"We envisage the Mayor of London being the elected police commissioner. This would strengthen the role of the Mayor. However, I'm absolutely clear that no reform we introduce will allow any elected politician to interfere in operational policing and we will make absolutely certain that the independence of operational policing is protected in law."
Under Tory proposals the mayor will be responsible for hiring and firing chief constables, tailoring police objectives to local requirements and budgeting. Naturally, the contrarians are gathering. I give it 24 hours before Sir Hugh Orde threatens his prospective resignation, an offer I would have no hesitation in accepting. The opposition harp on about the dangers of ‘politicising’ the police, evoking the fearsome spectre of a Toff Gestapo. Those arguments are fatuous. Making elected representatives more accountable for public service provision cannot diminish democracy, to suggest so is an absurdity. The Tories must ensure that the police can’t close ranks behind illogical sensationalism.