Sir Ian Blair survives extraordinary leadership crisis meeting

Last updated at 14:57 25 October 2007

Scotland Yard chief Sir Ian Blair survived an extraordinary crisis meeting over his leadership today.

He won backing from members of the Metropolitan Police Authority in the row over a performance bonus but only after the watchdog took the unprecedented step of excluding the press and public from these discussions.

Sir Ian has faced criticism over apparently pushing for a £25,000 performance bonus at a time when the Met was facing a criminal trial over the shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes.

The Commissioner is said to have clashed with his deputy Paul Stephenson over the bonus issue and a series of other matters.

The row erupted at the weekend when it emerged that Sir Ian had made it known that he wanted to receive a £25,000 performance bonus after bringing crime down to a 10-year low.

However Mr Stephenson put it on record that he was refusing his right to a bonus and in doing so put pressure on Sir Ian to do the same. The matter led to Sir Ian sending his deputy a handwritten letter which in effect accused him of disloyalty.

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Glen Smyth, who represents rank and file officers, said: "If anyone has any evidence that the Commissioner is not performing they should come forward. This was a discussion about a bonus between two individuals."

He said the commissioner had the full support of the majority of his members. MPA chairman Len Duvall speaking afterwards added: "The Commissioner said his relationship with his deputy was robust."

He also said individuals had deliberated about taking a bonus and in Sir Ian's case he "came to the view that he was not going to take the bonus".

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