Met given slap on the wrists for Guardian attack

Vaz is chairman of the home affairs committee
Vaz is chairman of the home affairs committee

By Ian Dunt

The Met's deputy assistant commissioner was given a slap on the wrists by Keith Vaz today after being summoned to explain its actions against the Guardian.

Scotland Yard triggered widespread outrage last week after it used the Official Secrets Act to force the newspaper to reveal its sources in reports on phone-hacking.

The move – viewed by many media lawyers as overkill – was particularly suspicious given the number of senior officers who had been forced to resign when the Guardian broke the Milly Dowler story.

"I consider it was a mistake that they did not use senior counsel in the first place and that the Official Secrets Act was used in these circumstances," said Mr Vaz, chairman of the home affairs committee, said following his meeting with Mark Simmons.

"It was right to withdraw the proceedings against the Guardian. The matter is now the subject of an ongoing investigation."

Mr Vaz said the committee would be raising the decision with the new commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, when he appeared before them next month.


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