Mayor Boris Johnson has given his representative on Planet Policing, Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse, a late Christmas present. He has just announced his resignation and that the former UVCDMKMAM will be the new Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority.
I have been predicting this move for a long time and Kit Malthouse has been barely able to contain his impatience for this formal recognition that he has been de facto acting as Chair of the Authority for the last eighteen months.
The Mayor is able to dress this up with “My work is done – policing now in safe hands – new Commissioner – new team of Assistant Commissioners – crime falling – Kit’s capable hand on tiller” etc etc.
The real reasons are, of course, that:
- no Mayor of London really has the time to be Mayor and be a hands-on-tiller detail-minding Chair of the Police Authority
- it avoids any conflicts of interest if the police start investigating any of your chums
- any sensible Mayor wants to have a bit of distance between himself and policing in case/for when things go wrong
This last point is, of course, crucial: Mayor Boris Johnson now has TWO people to sack/say he no longer has confidence in if things go wrong – the Commissioner and Kit Malthouse.