Murdoch Lieutenant's Borrowed Police Horse Only Looks Bad

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As the British investigation into corruption at Rupert Murdoch's News International reveals a "culture of illegal payments" at the Sun, news that Scotland Yard loaned one-time Sun editor Rebekah Brooks a police horse has the rest of the U.K. press crowing about an inappropriate connection with the cops. The thing is, that there was nothing below board about the loan. The Metropolitan Police Service (commonly known as Scotland Yard) routinely loans retired horses to riding enthusiasts who take care of them in their golden years, the Telegraph noted, pointing out that Brooks' husband is a former racehorse trainer and the pair has the facilities for such an animal. In light of the allegations that reporters under Brooks hacked phones for News of the World and may have bribed police for the Sun, the loan now looks like a favor from the cops to a possibly corrupt editor, but at the time she cared for it, Brooks apparently saw her charge of the horse as a favor to the force. "This is just a charitable thing Rebekah did," her spokesman told the Associated Press. In hindsight, there probably were other retired horses Brooks and her husband could have taken in with far less PR trouble.

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