Katie Collins/PA Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson

Credit: Katie Collins/PA

Relationships between certain members of the press and police "need to be properly examined", the mayor of London Boris Johnson said today.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme Johnson was questioned on yesterday's resignation of Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

Stephenson had recently come in for criticism over the hiring of former News of the World executive Neil Wallis, who was arrested last week, as a PR advisor in 2009.

In his resignation letter, Stephenson said he played no role in the letting or management of that contract.

Johnson insisted the decision to resign was Stephenson's, although added that he felt it was "the right call".

"I think it's very sad that a fine public servant, a man who has consecrated his life to fighting crime, who has done so with a great deal of success, has taken the decision to resign – and it was his decision.

"We went round the arguments and we looked at all the options and where the thing was going.

"His point to me was that this thing was not going to go away, that there'd been a story in the papers that morning about Champneys, his staying at Champneys and all the rest of it

"If you dissected each individual part of it you might not find something toxic in any particular component of the story, but the whole thing added up to a problem. A problem of perceptions which was just going to go on and on.

"He felt as a guy who takes huge pride in his job, that he didn't want to be endlessly answering inquiries, answering questions on phone hacking. What he wanted to happen was he wanted to give someone else a chance to come in and get on with promoting his legacy".

In this morning's interview with the BBC Johnson added that the Metropolitan Police Authority is likely to ask its own questions on the issue of the relationship between the Met and the press in its professional standards sub-committee meeting this morning.

"I think it was wrong that we weren't told about the relationship between the Met and Neil Wallis. All this now needs to be properly investigated. There are several means by which I hope it will be done.

"First there is the judge-led inquiry and I've written to the judge to ask him specifically to look at these matters.

"Today the professional standards committee of the Metropolitan Police Authority is meeting, they will consider these questions and others I have no doubt.

"There may well be consequences that flow from that, that I can't get into, in too much detail there."

Johnson added there were also "questions" surrounding assistant commissioner John Yates' relationship with Neil Wallis.

The MPA declined to comment on or confirm whether individual cases or issues were to be discussed in today's meeting, but the BBC claims that a statement relating to Yates is expected at 12.30pm by the authority.

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