Bull from Stephenson: The contracting of Mr Wallis only became of relevance when his name became linked with the new investigation into phone hacking. I recognise that the interests of transparency might have made earlier disclosure of this information desirable. However my priority, despite the embarrassment it might cause, has been to maintain the integrity of Operation Weeting. To make it public would have immediately tainted him and potentially compromised any future Operation Weeting action.
Ambush Predator would do a better job than me – but is the Coot saying that announcing that Wallis worked for the Met would ‘taint’ him? I still include my time with the Met on my full cv – should I remove it? How could working for the Met taint Wallis or anyone? I know and regret Cootie has been ill, but surely the Met doesn’t need him casting aspersions that working for it taints anyone? I suspect this is lying.
It goes on – this is from a Groan blog:
He said the reasons for not telling David Cameron and Theresa May about the relationship with Wallis were “two fold”:
Firstly, I repeat my earlier comments of having at the time no reason for considering the contractual relationship to be a matter of concern. Unlike Mr Coulson, Mr Wallis had not resigned from News of the World or, to the best of my knowledge been in any way associated with the original phone hacking investigation.
Secondly, once Mr Wallis’s name did become associated with Operation Weeting, I did not want to compromise the prime minister in any way by revealing or discussing a potential suspect who clearly had a close relationship with Mr Coulson. I am aware of the many political exchanges in relation to Mr Coulson’s previous employment – I believe it would have been extraordinarily clumsy of me to have exposed the prime minister, or by association the home secretary, to any accusation, however unfair, as a consequence of them being in possession of operational information in this regard. Similarly, the mayor. Because of the individuals involved, their positions and relationships, these were I believe unique circumstances.
Consequently, we informed the chair of the MPA, Mr Malthouse, of the Met’s contractual arrangements with Mr Wallis on the morning of the latter’s arrest. It is our practice not to release the names of suspects under arrest, making it difficult to make public details of the arrangements prior to Mr Wallis’s release the same day. The timing of the MPA committee that I appeared before at 2pm that day was most unfortunate.
How does Cameron get compromised by being told Wallis had been hired by the Met? Even I would have told Dave and Theresa on the grounds of not wanting them to make turkeys out of themselves. I’d have made it an official, written thing, asking them not to disclose. It’s not like telling someone’s munter you are going to lock up hubby for a long time. The only way this could have compromised any of the politicians is if they tipped off Wallis. The operational knowledge was about him being about to be nicked, not that he had worked for the Met. This also looks like lying to my detective’s eye. Worse than this, they don’t look like good lies and he’s had a long time to make them up. He’s either lying or a lackwit and he claims not to be the latter.
I reminded of some fraud cases in which, say, a stolen credit card is used and you can pin the service obtained on Chummy. He says though that although he got the ‘goods’ he didn’t use the credit card and a mate paid with it and Chummy didn’t know it was stolen. The mate was just paying off a debt between them. You find the mate and he denies all knowledge. In the absence of other proof you are left with “integrity” – more often than not that of two scumbags. It’s not nice to challenge “integrity”, but believe me, however honest you are, yours is not as sacrosanct as you may believe. So are our worthies entitled to any better – I think not.
In the above we have an example of Coot being evasive and offering rationalisation that makes no sense about his behaviour in not disclosing truth. He also does a lot more that we find ‘Chummies’ doing. This is the ‘denies all knowledge’ claim.
I had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the original investigation into phone hacking in 2006 that successfully led to the conviction and imprisonment of two men. I had no reason to believe this was anything other than a successful investigation. I was unaware that there were any other documents in our possession of the nature that have now emerged.
I have acknowledged the statement by John Yates that if he had known then what he knows now he would have made different decisions.
My relationship with Mr Wallis continued over the following years and the frequency of our meetings is a matter of public record. The record clearly accords with my description of the relationship as one maintained for professional purposes and an acquaintance.
In 2009 the Met entered into a contractual arrangement with Neil Wallis, terminating in 2010. I played no role in the letting or management of that contract.
I have heard suggestions that we must have suspected the alleged involvement of Mr Wallis in phone hacking. Let me say unequivocally that I did not and had no reason to have done so. I do not occupy a position in the world of journalism; I had no knowledge of the extent of this disgraceful practice and the repugnant nature of the selection of victims that is now emerging; nor of its apparent reach into senior levels.
The important thing here is that Coot denies mens rea. Stuff may have happened, and it may have been done by his associates, but the fact that he didn’t know absolves him of criminal guilt. He also throws in a ‘blind’ – something that is true, but is irrelevant. I haven’t included it above, but he states he does not hold a position in journalism, something blindingly obvious for a man covered in uniform and scrambled egg. None of this convicts Coot, but it’s enough to keep on investigating. I watched him deliver some of this nonsense and I’ve checked my tapes for ‘micro-expressions’. He shows some, and then tend to be present in his rationalisations. Enough for me to want to refer him to someone much better than me at picking up lying from behavioural cues. However, no detective would get stuck there too long. We don’t accept the stuff as evidence. I’d go for a quick chat with my team. I’m pretty sure Coot is lying. I don’t think he deserves to be let off any more than Chummy or his mate, or both of them as I often found. I wouldn’t let them go on promises of “integrity” after all.
And I’m not happy to let the matter go to a judge-led enquiry or some spiv MP either.
There should already be people like me, younger, better on this like a rash. On the emails, paper trails and stuff secretaries know. Not so much to get the Coot, but follow the evidence to where it leads. If not we’ll just get another Coot – probably Thornton, Hogan-Howe or Fahey. I’d bump someone like Akers up – she looks pissed off with the boys’ club.
The Guardian’s own analysis is at: