Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Boris Johnson passes the buck on policing London

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.


CHPaul said...

At last a good news story!

angelneptunestar said...

Adam you don't really believe that comment about his column do you? Boris writes those columns in about 30 minutes and I know that for a fact, in his free time. And who better than Boris to put his ideas and beliefs over to Londoners, surely it is essential that the Mayor regularly communicates to us and no-one can do that better than Boris himself.

AdamB said...

You know that for a fact do you? How's that?

angelneptunestar said...

Because a lady who runs Boris's personal website (to which I contribute occasionally) once mentioned it. OK not 30 minutes all the time, but apparently he writes it incredibly quickly and sometimes he scribbles it on the back on old pieces of paper on a train journey, or on public transport, anywhere. He wrote his Tory Party Conference speech that quickly, off the cuff and on old envelopes, and it was brilliant. This was reported in the Times.He is an incredibly quick writer, because he thinks like lightning.(this sounds a bit hagiographic, but I am just saying).


President Obama reported on SKY as saying he is happy with many things he has done in his presidency, but he realises he has not communicated his thinking to the populace. He has lost his link with the people, through lack of communication. That is a mistake that Boris would never make, he is a brilliant communicator and communicates continually and thoroughly and that is why we need that column.

I am a bit scared at your ominous looming tone, like.... just how do you know that? Like I am up to something sinister, which I am not.

Karl said...

Is Boris preparing to stand at the election? He might as well, and just install some deputies to do whatever it is he does.

saifu03 said...

It is important that he regularly communicates to us I agree. As a Mayor of London, that is important.

I think it is a bit odd that he chooses a column in national newspaper to do so. A partisan national newspaper. And rarely talks about what he does as London Mayor as the readership largely do not care - as they are a national readership.

One good way of communicating that I have seen is to have a press conference. This is a situation where you get a lot of journalists from newspapers (in the plural sense, some may even be directly aimed at Londoners) or television. I don't how widespread such an idea is but I have seen it done in football, maybe that would be a good idea for communication. It could be Boris first. He could be the Press Conference Mayor!

AdamB said...

Press conferences eh? What a novel idea.

buy r4 card said...

Boris was there the first 18 months or so because there was a huge amount of heavy lifting required at the start. Only Boris could have removed Ian Blair, installed an all-new top team at the Yard, revolutionised the budgets and achieved reductions in crime.

AdamB said...

Ha ha. It's a sad day when only spambots are willing to defend you.

Jonathan said...

"... he writes it incredibly quickly and sometimes he scribbles it on the back on old pieces of paper on a train journey, or on public transport, anywhere."

Guess that explains why it's always such a load of waffly old kak then.

prj45 said...

angelneptunestar: sometimes he scribbles it on the back on old pieces of paper on a train journey

You mean, whilst on the job as mayor?