The Metropolitan Police has been accused of gagging evidence relevant to the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics by claiming public interest immunity on intelligence which alleged a senior police over was leaking information to the News of the World.
The London Evening Standard said that a report detailing the claims could not be alluded to in public by Lord Justice Leveson, nor be considered in his conclusions, because of a public interest immunity certificate, raising concerns that the inquiry's conclusions could not have been reached based on all of the evidence available.
Counsel to the Leveson Inquiry, Robert Jay QC, released a statement saying he was unable to raise the matter during the hearing because the report was not shown to he or Lord Justice Leveson until after it could have been used.
Jay said: "The Met is claiming public interest immunity in relation to any police intelligence report, the contents of which neither confirmed nor denied.
"I also owe continuing obligations of confidence to the Met and others in relation to information I received during the course of the inquiry. These factors have at all stages limited what I am able to place in the public domain, and continue to do so."
According to The Standard, no police officer has ever been arrested in connection with the claims.
A Met spokesman would not confirm or deny whether public interest immunity protection was sought in relation to any material provided to the inquiry.