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.

and

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.

14 Responses to Sir Ian Blair pushed out by Boris

  1. prj45 says:

    I’d be interested to know how come the Standard got to publish the “EXCLUSIVE, sir Ian Blair resigns” headline a good two hours before he publically announced it.

    Was it hedging bets, or did it have a link to the story it’s not talking about?

  2. Tom says:

    The press were tipped off earlier – the BBC was reporting a ‘statement’ from Sir Ian long before the resignation. Obviously if you have a press conference you have to let the press know, and the Standard would certainly have picked the phone up to Malthouse or Boris’s office and gone ‘is this what I think it is?’

    Boris can’t actually appoint the successor though, presumably Jacqui Smith will? I wonder if he/she has to be stamped ‘Approved By Boris’ in some unofficial way first?

    Also, is there anyone left who wants to take part in a press conference with Boris? Sir Ian did, Ray Lewis did and now look at them.

  3. Tom: I wonder if Kulveer Ranger will take part in a press conference with Boris to announce how the Routemaster judging is going…

  4. pastyface says:

    I can’t stand Boris but now I’m absolutely furious. This man is accountable to no-one. Even Cameron can’t control him. I fear for this city more than ever

  5. BenSix says:

    Hmmm…the circumstances are suspicious but I can’t pretend that I have any sympathy for the man.

  6. red-one says:

    sympathy or not, this is a scandal! Boris has effectively assumed the power to fire (and we will see if he can ‘hire’ as well..) the chief of the Met, which he’s made no secret of wanting to do from the start! I thought that this power rested with the Home Secretary, but this is surely an unprecedented and most worrying event, especially in light of the mooted cuts to the Met budget that Boris wants as well…. Can we confirm what role the Mayor has on approving the new appointment at all? Any ideas who will be in line for the job?

  7. Tom says:

    It will be very interesting to read the exact role of things like the MPA in this, but the Home Office fund the lion’s share of the budget so will quite reasonably point out that their turd ought to float to the top.

  8. prj45 says:

    I think Blair should’ve gone long ago, but more and more people are saying Boris really shouldn’t have said he wouldn’t work with Blair.

    Not sure I like politicians messing around with police/judiciary like ethat.

  9. [...] appears that – of all people – Boris Johnson gets the honour of dragging “Sir” Ian out of his spider hole. Of course, this raises [...]

  10. Tom says:

    “Not sure I like politicians messing around with police/judiciary like ethat.”

    Police yes, judiciary no (which is why judge’s pay is decided by vote of Parliament).

    Politicians should be able to sack senior cops – It’s better than the police messing around with the politicians, which the ACPO lot have been doing for years, often seeming to have free rein to walk into the Home Office and dictate legislation.

  11. prj45 says:

    Hmm, people are already pointing out that currently the Queen hires and fires the commissioner on advice from the Home Secretary.

    It seems the Johnson administration has jumped the gun somewhat.

  12. Tom says:

    There is a strong sense of ‘now what?’. I’m really not sure, I’m musing on whether the Home Secretary has the balls to impose her choice on Boris and force him to choose between backing a guy he wouldn’t personally have chosen or launching a damaging stand-off where he doesn’t accept the new guy, which would delight the Tories but eventually piss off his constituents.

    Given how much Boris actually needs the Met on his side that’s possibly an uncomfortable decision to have to make. Still, he chose to step off the cliff, I just wonder if he knows where he’s going.

  13. [...] a working relationship with Blair, Boris has shown a complete disregard for due process, and as Tom comments, opened the floodgates for a potentially awful Goldilocks-style recruitment process, where the Home [...]

  14. prj45 says:

    Bors is now clainming to have consulted “a great number of people”. Shame it wasn’t the MPA or the Home Secretary!

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