Met tightens up disclosure rules in wake of phone-hack scandal

The Metropolitan Police will disclose the  names of all organisation and individuals that offer gifts or hospitality to senior officers following the controversy surrounding its News of the World phone-hacking investigation.

The Evening Standard revealed on Wednesday that the Met was forced into action after assistant commissioner John Yates failed to declare a lunch with a former NoW editor during its investigation in phone-hacking allegations at the newspaper.

The force has previously only published the full details internally, while the public were told about the ‘hospitality itself, and not the source”.

Wednesday’s report said:

The move follows a campaign by Labour MP Tom Watson to spotlight the relationship between senior officers and key officers from Rupert Murdoch’s news organisation.

Mr Watson has criticised the force’s original investigation of phone hacking allegations and suggested that the force is too close to the Murdoch empire.

Deputy commissioner Tom Godwin told Watson that Yates had not declared the lunch because ‘it was a private social engagement attended by a number of others,’the Standard said.

Earlier this week Watson questioned the Government over whether the phone-hacking investigation by the Met was being compromised by cost-cutting at the Crown Prosection Service.

He has welcomed the latest move by the Met but also claimed it was long overdue.

He told the Standard:

It’s remarkable that it took the phone hacking scandal to expose the deficiencies in transparency in the Met.

Earlier this year Yates admitted the phone hacking case had been “challenging” for the Met.

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