Members of the Assembly’s police and crime committee today voted in favour of using a unique legal power to summons the Mayor of London to appear at a meeting on December 13, where failure to attend could result in a fine or a three month prison sentence.
The Assembly has also invited former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and former Home Secretary Priti Patel to attend the meeting, though they have no obligation to do so.
It is the second time the committee has used the legal power to put questions to Sadiq Khan over the circumstances surrounding the former Met Commissioner’s resignation, having never been used on a sitting mayor before.
Last week, Mr Khan faced three hours of questioning from Assembly Members as he sat alongside Sir Tom Winsor, author of a report which said Cressida Dick had “felt intimidated” into resigning and that the Mayor of London did not follow “due process”.
At the previous meeting on November 17, Sadiq Khan engaged in a heated exchange with Sir Tom Winsor, who said it was “absurd” for the mayor to claim his report was “biased” or that it “ignored facts”.
Susan Hall, chair of the police and crime committee, said it was an “important” step to summons the mayor but that he had “more questions” to answer following the previous session.
She said: “We found the first summons meeting useful in our scrutiny of decisions made by the mayor and hope that the documents we have summonsed from him will further support this important work.
“However, we believe that there are more questions the mayor needs to answer concerning the resignation of the former commissioner. The Assembly needs to do its job of scrutinising the issues that matter to London and finding out whether lessons need to be learned for the future.”
Six members of the police and crime committee - including all four Conservative members, the one Lib Dem member and one Green Party member – voted in favour of summonsing the mayor for a second time, while all four Labour members voted against.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The mayor’s focus is on working with the new reforming commissioner to rebuild trust and confidence in the Metropolitan police service, make London a safe city for all and support Sir Mark Rowley to drive the step change in culture and performance which Londoners deserve.
“Londoners elected the mayor to hold the Met Commissioner to account and that’s exactly what he has done. The mayor will explain to the London Assembly why it was so important that he held the Met to account and will continue to do so.”