The 34-year-old woman, who previously worked for the MoD, and a 31-year-old man who is a serving member of the Armed Forces, were arrested in a dawn raid at their home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

The woman was detained on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and corruption, while the man was being questioned on suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office and money laundering.

The pair were arrested as part of Operation Elveden, the Metropolitan Police's investigation into the corrupt payments by journalists. Both being questioned at a South Yorkshire police station.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said their arrests were the result of information provided to police by the management and standards committee at newspaper publisher News Corporation.

The spokesman said: "It relates to suspected payments to public officials and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately."

The arrests bring the number of people arrested in Operation Elveden to 52.

The management and standards committee was set up in the wake of the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World.

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