UK

Sun writer and press officer in court on payment claims

A Sun journalist and a government official have appeared in court over alleged inappropriate payments.

Clodagh Hartley, the paper's Whitehall editor, and Jonathan Hall, a press officer for HM Revenue & Customs, did not enter pleas.

They each face one charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

It is alleged the Sun paid Mr Hall almost £17,500 for information about the 2010 Budget and government's deficit reduction plans.

They were arrested under Operation Elveden, the investigation into payments by journalists to police and public officials.

Mr Hall's partner Marta Bukarewicz, who is not a public official, faces the same charge and appeared alongside him and Ms Hartley at Westminster Magistrates' Court earlier.

Mr Hall, 52, and Ms Bukarewicz, 44, both of Kentish Town, north London, and Ms Hartley, 38, of Brockley, south-east London, were bailed to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 6 June.

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