By Max Clarke

The Metropolitan Police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, has emerged as the latest high profile victim of the ongoing News of the World phone hacking scandal.

“It is with great sadness and reluctance that I have tonight accepted the resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service,” said London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson.

Sir Paul’s resignation does, he assures, not suggest his guilt or complicity in the scandal, but merely that he did not want the scandal to continue to tarnish his reputation, or that of the institution’s.

Labour's shadow Home Secretary, Yvonne Cooper commented: “Sir Paul has taken a brave and honourable decision, putting the operational effectiveness of Metropolitan Police officers above all else.

“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,” continued Mayor Boris.

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

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