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March 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Chris Bryant, MP

Former U.K. Labor minister Chris Bryant, who has claimed that his voicemails were hacked by Rupert Murdoch’s London tabloid News of the World, faced down Scotland Yard’s acting deputy commissioner John Yates during a Parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday, chastising Yates for lunching with the paper’s former deputy editor, Neil Wallace in February shortly after the Yard said that it would reopen its investigation of alleged voicemail hacking by the NoW. Bryant, who is suing the tabloid, told Yates that such a meeting would likely give rise to the perception that the Yard was in collusion with the newspaper. Bryant had previously charged that the police agency had failed to follow evidence indicating that hundreds — perhaps thousands — of voicemails of celebrities and politicians had been hacked by the newspaper. “The Met police have not helped themselves by having regular meals with senior executives at the News of the World, at the same time as they are meant to be investigating the News of the World. I think, to be honest, that is a conflict of interest,” Bryant said.