David Cameron, the UK prime minister, has confirmed that he did ride a horse lent by police to former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks.
The scandal — dubbed "Horsegate" by the British press — has his own Conservative party urging him to "come clean" about the extent of his relationship with Brooks, the Guardian reported.
Cameron has apologized for allowing a "confusing picture" to emerge about his direct connection with Brooks via the animal.
The Guardian cited that Cameron as saying the horse, Raisa, was among his mounts when he rode, before becoming Prime Minister, with Brooks's husband Charlie, a friend since they attended Eton school.
"Before the election [in May 2010], yes, I did go riding" with Charlie Brooks, Cameron told reporters at a European summit, the Associated Press reported. "He has a number of horses and, yes, one of them was this former police horse Raisa, which I did ride."
It's well known that Cameron and Brooks were neighbors in the tiny Cotswold town of Chipping Norton.
However, Cameron has been questioned over his apparent close association with more than one former employee of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
He hired of Andy Coulson, another a former editor of the defunct Murdoch tabloid News of the World, as his communications director before being elected.
Sky News pointed out that Coulson was also arrested, though not charged, in the police investigation of phone hacking at the newspaper.
Meanwhile, British police say 22-year-old horse was not a gift to Brooks, also the chief of News International until resigning amid a phone-hacking scandal, over which she was arrested but not charged.
Cameron riding the horse would violate the police department's policy that horses are retired to "homes where the horse will not be ridden," the AP added
Despite this stipulation being published on the department's website, the police said Friday that some retired horses were loaned out in rideable condition.