Today’s Leveson Inquiry has seen director of public affairs and internal comms Dick Fedorcio take the stand, in which he admitted that he helped set up placements at The Sun for both his own son in 2003 and 2004, and also Ian Blair’s son, in 2005.
However, Fedorcio states that Wade was someone he was ‘on good terms with but not a friend’. Fedorcio denied any special relationship with the News of the World: ‘They didn't pull punches’, he said.
In his written statement, Fedorcio confirmed that he invited Bell Pottinger Public affairs chairman Peter Bingle and Hanover MD Charles Lewington to submit quotes for ‘strategic comms support and advice’, a contract that he eventually awarded to Outside Organisation MD Neil Wallis, formerly a News of the World executive editor.
Fedorcio added in his statement that he did ‘not know whether it is true or not that Neil Wallis sold crime stories to the media while working for the MPS’.
Fedorcio is on extended leave as an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission is carried out into the awarding of a PR consultancy contract to Wallis's company, Chamy Media.
Last week in the inquiry, it emerged that Fedorcio had several dinner meetings with Wallis and other senior officers between 2006 and 2010.
Elsewhere in the briefing, Fedorcio stated that the lack of definition of ‘off the record briefings’ had become a running joke at the meetings with the Crime Reporters Association - there would often be a debate about what ‘off the record’ meant.
Fedorcio also agreed that social meetings might be ‘fertile ground’ for ‘inappropriate conversations’ and that both journalists and the police need to be aware of appropriate behaviour when socialising.