Today some of the papers are gunning for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, following yesterday’s publication of the IPCC Stockwell One report. The London Mayor has tried to defend Blair by saying that he was only in post for five months at the time of the shooting.
Blair should be hung out to dry but not for the shooting. He needs to go because he specifically ordered the Met to keep the IPCC away from the case.
The IPCC Chairman, Nick Hardwick said yesterday:
The Commissioner attempted to prevent us carrying out an investigation. In my view, much of the avoidable difficulty the Stockwell incident has caused the Metropolitan Police arose from the delay in referral.
Blair showed precisely the wrong instinct. At a time when Londoners needed clarity all we got were mixed messages that gave the impression that the victim was somehow to blame for his own fate. Instead of the Commissioner loudly saying up front that a terrible mistake had happened and that he had called in the IPCC we instead had him writing to the Home Office to get the IPCC off his back.
The Mayor’s press machine went into a frenzy of activity yesterday coming up with three releases on this subject. Compare and contrast what the Mayor says with Hardwick’s statement above:
There is nothing in the IPCC report today that justifies the political witch hunt of David Davis against the police and the Commissioner – a witch hunt which has been condemned in strong terms by the Association of Chief Police Officers, The Metropolitan Police Federation and the national Police Federation.
There is something Mr Mayor. The smoking gun is the IPCC saying that Blair’s getting in their way made for “much avoidable difficulty”.