A long-serving personal assistant to the former Rupert Murdoch executive Rebekah Brooks has been arrested by police investigating phone hacking, the BBC reported on Friday.
Police said a 47-year-old woman had been arrested on Friday morning at an address in Essex, on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice. She was not named.
Police said the woman was the 17th person to be arrested as part of Operation Weeting, the investigation into allegations that journalists at Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid hacked into phones to generate stories.
Brooks was a key figure in the scandal that developed last year, after she closed the 168-year-old newspaper while fighting to keep her own job. Journalists at the paper openly blamed Brooks for the decision and said the move was designed to protect her position.
She also received robust support from Rupert Murdoch, who at one point said his main priority was to protect Brooks, before she eventually stood down in July.
She has since been arrested and bailed by police.
The BBC said the arrested woman, Cheryl Carter, had previously worked for Brooks, the former managing editor of the paper Stuart Kuttner, and former deputy editor Neil Wallis, who have all been arrested over the allegations.
News Corp declined to comment and the police refused to name the woman.
(Reporting by Kate Holton and Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Steve Addison)