New Delhi: The British police have arrested Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News Corp's British newspaper arm News International, Sky News reported on Sunday.
The police confirmed they had arrested a 43-year-old woman over phone hacking allegations, but did not give a name. She is being questioned on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and suspicion of corruption.
They would not confirm a Sky News report that the woman is 43-year-old Rebekah Brooks, who stepped down Friday as head of Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers.
Brooks, 43, resigned over the phone hacking allegations at News International's News of the World newspaper, of which she was once editor.
Murdoch's company had repeatedly backed Brooks to remain as chief executive of the company's British newspaper arm despite her being editor of the tabloid at the heart of the scandal when some of the gravest offences were alleged to have occurred.
However her position became untenable after the company shut the News of the World tabloid, with many of the journalists saying they were losing their jobs just to protect hers. Politicians across the spectrum had also said she should go.
She will be replaced by Sky Italia Chief Executive Tony Mockridge, News Corp said.
Brooks, Rupert and James Murdoch are due to appear before a powerful parliamentary committee next Tuesday to answer questions on the alleged criminality at the paper.
Brooks said the move would give her freedom and time to give her full cooperation to current and future inquiries, police investigations and the appearance before the parliamentary committee for culture, media and sport.
Analysts have pointed out that were Brooks to go, the focus of attention could turn to James, son of Rupert and heir apparent of News Corp, over his handling of the scandal.
Prime Minister David Cameron, a close friend of Brooks, had earlier said he would have accepted her resignation if she had offered it.
With additional information from agencies