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.

News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
people
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
News
i100
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star