MPs to grill officers who led bungled investigation

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The Independent Online

The officer who led the bungled police investigation into phone hacking is to appear before a parliamentary committee next week, the Commons confirmed yesterday.

Andy Hayman, whose work led to the prosecution of only the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and the News of the World's royal editor Clive Goodman, will appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday as part of its ongoing inquiry into the interception of mobile communications.

Mr Hayman's former deputy, Peter Clarke, and Assistant Deputy Commissioner Sue Akers, who is leading the new investigation and who has criticised the performance of the original one, will also appear before MPs.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the committee, said he had written to the Met's Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who reviewed and backed the original inquiry, and News International's chief executive Rebekah Brooks requesting further information on whether the original investigation considered the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone.

Mr Vaz said: "These allegations are extremely shocking. It is now essential that any parties criminally involved are prosecuted and that we uncover who knew what at which point in time at both the Metropolitan Police and at the News of the World." He went on: "The committee will be raising this issue with police officers involved in the current and previous investigations. We will also seek to clarify why a significant variance of action was taken by mobile phone companies in the aftermath of the phone-hacking revelations."

Officers from Operation Weeting yesterday visited News International as part of their ongoing inquiry. In a statement, Sir Paul Stephenson, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police – who last week said he would rather Weeting's 45 officers were investigating robberies – said: "My heart goes out to the Dowler family. Whose heart wouldn't with the additional distress this must have caused them?"

He added: "I have to be very careful to say nothing that could prejudice our live investigation but if it is proved to be true, then irrespective of the legality or illegality of it, I'm not sure there is anyone who wouldn't be appalled and repulsed by such behaviour."