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News 2008
News ->Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair Resigns.

Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair resigns
(2 October 2008)

Sir Ian BlairLondon Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has resigned today following months of controversy surrounding the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes and allegations of racial discrimination brought against the Met by Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur. The resignation comes as the new London Mayor, Boris Johnson, chaired his first Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) meeting today, outlining his vision for the MPA’s new term of office.

In a Statement from Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said "It is the duty of the Commissioner to lead the Met through good times and bad: to accept the burdens and pressures of office and, above all, to be a steward of the Service he commands. However, I have today offered my resignation as Commissioner to the Home Secretary, which she has reluctantly but graciously accepted.

I am resigning not because of any failures by my Service and not because the pressures of the office and the many stories that surround it are too much. I am resigning in the best interests of the people of London and the Metropolitan Police Service. I would have wished to continue to serve Londoners until my term of office expired in February 2010. However, at a meeting yesterday, the new Mayor made clear, in a very pleasant but determined way, that he wished there to be a change of leadership at the Met.

I understand that to serve effectively the Commissioner must have the confidence of both the Mayor and the Home Secretary. Without the Mayor’s backing, I do not consider that I can continue in the job. Personally I see no bar to working effectively with the new Mayor, but it is there that we differ and hence I am unable to continue.

The Home Secretary has asked that I should stay for enough time for the process of appointing my successor to be got underway. I will therefore leave office on 1 December 2008, giving the Home Secretary and the MPA time to make plans for the appointment of my successor.

I offer Boris Johnson and his team at City Hall and at the Police Authority the very best of fortune. I say to the people of London that I believe that, in the Metropolitan Police Service, they have a quite wonderful institution made up of extraordinary men and women, who daily risk their lives on your behalf. I say to those men and women and those staff who support them that they are part of one of the greatest police services in the world. This great institution, which I have served for 28 out of my 34 years as a police officer, will always have a central place of affection in my heart. "

Responding to the resignation of Sir Ian Blair as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, said: “This is the right decision. We have been calling for Sir Ian to step down for almost a year - since the serial and systematic failings at the Metropolitan Police disclosed during the De Menezes trial - whilst Cabinet Ministers from the PM onwards continued to express total confidence in him.

“It is now clear that they have shown a serious lack of judgment about the leadership of the most important police force in Britain. It is vital that a successor is appointed who can restore public confidence.”

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