John Yates, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, giving evidence before a select committee of MPS, denied that an improper relationship existed between his officers and the New of the World newspaper. The allegation was first made in Radio 4's PM programme on Monday, when it was suggested that individual police officers receive backhanders for passing on news items to the Murdoch press. The police response at the time was ambiguous, suggesting that backhanders were paid but that this was okay because the police knew about it.
Yates glossed over the role of Andy Hayman, the Met officer who had headed the hacking investigation which led to the prosecution and conviction of one NOTW journalist. Hayman, who since resigned from the police after allegations about expense claims and alleged improper conduct with a female member of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and a female Sergeant, now works for the NOTW.
Despite this, Yates said that his officers had no special relationship with the Rupert Murdoch press and he hopes to God that nobody serves a Freedom of Information request on his force asking for details of all payments made to the police by the media.