As the world of journalism waited with bated breath for Boris Johnson to get his 2pm press conference underway the rumours of a John Yates departure were confirmed.
The assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police resigned after the Metropolitan Police Authority decided to suspend him pending a referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Yates’ resignation comes after questions were raised about his relationship with Neil Wallis, the former executive editor of the News of the World.
London’s mayor was questioned by a number of journalists at the press conference at City Hall, London, and some of his responses are below.
Did you demand Sir Paul Stephenson’s resignation?
In an ideal world Paul Stephenson would still be commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service… The trouble was that he had been caught up in a series of decisions relating to the Met’s handing of the News of the World which were going to be extremely distracting.
What Paul really couldn’t face was the idea of this protracted inquiry… at a time when he wanted to concentrate on policing in London.
Of course I was reluctant … but I accept the force of that argument.
Do you regret praising Rupert Murdoch around the time the Milly Dowler relevations first broke?
Well, clearly what the News of the World did was absolutely loathsome and I condemn it – I’m very glad that this gives everybody the opp to get to the bottom of practices across Fleet Street.
Should David Cameron walk over the hiring of Andy Coulson?
I’m not here to discuss government appointments. Those questions you must address to government. I don’t think there’s a very clear read across” [from Sir Paul Stephenson hiring Neil Wallis to Mr Cameron hiring Andy Coulson]. This is a matter you must address to No 10 Downing Street.
Twitter was in a frenzy before Yates’ resignation was announced. Below is a Storify of the immediate reaction.