Britain’s top policeman, the country’s head of counter-terrorism and the Metropolitan Police’s press chief all stepped down from the force a year ago over their links to the News of the World.
But although all three quit in the face of public anger and scrutiny from MPs over the close relationship between the police and the tabloid newspaper, rather than being dismissed, it has now emerged for the first time that they received substantial payoffs.
The force’s accounts, disclosed by The Daily Telegraph, show that the Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, was given £176,838 “compensation for loss of office” after his shock resignation last July.
He stepped down over his decision to employ as a PR adviser Neil Wallis, a former deputy editor at the News of the World, and his free £12,000 stay at a spa resort for which Mr Wallis worked.
Sir Paul’s total remuneration for 2011-12 came to £275,263, even though he worked at Scotland Yard for just three months of the financial year. Sources said he chose to clear his desk within two weeks and did not ask for any compensation, but Met contracts mean that he was paid for the rest of his notice period.
Mr Yates’s total remuneration for the year came to £237,244.
Dick Fedorcio, the Met’s Director of Public Affairs, received a £50,503 payoff after he resigned at the end of March.
He was placed on extended leave in the summer after it emerged that he had given Mr Wallis’s firm a £24,000 contract, and stepped down when the force opened gross misconduct proceedings against him.
Mr Fedorcio’s package came to £175,206 for the full year.
Meanwhile Martin Tiplady, Scotland Yard’s Director of Human Resources, was paid £259,462 after resigning in April 2011.
Another Assistant Commissioner, Ian McPherson, was given £25,603 when he resigned in November.
In addition the Met spent £45million on voluntary redundancy payments for 1,166 other staff.
Jenny Jones, Deputy Chairman of the Police and Crime Committee on the London Assembly, said: “I’m absolutely appalled. As far as I’m concerned, if somebody resigns they should walk away from the job and not get a penny for it.
“I think they should have been embarrassed to take the money. It’s taxpayers’ money – it’s not for frittering away on people who chose to resign.”
The payments were agreed by the now-disbanded Metropolitan Police Authority and its successor body, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Upon leaving the MPS, individuals may have entered into discussions with the MPA / MOPC regarding their contractual position and recompense.
“The outcomes of discussions or agreements are a matter for each individual and we will not be commenting on specific cases.”
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime said that the payments were made in line with “contractual obligations”.