The other shoe about to fall on Boris around Murdoch is, of course, the Met Police who are at best looking at trying to work who was corruptly taking money from the discredited Murdoch tabloids in return for information and at worst looking at losing a large chunk of their senior leadership – currently being dragged into the mud are Assistant Commissioner Yates (he of the quick-look-and-dismiss of the hacking case in 2009) and, as of today, the Commissioner himself, Sir Paul Stephenson.  Boris, having staked personal credibility on being seen to be in charge of the Met and Sir Paul being his own personal pick, will not be enjoying today’s revelations.

Things kicked off a few streets away from me, apparently, with the arrest of the former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis, known as the ‘Wolfman’ and reportedly a nasty piece of work.  You could probably have knocked Boris down with a feather when it came out this evening that after leaving Mr. Murdoch’s employ Wallis moved smoothly over to, er, the Metropolitan Police, where he..

…advised Sir Paul Stephenson, the Met commissioner, and assistant commissioner John Yates during a period when the Yard rejected calls for the reopening of a criminal investigation into the interception of voicemails.

Hours after Wallis was arrested as part of Operation Weeting, the Met said it had employed him as a part-time adviser on “strategic communications”

Oh dear.  Wallis was paid for his advice between October 2009 to September 2010, apparently, which conveniently enough fits with the lifespan of this company:

NEIL WALLIS MEDIA LTD
10 CAVENDISH ROAD
GROVE PARK CHISWICK
LONDON
UK

W4 3UH

Companies House Number: 07014616

Incorporation Date: 10 Sep 2009

This may of course be a completely different Neil Wallis who needed a short-term company for ‘Media’ purposes in September 2009 and didn’t need it in 2011 (it was struck off in May).  There’s a LinkedIn profile, too:

Neil Wallis
Owner, Neil Wallis Media Ltd
London, United Kingdom Public Relations and Communications
Current
Owner at Neil Wallis Media Ltd
Connections
23 connections

However, the Met’s statement says that the company was actually ‘Chamy Media’, which by astonishing coincidence is registered literally round the corner from Cavendish Road in Bolton Road and was registered on the same day and also struck off in May 2011.

CHAMY MEDIA LTD
FLAT 4 15 BOLTON ROAD
CHISWICK
LONDON
UK
W4 3TE

Companies House Number : 07014662

Incorporation Date: 10 Sep 2009

The thorny question remains – who was on deck during this time?  Boris famously came into office promising to chair the MPA, before changing his mind in January 2009, so the period Wallis was being employed in fact covers both the end of his chairmanship and the start of Kit Malthouse’s, so neither of them are exactly smelling of roses here.  In particular, someone ought to be asking questions around why, if the Met tendered for this advice contract, the winning company was one set up in a hurry by an old lunching partner of the Commissioner, and equally hurriedly abandoned when no longer required.  My employer doesn’t run procurement like that (due diligence, y’see, and it’s bloody hard to get them to add a new supplier to the approved list), so how can the Metropolitan Police, and who’s really got their hand on the tiller?

P.S. as recently as 2010, Kit Malthouse was being paid by the Times for this sort of whacky out-there thinking on tax.

Certain essential items that are already VAT-free — food, children’s clothes, The Times — could remain so, and would actually fall in price

Nice work if you can get it.

 
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