12 Apr 2012

Forwarding CVs ‘perfectly acceptable’, says Yates

As former police chief John Yates defends helping to find a job for Neil Wallis’s daughter, emails seen by Channel 4 News suggest the referring of friends for jobs was commonplace at the Met.

John Yates, former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, has spoken to Channel 4 News about the IPCC report into allegations that he helped secure a job for Neil Wallis’s daughter, Amy.

Neil Wallis was a former deputy editor at the News of the World whose firm, Charmy Media, was hired by the Met to act as PR advisers.

Today, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) cleared Yates of misconduct, but said that he showed “poor judgment” in forwarding her CV to the force’s HR department and suggesting that staff should find her a job.

Deborah Glass of the IPCC said: “The investigation did conclude that he showed poor judgement in forwarding the CV, which in the words that accompanied it, added to the inference drawn by staff that they were expected to find Ms Wallis a job.

“The involvement of these two members of the MPS management board had the foreseeable consequence that human resources staff believed that they were obliged to find a post.”

However, in an interview with Channel 4 News, Mr Yates says the IPCC had never given him the chance to talk about the incident.

“I’ve sort of been surprised by the whole way this report has been presented and commented on today particularly by the IPCC.

“I think in these circumstances all you can hope for in the investigation is some balance and fairness and some context, and I think on all three the IPCC has failed. They’ve failed to show and properly articulate the context.

“They don’t publish the Tiplady email. The Tiplady email is crucial to all this, showing all the context and all the other people who did this, It’s a perfectly acceptable practice.”

Tiplady email

Channel 4 News has seen the email referred to by John Yates, which also support the report’s finding that this kind of practice was not unusual at the Met.

The email, shown below, from former head of human resources Martin Tiplady, lists a number of similar occurrences

Former police chief John Yates defends his decision to help find a job for Neil Wallis's daughter. Emails seen by Channel 4 News suggest the referring of friends for jobs was commonplace in the Yard.

Part of the email says –

“I can recall former assistant commissioner Steve House’s being selected twice for temporary employment… I can recall former deputy head of counter terrorism Peter Carke’s son… doing an extended period… I recall Catherine Crawford, chief executive to the Metropolitan Police Authority, referring her daughter to us… I recall former deputy commissioner Tim Godwin referring his neighbours sons.”

And there several more listed in the email (see below).

Mr Tiplady later wrote: “Do not underestimate the number of people who are referred to us by all employees and officers across the organisation.”

'Routine' forwarding of CVs
The IPCC notes at one point in its report that its investigators were told the forwarding of CVs was "routine", writes Channel 4 News Home Affairs Correspondent Simon Israel.

The report does not contain any evidence of this but Channel 4 News has obtained an email from the former head of the Met's human resources department Martin Tiplady that appear to illustrate just that.

It was an email he sent to Mr Yates last year in which he lists a series of names of senior officer and personnel who have done exactly what the former head of counter-terrorism was investigated for.

The IPCC concludes that forwarding a CV does not in itself amount to misconduct and there was no evidence of impropriety.

But it key recommendation is that the Yard reviews its practices in this area to ensure they are not susceptible to allegations of interference or favouritism.

In the interview, Yates also talks about his new role overseeing the police force in Bahrain.

“Bahrain as a place is a beautiful place,” he says. “It is predominantly safe, but there are, as I’ve said, some problems in some of the villages.

“There are daily skirmishes, very dangerous skirmishes, between what can only be described as criminals who are throwing petrol bombs at the police.”

When asked if he was defending the government line he says –

“You’re confusing legitimate protest against criminal acts. Legitimate protest takes place in this kingdom, it has to be likened to the United Kingdom. That kind of legitimate protest does take place. What we see in the villages is nothing like legitimate protest. These are attacks on police officers, unarmed police officers.

“These are pockets in an otherwise remarkably safe and remarkably nice place. I’m not an apologist for what happened last year. Far from it.”