ASSISTANT Scotland Yard Commissioner John Yates – who reviewed a Metropolitan police investigation into phone hacking and decided not to proceed to examine at least 11,000 pages of evidence, which included over 4,000 mobile numbers, 5,000 landline numbers and all of the names of those who had been hacked from the PM to royalty – appeared before the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee yesterday.
Nicola Blackwood MP spoke up for the committee saying: ‘Were you aware of the Information Commissioner’s report that said in its executive summary that investigations by the ICO and police uncovered evidence of a widespread and organised undercover market in confidential personal information and, in particular, said that among the buyers were many journalists looking for a story and stated that in one major case investigated by the ICO the evidence included records of information supplied to 305 named journalists working for a range of newspapers?’
She continued: ‘In the context of that I just wonder why evidence that there was phone hacking going on at a News International newspaper was not considered more of a priority for investigation.’
Yates denied he had been paid by News International but conceded that some police officers accepted payments.
He admitted that he did not take fresh legal advice as to whether he should proceed with the review of all of the evidence, but did say that his team was unable to proceed because News International had been most unhelpful.
Yates oversaw the review of the investigation in 2009.
At the hearing, he admitted it was a ‘poor’ decision not to reopen the inquiry and he regretted not doing enough to protect victims.
He said: ‘It is a matter of great concern that, for whatever reason, the News of the World appears to have failed to co-operate in the way that we now know they should have with relevant police inquiries up until January this year.’
He could not explain to the satisfaction of the committee why he did not proceed with the review and examine the 12,000 pages of evidence.
When challenged by Keith Vaz, the chairman of the committee, as to whether he would resign his position, he refused to do so, and said that the ‘public should feel reassured’.
His evidence was described as ‘unconvincing’ by Vaz, who said that he could be invited back to the committee in the future.
It is obvious that News International and the group of bankers and capitalists that control it saw themselves, at the least, as a partner or even as a potential rival, of the government in the running of the UK.
The police knew that they could not do anything against them and therefore did not persevere. Some in fact joined the payroll after retirement.
This led Murdoch and Co to think that they were absolutely untouchable, and could do anything that they liked.
They however overstepped the mark with their attempt to make millions out of the grief of ordinary people, like the Dowler family.
Workers, who are on the march against the Cameron government and its policies, now see the Murdoch press as the advance guard of the enemy, and the police as their shields.
Stopping Murdoch taking over BSkyB is the least that must be done. There has to be a socialist revolution to overthrow the ruling class and smash up its state apparatus of police and press barons.
The bosses and bankers must be expropriated and capitalism put an end to. The breaking up of the press and TV monopolies and their handing over to the people is essential for this task to be successful.