Scotland Yard chief to face hacking questions

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The Independent Online

Scotland Yard's acting head will face questions today about his force's handling of the phone hacking and police bribery scandals that have seen two very senior officers resign.

London's deputy mayor for policing, Kit Malthouse, is also expected to be grilled again about what he and Mayor Boris Johnson did when fresh hacking allegations emerged two years ago.



Members of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) will quiz Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin, who took over running Scotland Yard on Monday after Sir Paul Stephenson resigned as Commissioner



They are expected to ask Mr Godwin what steps he has taken to ensure that senior officers, including those currently investigating phone hacking, are not compromised by their dealings with journalists and media executives.



Mr Malthouse, who is chairman of the MPA, is likely to be questioned about how closely he and Mr Johnson were involved in Assistant Commissioner John Yates's 2009 decision not to re-open Scotland Yard's hacking investigation.



Green Party MPA member Jenny Jones said today's meeting at London's City Hall could be "make or break" for Mr Malthouse.



"I think that all members of the authority will be expecting clear and honest answers about how Kit Malthouse has handled the phone hacking affair and what advice was given to the mayor," she said.



Ms Jones has submitted a series of questions ahead of today's meeting, including a request to know whether Mr Malthouse or Mr Johnson met Sir Paul or Mr Yates in 2009 to follow up MPA members' concerns about the phone hacking investigation and alleged illegal payments to police.



Sir Paul resigned on July 17 amid controversy about the Met's decision to award a PR consultancy contract to former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis, who had been arrested over phone hacking three days earlier.



Mr Yates stood down the next day after being warned he faced suspension and an investigation by the police watchdog into his 2009 ruling against relaunching the hacking inquiry and allegations he inappropriately secured a Scotland Yard job for Mr Wallis's daughter.

PA