Police chief rejects hacking claims

Senior Scotland Yard officer John Yates insisted today he did not try to protect News of the World journalists from phone hacking allegations.

Appearing before MPs, the acting deputy commissioner also rejected claims that he had misled Parliament in the past about the Metropolitan Police's investigation into the scandal.



Mr Yates told the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that Labour MP Chris Bryant had been "materially wrong" in accusations he made in the Commons earlier this month.



He maintained that the Crown Prosecution Service had advised there was only an offence where mobile voicemail messages had been intercepted before being opened by the intended recipient.



On that basis only "a very small number of cases" could be proven, he told the committee.



Asked by Labour committee member Tom Watson whether he had suppressed wrongdoing by News of the World journalists, Mr Yates said: "Absolutely not."







Mr Yates' appearance before the committee comes after he requested the opportunity to "rebut" Mr Bryant's claims that he conspired with the News of the World.



The Rhondda MP, who believes his own phone was hacked, said the officer had misled the Home Affairs select committee last September by claiming there were only eight to 12 victims of phone hacking.



Speaking to the culture committee today, Mr Yates said: "He made a number of statements in that debate about the manner in which this investigation has been undertaken by the Met, he also made several assertions which aren't correct."



The acting deputy commissioner said Mr Bryant had been "not correct" to claim that the CPS had never advised that there was only an offence under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) when voicemails were opened by the hacker first.



And he insisted that the case had only been reopened by the Met in January because of the new evidence provided by News International, owner of the News of the World.



The first investigation led in 2007 to the convictions and imprisonment of then News of the World journalist Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.



"Whatever the outcome of the future investigations the fact remains that throughout the Mulcaire and Goodman case and throughout the ensuing period until October 2010 the legal advice was unequivocal and, as I said, very proscriptive," he told the committee.



"The significance of this point is very clear.



"I have always cautioned on behalf of the original investigation that while suspects may have targeted many people as private investigators we could only actually prove the offence of voicemail interception in a very small number of cases.



"If there is a wider interpretation of what constitutes an offence under Ripa then this situation may change but that's a matter for the new investigation."

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital