Police arrested Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor and close associate to Rupert Murdoch, for a second time on Tuesday in a new round of detentions in the phone-hacking scandal, Sky News reported.

Police confirmed they had held five men and one woman in dawn raids across the country on suspicion of conspiring to pervert the course of justice, with the woman described as 43-years-old and living in Oxford.

Brooks, who has become a central figure in the phone hacking scandal, is 43-years-old and lives in Oxfordshire.

Sky News, which is part owned by Murdoch's media group, said her husband Charlie Brooks had also been detained.

The long-running saga has shaken Murdoch's News Corp and damaged the police and politicians from all major political parties, who have been shown to be extremely close to Brooks and other Murdoch executives.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to admit that he had ridden a horse given to the couple by the police.

Police working on Operation Weeting said the five men and one woman were held between 0500 and 0700 GMT on Tuesday morning in addresses in Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and East and West London.

A number of those addresses were still being searched.

Police said in a statement that the six were held following a consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, the department which prosecutes criminal cases investigated by the police, but a spokesman would not say whether the six had been arrested before.

Operation Weeting was set up to investigate the allegation that journalists and investigators working for the News of the World tabloid repeatedly hacked into mobile phones to generate stories.

One of the descriptions of those arrested - police declined to name them - also fitted the description of James Murdoch, but two sources said he was currently in the United States.

News Corp declined to comment on the arrests.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Writing by Steve Addison; editing by Patrick Graham)