Scotland Yard has refused to disclose the number of times it has seized journalist phone and email records without their consent.

Pressure on the Metropolitan police is mounting to reveal why they chose not to invoke the law which guarantees confidentiality of journalistic sources when investigating a police mole in the Plebgate saga.

It emerged earlier this week that the police had ordered Vodafone to hand over the phone records of the Sun’s political editor using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), which does not offer journalistic privilege protecting names of sources.

The first Tom Newton Dunn and his bosses at the Sun knew of the disclosure was when the Met’s report into Plebgate, which included a paragraph disclosing the fact they had analysed his phone records, was published on Monday.

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