Jamie Pyatt, the tabloid’s Thames Valley district reporter, was arrested at his home in Windsor this morning.
It is the first time a member of staff at Rupert Murdoch’s daily red top has been implicated in the scandal currently engulfing News International, which is involved in three separate police investigations.
Mr Pyatt, 48, has worked for The Sun for more than 20 years and sources say he is “very well regarded”.
It is understood that News International executives knew on Thursday that Mr Pyatt would be arrested the following day. It is understood that he was held following the discovery of an email which allegedly makes reference to him paying a police contact.
However it is believed that the email was discovered by News International and then handed to the Metropolitan Police. Sources say that all staff at The Sun are currently subject to a trawl of their emails from the past five years.