ASSISTANT police commissioner John Yates yesterday followed the example set by his former boss and quit over the hacking scandal yesterday.
His resignation had been widely expected after his judgement was called into question over his decision not to reopen the phone hacking investigation in 2009 and his relationship with former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis. who was later employed by the Metropolitan police.
Fresh allegations emerged last night that Yates helped Wallis’ daughter get a job in the Met, with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) saying it will investigate. Yates branded the speculation “downright malicious gossip” and denied any wrongdoing. He said he expects an inquiry to show he acted correctly when he did not reopen the case.
His resignation follows that of former police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, who quit on Sunday night after coming under intense political pressure.
Yates is the latest in a string of high profile figures dragged under by the phone hacking tidal wave. Now all eyes will be on James and Rupert Murdoch as they face the media select committee later today.
The reverberations from the hacking scandal also reached ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, which yesterday put News Corp on negative credit watch.
In a bid to limit further damage, News Corp yesterday announced the formation of an independent Management and Standards Committee (MSC), which will be chaired by Lord Grabiner QC. The MSC will work with ongoing investigations and conduct its own inquiries into the events that led to the closure of the News of the World.
Meanwhile, former News of the World showbiz reporter Sean Hoare, who alleged his then-boss Andy Coulson encouraged staff to hack into people’s voicemails, was found dead yesterday. Police said the death was “unexplained” but is not being treated as suspicious.