Within minutes of Theresa May announcing her decision not to license the use of water cannon by the Met, Boris was out in front the cameras spinning that he’d keep the vehicles just in case they became useful in the future.
But the truth is he’s being forced to keep them because the chances of finding someone to buy them at a price which lets City Hall and the Met cover their costs are pretty much close to nil.
In September 2013 Met Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley wrote to Boris’s policing deputy to warn that their purchase was only “an interim solution as the water cannon are 23 years old and, though in good mechanical condition, it can only be anticipated that they will have a working life of two to three years.”
Going by Rowley’s own time frame, these unwanted and unlicensed weapons now have a maximum shelf life of 14 months.
Which passing mug could City Hall find to pay £200k for vehicles the Home Secretary has decided are unsafe, which need 67 separate mechanical and other failures addressing and are all but at the end of their operational life span?
You’d have to have the luck of a German to find a buyer that gullible.