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London Police Chief Announces Resignation Amid Phone-Hacking Scandal

London’s police chief said Sunday that he intends to resign from his post as a result of the widening phone-hacking scandal that has rocked his department.

“I have taken this decision as a consequence of the ongoing speculation and accusations relating to the Met’s links with News International at a senior level,” Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, told reporters Sunday.

Stephenson’s announcement came the same day as the arrest of former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, in connection with British police investigations into phone hacking and police bribery, her spokesman told CNN.

She is being quizzed by police in London after having come in by appointment, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Brooks did not know she was going to be arrested when she arrived, her spokesman Dave Wilson said.

She resigned on Friday as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International, which published the News of the World.

The company also did not know she was about to be arrested when it accepted her resignation, a News International source told CNN Sunday, asking not to be named discussing internal corporate affairs.

Brooks had agreed to testify Tuesday at a House of Commons hearing on the scandal. It’s not clear how her arrest will affect the hearing — committee member Louise Mensch, a Conservative member of Parliament, said the committee chair was “taking legal advice” on the situation.

Wilson said that over the next 24 to 36 hours Brooks’ attorneys will be in discussion with the select committee to see whether her appearance at the hearing is still appropriate.

Mark Stephens, a prominent British media lawyer, told CNN the arrest was “somewhat theatrical,” given that Brooks has apparently not been charged with a crime.

Brooks had asked police since January whether they wanted to speak with her, but was told that was not needed, Wilson said. While she received a call Friday to come in Sunday and answer questions, she was not told she would be arrested on arrival, Wilson said, adding that it came as a shock to Brooks.

Brooks is adamant that she is innocent of any wrongdoing, Wilson said.
Brooks is the eighth person arrested in connection with the phone-hacking probe and the fourth arrested in the bribery investigation, police said Sunday. Two people, including Brooks, have been detained over both probes, meaning a total of 10 people have been arrested.

News International said Sunday before the arrest that it would “not tolerate wrongdoing” and was determined to rebuild its reputation.


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