Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Champagnegate: It Just Keeps on Giving

Although to listen to John 'Integrity' Yates and now Lucy Panton, Champagne flowed like misers' sweat.

Who was it that said: Never believe anything until it's officially denied, Bismark? or was it Sir Humphrey?

Nevertheless, regarding Panton's 'evidence', if I were a teacher marking homework, I would say: Panton! you've been cribbing off Yates.

Ex-Met police boss John Yates attended News of the World reporter's wedding

Paper's former crime editor tells Leveson inquiry that senior officer who reviewed phone-hacking case was among guests
Lisa O'Carroll
3 April 2012

The Scotland Yard officer who decided against reopening the investigation in 2009 into News of the World phone hacking attended the wedding of the paper's crime editor, the Leveson inquiry heard.

John Yates, then an assistant commissioner, was at the wedding of Lucy Panton, who married Scotland Yard officer Daniel Beck in 2004.

However, Panton told the inquiry into press ethics that she did not classify Yates as a good friend and it was the only time she had socialised with him outside of work.

"There were quite a few people at my wedding who I would class as working friends, who I did not socialise with outside of work and Mr Yates fell into that category," she said adding, "There were a lot of people at my wedding."

The counsel for the inquiry, Robert Jay QC, was pursuing a line of questioning that flowed from evidence to the inquiry last month suggesting that both Yates and another former Met assistant commissioner, Andy Hayman, had enjoyed fine dining and drinks with News of the World figures including Panton and Neil Wallis, the paper's former deputy editor.

The Scotland Yard gifts and hospitality register showed that Hayman had spent £47 on a bottle of champagne at Oriel restaurant from someone he recalls was from the paper, and was possibly female. "I am confident this was not me," Panton told the inquiry, pointing out her preferred drink was a "dry white wine" or a soft drink as she was pregnant during the period in question.

The inquiry had previously heard how James Mellor, one of her bosses at the paper had fired off an email telling her it was "time to call in all those bottles of champagne … really need an exclusive splash line … John Yates could be crucial". However, the reference to champagne was "banter mixed with pressure" to get a story, said Panton today.

She admitted she had drunk champagne with police officers and this would have included Hayman, but only in the company of others. "We used to have champagne at the Crime Reporters' Association Christmas parties – just a bottle at the beginning, or maybe two," she said. "It didn't flow in huge quantities."

Panton was arrested last year in relation to the Met's Operation Elveden investigation into payments to police, but was told by Jay she would not face any questions on this subject.

She said her relationship with the police was a professional one and pointed out that neither Yates and Hayman were a great help in producing stories for the newspaper. "That's why I didn't spend a lot of time with them," she said.

She confirmed that she once wrote a story for the paper from a computer in the office of former Scotland Yard director of public affairs Dick Fedorcio, adding that she did it because it was more convenient that using her BlackBerry.

Panton worked for the News of the World till it closed abruptly last July and is now based at home with her children. guardian


Anonymous said...

We are all in this together.

Himself said...

What do you think to my twitter gadget Chuck?

I'm not impressed myself, I think it has to go.

Anonymous said...

Good night H

I happen to agree with you. It's a disadvantage for your great lay-out.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Guten Abend H


Alkohol ist das Schiff mit dem er untergeht.