British police drop bribery probe into Sun journalist

The crime editor of Britain's biggest-selling newspaper The Sun will face no further action after he was arrested on suspicion of bribing public officials for stories, police said on Tuesday.

Mike Sullivan, 49, was arrested in January last year under Operation Elveden, one of three Scotland Yard probes launched in the wake of the 2011 phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid.

Sullivan, who was arrested at the same time as three other current and former journalists at The Sun -- which is also owned by Murdoch -- welcomed the decision.

"I feel sadness that colleagues are still in the same predicament over the last 14 months, but hopefully they will find a successful resolution," he said.

A spokesman for Murdoch's British newspaper wing, News International, said: "We can confirm that the police have concluded that no further action is to be taken against Mike Sullivan -- the Sun's distinguished crime editor.

"After more than a year of uncertainty we are pleased that Mike can now carry on with his work without this distraction."

Murdoch was forced to shut down the 168-year-old News of the World in July 2011 after it emerged that its journalists had illegally accessed the voicemail messages of a murdered schoolgirl as well as hundreds of public figures.

Scotland Yard has arrested dozens of people under three probes related to the scandal: Operation Weeting, into phone hacking itself, Operation Elveden, and Operation Tuleta, which is looking at computer hacking by journalists.

Prime Minister David Cameron's former media chief Andy Coulson -- a former editor of the News of the World -- and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks are among those who have been charged over phone-hacking.