John Yates, who dismissed calls two years ago to reopen the police investigation into phone hacking, resigned as Met Assistant Commissioner today - after being suspended.
John Yates, who dismissed calls two years ago to reopen the police investigation into phone hacking, resigned as Met Assistant Commissioner today – after he was told he was being suspended by the Metropolitan Police Authority. He had earlier told Sky News “I have done nothing wrong”, then resigned within hours. He follows Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, who quit last night, out of the exit door.
This afternoon, home secretary Theresa May announced an investigation into police corruption, hinting the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to have its powers expanded in the wake of the phone hacking scandal and the Met’s abysmal response to it.
She told Parliament she was setting up a project by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to:
“…consider instances of undue influence, inappropriate contractual arrangements and other abuses of power in police relationships with the media and other parties.”
Ms May added:
“There is nothing more important than public trust for police to do their work without fear or favour, so its only natural that at times like this we ask who polices the police.”
Earlier today, it emerged that Yates was the man responsible for vetting former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis, arrested last week over phone hacking, employed as a consultant by the Met at the rate of £1,000 a day, and a regular dining companion of Yates and Stephenson.
Yates, in an angry and defiant resignation statement tonight, refused to apologise for the Wallis appointment, and criticised what he called “ill-informed and downright malicious gossip”. He insisted he had “behaved with complete integrity” and that his “conscience was clear”. His performance in front of the select committee last week, his links to News International and his refusal to investigate in 2009, however, suggest otherwise.
Meanwhile, it was announced within the last few minutes that Andy Hayman and Peter Clarke are being investigated by the IPCC.
Another proud day for the Met.
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