The British phone-hacking scandal continues to destroy lives and careers.

The latest casualty is not even an employee of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

Britain’s most senior police officer, Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has resigned.

Stephenson has been under fire of having hired Neil Wallis, a former executive with the now-defunct News of the World tabloid as an adviser. Wallis has been investigated by police for the paper’s illegal phone hacking.

In a live press conference in London, Stephenson said: “I have this afternoon informed the Home Secretary and the Mayor of my intention to resign as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service. I have taken this decision as a consequence of the ongoing speculation and accusations relating to the Met's links with News International at a senior level and in particular in relation to Mr Neil Wallis who as you know was arrested… last week.”

He added: “I had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the original investigation into phone hacking in 2006 that successfully led to the conviction and imprisonment of two men. I had no reason to believe this was anything other than a successful investigation. I was unaware that there were any other documents in our possession of the nature that have now emerged.”

He further asserted: Let me state clearly, I and the people who know me know that my integrity is completely intact. I may wish we had done some things differently, but I will not lose sleep over my personal integrity.