Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Yates of the Yard and the 11,000

Still in the whirlpool of the phonehacking scandal. Today it's Yates of the Yard, Assistant Commissioner John Yates, in front of the Home Affairs Committee.

Several Labour MPs will want their vengeance on him. Yates, remember, pursued Blair over groundless cash for peerages claims and played a crucial part in the News International cover-up of phonehacking.

The last time Nick Davies uncovered the extent of the practice in 2009 it fell on Yates to review the evidence collected by the police.

Most of what we now know was in the hands of the police at the time, contained in Glenn Mulcaire's extensive notes. But Yates spent barely an afternoon looking at the case again. About 5.30pm he came out of Scotland Yard, stood in front of the live cameras and declared, to effect, that there was nothing to see here, move on.

That was the moment you knew David Cameron had all the luck, as well as the talent, to propel himself into Downing Street.

The man at the centre of the cover-up allegations was Andy Coulson, by then Cameron's communications director. Any hint of illegality would have tainted Cameron and recontaminated the Tory brand.

Instead Yates' effectively gave News International a clean bill of health.
with which to discredit the Guardian.

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