The Press Association has offered its full support to a long-standing staff reporter arrested by police investigating allegations of phone hacking by journalists.
Royal reporter Laura Elston, 34, was released on police bail last night after being questioned for several hours.
PA editor Jonathan Grun said: “Laura Elston is a journalist of integrity who has worked for us for over 10 years with great distinction.
“We are offering her our full support and we hope that this matter can be cleared up as quickly as possible.”
The mother-of-two, who joined the agency as a graduate trainee in 2000 and has worked for PA ever since, was arrested when she voluntarily attended an appointment at a central London police station.
Scotland Yard said she was questioned on suspicion of intercepting communications, contrary to Section 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000.
The interview was carried out by detectives assigned to Operation Weeting, an investigation launched by the Metropolitan Police in January following new allegations about phone hacking involving the News of the World.
The paper’s former royal reporter Clive Goodman and private detective Glenn Mulcaire were jailed in 2007 for intercepting messages from members of the royal household.
The new inquiry was set up following allegations that other famous people also had their messages intercepted.
Three News of the World journalists have been arrested and questioned since the new inquiry was launched but no new charges have been brought.
Last week a woman was also arrested in West Yorkshire by Operation Weeting detectives and later released.