Sunday shows: Khan says “could” argue Met failing based on falling public trust

Katie Neame

Sunday Morning

London mayor Sadiq Khan said, if trust and confidence were the criteria being used to measure whether the Metropolitan Police is failing, “you could” say the force is failing – though he added that the Met has made “huge progress” in reducing crime.

  • On the Jubilee celebrations: “Without doubt, a huge success. The first three days have been amazing. The pageant today is going to be amazing. The weather’s not going to dampen anyone’s spirits. The whole world has been watching our great city and paying tribute to our Majesty.”
  • On the current disruptions to the travel industry: “We’ve been warned for months, if not a year or so in advance, of the work required to make sure our airports are ready, recruiting staff, whether it’s a labour shortage or a skills shortage. Making sure that the monies the government gave to aviation, there are proper strings attached. And what upsets me most is, huge strings attached to TFL in relation to the money they gave us, no strings it appears attached to double the money given to aviation. The government should recognise there are shortages in this occupation of those who work in aviation. That means opening up these jobs to those from the European Union who were doing these jobs before. Because what we don’t want is this spring misery turned into a summer misery.”
  • Pressed on whether the issues can be resolved before the summer holidays: “What you can do very easily is to make sure those who were in those jobs before who have gone back to country of origin from the EU are encouraged to come back. What the government’s gotta do is get round the table with the aviation sector, the airports, those who run the airlines, to see what exactly their problems are. If it is a shortage of occupation, change the list to make sure those can come here easier than other occupations. This is self-inflicted from the government. It isn’t about Covid, this is about Brexit plus Covid.”
  • On the Metropolitan Police investigation into ‘partygate’: “What I’ve done throughout this process is to not get involved with operational matters for very good reasons. I’m a political opponent and the police and crime commissioner. What I did ask the police to do, though, after the investigation was finished because of the concerns you’ve raised… which is important to be addressed when we rely upon trust and confidence in the public’s cooperation. So the Met Police service have published the criteria they used in relation to deciding who receives a fixed-penalty notice and who doesn’t. What I haven’t seen, of course, is the evidence that led to the police applying that criteria to individual cases.”
  • On how the Met reached its conclusions: “There’s a court case taking place where this hopefully will be resolved and separately there’s been a complaint made to the IOPC. I accept it does look odd in relation to photographs we’ve now seen, in relation to the knowledge we now have about who received a fixed-penalty notice and who didn’t. What’s undisputed, though, is there was a culture of law-breaking in Downing Street.”
  • On suggestions the Met investigation may not have investigated as thoroughly as it could have to avoid upsetting No 10: “I don’t know whether it is true. But that perception has gotta be addressed. Why? Because the police must police without fear or favour, because that’s how we rely on the society we’ve got, policing by consent. And because those concerns are being aired because people feel that, even more reason for, if there is a court case, for all this to be looked at in the court case.”
  • Asked whether the public need to know the thinking behind the Met’s decisions to have full trust in the investigation: “I agree. But I think it’s improper for me as a Labour politician who is the police and crime commissioner to be seen to be applying undue pressure to the police.”
  • On whether the Met is a failing police force: “I think it has real challenges. By the way, it’s possible to say and recognise the dedicated, decent, brave officers we have in the Met Police service, but to also say we’ve got real problems. Real problems that have been shown recently in relation to evidence of over systemic sexism, racism, homophobia, discrimination, misogyny. Which need to be addressed. And what’s really important is that the new commissioner, appointed by the Home Secretary, and she’ll be consulting me, understands the challenges we have as a police service and has steps to address those challenges. But also win back the trust and confidence of too many Londoners that has been lost.”
  • Pressed on whether the Met is a failing police force: “One of the things that concerns me is the trust and confidence going downwards and so in that regard we’re losing trust and confidence. And if that’s the criteria for measurement then you could say so. But actually in relation to crime going down, violent crime, youth violence, knife crime with injury, burglary, homicides, I could go on – making huge progress in relation to reducing those crimes that people care about. And when there are those crimes, victims suffer horribly, bereaved families suffer for the rest of their lives, The police have made really good progress over the last six years in reducing those crimes but I can’t escape the fact that too many people in our city haven’t got the confidence they should have in our police service.”
  • Asked whether knife crime as a whole has risen during his time as mayor: “The figure today versus 2016, it’s going down… We’re determined, the police, myself, to reduce it even further.”
  • Asked how he has allowed things with the Met to get so bad: “One of the reasons why I lost confidence in the previous commissioner was my lack of confidence in her plans to address the two big issues – is addressing the systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny you talked about, but also the trust and confidence required from our public, we need police by consent.”
  • Pressed on why Cressida Dick’s contract as commissioner was renewed: “The Home Secretary did renew the commissioner’s contract. This information came to light afterwards. I think the public knows my views in relation to these areas and the former commissioner.”
  • On whether he would look to replace Keir Starmer if the Labour leader resigned over ‘beergate’: “No, but I’ll tell you this, it’s a good compare and contrast about the integrity of Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner versus Johnson and Sunak.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he does not expect Boris Johnson to face a vote of no confidence this week. Pressed on whether he thinks the Prime Minister would win such a vote if one was to take place, Shapps declared: “Yes, he will.”

On the poll in the Sunday Times, which gave Labour a 20-point lead among voters in Wakefield, Shapps said it was best with all elections to “allow the people to speak” at the ballot box and “allow the process to play out”.

On the Jubilee crowds booing the Prime Minister, Shapps said politicians “don’t expect to be popular all the time”. He added that he thinks presenter Sophie Raworth was “over-interpreting” the incident, noting that there was booing at the Olympics in 2012 but the Conservatives still won the 2015 general election.

Asked whether holidaymakers would experience delays in the summer holidays, Shapps said “they absolutely mustn’t” and added that airports, airlines and the travel industry need to make sure the situation is “sorted out”. On whether Brexit is playing a role in the current disruptions, Shapps claimed that the “same problems” are being seen in Europe, so the situation cannot just have been caused by Brexit.

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