Soca chief Sir Ian Andrews quits over undeclared interest in private company

More than 100 companies and celebrities who used rogue investigators may finally be named following investigation by The Independent

The chairman of the Serious Organised Crime Agency resigned today after he failed to declare he owned a private company with his wife, who works for a global consultancy firm involved in security and investigations.

Sir Ian Andrews informed Theresa May, the Home Secretary, that he would leave his position early after weeks of damaging revelations over the crime-fighting body in The Independent.

Soca is facing urgent questions over why it failed for years to tackle more than 100 blue-chip clients of corrupt private investigators, including law firms, banks and celebrities.

Sir Ian was hauled before MPs to explain the agency’s inaction – but failed to declare that his wife Moira was the head lawyer at Good Governance Group (G3), a major global company involved in security and investigations.

Soca has handed over a list of the rogue investigators’ clients to the Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by Keith Vaz, on condition that the names are not revealed. Mr Vaz has now suggested that the confidentiality will be reviewed: "Sir Ian was part of the decision making process that required that the Home Affairs Select Committee kept the lists that Soca sent us confidential. I shall be writing to his successor to ask if he or she will now review this decision."

In a letter to Mr Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Sir Ian admitted that it was “inexcusable” that he also did not disclose he had recently set up a private business with Ms Andrews, a senior former Whitehall official.

“I have no explanation for this other than it was both a genuine and unintentional oversight but it is nonetheless inexcusable: and the responsibility is mine alone,” he wrote. “My original four-year appointment expires at the end of this week and was due to be extended until October to cover the remaining life of Soca. Given the above, and the fact that I have failed to maintain the standard of integrity to be expected of the head of a public body, let alone one charged with law enforcement, I believe that I had no alternative but to offer the Home Secretary my resignation as the Chairman of Soca.

“This is a huge disappointment to me personally.”

Mr Vaz said: “This is the right decision. Clearly as head of a law enforcement agency it is important that there is full transparency and it is essential that all members of the Soca board also check their own interests.”

Sir Ian was behind the decision to classify a list of blue-chip companies who hired corrupt private detectives that hack sensitive information – claiming the disclosure could damage their commercial interests and breach individuals’ human rights.

His wife Moira is employed as the head lawyer for Good Governance Group (G3), a global consultancy firm involved in security and investigations that controversially donated funds to a charity linked to a friend of former Defence Secretary Liam Fox, prompting his resignation.

She worked for 30 years as a senior law enforcement official in various government departments including the Foreign Office and the Crown Prosecution Service, before becoming “group general counsel” of G3. The investigations agency also hired as a consultant the former Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who resigned in the wake of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

G3 has reportedly been investigating the listed coal mining company Bumi plc, which is at the centre of a bitter row between the banker Nat Rothschild and Indonesia’s Bakrie family.

The agency was reportedly paid by the government of Bahrain to “support [its] stance before the international community” according to Lt Gen Sir Graeme Lamb who is said to be a “special adviser” for 3G. The company itself has not commented on any work it might do for Bahrain. Mr Yates has also secured a role as police adviser to the dictatorial regime which has been condemned by the international community for its brutal oppression of political opponents.

When the country’s Formula One Grand Prix took place against a backdrop of protests, Mr Yates appeared on news reports defending the stuttering reform process and describing the unrest as “criminal acts” against “unarmed police” who acted with “remarkable restraint”.

In his letter to Mr Vaz, Sir Ian said he did not believe that failing to declare Ms Andrews job was a conflict of interest, but he admitted his omission of his private role with his wife in management consultants Abis Partnership Ltd was “inexcusable”.

He said: “I have no explanation for this other than it was both a genuine and unintentional oversight but it is nonetheless inexcusable: and the responsibility is mine alone.

“My original four-year appointment expires at the end of this week and was due to be extended until October to cover the remaining life of Soca. Given the above, and the fact that I have failed to maintain the standard of integrity to be expected of the head of a public body, let alone one charged with law enforcement, I believe that I had no alternative but to offer the Home Secretary my resignation as the chairman of Soca.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015