John Yates is struggling to absolve himself of having greatly underestimated News Corp.'s illegal behavior. The assistant London Metropolitan Police commissioner explained his role in past phone hacking investigations to a panel of Members of Parliament on Tuesday, but they were not sympathetic. MP Keith Vaz called his testimony "unconvincing," assured Yates he would face further questioning and stopped just short of asking the commissioner to step down. "Have you actually offered to resign?" Vaz wondered. "If you're suggesting that should resign for what the News International has done and my small part in it, then I think that is unfair," Yates replied.
Yates is a key figure in a Home Affairs Select Committee about the Met's failure to reveal the depth of News Corp.'s privacy invasions during a 2006 investigation into phone hacking allegations. David Cameron called for the committee's involvement last week in response to a torrent of revelations that News of the World's phone hacking practices reached well beyond the royal family, where the Met's original investigation more or less stopped. Currently in charge of counter-terrorism for the London police, assistant commissioner Yates told the committee it was a "poor decision" not to reopen the case in 2009 and called his original estimate that only 91 people had been victim to phone hacking "a matter of regret." Yates denied that ever lying to the committee Yates or receiving bribe money from News Corp.