29 June 2022
Andrew Mitchell calls on Government to consider looking to the military for a new Metropolitan Police Commissioner

Following the Government statement on the decision to place the Metropolitan Police Service in the “engage” process, Andrew Mitchell highlights the importance of the quality of leadership at the very top and urges the Government to look to the military for a new Police Commissioner.

Mr Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) (Con)

One of the principal problems, bluntly, with the Metropolitan police is the quality of leadership at the very top, which determines the quality of leadership at street level. As the Minister seeks very diligently to find a new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, will he bear in mind the precedent from some time ago of finding a commissioner from outside the police forces, and bear in mind that within the military establishment there is a cohort of utterly brilliant generals and leaders who could bring those skills to bear on behalf of the Metropolitan police?

Kit Malthouse (Minister for Crime and Policing)

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right to recognise the importance of leadership. I am sure he will be encouraged by the significant investment that we have made in the College of Policing leadership programme, which was designed to produce the future policing leaders. I say from a personal point of view that whether outside people with different professions could run a constabulary is open to question. In the reverse case, I am not sure whether, for example, a police officer could command a battalion in the Army. Also, modern policing is a much more complex environment than it used to be. However, we hope that through the work we are doing on leadership we will develop leaders who can drive policing forward into the 21st century.