Sir Ian Blair, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, has rushed out a press release claiming that he has been completely exonerated on all the matters relating to the award of the contracts to a company called Impact Plus run by a friend of his.
The Metropolitan Police Authority has now issued a statement saying that, having considered the investigation overseen by Sir Ronnie Flanagan, former Chief Inspector of Constabulary (although he wasn’t ‘former’ when he started his oversight), it wanted to make it “explicit that its decision … does not amount to an exoneration of Sir Ian Blair’s conduct. In particular the sub-committee did not accept the third conclusion reached by Sir Ronnie Flanagan that ‘there is no basis upon which police misconduct proceedings could be recommended against anyone involved in this investigation’. … In reaching this decision the Authority wishes to make it clear that the sub-committee were only considering the conduct of Sir Ian Blair.”
I was not part of the Committee that considered the investigation report, nor have I seen it. However, I do have the utmost confidence in the collective judgement of those colleagues who were involved. So if they have said that their conclusions do not amount to an exoneration, I at least take it seriously.
Incidentally, there seems to be some suggestion that the MPA stance is part of some ‘vendetta’ against Sir Ian Blair on the part of Mayor Boris Johnson. The facts are that Mayor Johnson, nor his representative on Earth, Uber Vice Chair and Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse, were not privy to the discussions on the Flanagan report, and as far as I know neither has seen it.
Presumably, what Sir Ian was trying to do was declare ‘victory’ or at least proclaim ‘exoneration’, in the hope that journalists would not look at what the MPA had actually said. And this was presumably why his statement was made so late in the day and without giving the MPA any warning that it was due to be made.