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  • Writer's pictureSusan Hall AM

Sadiq Khan Summonsed over Winsor report, first formal summons of this nature for a sitting Mayor

  • The Mayor could face three months in prison if he fails to attend and answer questions over the circumstances around Dame Cressida Dick’s departure.


  • This is the first time a sitting Mayor has been formally summonsed in this way. The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee has a unique summons power which has been invoked for the first time, under Section 33 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.


  • Last month, the Winsor Report found that Sadiq Khan had ‘breached due process’ and committed an ‘abuse of the power conferred upon him,’ after the Commissioner was ‘intimidated’ into quitting.


The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee today voted to formally summons the Mayor to appear and answer questions over the Winsor Report, the special commission into the circumstances around Dame Cressida Dick’s departure.


The committee voted 5-4 in favour of the motion, which compels Sadiq Khan to attend the committee at 10am on 16 November 2022. Sir Tom Winsor has also been invited to attend.


This is the first time a sitting Mayor has been formally summonsed in this way. The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee has a unique summons power which has been invoked for the first time, under Section 33 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. This legislation extends to the committee the formal summons power defined in Sections 61-65 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999. Sadiq Khan is required to attend by law, and could face a fine or a maximum sentence of three months in prison if he fails to attend.


The Winsor Report found Sadiq Khan had “failed to respect the dignity of the Commissioner as an individual, and as the holder of high public office.” Its findings included:


  • Dame Cressida Dick faced “political pressure” to resign “outside the established statutory procedure and contrary to the wider legislative scheme,” and that this was a “classic instance of constructive dismissal.” In doing so, the Mayor committed “an abuse of the power conferred upon him.”


  • The Mayor allegedly used football analogies to undermine the Commissioner, saying that “one or other of us is going to end up being substituted.” Sadiq Khan defended his actions by saying the issues with the Met Police “might have an adverse effect on his standing for election in 2024.”


  • Sadiq Khan “insisted” that the Commissioner sack all police officers who were investigated under Operation Hotton, including those found with no case to answer. When he was told this would not comply with the law and would breach due process, he replied “Do it anyway.”


  • Sir Tom Winsor said “to be given under an hour to decide whether to resign or to challenge the mayor’s position was entirely unacceptable.”


  • He suggested a series of reforms to the Home Secretary, including boosting the London Assembly’s powers, to ensure this does not happen again.


Susan Hall AM, leader of the GLA Conservatives and Chairman of the Police and Crime Committee, said:


“The Sir Tom Winsor review has raised important questions about the circumstances under which the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner stood down.


The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee has statutory powers to summons the Mayor, which we have used for the first time today.


We believe that given the seriousness of the review’s findings, the Mayor needs to address the unanswered questions that have emerged. The public will rightly want to know what happened and what lessons need to be learned for the future."

 
Sir Tom Winsor Independent Review on departure of Metropolitan Police Commissioner
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