London Assembly to quiz Met deputy commissioner over RIPA use against journalists

The deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and deputy mayor for policing and crime are to face questions over the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act against journalists at a public meeting tomorrow. (Stock photograph, Reuters)

The Greater London Authority announced that RIPA was to be on the agenda for the meeting, which will be held at City Hall from 2pm.

Press Gazette understands that RIPA has been chosen as a topic for discussion by Police and Crime Committee chair Joanne McCartney, Labour London Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey.

Met Police deputy commissioner Craig Mackey and deputy mayor for policing and crime Stephen Greenhalgh (both pictured, Reuters) will face questions from the committee of nine members, which includes Jenny Jones of the Green Party.

Jones has previously questioned London mayor Boris Johnson on the Met’s use of RIPA to obtain the phone records of The Sun newsdesk and political editor Tom Newton Dunn.

Johnson told her he was “supportive” of the Met’s power to use RIPA against journalists.

Yesterday, on his LBC programme, he  said: “I am concerned about this. And I want to look into this.”

He appeared to defend the Met’s use of RIPA to investigate The Sun’s Plebgate story, but later said: “I haven’t studied it, I’m afraid to say, in great detail.” 

Last month, in a question-and-answer session on Twitter, Met Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe ignored around 50 questions about police use of RIPA.

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