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Phone hacking scandal policeman faces quit call

The senior police officer embroiled in the phone hacking affair yesterday faced a call to step down after he told MPs there was no reason for him to reveal a recent social engagement with a former senior executive at the News of the World.

In a letter to the Commons media select committee, Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who oversaw a review of the heavily-criticised original Scotland Yard investigation into the scandal, confirmed he had attended a “private engagement” in February this year with Neil Wallis, the deputy editor of the Sunday tabloid until 2009.

Mr Yates said they had known each other for “a number of years”.

In evidence to MPs earlier this month, Mr Yates insisted the two men did not discuss the issue during the meeting.

In response to questions about whether he had declared the meeting and sought advice from the inquiry team about whether it should take place, Mr Yates denied any wrongdoing.

Mr Yates wrote: “The meeting referred to during my evidence was a private engagement attended by a number of others. There would be no reason to declare this.”

Senior Labour MP Chris Bryant, who is suing the NOTW for damages over claims his own mobile phone was hacked, said: “If Mr Yates cannot see that is a problem then he should not be in his job.”

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