The Metropolitan Police Authority is in session and the DCiC* (Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse AM) is in the Chair. The meeting has a comparatively heavy agenda – at least in comparison to recent meetings when the Conservative Party’s policy of trying not to discuss anything but the Commissioner’s Report at full Authority meetings.
On the Bill today (sorry, unintentional pun) is the long-awaited report of the MPA’s Civil Liberties Panel on public order policing (arising from the issues around the G20 protests) and approval of the Policing London Business Plan for the next three years. What is more the DCiC has told members that he wants to finish promptly at 12 noon, so that there can be a private meeting of Authority members to discuss the MPA’s own priorities.
This means that the DCiC will have to use his (rarely used) powers of patience, courtesy and charm to get through the business expeditiously without cutting off any members in full flow. So far, he is doing fine.
But everyone is on their best behaviour. Jenny Jones AM is clearly trying to curry favour and is acting as teacher’s pet – fetching the DCiC’s coffee without being asked (of course, I don’t know whether she has put anything in it to induce a mellow haze in the DCiC).
It is left to Anne McMeel, the Metropolitan Police’s Director of Resources, to introduce the first touch of asperity with her put-down of Dee Doocey AM who asks for more detail on the costs of operations and is told that it is in the report to the Finance and Resources Sub-Committee “admittedly on the last page”, implying that Liberal Democrats don’t read all the way through to the end.
But the clock is ticking and the Commissioner’s Report item hasn’t been finished yet and there is only 50 minutes of normal time left. And the DCiC has chewed his way through two pen caps and is shuffling backwards and forwards in his chair.