Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Deputy Accused of Failing to Attend Key Police Meetings

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Deputy Accused of Failing to Attend Key Police Meetings

Article excerpt

Byline: Pippa Crerar City Hall Editor

BORIS JOHNSON's deputy mayor for policing came under fire today for failing to attend any of the key committees that run the Met.

Kit Malthouse, who will be confirmed as new chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority today, has not been to a single one since the Tories took over 18 months ago. His lack of involvement in the strategic and operational policing committee, in particular, has prompted concern.

The group, which meets every month, devises policy for neighbourhood policing as well as Olympic security and counter-terrorism across the capital.

However, City Hall insiders insisted Mr Malthouse's membership of the three key committees -- which also include the finance and resources committee and the communities, equalities and people committee -- was purely a technicality.

They said that all significant policing issues came before the full MPA, which Mr Malthouse attends, and would end up on his desk. He takes over as chairman of the body, which runs policing in London, after Mr Johnson's decision to step down last month.

A spokesman for Mr Malthouse said: "Any issue of consequence at committee level would come up before the full MPA anyway. It was never the intention that he would turn up to all of these committees or he would never have time for anything else.

"Kit's critics fundamentally misunderstand the nature of management. It is not about clocking in and out, it's about applying yourself to the important decisions at the level that is relevant to your position."

The three main committees, and ones on corporate governance and standards, come up with policy proposals which are then ratified by the full MPA. However, critics suggested Mr Malthouse's failure to attend the meetings reflected a lack of commitment. They cited his other jobs, including finance director of a City hedge fund, as proof he had too much on his plate.

Jenny Jones, Green Party member of the MPA, said: "When the Mayor stepped down, questions were asked about the time he has been able to dedicate to policing issues. …

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