Reaction to Met Police commissioner Sir Paul resigning

Sir Paul Stephenson standing outside Scotland Yard
Image caption Sir Paul said he had to step down because his role in the scandal had become a distraction

Reaction has come in to the announcement that Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned as the fall out from the phone-hacking scandal continues.

In a statement, Britain's most senior police officer said he was resigning as a "consequence of the ongoing speculation and accusations relating to the Met's links with News International at a senior level."

Sir Paul has faced criticism for hiring former News of the World executive Neil Wallis - who was questioned by police investigating hacking - as an adviser - and for accepting a stay at a luxury health spa which employed Mr Wallis.

Prime Minister David Cameron

"Sir Paul Stephenson has had a long and distinguished career in the police, and I would like to thank him for his service over many, many years.

"Under his leadership the Metropolitan Police made good progress in fighting crime, continued its vital work in combating terrorism, and scored notable successes such as the policing of the Royal Wedding.

"What matters most of all now is that the Metropolitan Police and the Metropolitan Police Authority do everything possible to ensure the investigations into phone hacking and alleged police corruption proceed with all speed, with full public confidence and with all the necessary leadership and resources to bring them to an effective conclusion."

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

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Media captionBoris Johnson: "I was very sad and I was reluctant when Paul offered his resignation"

"I would like to stress that I have absolutely no reason to doubt the complete integrity of Sir Paul and I believe him to be a fine, passionate and committed public servant who has done a huge amount of good for our city.

"Sir Paul believes, however, that the phone hacking saga now threatens to become a serious distraction during the run-up to the Olympic Games.

"He has persuaded me that someone else should now be allowed to take his work forward so that the focus can return to policing and bringing down crime."

Former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone

"This can't be the first resignation now. Those officers that withheld information from Sir Paul about the scale of phone hacking and the scale of unacceptable relationships between police and News International should go as well.

"This is very bad for morale in the Met and it's not the slightest doubt that this is likely to cause that sort of disruption that means police will be taking their eye off the ball, will be worrying about who's going next and I suspect this is going to see a turn up in the crime levels as an organisation becomes demoralised in this way."

Home Secretary, Theresa May

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Media captionHome Secretary Theresa May says she is "sincerely sorry" over Sir Paul Stephenson's decision to quit

"Sir Paul has led the force through difficult times and although current circumstances show that there are still serious issues to be addressed, I believe that the force is operationally stronger today now than it was when he took over."

Keith Vaz, Labour MP and chair of Parliament Home Affairs Select Committee

"I am genuinely shocked. As you know the commissioner was due to appear on Tuesday (before his committee) which I obviously hope we still do and he should do.

"It appears that what he is saying is the reason why he is doing so (resigning) is to preserve his integrity but also to show that, at this particular time, what is needed is leadership for the Met.

"In a week of high drama, every single hour that goes on something else happens in this particular story. He has obviously taken responsibility ... and I think he should be given credit for doing so."

Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers

"Throughout his time in the service, as commissioner and in other roles, Sir Paul made an outstanding contribution to national policing, leading and developing work in areas including serious and organised crime, counter terrorism and neighbourhood policing.

"He has made clear he intends that this decision should ensure there are no distractions to the business of keeping the capital safe in a critical period for London."

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London

"Sir Paul is the outstanding police officer of his generation, he has 36 years proud history of protecting you and me and many others from terrorism and criminals, and I think it's very sad that he's been brought down by this kind of innuendo but in the end Sir Paul put the reputation of of the Met first, and that's greatly to his credit."

Mark Lewis, solicitor for the family of Milly Dowler

"These are very important times, the public are standing up to the three Ps - press, politics and the police.

When asked if the recent developments meant things were getting out of hand, he said: "It is not in danger of getting out of hand, it was out of hand, it was those unhealthy relationships that existed with the News of the World."

Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott

On Twitter he wrote: "I always thought the Met and News International were too close and now we see how close they were.

"Another green bottle has fallen - more to come."

Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary

"It is striking that Sir Paul has taken responsibility and answered questions about the appointment of the deputy editor of the News of the World whereas the prime minister still refuses to recognise his misjudgement and answer questions on the appointment of the editor of the News of the World at the time of the initial phone hacking investigation."