Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Police chiefs 'tried to shut probe'

Two top Scotland Yard officers tried to shut down their force's investigation into Whitehall leaks to Tory MP Damian Green, the Leveson Inquiry has heard.

Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and former assistant commissioner John Yates both urged Bob Quick, the officer in charge of the case, to drop the probe.

Mr Yates said the 2008-09 investigation into Home Office leaks was "doomed" and advised former assistant commissioner Mr Quick to "cut his losses", the press standards inquiry was told.

Mr Quick also claimed that Sir Paul, then acting commissioner, told him on December 1 2008 that he had "written out his resignation" amid political and media furore about the Met's arrest of Mr Green.

He said: "I was surprised and quite shocked at that remark because I couldn't see that the police were doing anything other than their duty to investigate what were very serious allegations from a Government department."

The Leveson Inquiry also heard that Mr Yates denied fellow police officers access to his phone records in a separate leak investigation because he was "very well connected".

And Mr Quick said ex-senior Met officer Andy Hayman refused in 2000 to launch an investigation into allegations that journalists were paying corrupt police officers up to £2,000 for stories about celebrities.

There was outcry when detectives arrested Mr Green, then shadow immigration minister, on November 27 2008 as part of the Home Office leaks probe.

Mr Quick said he was particularly concerned by criticism from London Mayor Boris Johnson, then chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

The Leveson Inquiry, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, was adjourned until Monday.


From Belfast Telegraph