Sir Ian Blair renuncia do cargo de Comissário da polícia metropolitana

Em *, * James Sturcke, Jenny Percival and Hélène Mulholland* Thursday October 02 2008 17:10 BST

Sir Ian Blair renuncia do cargo de Comissário da polícia metropolitana de Londres

Met commissioner says decision was forced upon him by failure to win support of London mayor, Boris JohnsonMetropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair during a press conference at New Scotland Yard, London, where he announced his resignation

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair during a press conference at New Scotland Yard, London, where he announced his resignation.

The long term legacy of this political decision will be bad for policing,” he told Sky News.The shadow home secretary, Dominic Grieve, welcomed Blair’s resignation.”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.

“Blair’s decision comes after claims in today’s newspapers about inappropriate use of public money in sharpening the commissioner’s image.The Daily Mail claimed this morning that Blair employed a close friend to give him PR advice prior to taking the job. He denies acting improperly.

Blair, once dubbed New Labour’s copper, has rarely been far from criticism since becoming commissioner in February 2005. The Oxford English language and literature graduate has twice resorted to quoting Mark Twain, saying that “reports of his demise are premature”.In recent months he was seen as reliant on the support of the home secretary and the London mayor, Boris Johnson, to stay in his post. Blair forged a close working relationship with the former mayor, Ken Livingstone, but this week Johnson called for the mayor to have the power to hire and fire London police commissioners.

“He put back bobbies on the beat and crime has gone down. He did incredibly well with the 7/7 bombings but then it all started to change after the shooting of De Menezes.

“Blair’s problems have been caused in part by a series of high-profile media gaffes and also by events at the Met, the most serious of which was the shooting dead of the Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes in the wake of the July 2005 bomb attacks on London.The commissioner was criticised after the publication of the official Independent Police Complaints Commission report into the shooting of De Menezes, which found the police operation had been marred by confusion and a lack of resources. The head of the IPCC went on to accuse Blair of causing much of the “avoidable difficulty” facing the force since the shooting.

More recently, he has had to deal with two high-profile cases of alleged discrimination by his force. In June, the Met’s most senior Asian officer, Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, said he would sue the force for racial discrimination and victimisation.

In 2006, Blair was forced to apologise to the families of the Soham murder victims, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. He said “almost nobody” could understand why the disappearance of the girls, in August 2002, had dominated the news headlines and become “the biggest story in Britain”.

Around £15,000 of public money was paid to Andy Miller to advise the Blair when he took on the job, the Daily Mail reported.Miller’s company, Impact Plus, advised the commissioner on communications strategy and leadership style. The paper also reported Scotland Yard paid the firm more than £3m over six years.Contracts awarded to the company are being examined by the chief inspector of constabulary, Sir Ronnie Flanagan.

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