The News International phone hacking scandal claimed the highest-profile scalp with the resignation of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

The position of the Scotland Yard chief, Sir Paul Stephenson, had come under scrutiny after it emerged that he had accepted a 12,000-ppound luxury spa stay free of charge at the behest of former News of the World Deputy Editor Neil Wallis, who was arrested last Thursday in relation to the phone hacking scandal.

In another high-profile arrest, former News of the World Editor and the CEO of News International, Rupert Murdoch's British media arm, Rebekah Brooks, was also arrested.

In a spiteful parting shot aimed at Prime Minister David Cameron, Sir Paul said: Unlike Mr Coulson, Mr Wallis had not resigned from News of the World or, to the best of my knowledge, been in any way associated with the original phone-hacking investigation.

According to Sir Paul, his decision to employ Wallis as an adviser was not as controversial as Cameron's appointment of former editor News of the World Andy Coulson as media chief, according to the Daily Mail.

After announcing the resignation, which puts an end to his career, Sir Paul defended his association with Wallis. I have heard suggestions that we must have suspected the alleged involvement of Mr Wallis in phone-hacking ... Let me say unequivocally that I did not and had no reason to have done so. I do not occupy a position in the world of journalism; I had no knowledge of the extent of this disgraceful practice and the repugnant nature of the selection of victims that is now emerging, nor of its apparent reach into senior levels.

Downing Street sources questioned Sir Paul's apparent attempt to draw parallels with the hiring of Coulson and the work of Wallis with the Scotland Yard chief, according to the Daily Mail.

The two things are completely different. No one has suggested that the running of government was somehow compromised by Andy Coulson’s employment. That unfortunately cannot be said of the police, who are actually in charge of investigating what happened at the News of the World ... There have been freebies that weren’t declared and a complete lack of transparency about the whole business, a source said.