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Police: Metropolitan Police Commissioner

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:29 am on 9th October 2008.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism) 11:29 am, 9th October 2008

My Lords, one should think of what actually happened. As I understand it, the mayor said to the commissioner, "If you don't go, on Monday I will find someone to ask me, with the media there, whether I have confidence in you and, if they do, I will say that I haven't". It was made very clear to Sir Ian that he did not have the mayor's confidence and that the mayor wanted him to go. I think that Sir Ian Blair went away and thought about this and felt that it was impossible for him to go on. The Home Secretary could have struggled and struggled to make him stay, but I quite understand his position, and I do not think it would have been sensible to try to make him stay in that situation. We should not have arrived at this position. There is a correct procedure to go through and it is absolutely right that that should have been gone through. What happened was not fair and it is not the correct way to do things. I am afraid that it was a knee-jerk reaction. If he had gone through the correct procedure, perhaps all of us would be content. That is what he should have done.