Sir Ian Blair used public money to pay a close friend a five figure sum to sharpen his image, it has emerged.Clearly, it didn’t work. Hope they got
The beleaguered Scotland Yard chief employed Andy Miller to advise him on how to 'make the transition' when he took over as Britain's top officer three years ago.
Mr Miller's company briefed Sir Ian, then Deputy Metropolitan Police Commissioner, on his communications strategy, leadership style and the key messages he should hammer home.Well, that’s probably scotched any new deals Impact Plus might be able to get. Who wants ‘advisor to Sir Ian Blair on communications’ on their resume…?
But incredibly, no other company was invited to bid for the so-called 'vanity contract', understood to be worth more than £15,000.
Details of the image makeover deal surfaced during an inquiry into a series of contracts awarded by the Met to Mr Miller's company, Impact Plus, during Sir Ian's time in office.
Still, though it seems the knives are out for Sir Ian at last, it appears they are in no hurry to strike just yet. He still has one last duty to perform – that of scapegoat:
The Metropolitan Police Authority is under mounting pressure to suspend Sir Ian.You know, if David Cameron was as politically-savvy as he claims to be, it’d be worth a lot of votes, I suspect, if he announced his plans to ensure that the loophole allowing self-serving toadies like Sir Ian to resign their commission rather than face the music was firmly closed.
Never before in modern times has the head of the Met suffered the indignity of being forcibly removed from office.
Last month Sir Ian effectively suspended the country's top Asian policeman, Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, for holding a press conference to outline his racial discrimination claims against the Met.
The allegations that Sir Ian faces are potentially far more serious, yet so far he has not been suspended from his post.
Insiders said nervousness around the contracts issue reflected the desire to keep Sir Ian in post until the end of the year to take the fall-out from the Stockwell shooting inquest.
A number of influential police figures would prefer Sir Ian to quit at the end of the inquest rather than face disciplinary proceedings over his links to Mr Miller.
Update (Ed - typical! Two good rants prepared for posting, then events overtake them! This is the first...): He's gone! And aiming a parting shot at Boris Johnson as he goes:
He said London mayor Boris Johnson, who took over as chairman of the police authority on Wednesday, had told him he wanted a "change in leadership".Yeah, sure, Mr Blair. We believe that's the real reason...not!
Sir Ian said that "without the mayor's backing I do not think I can continue in the job".