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Yard 'broke spending cap funding ex-officer's libel'

By Cahal Milmo

Scotland Yard has been accused of spending more than £7,000 without authorisation on legal advice from a high-profile libel firm for one of its top police officers to enable him to pursue a defamation complaint, it can be revealed.

The Yard paid a total of £7,175 earlier this year to enable former assistant commissioner John Yates to hire the law firm Carter Ruck after a national newspaper published an article that he believed questioned his integrity with regard to the investigation of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. Mr Yates resigned in July amid criticism of his conduct.

The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) confirmed yesterday that it had set a cap of £1,500 on that expenditure.

Police sources said they believed the additional funding had been authorised, but the MPA has demanded an “urgent investigation”.

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