Phone-hacking Met investigator to stand down

Police say investigations into the Murdoch empire's journalistic practices will continue at full strength

The senior Scotland Yard officer leading the investigation into allegations that the Murdoch media empire carried out widespread phone and computer hacking is to stand down from her job after the Olympics.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers assumed control of the Metropolitan Police inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal in January 2011, after evidence emerged in its first investigation that the scandal went well beyond the "rogue" News of the World reporter convicted in 2007. At the time, police faced widespread allegations of cronyism, corruption and high-level bungling.

Akers launched a fresh investigation which is widely regarded as having repaired much of the damage while withstanding political pressure to curtail its scope. Critics have complained that the total cost of the investigations could reach £40m and tie up 200 officers at a time when routine police work is being cut back. Since the inquiries began, there have been more than 50 arrests, with more expected.

"I told Paul Stephenson [then Commissioner of the Met] a couple of years ago – long before Weeting came up – that I would stay until after the Olympics," says Akers. "But I have now done 36 years, which as far as I know makes me by far the longest-serving woman in the Met, and it has always been my intention to go this summer. Of course it would have been nice to see Operations Weeting, Elvedon and Tuleta [into computer hacking] through to their conclusions, but that could be a while yet."

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey said DAC Akers' experience would be missed, but insisted it would not detract from the investigations.

A Met spokesman said no decision had been taken as to who will take over these operations. Unconfirmed reports suggest that her staff had encouraged Akers to ask to go part-time.

The Labour MP Tom Watson, who has done much to expose the extent of phone hacking, said yesterday: "Her departure will be a big loss to UK policing. At times, it has felt like she has single-handedly carried the responsibility of restoring the Met's tarnished reputation."

David Cameron twice sought personal assurances from Rupert Murdoch about claims that Andy Coulson, Cameron's press chief, was not implicated in the hacking scandal, according to a new book about the Prime Minister serialised today in The Independent on Sunday. Mr Cameron first asked while on board Mr Murdoch's yacht Rosehearty anchored off the Greek island of Santorini in August 2008. Mr Cameron and his wife had been flown there on board a private jet chartered by Murdoch's son-in-law Matthew Freud. Mr Murdoch assured him the police knew everything and blamed his "political enemies" for stirring up trouble. The PM sought assurances again before the 2010 election, and received the same answer. Later in 2010, after fresh allegations were published about hacking, sources in Mr Murdoch's News International told the PM that "he no longer should feel obliged to protect Coulson", according to the book.

Mr Murdoch has denied reports that his British newspapers are to be sold off to protect the rest of his media interests from the British criminal and judicial investigations.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering