Met hacking inquiry chief dined with NOTW staff

The police chief who headed Scotland Yard's inquiry into phone-hacking dined with the News of the World at the height of his criminal investigation into the newspaper.

The sensitively timed meeting between then Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman and the NOTW was left off lists of contacts between senior officers and the paper's owner sent to the Metropolitan Police Authority. Its disclosure in a Freedom of Information request prompted claims that the force had an unduly "cosy relationship" with Rupert Murdoch's print empire News International (NI).

Mr Hayman enjoyed three lunches and two dinners with the NOTW in the two years ending in 2007. One dinner was on 25 April 2006, four months after the Royal Family alerted the Yard to the loss of personal data about Princes William and Harry and four months before anti-terrorist police raided the offices of the NOTW's royal editor Clive Goodman and its private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, in August 2006.

Mr Hayman, who joined the NOTW's sister paper The Times as a columnist after retirement, said he could not remember with whom, or in what circumstances, he had the dinner. He said he could not comment without knowing the details.

His investigation into the NOTW's suspected hacking of the phones of celebrities and politicians was scorned by MPs for failing to interview figures including chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck. Sue Akers, who is leading a new police inquiry, reportedly told one alleged victim, John Prescott, she was "not satisfied" with the original inquiry.

Last night the Met issued a statement saying: "Andy Hayman was the Metropolitan Police and Acpo lead for counter-terrorism, and this area of high public interest and concern was his main purpose for meeting with the media. All hospitality must be recorded and these meetings with NI were recorded in the hospitality register."

The MP Tom Watson said: "It is utterly unbelievable a senior investigating officer could think it appropriate to socialise with executives from an organisation he was investigating. We need to know who knew, who was there and what was discussed."

Two months ago, the Met disclosed that Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson had dined with the NOTW seven times between 2006 and 2010, during which time his force turned down calls for the hacking investigation to be reopened. This week it disclosed a further 20 meetings with NI, including a lunch Mr Hayman enjoyed at The Times in February 2006, while he was investigating its sister title.

Neither list disclosed his five NOTW engagements: two dinners in November 2005 and April 2006, and three lunches in March, September and November 2007. Acting Commissioner Tim Goodwin described the failure to list them as "an oversight".

Liberal Democrat MPA member Dee Doocey said: "It is extraordinary that when serious allegations about illegal phone-hacking relating to the News of the World were still unresolved, the Commissioner and senior officers thought it was acceptable to devote so much time networking with senior executives of News International. I have real concerns about the appropriateness of such a cosy relationship."

How Andy Hayman ended up on Murdoch's payroll

Andy Hayman took charge of the phone hacking investigation in December 2005 because the publication of personal details about the Royals had caused security concerns.

The Assistant Commissioner was the UK's top counter-terrorism officer. His inquiry led to the conviction of Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman – which he said sent a strong message to journalists.

But his investigation was criticised by the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee for not going far enough, failing to look into Mr Mulcaire's contract and an emailed transcript marked "for Neville". The MPs said: "The Metropolitan Police's reasons for not doing so seem to us to be inadequate."

Mr Hayman resigned in 2007, complaining about "unfounded allegations" over his expenses and an alleged relationship with a junior officer. He became a columnist on The Times, the NOTW's sister title.

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
News
Ethical matters: pupils during a philosophy lesson
educationTaunton School's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success
Arts & Entertainment
Play It Forward: the DC Record Fair in Washington, US
musicIndependent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads on Record Store Day
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal