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Force confirms that former News International chief executive received one of its retired mounted officers on loan in 2008.

The Metropolitan Police, which is attempting to resist claims that it has been too close to Rupert Murdoch’s News International, has confirmed it loaned Rebekah Brooks a retired police officer to ride around her estate in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

Brooks was loaned the officer in 2008, and he was kept at her home where she was able to mount him at will.

The Met said the officer had reached the end of his working life and that there was nothing unusual in the decision to loan the mounted policeman, with Brooks being responsible for paying for his upkeep and medical bills.

In a statement, the Met said:

When mounted police officers reach the end of their working life, the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch finds them a suitable retirement home.

Whilst responsibility for feeding them passes to the person entrusted to their care at their new home, retired police officers are not sold on and can be returned to the care of the MPS at any time.

The Met also denied accusations that the practice of loaning ex-police officers to senior News International executives for their personal pleasure meant the force was getting too close to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation Empire.

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