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Big progress' in honours probe - Beeb

Rob W

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Big progress' in honours probe


The policeman heading the cash-for-honours probe says he expects to pass a file to the CPS in January.

Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner John Yates told MPs the investigation had gained "significant and valuable material" after interviewing 90 people.  He wrote to the public administration select committee, saying "considerable progress continues to be made".


Police have been investigating whether donors received honours in return for cash. All involved deny wrongdoing.


'Operational security'


Mr Yates said "the major developments" in the inquiry remained confidential - which he said showed that, contrary to press reports, security surrounding the investigation "remains very tight".


Labour Party: 35

Conservative Party: 29

Liberal Democrats: 4

Non-party: 22


He had reviewed "operational security" after suggestions that the police were leaking information.  Describing the investigation as being in the "final stages", Mr Yates also said the timetable for reporting to the Crown Prosecution Service could change due to factors beyond his control.  "It is also subject to any additional lines of investigation that may result from the inquiries I am about to undertake," he said, but did not provide details.


This has resulted in the acquisition of significant and valuable material in relation to the development of the inquiry

John Yates

Assistant Commissioner


He said his investigative team "have and continue to adopt a thorough, methodical and impartial approach to the investigation.  "This has resulted in the acquisition of significant and valuable material in relation to the development of the inquiry." He said the inquiry team had interviewed 35 Labour Party members, 29 Conservatives, four Liberal Democrats and 22 non-party members.  In the letter to committee chairman Tony Wright, dated 13 November, Mr Yates apologised for not revealing further details, but said potential criminal proceedings prevented him doing so.


Mr Yates said there was "clearly a great public interest in resolving these matters as soon as possible" and he understood the committee's desire to be given a timetable.  Those interviewed are now known to include Labour Party chairman Hazel Blears.  In an interview for GMTV's Sunday programme she said: "The police have been to see me once to discuss the inquiry in general terms and certainly I obviously wasn't around at the time that these transactions took place."



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Sounds as if Lord Levy - Tone's tennis partner - is threatening #10 he won't go down alone................


Would they be so sloppy as to leave a smoking gun lying around though?  Or at least, one that the security services haven't cleaned up by now.  If the evidence is largely anecdotal, will the police proceed with a prosecution?

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