The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has again called on the capital’s most senior police officer to resign over the shooting of an innocent man.
Brian Paddick’s remarks follow the announcement today by the independent police watchdog that no officers from the Metropolitan police will face charges or disciplinary action over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes on July 22nd 2005.
Mr Paddick was the UK’s most senior out gay officer until he stood down as one of the Met’s Deputy Assistant Commissioners in May.
He clashed with Commissioner Sir Ian Blair over when the Met knew that they had shot an innocent man at Stockwell tube station.
Sir Ian insists that he did not know Brazilian Jean Charles De Menezes was not a suicide bomber until the next day.
Mr Paddick gave evidence to an independent investigation that suspicions were raised almost immediately.
Commenting on the decision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) today that no officers will be disciplined, he said:
“This leaves us in the entirely unsatisfactory position where no-one has been held to account for what happened.
“Londoners trust the police with firearms, batons and CS spray on the understanding that if something goes wrong, someone will be held responsible.
“Sir Ian Blair’s claim on the Today programme this morning, cynically timed to shore up his position before the IPCC announcement, that he never even considered resigning, demonstrates breathtaking arrogance.
“I repeat what I have said all along: if no individual officer is to be held to account, the Commissioner must accept responsibility on behalf of the Met and resign.”
Sir Ian has been backed by the current Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and by the Metropolitan Police Authority, who have the power to sack him.
The election for Mayor of London will take place on May 1st 2008. Ken Livingstone will be running for Labour, Sian Berry for the Greens and Boris Johnson for the Conservatives.