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Mayor v Blair

By November 2, 2009News

Ian BlairOne man unlikely to be including the Mayor on his Christmas Card list this year is ex-Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

With no reference to his memoirs that have just gone on sale for the Christmas market in all good bookshops (and some bad ones), Blair has been giving various interviews in which he reaffirms his belief that he was forced out of his job for no other reason than for Boris to show his political muscle.

“What happened has some dangerous implications for the future of policing,” Blair told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show. “There is a system in which chief officers are appointed [and] they are operationally independent. If, at a stroke, they can be removed then the system has been changed. If you like, an external species has been brought into the indigenous situation.”

Sir Ian said Mr Johnson had effectively introduced the US situation where “chief officers come and go at the behest of the mayor”.

Blair also told the Guardian “It was a way of stamping his authority on the mayoralty. his number two, Kit Malthouse, had been critical before they came to power of my approach to policing, but the main reason was [Boris] saying, ‘I am in charge.’ He had discussed at the Conservative party conference, a month before, the need for the mayor to have hire-and-fire powers over the commissioner, and I can think of no other reason than that. He certainly never gave one.”

The Mayor’s spokesman wouldn’t really comment.  “We now have new leadership in place and the Met has moved on.” Apparently….

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