A row has broken out between Members of the London Assembly and Mayor Ken Livingstone after the Assembly passed a motion calling for the resignation of Sir Ian Blair.
The call comes after an Old Bailey jury found the Metropolitan Police guilty of health and safety failures in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July 2005.
The motion was passed by 15 votes to 8 and was backed by Conservative, Liberal Democrat and One London Party Assembly Members.
Liberal Democrat AM Baroness Hamwee whco is also Chair of the London Assembly, said: “Immediately after the trial, Sir Ian Blair announced he was not going to resign. Assembly Members have reflected for a week and listened carefully to what Sir Ian had to say this morning.
“We believe that it is in the nature of public accountability that where there is a corporate failure, the head of the corporation has to accept that accountability carries with it responsibility. The Assembly is concerned that continuing the current debate about the leadership of the Metropolitan Police would be to the detriment of policing in London, and calls on Sir Ian Blair to resign.”
However Mayor Livingstone attacked the vote saying it “shows why the government was right to give the London Assembly no powers whatever in policing.”
Mr Livingstone said “every day Londoners owe a debt of gratitude to the Metropolitan police in the struggle against terrorism. Every day a small but murderous number of criminal fanatics are working to try to kill Londoners.”
“Every Londoner relies on two things to protect them – the professionalism of the police and the quality of the information they receive from London’s communities.”
The vote has led to renewed calls by One London Party Leader Damian Hockney who also sits on the Metropolitan Police Authority for a meeting of the MPA to discuss Sir Ian’s future.
In a statement issued this afternoon Hockney said: “When I asked the MPA Chair Len Duvall at the Assembly today, he wouldn’t confirm that he would actually be calling an emergency meeting.”
“If this drags on further, the damage to the morale of officers, and the Met’s standing with the public, will be disastrous. I hope the MPA is not trying to wriggle out of holding this meeting, but we are very close to the deadline. If the Authority does refuse to call one, it’s inevitable that members will take the matter into their own hands and summon a meeting anyway, as they can do under the MPA Standing Orders.”