John Yates should have handed phone hacking investigation to other officer because of News of the World links, says LevesonMartin Hickman
29 Nov 2012
Police blunders meant that the inquiry into phone hacking at the News of the World was not reopened for years, the Leveson Inquiry found.
Between 2006 and 2010 Scotland Yard adopted a “defensive mindset” when it should have been taking accusations of criminal wrongdoing seriously, it said.
In particular Lord Leveson found that Assistant Commissioner John Yates should have stood aside and asked another officer to review the original inquiry because of his friendship with the News of the World's deputy editor, Neil Wallis.
However the report said there was no evidence of corruption among senior officers and ruled out a fear of the News of the World's owners as a factor in the inadequacy of its investigations.
It also said the Met had been right to limit its original investigation in 2006, Operation Caryatid, because of the importance of tackling an upsurge in terrorism The report ruled that the Crown Prosecution Service acted properly in 2006 and later, on the basis of the incomplete evidence supplied to it by the police.
Lord Leveson acknowledged that there was “a concern” that senior police officers had become too close to News International.
However he concluded: "In reality, I am satisfied that I have seen no basis at any stage [to question] the integrity of the police, or that of the senior officers concerned. What is, however, equally clear is that a series of poor decisions, poorly executed, all came together to contribute to the perception that I have recognised.“ Independent