Met Chief Defends Boris Johnson's Neighbours' Decision To Call Police

Nadine White

Britain’s most senior police officer has defended Boris Johnson’s neighbour’s decision to call the police over an apparent row between the politician and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds.

Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari on Tuesday, Cressida Dick said she had ‘no view’ on whether people should make recordings of their neighbours in such circumstances.

“I think it is important that people call the police when they’re worried about somebody, of course. That’s as far as it goes,” she said.

“I’m a police officer and we ask people to tell us if they’re worried about somebody.

“It can be helpful for us if there is evidence of a crime, of course, that we’re then going to be investigating, if somebody has made some sort of recording that can be very helpful.”

But she said in an instance where both parties were fine and no crime had been committed, the force would not have released the recording to the media.

The recording of the row between Johnson and Symonds was passed to the Guardian newspaper on Friday.

The neighbours said they heard “screaming, shouting and banging” between the couple.

“In an incident where we have been called because somebody is worried about somebody else, and when we get there both parties are fine and there are no offences, we would not put that into the public domain,” Dick added.

On Monday, a picture of Johnson and Symonds having a chat in the countryside, allegedly taken over the weekend, was splashed on the front page of the Evening Standard.

The senior police officer also told the radio presenter that said she personally looked at drug admissions made by the contenders for the Conservative Party leadership - but there would not be enough evidence to bring charges.

Dick said such action would not be in the public interest and the events took place too long ago for there to be sufficient evidence.

Michael Gove admitted that he took cocaine on a number of occasions more than 20 years ago, while Johnson said he thought he had been offered it once, but he sneezed so that it did not go up his nose.

Rory Stewart said he had smoked opium in Iran 15 years ago, while Jeremy Hunt said he drank a cannabis lassi while backpacking in India.

Dick said: “We have had a very quick look at all the things that have been in the public domain.

“You have to satisfy two things. Firstly is there evidence and secondly, the CPS would have to decide would it be in the public interest to take any action.

“Of course with things being so historic, it’s almost certainly not in the public interest but actually in the cases that we have read about, and I’m not talking about any of them specifically, but in all those cases there is no sign that there would be sufficient evidence.”

She said she had personally looked at the information available and considered it on the basis of law and advice given in previous cases by the Crown Prosecution Service.

“I looked at it myself,” Dick told Ferrari.

“I just said to my team, somebody’s going to ask me the exact question. I think I know the answer but let’s just double check.

“The answer is on the basis of what we know, on what we’ve seen, there is no sign whatsoever that there would be sufficient evidence to take somebody to court, so we won’t be doing any investigating.”

The Metropolitan Police chief said she would not be making any similar confession as “I have never, ever taken any drugs at all”.

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