The US editor of the News of the World, who provided the paper with a string of showbusiness scoops on both sides of the Atlantic, yesterday became the 13th person to be arrested by police investigating phone hacking at the now defunct Sunday tabloid.

James Desborough, who became the newspaper's Los Angeles-based correspondent in 2009 after winning an award as Britain's best showbusiness reporter, flew back from America to be arrested by appointment at a south London police station by officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Weeting on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemails.

The 38-year-old is the first NOTW journalist working in America to be detained as part of the phone hacking scandal - prompting an excited reaction in the United States - although it is understood his arrest relates to his work for the paper while working in Britain. He joined the NOTW as a showbusiness reporter in 2005.

Desborough was considered to be one of the paper's best-performing journalists in the high-pressure Sunday tabloid world, regularly beating rivals to showbusiness stories and leading coverage of the Sir Paul McCartney-Heather Mills break up.