Boris Johnson would have been "attempting to pervert the course of justice" if he knew police had reopened the investigation into phone hacking when he dismissed fresh allegations as "codswallop", it was claimed yesterday.
The Mayor of London was compared to an "incontinent puppy" who should "think about the consequences of his actions" at a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) at City Hall.
The meeting, attended by the acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Tim Godwin, was the first since the phone-hacking scandal blew up four weeks ago.
Mr Johnson made the remark on 15 September last year, five days after his deputy for policing, Kit Malthouse, was told that Scotland Yard was investigating new phone-hacking claims made by The New York Times. Yesterday, Mr Malthouse told MPA members that the former assistant commissioner John Yates had informed him detectives were considering flying to the US to ask journalists about the article. He said he could not remember if he had passed on the information to his boss, adding: "It is probably unlikely."
His hazy recollection prompted the Green Party MPA member Jenny Jones to brand it "inconceivable" that Mr Johnson would not have known. She told the meeting: "If he did know that there was an ongoing investigation, then he was attempting to pervert the course of justice."
Mr Malthouse warned her that she could be "getting into hot water" with such allegations, to which she snapped: "Well, there are police officers here who can arrest me."
A spokeswoman for the Mayor dismissed Ms Jones's suggestion as "preposterous".