London politicians have been giving their reaction to the news that Sir Ian Blair is stepping down as Metropolitan Police Commissioner with effect from December 1st. Sir Ian says Mayor of London Boris Johnson had yesterday told him he wanted to see a change of leadership.
Dee Doocey, Liberal Democrat London Assembly and MPA member: “The Metropolitan Police Service is crying out for strong leadership, and whoever takes over has a mountain to climb. The lack of leadership at the top of the MPS in recent weeks and months has resulted in the top brass fighting among themselves, rather then getting on with their real jobs of policing London.
The Met must now devote all it’s efforts on keeping the streets of our capital safe rather than vying for power and fighting each other.”
Jenny Jones London Assembly Green Party Member: “Ian Blair put bobbies back on the beat in London and reduced crime. The successful roll out of safer neighbourhood teams across the whole of London was a major achievement and is a legacy which must be defended. We also have a higher proportion of officers from Black and Ethnic Minorities in London, as well as a larger number of women in senior positions in the Metropolitan Police. Promoting equalities and breaking the canteen culture was a major challenge and remains a big challenge for the next commissioner.
Ian Blair didn’t always get things right and some mistakes were made, but he did try to pursue a progressive agenda and promote policing by consent. I hope that the next commissioner will build on these substantial achievements.”
London Assembly Labour Group: “It is easy to forget the contribution Sir Ian has made to the Metropolitan Police Service and the safety of Londoners, building on the success of Sir John Stevens. Under Sir Ian’s leadership, the roll-out of Safer Neighbourhood Teams was accelerated, the co-ordination between business groups at New Scotland Yard improved and overall crime in London fell.
It’s unfortunate that Sir Ian is leaving at this difficult time for the Met and under the cloud of an on-going investigation. We are confident that the Met’s acting leadership and senior management board will not allow themselves to be distracted from the vital work of protecting Londoners.”