Senior Metropolitan Police manager out to undermine Ian Blair

Yard boss ‘campaign to oust Blair’

Lord Blair was the Metropolitan Police Commissioner from 2005 to 2008

16 April 2012

A senior Metropolitan Police manager set out to undermine his own commissioner, it has been reported.

Claims of a campaign to cripple the then Yard chief Sir Ian Blair are contained in a suppressed police intelligence report, according to The Independent.

Written by a detective inside the force’s original phone hacking inquiry, the report states that a member of the Met’s eight-strong management board – comprising the Yard’s most senior personnel – was briefing against the commissioner’s performance and informing outsiders about key cases, the newspaper says.

The former commissioner, now Lord Blair, has demanded to know why he was kept in the dark about the existence of the report, the newspaper added. He saw the internal intelligence document, written in 2006, for the first time only earlier this year.

Lord Blair, who was commissioner from 2005 to 2008, has submitted the file to the Yard’s Operation Weeting – the continuing investigation into the hacking scandal – with a series of questions about why he was not told about it when he was in office and what action was taken to investigate the leaks.

The newspaper said that among the key figures on the management board was Dick Fedorcio, the former Met communications chief who resigned last month after gross misconduct allegations were launched against him over the decision to hire former News of the World executive Neil Wallis in 2009 to provide PR advice for the force.

Mr Wallis was arrested on suspicion of phone-hacking last July but has not been charged.

Mr Fedorcio told the newspaper he had played no part in the leaking of information, saying: “I have no knowledge of this.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “The intelligence report referred to dates from several years ago. It did not identify an individual as the source of information allegedly being disclosed from the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) Management Board and it did not warrant further action at that time. This remains the case and it is not being investigated by Operations Weeting, Elveden or Tuleta, the phone hacking and related inquiries being led by DAC (Deputy Assistant Commissioner) Sue Akers.”

News International, former publisher of the News of the World, which it closed in the row over phone hacking, had no comment.

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