Theresa Mays

Home secretary Theresa May will receive recommendations from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary

Credit: ukhomeoffice on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) is to review alleged police corruption and relationships with the media, the home secretary announced today.

In a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon, Theresa May said HMIC will make recommendations to her after considering instances of "undue influence, inappropriate contractual arrangements and other abuses of power in police relationships with the media and other parties".

May's announcement comes as assistant commissioner John Yates offers his resignation, which has been accepted by the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Following a meeting today, the authority said it had decided to suspend Yates pending a referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Yates' resignation comes a day after that of commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson. Both faced criticism for the force hiring former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis as a PR advisor in 2009.

Wallis was arrested last week in connection with allegations of phone hacking.

Speaking in the commons today, May also announced that former parliamentary commissioner for standards, Elizabeth Filkin, had provisionally agreed to examine "ethical considerations that should underpin relations" between the Metropolitan Police and the press in the future.

According to May, the management board of the force has also agreed a new set of guidelines on relationships with the media, while work has been commissioned by May to consider whether the IPCC needs further powers.

"Mr Speaker, there is nothing more important than the public's trust in the police to do their work without fear or favour. So at moments like these it is natural that people should ask who polices the police," May said to the House.

"I've already asked Jane Furniss, the chief executive of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, whether she has the power and the resources to get done the immediate work at hand. She has assured me that they do, but additional resources will be made available to the IPCC if they are needed."

The reviews announced by May follow the two-stage judge-led inquiry outlined by prime minister David Cameron last week.

Cameron's inquiry, which will be led by senior UK judge Lord Leveson, will also look at media standards, with one stage covering: "The culture, practices and ethics of the press, their relationship with the police; the failure of the current system of regulation; the contacts made, and discussions had between national newspapers and politicians; why previous warnings about press misconduct were not heeded; and the issue of cross-media ownership."

"I know that the whole House will agree with me that it is for the sake of the many thousands of honourable police officers and staff, as well as for the public they serve, that we must get to the bottom of all of these allegations," May added.

"Only then will we be able to ensure the integrity of our police and public confidence in them to do their vital work."

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