Ex-tabloid editor's gift horse has a kick
London - British police gave former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks a retired police steed to look after, the force confirmed Tuesday - but they insisted it was not a gift horse.
The Metropolitan Police says the horse was loaned to Brooks - former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers - in 2008 under a programme that allows people to care for retired service animals.
The force said the horse was rehoused with a police officer in 2010.
Brooks' spokesperson, David Wilson, confirmed Brooks had been a "foster carer" for the animal, and said Brooks had paid for the upkeep of the horse while it was stabled at her rural home.
"This is just a charitable thing Rebekah did," he said.
Britain's media ethics inquiry is currently looking into claims of crooked relations between the press and police. On Monday a senior officer said journalists at Murdoch's The Sun had regularly bribed a network of corrupted police and other officials.
Brooks is married to horse-breeder Charlie Brooks and has a country home near Chipping Norton, northwest of London, a posh rural enclave whose residents include Prime Minister David Cameron.
Wilson said the couple "share a passion for horses".