Mayor Sadiq Khan refuses to rule out breaking up force

By Noah VickersLocal Democracy Reporting Service

Yui Mok Sadiq Khan with Met Police officersYui MokLondon’s Mayor Sadiq Khan set out a £14.2m plan to raise the Met’s standards in January

Sadiq Khan has refused to rule out breaking up the Metropolitan Police if current efforts to reform it fail.

The Mayor of London warned “nothing is off the table” when it comes to improving the force’s culture.

On Friday, he announced the details of a new London Policing Board to further hold the Met to account.

The board’s creation was a key recommendation made by Baroness Casey in her scathing review of cultures in the Met earlier this year.

Speaking to Times Radio, Mr Khan was asked whether there was the prospect of the Met Police being broken up if the culture did not improve.

He said: “I think… we need to try and see if this works. And if it doesn’t work nothing is off the table.”

When pressed on whether that would include breaking up the force into smaller independent organisations he said “we are not at that stage”.


Referencing Sir Mark Rowley, the Met Police’s commissioner, he said: “Sir Mark himself has had the humility and candour to say he needs around two or three years to turn things around. I think he’s right, by the way. You don’t change a system or culture overnight.”

He said that he wanted a critical part of his mayoralty to be about the reform of the police service.

“It’s incredibly important,” he said. “The way we’ve always done stuff isn’t working. And that’s what the police board is seeking to address as well.”

Earlier on Friday, Mr Khan told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the new board consisted of experts from a wide range of areas.

“This outside expertise will be really important in ensuring we bring about the long-lasting cultural and systematic change in the police service that Londoners so desperately want and need,” he said.

The board’s members include author and educator Stuart Lawrence – the younger brother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence – and Neil Basu, the Met’s former assistant commissioner for specialist operations.

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