Pressure grows over hacking list
Pressure is mounting to reveal the names of hundreds of firms and individuals linked to rogue private investigators, as the chairman of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) officially stands down.
Sir Ian Andrews resigned as head of Soca after it emerged he had failed to declare his directorship with legal and management consultancy Abis Partnership - contrary to the agency's strict rules.
His decision to quit comes amid a furore surrounding a list of 102 firms and individuals linked to rogue private investigators that Soca recently handed over to the Home Affairs Select Committee on condition that their names are not revealed.
But Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Commons committee which possesses the coveted list, said he would ask Sir Ian's successor to review this decision.
Mr Vaz said: ''Sir Ian was part of the decision-making process that required that the Home Affairs Select Committee kept the lists that Soca sent us confidential. I shall be writing to his successor to ask if he or she will now review this decision.''
Pressure had been growing on Sir Ian and Soca to release the so-called ''blue-chip hacking'' list linked to Operation Millipede, which led to the conviction of four private detectives for fraud last year.
The list contains eight firms that featured in evidence in the prosecutions, as well as 94 other organisations which were relevant to the inquiry but not used in evidence. A total of 22 law firms are on the 102-strong list, alongside several insurance companies, financial services groups and two celebrities, among others.
A Soca spokeswoman said on Thursday: ''The Home Secretary has accepted the resignation of Sir Ian Andrews as chair of the Soca board. Sir Ian offered his resignation after realising he had neglected to register his directorship of Abis Partnership Ltd. The Soca code demands that all directors' interests are declared.''
Sir Ian wrote to the Home Affairs Select Committee after it emerged last week that his wife, Moira Andrews, is employed as the head lawyer for Good Governance Group (G3) - a global private investigations firm.
He told the group of MPs that it was a ''matter of public record that my wife, Moira Andrews, after leaving the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2011 and amongst other independent interests, became General Counsel of G3, a role she has filled since 2012 as a part-time consultant''.