Yates of the Yard to face MPs

by Stephen Tall on October 23, 2007

The House of Commons public administration select committee will today grill Assistant Commissioner John Yates, the top cop whose 16-month “cash-for-honours” resulted in no charges – it was announced in July that no figures from Labour would face prosecution, and earlier this month that the Tories would escape the same fate. (The BBC report is here.)

Paul Rowen, Lib Dem MP for Rochdale, who sits on the committee alongside party colleague Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central), has spoken out about what he hopes to gain from the encounter:

There are plenty of questions that need to be answered. I want to know whether Assistant Commissioner Yates and his team got all the co-operation they were entitled to during their investigation. Was there obstruction from Downing Street or Mr Blair and why at the end of the day, when it was clear that Mr Blair had driven a coach and horses through the honours regulations, were they not able to do anything about it? The public has a right to know.

Tony Blair has made a mockery of public life. We have heard allegations that he even threatened to resign if he was forced to answer questions under caution. These are the things we need to ask and we are going to be asking – what pressures were put on, how cooperative was Downing Street and why did it take so long to get nowhere?

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