Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Boris finds crime too time consuming

When Boris Johnson was campaigning for the post of London Mayor he said he was going to take personal charge of crime and policing as it was a top priority. Not halfway through his term and he's stepping down from chairing the Metropolitan Police Authority, his fellow Conservative Kit Malthouse will take over the role.

The Mayor has found the position far too time consuming on top of his other commitments, he has a lucrative newspaper column to write for a start. However, it might be worth reminding 0urselves of what Johnson's manifesto said; "Provide strong leadership: by taking responsibility and chairing the Metropolitan Police Authority and using my influence to tear up red tape and needless form-filling, so we can get more police out on the streets".

Jenny Jones, one of the Green Assembly Members reacted to the news by saying; "The Mayor made a clear commitment to Londoners in his election manifesto to personally take charge of the Police Authority. He has now gone back on his word, realising that being both Mayor and chair of the MPA is just too much for one person to do properly. It was an ill thought out promise, and one that showed his lack of experience.

"The Met are facing difficult times ahead, with budgets being cut in all areas. The chair of the MPA needs to take the time to understand this complex organisation to provide effective leadership. Boris Johnson has not really been involved from the beginning and perhaps feels it is time to stop pretending".

Dee Doocey, the Liberal Democrat policing spokeswoman, also had some sensible comments saying: "This is welcome news as the mayor has never been on top of this incredibly important job. I just hope that, unlike Boris Johnson, Kit Malthouse actually reads and understands the Met's budget and then sets out to immediately reverse the damaging cuts in police numbers which the mayor has for so long denied."

What's worse, making a promise and breaking it or making a stupid promise that you could never keep in the first place? I can't quite make up my mind.

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