Brooks asked to reveal Sun's payments to police

The head of the parliamentary inquiry into phone hacking has written to News International's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, to ask for details of alleged payments made by The Sun newspaper to police officers.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, wrote to Ms Brooks yesterday to ask for more information on how many officers were paid, how much they received and when the transactions took place, according to The Guardian newspaper.

His request came after John Yates, acting deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told the committee that officers had begun "researching" claims made in 2003 by Ms Brooks (then Ms Wade) that reporters had paid officers for information, but that an investigation was not underway.

In 2003, Ms Brooks, then editor of The Sun, told the Culture, Media and Sport Committee: "We have paid the police for information in the past."

On Tuesday, the Labour MP Chris Bryant told the inquiry that Mr Yates had gone to lunch with the former deputy editor of the News of the World Neil Wallis shortly after the probe into phone hacking at the newspaper began.

News International could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.