I welcome the appointment of Bernard Hogan-Howe as new London Met Commissioner.
Hogan-Howe beat three other candidates, including Tim Godwin currently acting in the role, to the five-year appointment. The other two candidates were Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House and ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde.
The position of Commissioner became vacant after Sir Paul Stephenson resigned amid criticism of the Met's handling of the phone hacking case. The appointment makes Hogan-Howe the third Met Commissioner in three years. Shortly coming to office Mayor or London Boris Johnson forced the resignation of Stephenson's predecessor Sir Ian Blair.
Nevertheless, if we are to have a new Commissioner, then he is an excellent appointment. In 2001 I was a member of the interview panel that appointed Bernard Hogan-Howe into the post that brought him into the Metropolitan Police Services as Assistant Commissioner of Human Resources. I believe he has the track record and the personal integrity to lead the service at this time of immense challenge, in terms of public confidence, dealing with the long term issues arising from the recent civil unrest on our streets, and preparing for the major challenge of policing the forthcoming 2012 Olympic Games.
I guess the biggest challenge though, as my Labour colleague Ken Livingstone has stated, is the need to protect frontline police services in the months ahead in the face of the cuts being proposed by Mayor Johnson and the Coalition Government.