News24

Ex-tabloid editor's gift horse has a kick

2012-02-28 19:36

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".