Monday, December 01, 2008

Met Police to Face Assembly Questioning

On Wednesday morning the Police Authority will be facing questions from the London Assembly. They will be represented by their chairman, Boris Johnson, and by acting commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, or one of the assistant commissioners if he can't make it.

With the appointment of a replacement for Sir Ian Blair under consideration, and the arrest of Damian Green MP, this will be a crunch meeting, with the potential for awkward questions.

The Home Office decision to scrap funding for the Met police trafficking unit will also come under scrutiny. This looks odd in the light of all the trafficking that the government claims is taking place, and the much trailed proposals to crack down on prostitution. Consistency has never been Labour's strength...

4 comments:

morris hickey said...

Too late!

The person who merited very close and detailed questioning - interrogation even - has just got away with it. If a Member of Parliament is being subjected to close and detailed investigation then so too should be the former Commissioner of Police who has just (thankfully) retired.

And there are very important questions that ought to be answered by the immediate past chairman of the MPA.

morris hickey said...

So, almost 48 hours later (Friday 5 December) what happened?

Roger Evans said...

Hi Morris. Things have been a bit hectic over the last few days, and I knew you were more likely to get an update from the Evening Standard than from me, given the time constraints.

Basically, the acting commissioner gave us a very unembellished account of the arrest and talked briefly about the review which will be carried out by the BTP chief constable.

Results of that review will be available next week and could be made public if the prosecution is not pursued. The mayor let us know that he thought a prosecution was unlikely to succeed - at this point Labour members tried to accuse him of seeking to influence the investigation, but as his powers over the Met are very limited, there is no practical conflict that prevents him voicing an opinion.

And he has agreed to fund the human trafficking unit, even though the Home Office withdrew their support. Everyone was rude about Jaqui Smith and our attack on her got passed with Lib Dem support.

Then we heard from the Fire Authority Chairman...

morris hickey said...

Thanks Roger. First, I am never likely to learn anything from the "Evening Standard" for an obvious reason.

Second, the CC of the BTP is himself ex-Met. His investigation might not be seen therefore as wholly independent. Why is the IPCC not conducting this review?

Third, if you also heard from the Chairman of the Fire Authority then no wonder it took some time after the meeting to post information......