Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Monday, 18 July 2011 16:50 UK

May 'sorry' over Sir Paul Stephenson resignation

Home Secretary Theresa May has told MPs she is "sorry" that Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson decided to resign after criticism of the Met's links to senior figures at News International.

In a Commons statement on 18 July 2011, she paid tribute to Sir Paul, telling MPs the Met was "stronger operationally today than it was when he took over", and confirmed that Tim Godwin will become acting commissioner of the force.

Sir Paul had faced criticism over the hiring of former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis as a PR adviser to the Met.

Bernard Hogan-Howe has agreed to take on the role of deputy commissioner and Cressida Dick will take over from Assistant Commissioner John Yates following his resignation, she added.

The home secretary revealed that she had directed Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to investigate allegations of widespread corruption in the police and "make recommendations to me about what needs to be done".

Mrs May also told MPs that the government would consider whether the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) needed more powers, "including whether it should be given the power to question civilian witnesses" and "investigating allegations about institutional failings of a force or forces".

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper asked Mrs May to apologise for Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to hire former News of the World editor Andy Coulson.

Sir Paul resigned over the appointment of former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis "yet the prime minister is still refusing to answer questions or apologise for his appointment of the former editor of the News of the World", she told MPs.

"People will look at this and think it's one rule for the police and one rule for the prime minister," Ms Cooper concluded.

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