Met police commissioner resigns over phone hacking scandal
It was revealed last week that a former executive at News of the World had been hired by the Met Police to provide public relations advice. Neil Wallis was arrested and subsequently bailed in relation to allegations of phone hacking. Revelations today from the Sunday Times that Sir Paul accepted hospitality from Champneys worth £12,000 seemed to have been the tipping point leading to his resignation. The newspaper also stated that Wallis was hired by Champneys to publicise the company.
In a statement tonight, Sir Paul said : “I met Mr Wallis in 2006. The purpose of that meeting was, as with other journalists, to represent the context of policing and to better inform the public debate carried out through the media on policing issues. I had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the original investigation into phone hacking in 2006 that successfully led to the conviction and imprisonment of two men. I had no reason to believe this was anything other than a successful investigation. I was unaware that there were any other documents in our possession of the nature that have now emerged.”
In regards to The Sunday Times Champneys article he said :“Now let me briefly deal with the recent story in relation to my use of Champney’s facilities. There has been no impropriety and I am extremely happy with what I did and the reasons for it – to do everything possible to return to running the Met full time, significantly ahead of medical, family and friends’ advice. The attempt to represent this in a negative way is both cynical and disappointing.”
The announcement that Sir Paul Stephenson is to resign has overshadowed the main news today that former CEO of News International Rebekah Brooks has been arrested on suspicion of intercepting communications and corruption.
To read the full statement from Sir Paul Stephenson – Click Here