It's make or break time, says Met Police Authority member

By staff writers
27 Jul 2011

A member of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has said that it is "make or break" time for the police, following the phone hacking scandal and allegations that police were bribed by staff at News International.

Jenny Jones, a member of the Greater London Assembly, has submitted challenging questions to the deputy mayor for policing, Kit Malthouse, who is chair of the MPA, ahead of an MPA meeting tomorrow morning (Thursday 28 July). Malthouse has been accused of contradicting himself over what he knew about the hacking scandal.

Jones has sent another set of questions to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Paul Stephenson, who will also attend the meeting. Stephenson recently announced his resignation in the light of the scandal, although he stated that he did not think he had personally done anything wrong. He is remaining in post while a successor is recruited.

Jones, who is the Green Party's candidate for Mayor of London, said, "This coming Thursday will be make or break for the chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority".

She called for "clear and honest answers about how Kit Malthouse has handled the phone hacking affair and what advice was given to the mayor".

Jones plans to ask Malthouse whether he held meetings with senior police personnel about an earlier investigation into phone hacking in 2009. She will ask Stephenson what guidelines police are expected to follow about contact with the media, and what steps have been taken to ensure that the current investigation into allegations of bribery is not itself compromised by corruption.

Jones said, "Whomever made the mistakes at the time, it led to a situation where the mayor [of London, Boris Johnson] completely misled the public about an active investigation into phone hacking and could well have influenced the outcome of that investigation with his remarks".

She concluded, "That is a very serious issue, especially when it forms part of a pattern of misinformation and mistakes."

[Ekk/1]

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