01/03/2012 07:52 GMT | Updated 01/03/2012 09:06 GMT

Operation Elveden: Police Arrest The Sun's Virginia Wheeler

Police have arrested the first ever female defence editor of The Sun as part of their investigation into corruption and inappropriate payments to public officials, Operation Elveden.

Virginia Wheeler, is the 23rd arrest as part of the probe. The 32 year old was arrested by appointment in south London.

Met police said in a statement on Thursday: "The operation is investigating suspected payments to police officers and public officials and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately."

Police said the operation was "the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's Management Standards Committee."

Earlier in February, police arrested five senior Sun journalists and three others including a member of the armed forces in connection to Elveden.

News international confirmed the arrest of Wheeler in an email to staff on Thursday.

Dear colleagues,

I am sorry to inform you that a further colleague from The Sun has today been arrested. You will see from reports that Virginia Wheeler was arrested by appointment this morning after returning from some time abroad.

As I have said, it is important that proper due process takes its course and we must not prejudge the outcome of the Police interviews. The company is doing everything it can to assist those arrested and has provided Virginia with legal support today.