Boris Johnson today stood down as the Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, stating that he no longer had enough time to devote to the job:
In his crime manifesto Boris told us that:
"It is important for the Mayor to take a public lead, so I will chair the Metropolitan Police Authority. I will take personal responsibility. No offence will be too trivial to demand my attention. No challenge will be so big that I shrug my shoulders and pass the buck. "
That rather large buck has now been passed to his Deputy Kit Malthouse.
The far less trivial challenge of writing a £250k column for the Daily Telegraph, will remain firmly in Boris's hands.
Green Party member of the MPA Jenny Jones said today:
"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"
Liberal Democrat MPA member Dee Doocey welcomed the move:
"This is welcome news as the Mayor has never been on top of this incredibly important job. I just hope that unlike Boris Johnson that 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."
Labour MPA member Joanne McCartney said:
"This is another key election promise broken. Boris said the Mayor should be directly accountable for crime but, just as he plans to slash police numbers and funding, he cuts and runs. If he's too busy maybe he should spend more time on London and less earning £250,000 a year from the Telegraph."
The real reason for Boris's decision to stand down from the MPA is not yet clear.
Conservative Assembly Members were apparently not told about it in advance, and Boris only gave a cursory explanation at today's Mayor's Questions.
Quite where that leaves the Tories' reported plans to make Boris police commissioner is anyone's guess.
But with their other plan to scrap the MPA altogether, this could all just be a move to distance Boris from it ahead of time.