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Taxpayers’ 25,000 bill after Met chief admits defeat in libel battle with former top officer
01:31 GMT, 19 December 2012
Taxpayers face a bill of up to 25,000 after Britain’s most senior policeman admitted defeat in his libel battle with one of Scotland Yard’s former top officers.
Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has reached an out-of-court settlement with former counter-terrorism chief John Yates over a memo he sent in April to the Home Office, Foreign Office and senior and middle-ranking Met officers.
As revealed by the Daily Mail in October, Mr Yates, who resigned as an assistant commissioner in July last year in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, was livid when he heard what had been written.
Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, right, has reached an out-of-court settlement with former counter-terrorism chief John Yates, left
Now Mr Hogan-Howe’s force has agreed to make a 2,500 donation to a charity of Mr Yates’s choice.
It has also agreed to pay his legal costs – expected to top 20,000 – and circulate a memo correcting Mr Hogan-Howe’s remarks.
Friends of Mr Yates said that, but for ‘foot-dragging’ by the Met, the dispute could have been resolved months ago – saving the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds.
At the time of the memo, Mr Yates was senior policing adviser to the Bahrain government.
Headquarters: Scotland Yard in central London is pictured
During a demonstration about human rights abuses outside the Bahrain embassy in London, he rang Scotland Yard’s press bureau from the Middle East to ask if protesters had climbed on to the roof. He also asked who was in charge of policing.
Mr Hogan-Howe was informed and emailed the memo referring to Mr Yates.
The exact wording is unclear but Mr Yates instructed libel lawyers. Last night the Met confirmed the legal dispute had been settled. Mr Yates said: ‘I am pleased that this matter has been resolved.’