The Sun's deputy editor, Geoff Webster, is to be charged over alleged illegal payments to public officials.

The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that the former head of pictures at the now defunct News of the World is to be charged with two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office during 2010 and 2011.

Webster was arrested as part of Operation Elveden, a police investigation looking into illegal payments to public officials.

He will appear at Westminster magistrates' court on 26 March.

Alison Levitt QC, principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "We have concluded that Geoff Webster should be charged with two offences of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.

"The first offence relates to allegations that Mr Webster, between July 2010 and August 2011, authorised payments totalling £6,500 for information supplied by a public official to one of his journalists.

"The second offence relates to an allegation that in November 2010, Mr Webster authorised a payment of £1,500 for information provided by an unknown public official."

News International said Geoff Webster was "a long-standing and valued colleague" and the company would support him.

Former police officer Alan Tierney recently pleaded guilty to selling information to The Sun about John Terry's mother and about Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood for £1,750.

Prison officer Richard Trunkfield pleaded guilty in a separate case to selling information to the newspaper about a "high-profile prisoner" at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes for £3,350.

Both were charged under Operation Elveden and will be sentenced at a later date.