back to article Blighty's top cop quits over phone-hacking scandal

The phone-hacking scandal enveloping Rupert Murdoch's media empire and the Metropolitan police intensified yesterday when Scotland Yard arrested ex-News International boss Rebekah Brooks and the head of the Metropolitan Police - Britain's most senior policeman - resigned after it was revealed he had hired a News of the World …

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  1. The BigYin

    Curious...

    ...now the Brooks has been arrested, she can't give evidence to MPs. Are the two connected?

    1. Paratrooping Parrot
      Mushroom

      Hasn't she been released on bail?

      Why would she not be allowed to answer certain questions from the MPs? If that is the case, then this is further proof that the Met want to protect Murdoch and his cronies.

      Also, why is it that Murdoch's newspaper names are linked with the Stock Exchange? Dow Jones in the US and Financial Times in the UK?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      @The BigYin

      Yes!

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        @the paratrooping parrot

        He doesn't own the FT. Its owned by Pearson.

      2. a cynic writes...

        The Right to Silence..

        Up until the point she was arrested it could be argued she wasn't a suspect. Now she is.

        As a suspect she can't be required to drop herself in the shit. It's a common law right as well as case law from the European Convention on Human Rights.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Paratrooping Parrot and others

        The problem is not so much that she is not allowed to answer certain questions as it may hinder the investigation and in particular any chance of gaining a successful prosecution* (should that be deemed appropriate based on evidence collected) if she does.

        Anything she says to the parliamentary committee will undoubtedly be leaked into the public domain - either through being broadcast directly or through normal parliamentary leakage - as parliament are not bound by the same standards as a court would be, it is highly likely that should she answer anything relevant then it would prejudice her chances of a fair trial should she subsequently be charged with anything.

        Essentially the Met are not protecting anyone by arresting Rebekah Brooks - they probably are pissing off parliament because it will deprive some backbench MPs of their moment in the limelight and their chance to look tough and talk well hard, but the Met are, for once, doing the right thing for justice by arresting these people before they are questioned by parliament.

        Murdoch owns the Dow Jones, which owns the Wall Street Journal.

        *By this I mean the CPS' belief of having a trial that will not be abandoned or appealed on the basis of it being unfair - I obviously have no idea of the evidence or lack thereof against Ms Brooks and could not voice an opinion as to any likely outcome of a trial

    3. vagabondo
      Holmes

      Met => News International

      "she can't give evidence to MPs" is this true? Or is it that it makes it easier to "persuade" her not to?

      And how long before Paul Stephenson joins Andy Hayman as a News International employee?

      1. The BigYin

        @vagabondo

        As has been reported on the Beeb etc, she cannot not give evidence to MPs as that may prejudice an active police investigation.

  2. Jacqui

    Met corruption.

    How can junior officers be expected to toe a morally correct line when thier boss is accepting >5K+ jollies from people he is supposed to be investigating. He is either as incompetent as his subordinates or corrupt.

    Also remember this is the same force that issues senior officers force funded credit cards and still cannot account for where all the money goes. IIRC one officer had to repay some 54K back - he kept his job and very large pension. In the real world, he would have ended up in court lost his job (pension) and freedom.

    In reality, Met officers can do as they wish and know it.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    A new unit of measurement

    I would like to propose the ARCHER as a measurement of (or lack of) integrity.

    The big question that comes out of this whole NoTW, police corruption, political cosiness and influencing affair is how many people, and whom, would cause more that a flicker on the Archer-o-meter.

    I have a suspicion that no matter how many people get banged up, a far greater number will be as guilty as hell - but were just better at covering up their crimes, or simply luckier at knowing who else to blackmail to keep themselves out of the limelight.

    1. Wyrdness
      Facepalm

      Would't work

      I don't think that the ARCHER would work as a unit of integrity, as anything multiplied by zero is still zero.

      1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        I always thought that integrity was a little like acceleration

        There is a zero point, but it extends to +/- infinity on either side, in which case the Archer must be........

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re Met corruption and Scientology

      Isn't the MET also one of the forces who have unhealthy relations with Scientology? i.e. MET officers accepting hospitality, gifts etc. from Scientology representatives. The MET have been deflecting FOI requests on this subject.

    3. Is it me?

      Think You'll find

      That actually that offer had nothing to do with News International, and everything to do with being friends with the MD of Champneys who is not being investigated, and is a friend, and yes people do do that sort of thing altruistically, occasionally, hard to believe. I know. In his circles it probably counts as standing a round in the local.

      BTW - 24K for PR consultancy is peanuts, around 24 days worth, be interesting to know the advice the Met got for it though.

      1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Met and Scientology

        Bang on the mark (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-417782/Police-officers-accepted-gifts-Church-Scientology.html), although for those outside of the UK, the reference is not entirely cast iron.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Scientology visits former members

          http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/07/scientology_is.php

    4. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Happy

      For a moment there...

      I thought you were being really complimentary to The Archer, the East Finchley community paper... http://www.the-archer.co.uk/

  4. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Bafflegab

    Can anyone translate Stephenson's tortured verbiage into clear English?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @bafflegab

      "Wha, wha wha, boo-hoo, ima jumping before I'm pushed, but its all Cameron's fault, eveyrthing everyone else did was dodgy but when I did the same things, like hiring ex NI staff and taking freebies from newspapers etc. it was all above board and honest, honestly. - wah, wah, waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh."

    2. Lamont Cranston

      "If I get out now,

      there's a chance they'll forget about me, before anyone digs up any real dirt."

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opportunity knocks

    I wonder which rag Stephenson will end up getting a column in to "set matters straight" and "tell the full story". Funny how cleaning up after oneself always seems to turn into a soft landing and a tidy profit for our gilded overlords.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am no fan of either...

    Not sure who I despise more in this little war - either way, it's great to see everyone diving for cover and pointing the finger at someone else...

    Interesting that this is the same Met that refused to investigate Phorm and BT by declaring there was "no criminal intent" by either party. I'm sure that News International would argue that they were merely gaining information for stories "in the public interest", and that merely listening to voicemail had "no criminal intent". (Any tampering with messages is a different issue).

    Either way, I'm off to get a coke and large tub of popcorn before settling down in front of BBC News 24...

  7. Oliver Mayes

    A small question

    Why was he allowed to hire a PR consultant? Does anyone in a prominent role get free money to ensure their public image is on message and squeaky clean?

    Surely the thousands that were paid for all the fluff could have been spent on, oh I don't know, hiring more actual policemen?

  8. Alan Firminger

    It may be helpful to give an observed history of spin

    In the eighties we had Margaret Thatcher with Bernard Ingham as her loyal press officer. Ingham understood that all the press want is a good story. So he fed good stories, to all of them.

    Blair with Campbell carried this forwards. Campbell provided individual stories to each media outlet tuned to their politics. So they were all dependent on him for a reliable supple of good stories. This required a large media office with lots of people to evolve and feed the different stories. And all of these people were from the media, many from the press.

    This was by Blair seen as successful. During the Kosovo war a similar organisation was established in NATO headquarters.

    Then they did the same with the Metropolitan Police. At the turn of the century we had press conferences where Deputy Chief Constables waffled sat at a desk and bereaved relatives cried. From the Soham tragedy forwards we have confident reports fed from the Police's media rooms. Staffed by mostly ex pressmen.

    So the press and the police are intricately entangled.

    Oh, and doesn't ex Met Commander Donaldson look like Jim Broadbent in Hot Fuzz.

    1. peter 45

      Donaldson vs broadbent

      One was a cuddly well respected copper who performed his actions for the good of the community, who was actually as morally corrupt as they come.

      And the other.........lm sorry I lost my thread. Who are we talking about again?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Talking of Blair - Ian Blair, that is..

      Wasn't he a Senior figure at the Met at one stage?? Were is he now and will he be asked what he knew and when he knew it.

      It all stinks!

      Tony 'The Bstd' Blair once commented on the corrosive effects of Cynicism and had his man & team produce 'the dossier'. If he could twist & Spin things then anything was possible with the media and this is just payback.

      At one time the police were seen as being above the political fray but not now. Wrongdoing and corruption may be confined to small sections across all ranks but it is not unreasonable to expect and, indeed, require that those appointing and being appointed to the most senior ranks should be above suspicion.

      The sooner the EU commissioners and Merkin DoJ gets involved and starts to turn the screw and help open the stable door so that our new brooms can clean house, the better. I am so disappointed at having to write those words but the corrupt "Sir Humphrey's" are currently winning game, set and match.

      1. Alan Firminger

        I Blair

        After J C de Menezes had been killed by police Ian Blair spent two days touring the TV studios before he was told the truth. All he cared about was spin.

    3. adnim Silver badge

      He should have been appointed one.

      As should all public employees in prominent roles. An independent PR consultant paid for out of the public purse and answerable to the public.

      A PR consultant that is free to examine any documentation produced that relates to the job description of the public employee, and those that documents that don't if the prominent employee is using the workplace.

      A PR consultant that then presents an image of that public employee to the public, his/her employer, in a truthful light.

      Public accountability for public employees, nothing to fear nothing to hide.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Carrot and stick

      A few years ago I witnessed at first hand the detrimental effects of going "off piste" against the wishes of the Blair spin machine. If you did what you were told and covered the right stories in the right way, you were rewarded with doggie treats like access, better stories and even the odd exclusive. Cover the wrong stories (or fail to flavour them correctly) and you learned pretty quickly you would lose the treats and, if you were bad enough, you would lose access entirely for a period of time.

      There was a fairly major event in which Blair and his ministers descended en masse on a sink estate to do the usual speeches, stand ups and glad handing photo ops. One part of the overall event was a "private" meeting between Blair and "community leaders" at a local school - the meeting was not named on the press itinerary, and it was made clear the nationals weren't welcome. A photographer and a couple of journos nevertheless managed to cotton onto the venue and wandered in. One of Blairs well-known female aides spotted them and gave them what amounted to a very loud and very public shredding, part of which was an extremely candid threat as to what would happen to their paper's access should they fail to leave and not mention the event to others - very much along the lines of "you know who I am, you know what I can do, I know who you work for". I was astonished at how quickly the journos caved - not usually the meekest bunch - walking out with a muttered apology.

      One things for sure; nothing ever gets into the national media without someone other than the journalist having had a hand in the direction it spins.

  9. Spearchucker Jones
    FAIL

    Pity...

    ...that Stephenson thinks he should resign. His knowledge, expertise and experience will be lost to the Met. It's a sad signature of UK politics - someone always has to be seen to take a fall. After much hand-wringing, self-flagellation and bitching... the story just goes story away. But...

    Behold ye, Joe public, the symptom has been treated!

    And nothing is done about the root cause

    In the end we (the public) have lost yet another capable civil servant, whilst retaining the trash that caused it in the first place. Mostly because we, the public, value the perception of action over tangible results.

    1. PDC

      Read the police blogs

      Hmm. Reading various police blogging sites, it would appear they're all pleased to see this guy go.

      1. Spearchucker Jones
        Go

        Lol :-)

        That deserves an upvote :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Megaphone

      Someone has to take the fall?

      Nobody did for the negligent and idiotic shooting of an innocent man on a london tube train and its subsequent cover-up.

      Resignation? Someone should have been charged with murder for that.

      It was milestone day for me, as a British citizen. The day that I finally discarded all misconceptions and illusions about the British police being there to protect us.

      At least this guy did resign. Perhaps there is s nanogram of honour left.

  10. Is it me?

    Why are you surprised by all this

    Do you think all those cop and detective shows make up the relationship between the Police, the press and Private Detectives who are Ex Job.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    How inconvenient for them...

    Imagine:

    Big-wig one day.

    Grist for the newsprint mill the next.

  12. Peter Fox
    FAIL

    He must have known about Yates

    Yates who was busily lunching with NoW execs while investigating them! [See Private Eye]

    So 'integrity intact' Stephenson was clearly party to a 'nothing to see here - move along' policy.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      'nothing to see here - move along' policy.

      Followed by what evidence 'fingers in ears... la la la la...'

      It only came to light because there were "important" people affected. Unlike Phorm where only normal people who can be safely ignored were upset.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    simularities??

    Is it me or is this almost the same as what BT and Phorm did??

    Why is there this huge fuss about news international and not BT too?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE:simularities??

      Answer: Because the plebs on a jury can actually understand phone hacking being bad as opposed to something so IT based as intercepting IP traffic for "relevant advertising".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        re re simularities??

        and also the fact that targeted advertising from internet traffic analysis has nothing to do with the Pedogeddon fear associated with the Dowler case. For millipede to be calling the parents a heroes of the scandal just goes to prove how desperate he is to score points out of this, just like the one eyed jock did last week. If it were Dennis Neilson complaining his voice mail had been listened to in the first instance we would have been getting some real news over the past 2 weeks.

        I blame the prols who bought the papers, who read the stories, that paid the bills that fed the empire that Rupert built.

    2. a cynic writes...

      Almost but not quite...

      One lot had a human looking through your voicemail messages for something they could publicise - the other had a computer look through your web traffic to serve you targeted ads.

      The real reason why one is getting a storm of publicity and the other not is score settling. NI have been chucking their weight around for years and pissed a lot of people off. The public finally being bothered about it has given them all an opportunity.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    More than meets the eye

    Anyone can see that there is a close nexus between all politicians/police and Murdochs and everyone trying to cover their collective asses.

    What bets then, that the Murdochs definitely getting Bj's from a certain red haired pet of theirs?

    Mines the bulletproof one for having said that !

  15. Gerrit Hoekstra
    Flame

    Pork Barrel

    I worked across the road from New Scotland Yard last year and watched the endless procession of high-spec, tax-payer-funded 4x4's parading into and out of their parking garage (it was also a government organisation I worked for so I had lots of time on my hands!). I estimate that at any time there are £5-million pounds worth of luxury cars in there, that you and I pay for out of our own pocket.

    Clearly the officers of the MET do not know when to stop taking the mick, it seems. Perhaps it is time we teach them a lesson on acceptable public behaviour?

  16. Baked Beans

    Here's a picture

    Of a fluffy kitten

    http://www.royalcanin.co.uk/images/maine_coon_kitten.jpg

    There, will that pull everyone's head's out their arses?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      I don't like cats.

      Actually, I really rather think everyone has finally pulled their heads out of their arses and seen the world as it truly is. That's why there's this huge NI shaped pile of shit to be cleaned up.

  17. Baked Beans

    Nope...

    1 Thumbs (thumb?) down already. Here's a picture of a kitten AND a puppy together:

    http://cute-n-tiny.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/rcp101-kitten-puppy.jpg

    Surely that'll cheer everybody up?

    1. Steven Roper
      Pint

      Well

      given the content of your posts on other articles relating to this topic I rather think people might be downvoting your posts by reflex action when they see your name next to them...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Baked Beans

      That's a really cute kitty and a really cute puppy and seeing them really made me happy.

      Doesn't lend any credence to your assertion that anyone who disagrees with your worldview is therefore necessarily in need of an outlook re-alignment though.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Brooks was another one arrested by appointment.

    WTF?

    “I wonder if it would be possible for us to arrest you at some point in the near future.

    If you would be so kind as to let us know when that would be convenient.

    Please accept my deepest apologies for any inconvenience this might cause.”

  19. Baked Beans

    Shape of shit

    Just out of interest do you believe there's a big BBC shaped pile of shit that needs to be cleaned up too? If you don't like the god only knows how many programs that NI produces from the Simpsons to (Darth Vader's dramatic theme) Fox News just don't watch it. I've noticed that only the BBC has the power to compel us to give them money.

    People who spend their lives bitching about the big bad businessmen and all their "power" forget that government has a monopoly on force and force is power, not money. Politicians can have Brooks (or anyone else) forcefully removed from their homes at a whim, not vice versa.

    1. Jim Morrow
      FAIL

      the shape of shit

      > Just out of interest do you believe there's a big BBC shaped pile of shit that needs to be cleaned up too?

      that's not a nice thing to say about huw edwards.

      > god only knows how many programs that NI produces

      fuck all. it's a company which prints things which are allegedly newspapers. and fyi, both sky and fox generate very little content for their zillion channels of shite. they just buy it in.

      > only the BBC has the power to compel us to give them money

      wrong again. you have to have a tv licence to receive broadcast tv signals. it's the law. and it's not enforced by the bbc. they just get the licence fee money. and it's a fucking bargain.

      btw, you are compelled to give commercial broadcasters money too. it's almost impossible to buy groceries without visiting a supermarket. they all advertise on tv. where do the supermarkets get the money for that?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Piles of shit.

      Yes, there are variously shaped and sized, occasionally intersecting, piles of shit. Some bigger and more unpleasant than others but all in need of cleaning up to some degree.

      Government may have a monopoly on force but the direction in which the force is applied is/was often dictated by companies like NI in the interest of companies like NI.

      The thing they have in common is that they're all in the gutter, the only difference is the depth.

  20. Baked Beans

    Nice one Jim, you almost sounded like you believed yourself

    No, there is a big difference between the force of a gun pointed at your head and the force of seeing images saying "buy this" in a supermarket and you're not capable of kidding yourself that you don't understand the difference. And don't be so pedantic. The government extorts money from us and passes it out to its various branches whether that be obscure public special interest groups that nobody has heard of, nationalized banks that should have been allowed to fail or a broadcast television system that a government has no business maintaining.

    And private networks produce shit and quality programming just like the Beeb, the only difference is nobody will drag me from my home and throw me into one of those things called a jail if I refuse to pay those evil profit seekers to watch the shit they make. Calling it "the law" does not change the fact.

    I'm always impressed by the power of self delusion though, as well as the rationalizations that people come up with to support their delusional beliefs. You're almost as funny as creationists who prove evolution never occurred by opening a jar of peanut butter revealing that a new lifeform hasn't evolved in the ten days since it was sealed. And in case you think I'm taking the piss, watch and stare in disbelief:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZFG5PKw504

    Also Mr. AC above me what evidence have you that NI is controlling our or any other government? If I understand the news correctly our government has said it will use it privilege to break up NI. If I ever form my own government controlling conspiracy I'll make sure I don't install politicians who do my bidding by destroying me and violating my rights. Kind of reminds me of when people accuse Jew, excuse me "Zionists" of controlling a media that is constantly demonizing them and calling for their destruction.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Maybe the conversation went like this:

    PM = PM, TC = Top Cop

    PM: this is all very off the record so please be fully open and upfront with us. Don't mind these people here from national security - they too have a job to do.

    TC: yes, I am familiar with the process.

    PM: now is there anything you would like to share with us? Feel free to share, it will not go beyond these walls but you really must let me know if there is anything, anything at all that could possibly compromise the government, NI and of course the police.

    TC: no, no I don't believe there is. I've conducted my professional life carefully and openly.

    PM: ah - I thought so.

    <turns to security bods>

    PM: do you have those files with you? Could you start now please?

    TC intejects: would you like my resignation now for the benefit of the media? Of course, I will expect that I will be offered early retirement as soon as the brouhaha has quietened a bit.

    PM: a wise choice if I may say so. Please continue this meeting - I will excuse myself now. Security need you to verify the information they have on you - your early retirement sort of.... well depends upon it?

  22. elderlybloke

    A Policeman's lot

    is not a happy one.

    But we would be in the shit without them believe me mate.

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