Mayor's Oral Update (Supplementary) [10]

Session date: 
July 13, 2011
Question By: 
Dee Doocey
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Mr Mayor, do you share my concern that the senior officer looking at this review, or reviewing the case, spent just eight hours reviewing 11,000 pages of potential evidence, which included the shocking details of hacking? Do you share my astonishment that the MPS are now blaming the News of the World for not co-operating with their inquiry, when wrongdoers seldom hold their hands up and say, 'It was me, guv, let me show you how I did it'? Do you agree that if the evidence had been properly sifted through originally, the MPS could have obtained warrants to search computers and financial records and so saved the families of people who were hacked the trauma of having all of this played out in press?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Mayor's Oral Update (Supplementary) [10]

Answer for Mayor's Oral Update (Supplementary) [10]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes. I think to be honest there is something in what you say, Dee. I think that John Yates would be the first to accept that there were real failings in the way that the information was handled and the detail with which it was sifted. I think I have heard him speak about the number of bin bags that he personally did not go through, and all that kind of thing. It does not matter. Clearly someone should have gone through them; someone should have drawn the logical conclusions. On the other hand, I do think there is also some strength in the point that News International had not been forthcoming with information in a timely way. They really ought to have been producing this stuff much, much earlier. It is a shame and a disgrace that that did not happen.

Dee Doocey (Deputy Chair): OK. I welcome the fact that you are now taking this very seriously indeed. I would just like to ask you about the full inquiry, that you have referred to, that is looking into police collusion that the IPCC are going to manage. I wondered if you had changed the scope of the inquiry in the last few days because in the last week Deborah Glass' office confirmed that they were not actually doing an inquiry. What they were doing is they were overseeing the police's own inquiry. Actually what they were doing is that the police were going to report to them once a week on the progress that they were making on looking into this and that Deborah Glass' IPCC and the MPS were going to work very closely in harmony.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes.

Dee Doocey (Deputy Chair): That is somewhat different to you saying that the IPCC were going to have a full investigation and would be able to call evidence and presumably papers.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I understand the point that you are making. What Deborah Glass has said is that she expects to be given full access to any material obtained or generated by the inquiry, as she requests, and that she will be able to impose on the inquiry any reasonable requirements as to the conduct of the investigation as she thinks necessary. Obviously this is something that is incredibly important. We must be confident that the IPCC has full powers to get to the bottom of this. I think that she does. I am happy that she does. I have experience of Deborah Glass. I have had dealings with her because when I was a Member of Parliament (MP) she was responsible for an inquiry into the Highmoor shootings that she conducted. I thought that they did a remarkable job. It was thorough, it was ferocious and they really held the police to account.

Dee Doocey (Deputy Chair): Mr Mayor, I am sorry to interrupt you, I absolutely --

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I am just giving you grounds for my thinking that the IPCC represents the best way forward.

Dee Doocey (Deputy Chair): I too share your view that the IPCC are very good. What I am asking you is are they conducting a fully independent inquiry, or are they helping and overseeing the police's own inquiry? I just want to know which of those two.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): It is more the second.

Dee Doocey (Deputy Chair): The second. Thank you. That is fine.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): As far as I understand matters, you do not have IPCC agents themselves going around interviewing and trawling. What you have is then capable of summoning any evidence is being obtained and of overseeing absolutely everything as it happens.

Dee Doocey (Deputy Chair): Thank you.