Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Met bosses bow out without bang

The gloves were tipped to come off as punch-drunk Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates faced a final bout after their career KOs.

But the pair refused to land any knockout blows on the Government during their showdown with MPs.

After a chaotic 48 hours which saw the top Scotland Yard officers quit in quick succession, they sidestepped any temptations to call for the Prime Minister to follow suit.

Sir Paul, the outgoing commissioner who appeared in the Commons in full uniform for his final job, attempted to dismiss speculation that he was leaving on bad terms with David Cameron.

"Contrary to much ill-informed media speculation, I'm not leaving because I was pushed, I'm not leaving because I have anything to fear or threatened, I'm not leaving because of any lack of support from the Mayor (Boris Johnson), the Prime Minister (David Cameron) or indeed the Home Secretary (Theresa May)," he said.

"And until the point of informing them of my resignation, their support was very strong and afterwards their comments most generous."

Rather than apportioning blame, he said he was leaving "because I'm a leader".

Sir Paul extended a dignified goodbye to his former assistant commissioner.

"I think the work he has done, particularly in counter-terrorism in this country, has been splendid and I think will be poorer for his passing, frankly," he said.

"However, the Met will recover, the Met has over 50-odd thousand people, the large majority of whom are decent, honest and hard-working."

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