News International in Wapping, London, Yui Mok/PA

Times deputy sports editor and former Evening Standard journalist believed to have been arrested in pre-dawn raid at his home

Credit: Yui Mok/PA

A 35-year-old man arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of phone-hacking is believed to be Raoul Simons, deputy football editor at the Times.

Simons joined the Times from the Evening Standard in October 2009, but has been on extended leave since late 2010.

According to reports he was arrested at his home yesterday at 5.55am, by officers of the Met's Operation Weeting team. The arrest, the 16th by Operation Weeting's 50-strong team, differed from the majority of previous arrests, which were made by prior appointment.

Last September the New York Times published an audio recording, believed to date from 2005, of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire explaining to a journalist how to hack the phone of Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association.

According to a report in the Times this morning, Simons was the journalist on the phone with Mulcaire. Simons remains deputy sports editor at the Times but has been on leave since shortly after the New York Times articles was published.

In 2005 Simons was working for the Evening Standard, which was then owned by Associated Newspapers. Associated Newspapers was approached for comment but had not responded by the time of writing.

A spokeswoman for News International told "News International continues to co-operate fully with the Metropolitan Police Service in its investigation into phone hacking."

It was revealed yesterday that Guardian special investigations correspondent Amelia Hill was questioned under caution by Met police officers investigating an alleged leak of information from Operation Weeting.

The leak is believed to have been information about the arrest of former News of the World Hollywood reporter James Desborough.

A 51-year-old officer from Operation Weeting was arrested last month in connection with a leak.

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