Second top UK policeman quits in hacking case

LONDON, (Reuters) – The News Corp phone hacking  probe claimed its second senior police scalp in less than 24  hours when the London force’s Assistant Commissioner John Yates  resigned today.
Yates, also the Metropolitan Police’s top counter terrorism  officer, announced his resignation in a statement the day after  his boss, Commissioner Paul Stephenson announced he was quitting  over the scandal at the now defunct News of the World.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said the two resignations were  regrettable but the right course.
“There is absolutely nothing proven against the probity or  the professionalism of either man,” he told reporters.
“But in both cases we have to recognise that the nexus of  questions about the relationship between the Met and the News of  the World was likely to be distracting to both officers in the  run-up to the (2012) Olympic Games.
Yates decided in 2009 not to re-open earlier investigations  into alleged phone hacking by journalists at the News of the  World, saying there was no reason to do so.
However, a new probe launched in January this year found  police had 11,000 pages of evidence which had not been  thoroughly examined by detectives.
Stephenson quit as head of the Metropolitan Police on Sunday  over his links to Neil Wallis, a former deputy editor at the  Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper. The London police force had  hired Wallis as a public relations consultant.

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