Leveson Inquiry: Press terror briefings 'required'
Published: 1st Mar 2012 10:58:25
Media briefings were an "operational requirement" to balance debate over the terrorist threat facing the UK, a former Scotland Yard chief has said.
Ex-deputy assistant commissioner Peter Clarke told the Leveson media ethics inquiry many journalists had been "sceptical" about the threat.
Informal lunch briefings were used to explain strategy, the former head of the SO13 anti-terrorist branch said.
However, he denied favouring particular news outlets.
Mr Clarke is the first of three senior officers criticised for their handling of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal to appear before Thursday's hearing.
The inquiry is currently examining the relationship between the press and police.
Mr Clarke was giving evidence ahead of ex-assistant commissioner Andy Hayman, who led the original hacking investigation in 2006.
Mr Hayman defended his investigation when questioned by MPs last July
Last July, Mr Hayman was criticised by MPs for having dinners with News International journalists while inquiries were ongoing, with one MP suggesting he would have appeared a "dodgy geezer".
Former counter-terror chief John Yates, who resigned in July amid pressure over alleged links to a former executive at the group's now-defunct News of the World (NoW) title, is also due to appear.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has cleared all three of misconduct over their roles in the original investigation.
The watchdog also cleared Mr Yates of misconduct over claims that he secured a job for the daughter of Neil Wallis, a former NoW deputy editor.
Since leaving his post, Mr Yates has expressed "extreme regret" for ruling out reopening the phone-hacking investigation in 2009.
Scotland Yard's original phone-hacking inquiry resulted in the jailing of NoW royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in January 2007, after they admitted intercepting voicemail messages left on royal aides' phones.
However, the Met was heavily criticised for limiting the scope of the investigation despite evidence from Mulcaire's notebooks suggesting there could be thousands of hacking victims.
Mr Yates is expected to give evidence via video link from Bahrain, where he is overseeing reform of the police force.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Leveson Inquiry: Press terror briefings 'required'. [Online] (Updated 01 Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1415062-Leveson-Inquiry-Press-terror-briefings-required [Accessed 26th May 2013]
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