Overnight Phone Hacking Round Up

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 90 months ago
Overnight Phone Hacking Round Up

We might stop following the news about phone hacking and start making it up – that's clearly what started to happen last night. How else to explain stories like a bag containing a laptop, papers and a phone, apparently belonging to Rebekah Brooks's husband, being found in a bin in an underground car park near their home? Police are now examining the bag and "drop scene" and denying rumours they've employed Robert Ludlum.

Speaking of employment...the recently resigned John Yates is being investigated by the IPCC on a charge of nepotism; allegedly he found a job within the Met for the daughter of a friend – and that friend is reported to be Neil Wallis, the very same ex-News of the World man whose PR contract with the Met sparked the resignations of Yates and Stephenson. The IPCC are also looking at Yates's conduct during the 2009 review of hacking evidence.

The IPCC are going to be busy. As well as Yates, they've had referrals from the MPA to investigate an "unsolicited complaint from the public" against Sir Paul Stephenson, as well as the conduct of two former officers during the hacking investigation. Those officers are understood to be Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke and former Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman.

These aren't the only investigations and inquiries under way. Yesterday Theresa May asked HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to consider inappropriate contractual arrangements and potential abuses of power, and Elizabeth Filkin, former Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, has been asked to look at the relationships the Met has with the media generally and how best to secure transparency. She's also asked research to be done into whether the IPCC needs extra powers. And all this is on top of Operation Elveden and the judicial inquiries.

Despite the increasingly thriller-esque turn the scandal is taking, we'd caution against concocting conspiracy theories about the death of Sean Hoare, former News of the World showbiz reporter and phone hacking whistleblower. Hoare was found at his home in Watford yesterday – police said his death was 'unexplained but not suspicious', and he was known to have been unwell for some time. Probably not the time, then, for tweets like this:

Photo of the Chelsea Design Centre, scene of mysterious bag discovery, by leica0000 from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 19 July 2011