London Police Chief Resigns Over Murdoch's Hacking Scandal

Britain's most senior police officer steps down as the fallout escalates

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BBC news reports that Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned amid the ongoing News International investigation. Stephenson said that he was unaware that there were any other documents in his possession of the nature that have now emerged, and that there was no reason to doubt the original investigation into phone hacking. He further added that his reputation remains intact.

Guardian reports that in a press conference he said his position was "in danger of being eclipsed by the ongoing debate by senior officers and the media. And this can never be right." Here is his statement:

I have taken this decision as a consequence of the ongoing speculation and accusations relating to the Met's links with News International at a senior level and in particular in relation to Mr Neil Wallis who as you know was arrested in connection with Operation Weeting last week.

Firstly, I want to say what an enormous privilege it has been for me to lead this great organisation that is the Met. The recent example of the heroism and bravery of Met officers in chasing armed suspects, involving the shooting of one of my officers, is typical; but is in danger of being eclipsed by the ongoing debate about relationships between senior officers and the media. This can never be right.

Crime levels in the Met are at a ten year low. You have seen the Met at its glorious and unobtrusive best on the occasion of the royal wedding; the professional and restrained approach to unexpected levels of violence in recent student demonstrations; the vital ongoing work to secure the safety of the capital from terrorism; the reductions in homicide; and continuing increased levels of confidence as the jewel in our crown of Safer Neighbourhoods Teams serve the needs of Londoners.

We will update with further information as it comes in.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.