After an afternoon of speculation, Sir Ian Blair has just read a statement of resignation from his job as Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
He has made it clear in no uncertain terms that he is resigning because of Boris.
Boris took over as chair of the Metropolitan Police Association yesterday, when the Mayor was first legally entitled to take this role on following a recent change in the law.
Sir Ian Blair met with Boris yesterday to mark the start of his chairmanship, and Blair’s statement included the following couple of phrases:
At a meeting yesterday, the new Mayor made clear, in a very pleasant but determined way, that he wished there to be a change of leadership at the Met.
Without the Mayor’s backing I do not consider that I can continue in the job.
A very clear statement as to why he felt he had to go. He also said he didn’t think the situation need be a problem and he would have been happy to carry on, but after yesterday’s meeting it was clear the Mayor differed with this position and he couldn’t go on.
The Home Secretary and Boris himself are due to make statements on the resignation shortly.
Update: Boris has just made his statement, of the usual noncommittal standards we’ve come to expect of him on controversial issues. He then refused any questions. The only extra detail I gleaned from the statement was that Kit Malthouse was also at the fateful meeting yesterday. Nice of him to take some time out from promoting ridiculous airports to focus on the actual point of his job, policing.
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