White smoke over New Scotland Yard – new Commissioner to be named tomorrow morning

I am told that the name of the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner will be announced tomorrow morning at 9am.  There is to be a photocall with Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Mayor Boris Johnson.  Mayor Johnson (he is the Latin scholar after all) will say “Habemus Papam”.  There will be a puff of white smoke and when it clears there – revealed – will be the new Commissioner.

The Home Secretary and the Mayor having interviewed the final two candidates – Sir Hugh Orde (Chief Constable of Northern Ireland) and Sir Paul Stephenson (Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police) – on Monday.  I hear that they readily reached a consensus on which of the two was the best person to succeed Sir Ian Blair and the Home Secretary has now made her formal recommendation to the Queen.

I genuinely do not know which of the two it will be. 

However, the good news is that the Home Secretary and the Mayor agreed on the choice – so whichever one of the final two it turns out to be will take up the role with the confidence and support of both the Mayor of London (and Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority) and the Home Secretary. 

What is more the person who is appointed will have been chosen from what is probably the strongest and most impressive field there has ever been for the Commissioner’s job.  

Either of the final two candidates would make an impressive Commissioner.   They would each bring their own styles to the job, but whichever it turns out to be, I wish them well.

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