by a Newsnet reporter
The fallout from the News of the World phone hacking and corruption scandal continues as yesterday John Yates, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan police, was forced to resign. Mr Yates’ resignation came moments after the Mayor of London, Boris Johnston, announced to the press that four senior officers, including Mr Yeats, had been referred by the Metropolitan Police Authority to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
In a statement, IPCC Commissioner Deborah Glass confirmed that the IPCC would investigate the officers, and detailed the matters which would be subject of their attention. The former Metropolitan Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson would be investigated over his role in carrying overall responsibility for the original, failed, investigation into phone hacking.
Ms Glass also confirmed that the IPCC would investigate the conduct of Assistant Commissioner John Yates on a number of issues, including his review of July 2009 into the original police enquiry which ruled not to pursue the matter.
In a new twist, it was announced that Assistant Commissioner Yates would also be investigated for his ” alleged involvement in inappropriately securing employment for the daughter of a friend”.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the young woman in question was Amy Wallis, daughter of Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World who was later employed by the Metropolitan police as a PR consultant. Mr Wallis was arrested last week in connection with the ongoing investigation into the scandal. He denies any wrongdoing.
Mr Yates checked the credentials of Neil Wallis before the force employed the ex-deputy editor of the paper.
Following the Mayor of London’s press conference and the announcement from the IPCC, Assistant Commissioner Yates announced his resignation. In his statment Mr Yates said: “Sadly, there continues to be a huge amount of inaccurate, ill-informed and on occasion downright malicious gossip published about me personally.
“This has the potential to be a significant distraction in my current role as the national lead for counter terrorism.”
Mr Yates admitted that he had “deep regret” about his resignation, but asserted that his “conscience was clear”.
Two other former senior officers of the Metropolitan police are also to be investigated by the IPCC. According to the BBC they are believed to be former Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke.
While he was assistant commissioner Mr Hayman led the original investigation into the phone hacking scandal which concluded there were only eight victims. On leaving the force Mr Hayman took up employment with News International.
The resignation of both its top officers within days, and the investigation of senior officers over alleged inappropriate links with media organisations, comes at a time when police officers are demoralised and upset over planned cuts to police funding. Allegations that some officers have accepted payments for passing on information are currently being investigated. Arrests are expected in the near future. There has been a massive loss of public trust in the police. Morale within the force is said to be at an all time low.