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John Yates Prepares To Appear In Front Of MPs As Hacking Scandal Deepens

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Lord Prescott has joined calls for the police officer who failed to reopen the hacking case in 2009 to resign, as John Yates and other police chiefs prepare to face MPs this morning.

Labour heavyweight Lord Prescott told BBC Radio 5 Live it was "totally unacceptable" that Mr Yates remained in his job and suggested he should go on "gardening leave".


"I think we're all shocked, day by day, just how much has been involved in this... This is a scandalous affair."

His comments came as Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner Yates prepares to answer MPs' questions about the hacking scandal at the Home Affairs Select Committee.

The Committees' chair Keith Vaz has said the allegations against the News of the World are "the most serious" he had ever tackled.

On Sunday, Mr Yates gave an interview where he apologised for not reopening the investigation, calling his decision "crap".

"If I had known then what I know now of course we'd have widened it. I could have handed it over to the specialist crime directorate." The decision, he admitted, "was a pretty crap one".

But pressure is continuing to pile up on the police, after the news emerged yesterday that a police officer sold the Queen's details.

As news continues to emerge of more figures who were targeted by newspapers, Ed Miliband will meet the family of murdered Milly Dowler at 9am.

Yesterday two MPs, Labour's Chris Bryant and Tom Watson, called for Yates to resign during a parliamentary debate.

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John Whittingdale, the Culture Committee chairman, now says it is not clear whether the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks will attend the Committee next Tuesday. They were issued written invitations to attend this morning.

Whittingdale commented:

We need to know who authorised the activities that have now been uncovered at News International. Of the three, we can only compel Rebekah Brooks to attend as she is a UK citizen.

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Sky News: Keith Vaz's interrogation of John Yates was 'disrespectful and unnecessary' says an indignant John O'Connor, former Scotland Yard Commander. I can understand why the phone hacking was indeed a 'low priority with all the terror going on'.

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Statements from News International

The Sun:

We're able to assure the Brown family that we did not access the medical records of their son medical records, nor did we commission anyone to do so. The story came from a member of the public. The member of the public has provided a written affidavit confirming this. We are not aware of Mr Brown or his family making a complaint at the time.

Sunday Times:

We had 'reasonable grounds' to investigate the purchase of Mr Brown's property 'in the public interest'. They deny that they broke any law in investigating the purchase of the flat.

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Met. Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, offers 'full support' to John Yates in statement.

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@ ShippersUnbound : Vast majority of NotW staff to get other jobs in News Int

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James Forsyth in The Spectator:

Government support for Labour’s motion tomorrow is a victory for Ed Miliband — and it is a sign that whatever hold Murdoch had over British politics has been thoroughly broken by this scandal.

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Dee Doocey, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly policing spokesperson, is calling on

Assistant Commissioner John Yates to resign. She will ask Boris Johnson to support her call for his resignation at Mayor's Question Time on Wednesday.

Baroness Doocey commented:

“It is shameful that John Yates found time to have five lunches with News International, but after just a few hours decided there was no additional evidence to justify a further investigation into phone hacking. Yates has failed literally hundreds of victims.

While he remains in post as Assistant Commissioner of the Met, its reputation will not recover.He must take responsibility for this pitiful review and accept that he has lost all credibility.”

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'The Home Secretary, who has remained very silent on this, should be talking to senior police officers across the country about how to take this forward to respond to public concerns, and make sure this could never happen again'.

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“It is welcome news that the Government says it will support our motion. It is now for Rupert Murdoch to recognise the strength of public feeling, and the will of all the major parties.”

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@ paulwaugh : Jeremy Hunt can't back the Lab motion, No.10 says. If PM ducks out of facing EdM+ Hunt has legal role, who will reply for Govt? Cable? AG?

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Downing Street: Government will vote with Labour tomorrow to request that Rupert Murdoch withdraw his bid for BSkyB. Cameron, Clegg and Miliband to hold talks on hacking this evening

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@ GuidoFawkes : Stand by folks, story coming detailing @PiersMorgan's complicity in phone hacking. We're naming names and places. #CircularFiringSquad

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"If the House of Commons expresses a clear view about what is in the public interest for the bid to be withdrawn then that will help in making the right call.

"Mr Hunt said very clearly that everybody in the House of Commons apart from him because he's in a particular role, could express a view about whether Mr Murdoch should withdraw the bid. He said that in the House of Commons yesterday.

"That's why I hope as many people right across the House of Commons will support this motion as possible because I think what the public want us to do as a House of Commons, is to stand up and say it's not conceivable that Rupert Murdoch could expand his reach in the British media, while the issues that happeend at News International, while the issues of criminality are still being investigated and while there's so much that seems to be coming out day by day, and I think this is a moment when the House of Commons can rise to the occasion and can be a united House of Commons."

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Lib Dems are expected to support Ed Miliband's motion, a source has told the Huffington Post.

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"I hope the Government will support the motion, because I think it is in the interests of the country... the public will be saying to us 'this is an opportunity for politics to rise to the occasion'".

He says he hopes if the House of Commons comes to a consensus, then Mr Murdoch will listen to them.

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"As for the position of Mr Yates [Assistant Met Commissioner John Yates], bluntly I find his position quite simply untenable. You can take this on three levels: we don’t know the full detail yet, so we don’t know whether darker elements are involved in this. There is always a question of corruption in the police and we don’t know the extent of that at the moment."

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@ SkyNewsBreak : Ed Miliband to hold talks with David Cameron and Nick Clegg on phone hacking scandal this evening

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'Please if you have anything that would support my investigation, now would be a good time to get it on the table. I've been in touch with Mr Watson, not yet Mr Bryant. From the amount of media coverage, it seems a lot of media outlets have information'.

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A: "We'll always, we'll always be accused of that... With absolute confidence, because I know what's been there - for instance when there was speculation around victims of the 7/7 bombings, we did not know that they were contained within our material."

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Initially it was difficult. I held a meeting at which for the first time 2 news int. executives came along. We discussed with them properly what 'full co-operation' means. After that things were much better. Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg were the people I spoke to.

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"There must be people sitting on a lot of material"

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@ ChrisBryantMP : If brooks or murdochs refuse to attend dcms committee sergeant at arms can be empowered to force them.

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Answering how quickly the public inquiry can get going:

'only limited amount public inquiry can do whilst i'm still conducting my inquiry. i can tell you that for the 8 arrests already made, charges will not be made til October'

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She says: "There's nothing to stop the Prime Minister naming the head of the Judge led inquiry" and indicates no charges until October

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“There are times when the House of Commons has got to rise to the occasion and speak for the public.

“We have said that the purchase of BSkyB should not proceed until after criminal inquiries are complete.

“The simplest way to achieve this is for Rupert Murdoch to recognise the feelings of the public and the will of the House of Commons and withdraw this bid.

“I am calling on Parliament to show its will tomorrow.”

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This House believes that it is in the public interest for Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to withdraw their bid for BSkyB

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500 people have written to ask if they had been hacked, of those 70 have been, Sue Akers says

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Sue Akers, head of Operation Weeting (which is investigating phone hacking) tells the Committee of the process and ambitions of the inquiry will be:

We should note that we have been talking today with reference to a document published by the Guardian, which may contain inaccuracies. We have 45 full-time officers currently working on it, we can add more if necessary.

A vast number of people feel they have had their privacy violated. We have a commitment to inform people that they have been hacked. There are nearly 4000 names in the original Glenn Mulcaire documentation. We have undertaken to personally inform those affected. The mobile phone companies are helping us to compile a comprehensive list. We will be going round to see these affected people

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@ benfenton : News Corp has just announced a 5bn dollar share buyback. it does not necessarily mean they cannot buy BskyB by any means but v significant

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Then they will inform all the victims.

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