Senior Met officer denies accusation that he misled MPs
Acting deputy commissioner John Yates says Chris Bryant was 'materially wrong' to accuse him of misleading the home affairs select committee
Appearing before the culture and media and sport select committee this morning, John Yates, who is now acting deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, claimed that Bryant was "mistaken" in his claims about the Met's investigation into the scandal.
Yates volunteered to go before the committee after being accused of misleading MPs in claiming there were only eight to 12 victims of News of the World hacking. In January a new police inquiry was announced into phone hacking after additional information was provided to the Met police by the News of the World that indicated there were many more victims.
Bryant, a Labour MP who believes he has been the victim of phone hacking himself, launched legal action against the Met police in September accusing them of an alleged cover up of the phone-hacking investigation. Earlier this month he told the commons that the Met were "dangerously close" to the News of the World.
Discussing an admission in 2003 by Rebekah Brooks, who is now chief executive of the newspaper's parent company News International, that News International had paid police for evidence, Yates conceded that "there are possible offences there".
Asked about the quantity of evidence he was given as part of the review he carried out, the senior police officer said it equated to "perhaps two or three bin bags" of documents.
Among that evidence was a list of 91 telephone PIN numbers. Yates admitted before the committee this morning that "it would be difficult to think of any other reason" why a list of telephone PIN numbers would be kept. When asked why they were not immediately released, he said "we could have done more around victims".
Quizzed on whether the investigation had "left no stone unturned" as Andy Hayman, who headed the initial investigation, claimed in a column he wrote in the Times, Yates admitted "I think more could have been done".
Yates said he was unable to give precise details about who had been interviewed and cautioned as part of the initial investigation, but said "it was less than 10, I think".
Earlier this month, Panorama named a sixth journalist to be allegedly involved in illegal practices at the tabloid.
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