Mayor Sadiq Khan has been accused of sidelining the capital’s policing watchdog and excluding them from key initiatives aimed at increasing Londoners’ safety.
The accusation has been made by Steve O’Connell, a Conservative member of the London Assembly and chair of the body’s police and crime committee which is responsible for overseeing both the Metropolitan Police and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.
On Wednesday Mr Khan invited Londoners to take part in a consultation on a new Police and Crime Plan which will shape the Met’s future funding and strategic direction.
According to Mr O’Connell the Mayor’s office failed to inform Assembly Members of the consultation, leaving them to find out about it from media reports.
The AM says this is the third such ‘snub’ in recent weeks following claimed failures to inform the Assembly of a Knife Crime Summit and the first of the Policing Matters meetings which saw Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, publicly quiz Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe about the force’s performance.
In a statement released by the Conservative Assembly group, Mr O’Connell said: “It seems the only way the Police and Crime Committee gets to hear about anything the Mayor does around policing these days is to pick up the newspaper.
“He has a duty to inform the committee of his actions in order that he is subject to proper scrutiny. To simply keep us in the dark and press release his announcements through the back door without the courtesy of even informing us is very disappointing.”
O’Connell has previously complained to Deputy Mayor Linden about the lack of engagement with AMs and says he will now raise the matter directly with Mr Khan.
He added: “I would hope he is more willing in future to open himself up to scrutiny by those of us who represent the Londoners who elected him.”
However claims of AMs being sidelined have been dismissed as “simply incorrect” by Linden who said “there has been and will continue to be plenty of opportunities for assembly members to discuss the police and crime plan and fulfil their role in scrutinising the Mayor and his deputies.
She added: “I would hope that the committee would welcome this talk London survey as an additional way for Londoners to have their voices heard on policing issues, above and beyond the forthcoming police and crime plan consultation.
“I hope they will now put their effort into encouraging their constituents to get involved and let us know their experiences of policing and crime in London.”