Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was upset that London Mayor Boris Johnson announced his lack of confidence in the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair. She claimed he was politicising the position, undermining the fair unpolitical system where only the Home Secretary chooses who the Met Chief.
Boris then announced an inquiry into racism in the Met Police. One of the many things undermining confidence in Blair was the allegations of discrimination from high ranking Asian officers, including his assistant Commissioner, Tarique Ghaffur. Then the Metroplitan Black Police Association started a boycott, recommending that ethnic minorities no longer join the police, and Boris launched his inquiry.
Now Jacqui has announced an enquiry of her own in response to the crisis. This time it will be nation wide.
No doubt there are serious problems with race relations in the Met, and probably other police forces too. I am sceptical about how warning off ethnic minority applicants will improve the situation. I am even more sceptical about the need for not one but two inquiries.
I can’t help thinking this is part of a territorial war between the Home Secretary and the London Mayor over who has the power over the Metropolitan Police. Whose inquiry will find the problems first? Who will instigate the right solutions? Who has the power? Tune in for Jacqui vs Boris!