Scotland Yard has admitted it employed Neil Wallis, a former executive at the News of the World, as an adviser to the commissioner until September 2010.
Wallis was employed to advise Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates on a part-time basis from October 2009 to September 2010. During this time the Yard was saying there was no need to reopen the phone-hacking investigation – a decision made by Yates despite allegations in the Guardian that the first police investigation had been inadequate.
Wallis is a former News of the World executive editor. He was arrested on Thursday morning as part of the police's renewed phone-hacking inquiry.
Relations between senior Met officers and News of the World senior executives have been under scrutiny. In September 2006 Stephenson, as deputy commissioner, accompanied by the Yard's head PR man, Dick Fedorcio, dined with Wallis. This was a month after officers had arrested the paper's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, and at a time when detectives were still attempting to investigate whether other journalists or executives were involved in the interception of voicemail messages. In theory Wallis was a potential suspect in the inquiry.