Sunday, December 07, 2008

Boris at risk of investigation over Green raid.

Boris Johnson faces possible suspension or removal from the office of Mayor of London after he clumsily inserted himself into the recent controversial police raid on the Commons offices of Damien Green.

As chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority Johnson is supposed to keep himself above the fray of any police investigation but complaints about Johnson's behaviour allege that he is guilty of four 'clear and serious' code of conduct breaches by speaking to Green and by publicly prejudging the outcome of a police inquiry.

Len Duvall, leader of the Labour group on the London Assembly, says in a letter to the MPA's chief executive, Catherine Crawford, that Johnson had brought the mayor's office into 'disrepute'. The letter is understood to have been acknowledged by the MPA and the assembly's monitoring officer, who investigates allegations of misconduct in public office. An assembly source said: 'In effect, an investigation is already under way.'

Investigators will now have 10 days to decide whether the mayor should face a formal inquiry by the local government watchdog, the Standards Board for England, which could see Johnson banned from public office for up to five years if found guilty of misconduct.

In his letter, Duvall says Johnson should never have contacted his 'friend and ex-colleague' Green, adding: 'Mr Johnson has committed a serious breach of the codes of conduct and undermined the relationship between the chair of the MPA and the Metropolitan Police Service.'

Johnson also said that the Whitehall leak inquiry was unlikely to 'yield either a charge or a successful prosecution'. Duvall believes the mayor's prejudgment 'potentially corrupted' the high-profile inquiry.

It is not for the Mayor of London to phone people being investigated by the police and it is certainly not for him to come out publicly claiming the investigation will come to naught, especially when the person being investigated is a friend of his.

But this kind of buffoonery is the very thing which most of us feared would happen when London elected this man to be our Mayor. He is literally a walking gaffe machine and the only surprise is that it has taken him so long to actually cross the line.

When he was an MP making disgraceful racist comments people forgave him saying, "That's just Boris!", but the role of Mayor of London carries far more responsibility than the role Boris undertook looking after the denizens of Henley.

He now represents one of the world's major cities and heads that city's Police Authority. And it was as head of that Police Authority that he has publicly spoken out against one of his own police force's investigations.

Were this anyone else, one could expect action to be taken against them immediately. But, as happens so often, I wouldn't be surprised if people say, "Oh, that's just Boris!"

The fact that he is an utter buffoon is actually the greatest defence anyone in Boris's position has ever enjoyed.

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