened to spread to other titles, as sources said a journalist at the Sun newspaper had been arrested over allegations of police bribery.

Police investigating events at the News of the World tabloid said they had arrested a 48-year-old over allegations of corruption, in connection with payments made to police.

A News International spokesman said an employee had been arrested. Two company sources identified the man as senior Sun reporter Jamie Pyatt.

The Sun, the UK's biggest-circulation daily newspaper, is the sister title to the 168-year-old Sunday paper News of the World, which Murdoch shut down at the height of the hacking storm in July.

News of the arrest of a Sun journalist will come as a bitter blow to the group, which has consistently argued that the illegal practices of snooping on people's phone messages and paying off the police were restricted to the News of the World.

The scandal has infuriated News Corp minority shareholders, forced the resignations of top British police officers and embarrassed Prime Minister David Cameron who had hired the former editor of the News of the World as his media advisor.

The revelations have led to a string of police inquiries and civil court cases after it emerged earlier this year that the popular tabloid had hacked phones on an almost industrial scale to generate exclusive stories.

A spokesman for police investigating the hacking at the News of the World said they believed that the number of people targeted for phone message eavesdropping was almost 5,800, some 2,000 more than originally thought.