Met Under the Cosh Over News of the World Phone-Hacking Scandal

THE METROPOLITAN POLICE is under the cosh today as more revelations come to light of the force’s close links with shamed tabloid News of the World and its parent company News International.

Two new NOTW/Met links came to light last night.

First was the apparent confirmation by News International that officers regularly took payments from News of the World journalists in exchange for information on criminal cases.

Second, that News of the World journalists put a Met detective under surveillance. At the time the detective was investigating the murder of a private investigator who is alleged to have had close links to the NOTW.

The new revelations are only the latest in a long list of questionable activity involving the Met and News International.

The Met has again been criticised – including this time in the usually pro-police Daily Mail – for its previous probes into News of the World phone-hacking.

“They botched their first hacking investigation and cursorily refused a second one when further evidence was produced,” was how the Mail put it today.

Then there is the wobbly career ladder climbed by some former Met officers who have taken jobs at News International after retiring from the force. Most notable among these is Andy Hayman, writer for NI title The Times, who ran the first inquiry into NOTW phone-hacking.

More revelations are expected today when Parliament stages an emergency debate into the phone-hacking issue, under the motion: “that this house has considered the matter of whether there should be a public inquiry into the phone hacking at the News of the World; and the conduct of the Metropolitan Police Service between 2006 and 2011”

At time of press, nether the Metropolitan Police nor its boss, London Mayor Boris Johnson, had put out a statement on the phone-hacking revelations.