Scotland Yard showed 'poor judgement' in appointing Neil Wallis, says IPCC

Police watchdog says professional boundaries 'became blurred' at the Metropolitan Police

The IPCC the police watchdog said today that Scotland Yard had made 'imprudent decisions' and showed 'poor judgement' in hiring former News of the World boss, Neil Wallis, as a public relations consultant.

Mr Wallis was appointed as a communications adviser to the Metropolitan Police, and his daughter also got a job with the force.

The watchdog said that professional boundaries 'became blurred', and that their two investigations showed 'senior people appear to have been oblivious to the perception of conflict' amid the phone hacking scandal.

The investigations also ruled out corruption allegations in the decision to appoint Neil Wallis to the £1,000-a-day job with the London police force.

Claims of misconduct over John Yates's alleged involvement in securing a job at the force for Neil Wallis's daughter were also dismissed.

Mr Wallis was arrested and then bailed last year in relation to the Metropolitan police investigation into phone hacking.

Neil Wallis's company, Chamy Media, was paid £24,000 by the Met for PR advice between October 2009 and September 2010.

Deborah Glass, the deputy chairwoman of the IPCC, also expressed concern over the resignation of the former Met Police communications chief Dick Fedorcio, who was told he had a case to answer over the procurement of the contract.

Ms Glass said, 'The IPCC cannot prevent a member of police staff leaving before facing misconduct proceedings. But I can and do observe that such a practice can be hugely damaging to public confidence.'

The IPCC said today that senior figures at the Metropolitan Police were to blame for not carrying out a vetting check on Neil Wallis prior to, or during his appointment as a communications adviser between 2009 and 2010.

John Yates, the former assistant commissioner, left the force when the hacking allegations reached their peak last summer.

The IPCC said today that Mr Yates showed 'poor judgement' in sending Amy Wallis's CV to the head of Human Resources at Scotland Yard.

The action had "the foreseeable consequence that human resources staff believed that they were obliged to find a post", the report said.

Ms Glass said, "In these investigations, at the heart of the issues affecting public confidence was the question of whether two separate arrangements - both involving a form of employment connected to Neil Wallis - were either corruptly entered into or otherwise breached MPS policies and procedures.

“In neither case did we find evidence of corruption, but in both cases we found that policies were breached, and in the case of the former Director of Public Affairs, Dick Fedorcio, that there was a case to answer in relation to misconduct.

"Our investigations were limited in scope to the issues over which we have responsibility. However, the findings should be considered in context.

"Despite the growing phone hacking scandal, which must have exercised the MPS at a senior level and which was beginning to damage the reputation of the Metropolitan Police in late 2009, senior people appear to have been oblivious to the perception of conflict.

"It is clear to me that professional boundaries became blurred, imprudent decisions taken and poor judgment shown by senior police personnel.

"I am acutely aware that both reports are being published against the backdrop of the Leveson Inquiry, which is examining the relationship between the police and the media.

"The ongoing inquiry is painting an uncomfortable picture of the relationship between the biggest police force in Britain and sections of the media.

"This culture has had an impact on public confidence, although I also observe that since these cases were referred, none of the senior personnel referred to in these reports are still serving."

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Sauce Recruitment: Programme Sales Executive - Independent Distributor

£25000 - £28000 per annum + circa 28K + 20% bonus opportunity: Sauce Recruitme...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Are you an ambitious, money mot...

Guru Careers: Investment Writer / Stock Picker

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A freelance Investment Writer / Stock Picker ...

Guru Careers: PPC Account Executive / Paid Search Executive

£20 - 24K + Benefits: Guru Careers: An enthusiastic PPC Account / Paid Search ...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project