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Different rules apply?

For the record, here’s the extract from Sir Paul Stephenson’s resignation statement which has enabled Yvette Cooper to pinpoint the critical question which now has to be asked about phone hacking — why different rules apply to the Met police commissioner and the prime minister over their respective phone hacking links:

Now let me turn to the reported displeasure of the prime minister and the home secretary of the relationship with Mr Wallis.

The reasons for not having told them are two fold. Firstly, I repeat my earlier comments of having at the time no reason for considering the contractual relationship to be a matter of concern. Unlike Mr Coulson, Mr Wallis had not resigned from News of the World or, to the best of my knowledge been in any way associated with the original phone hacking investigation.

Secondly, once Mr Wallis’s name did become associated with Operation Weeting, I did not want to compromise the Prime Minister in any way by revealing or discussing a potential suspect who clearly had a close relationship with Mr Coulson. I am aware of the many political exchanges in relation to Mr Coulson’s previous employment — I believe it would have been extraordinarily clumsy of me to have exposed the Prime Minister, or by association the Home Secretary, to any accusation, however unfair, as a consequence of them being in possession of operational information in this regard.”

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