Unelected members of the Metropolitan Police Authority have been accused of blocking the will of their elected counterparts after the MPA voted against a motion of no confidence in Sir Ian Blair.
The vote came after the Met lost a Health and Safety prosecution over he death of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July 2005.
Votes against the motion by four magistrates and six Home Office appointees helped Sir Ian secure a 15-7 majority. Seven Conservative, Lib Dem and One London Party members, who all also site on the London Assembly, supported the no confidence motion.
Damian Hockney, One London Party leader and MPA Member said: “a clear majority of democratically elected MPA members endorsed the London Assembly No confidence vote, but Sir Ian is clinging to office because of support from unelected MPA appointees.”
Conservative Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson called the result of the vote “a foregone conclusion.”
However Mayor of London Ken Livingstone called for an end to what he described as a “politically-motivated campaign” against the Commissioner. Mr Livingstone said “the nature of today’s vote – with none of the independent members voting to remove Sir Ian Blair – reinforces that this was purely politically motivated.”
“The cynicism of the politicians running their crazed and irresponsible campaign against the police commissioner is all the more apparent given that the Met have reduced crime for four years in a row, and crime is on course to fall for a fifth year, while police numbers are at record levels and a beat police team introduced in every neighbourhood.”
Hockney, who had earlier called for a secret ballot at today’s meeting, said “had a secret ballot been held I am convinced the result would have been very different. This is a sad day for policing and democracy in London. The Met is now stuck with a Commissioner with dwindling support from the public and from within his own ranks.”