The Scotland Yard chiefs who quit over the phone-hacking scandal have been cleared of misconduct.
Allegations against former Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and his ex-assistant John Yates were thrown out today by the police watchdog.
Andy Hayman and Peter Clarke will also escape further investigation despite the “damaging effect of the perceived inadequate response” to criminal activities at the News of the World, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.
Sir Paul and Mr Yates – who both resigned last month as police were engulfed by allegations of payments from journalists to officers and criticism over the force’s hiring of hacking suspect Neil Wallis as a PR consultant – welcomed the watchdog’s announcement.
Sir Paul said the ruling was “as I would have expected it to be” as he added that he regretted that resources “have had to be expended on this matter”.
He criticised the IPCC for saying the public would make its own judgments about him accepting free hospitality while on sick leave.
“The IPCC’s comments about my acceptance of assistance from a friend through my family, unconnected to my professional life, of services from Champneys’ Medical Services, which they chose to examine under their powers without any external referral, does in my view fall a little short of full and proper context,” Sir Paul added.
“However, this is a matter for their judgment.”
An independent investigation into allegations that Mr Yates secured a Scotland Yard job for the daughter of Mr Wallis will continue.
Mr Yates said: “I strongly deny any wrongdoing and I am completely confident that I will be exonerated.
“I have been entirely open about this matter and I will co-operate fully with the investigation which I hope will be conducted swiftly.”