The Home Secretary Theresa May paid tribute to Sir Paul Stephenson last night, saying he had "led the force through difficult times" and that "the force is operationally stronger now than it was when he took over". But she noted that there were "still serious issues to be addressed".
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he had accepted Sir Paul's decision with "with great sadness and reluctance". Mr Johnson said: "I have absolutely no reason to doubt the complete integrity of Sir Paul and I believe him to be a fine, passionate and committed public servant who has done a huge amount of good for our city. Sir Paul believes, however, that the phone-hacking saga now threatens to become a serious distraction during the run-up to the Olympic Games."
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper also hailed it as a "brave" decision, but added: "It is striking that Sir Paul has taken responsibility and answered questions about the appointment of the deputy editor of the News of the World, whereas the Prime Minister still refuses to recognise his misjudgement and answer questions on the appointment of the editor of the News of the World at the time of the initial phone-hacking investigation."
Mark Lewis, the solicitor for Milly Dowler's family, was more damning, saying Sir Paul "ought to have been aware of what was going on. There were investigations in 2006 that did not deal with things".
Dee Doocey, a Liberal Democrat member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said Sir Paul had been "hounded out by the Murdoch media" and that Assistant Commissioner John Yates "should now resign without further delay".Reuse content