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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Metropolitan Police denied a journalist arrested over the hacking scandal had arranged a stay at a luxury health resort for Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson

News International has made a fresh apology in Sunday's national newspapers, placing adverts declaring there should be "no place to hide" from the police investigation into phone hacking.
It comes after The Metropolitan Police denied that a journalist arrested over the scandal had arranged a stay at a luxury health resort for its Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

And it follows comments from Foreign Secretary William Hague that he was not embarrassed "in any way" by the Government's relationship with News International executives.

The publisher's advert, which features in several newspapers, is headed: "Putting right what's gone wrong" and states that the company's "obligation" includes "Full co-operation with the Police" and "compensation for those affected". It says the organisation is "committed to change".

In relation to the police inquiry, it reads: "There are no excuses and should be no place to hide. We will not tolerate wrongdoing and will act on any evidence that comes to light."

The advert concludes: "Apologising for our mistakes and fixing them are only the first steps. It may take some time for us to rebuild trust and confidence, but we are determined to live up to the expectations of our readers, colleagues and partners. We will not stop until these matters are resolved."

Scotland Yard was dragged further into the furore on Saturday following reports that former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis was a PR consultant for Champneys health spa at the time of Sir Paul's five-week stay earlier this year.

The force said the stay at the Hertfordshire health farm was not linked to Wallis, who is on bail on suspicion of intercepting mobile phones, and was arranged by its MD Stephen Purdew - a family friend of the Commissioner.

It said the stay allowed Sir Paul to recover from a fractured leg sustained in a cancer operation and meant he could return to his job six weeks early.

Meanwhile, Mr Hague defended David Cameron's decision to invite Andy Coulson to Chequers as a "normal, human thing" after his resignation as Downing Street director of communications. Mr Hague said he was not embarrassed "in any way" by the Government's relationship with News International executives and he defended the Prime Minister's decision to entertain Mr Coulson, the former News of the World editor, at his Buckinghamshire retreat in March.

 

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