The Sun's royal editor, Duncan Larcombe, a former member of the armed forces and a third person have been arrested in relation to alleged illegal payments to police officers, according to PA.

Two arrests were made in Lancashire and one in Kent under Operation Elveden, the Metropolitan Police's investigation into illegal payments made to police and public officials.

The CPS has been passed detailed documents to be used as evidence against a total of 11 people including four journalists. Police have confirmed that the latest arrests are a direct result of the documents.

A 36-year-old man, who works for The Sun, was arrested in Kent on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. He is being questioned at a police station in Kent.

A 42-year-old man and 38-year-old woman were arrested at their home in Lancashire. The man is a former member of the armed forces and was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.

The woman is arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office.

Their homes in Kent and Lancashire are both being searched for evidence.

Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions, said: "We are entering a period where we are likely to make a decision one way or another.

"The decisions we are going to make are going to be extremely difficult and extremely sensitive. We have got to make a decision because these cases are coming. We cannot duck that."

Operation Elveden exists as a result of alleged foul play at the News of the World and runs alongside Operation Tuleta and Operating Weeting which investigate computer hacking and phone hacking respectively.

The police said: "Today's operation is the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's management standards committee.

"It relates to suspected payments to a public official and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately."

Elveden has arrested 26 suspects since it began in January 2011.