Yard’s communication chief denies ‘favours were called in’

Scotland Yard’s communications chief yesterday denied a suggestion that he arranged for Rebekah Brooks to be loaned a police horse in return for securing work experience for his son.

In September 2007 Mrs Brooks, then editor of the Sun, rang Metropolitan Police head of public affairs Dick Fedorcio to inquire about looking after a retired horse, the Leveson Inquiry into press standards heard.

At around the same time Mr Fedorcio’s son Alex did a work experience placement at the Sun lasting four weeks.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Robert Jay QC, counsel to the Leveson Inquiry, asked: “Was it the question – put bluntly – of favours being called in here?”

Mr Fedorcio replied: “I don’t believe it was at all, not as far as I was concerned.

“The arrangement at that stage in 2007, I was not involved in. That was a matter between my son and the Sun direct.”

The inquiry heard that the police communications chief felt that lending Mrs Brooks the animal might result in positive media coverage for the Met about the care of retired police horses.

The Leveson Inquiry, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, is to hear from newspaper crime reporters today.