Metropolitan police assistant commissioner John Yates resigned yesterday (18 July), after being told he would be suspended.
Yates becomes the second casualty in the Metropolitan police in the wake of phone-hacking allegations, after Britain’s top cop Sir Paul Stephenson resigned on Sunday.
The former assistant commissioner yesterday spoke to the media, paying tribute to the staff he served with:
It is with great regret that I make this decision after nearly 30 years as a police officer.
I wish to pay tribute to the many fine officers and police staff with whom I have served. I will miss them hugely, but I know that they will continue to do their utmost to protect the public and, of course, this great capital city.
Yates said that police, especially those in the “difficult” jobs, must be accountable:
When we get things wrong, we say so and try and put them right. As I have said very recently, it is a matter of great personal regret that those potentially affected by phone hacking were not dealt with appropriately.
He added that with the upcoming Olympic games, he could not allow the “situation” continue, claiming that a “huge amount of inaccurate, ill-informed, and malicious gossip” had been published about him.
I have acted with complete integrity and my conscience is clear. I look forward to the future Judge-led inquiry where my role will be examined in a proper and calmer environment and where my actions will be judged on the evidence rather than on innuendo and speculation as they are at present.