Police Chief "Disappointed" After Officers Used As Backdrop For Boris Johnson Speech

6 September 2019, 14:50 | Updated: 6 September 2019, 14:56

Prime Minister Boris Johnson used police officers as a backdrop for a political speech
Prime Minister Boris Johnson used police officers as a backdrop for a political speech. Picture: PA

The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police has said he was disappointed to see his officers used as a backdrop to a political speech by Boris Johnson.

During a visit to the West Yorkshire Police training facility, Boris Johnson was set to announce the launch of the national recruitment campaign for an extra 20,000 police officers.

But, with a backdrop of 35 police officers the Prime Minister gave a speech which contained comments abut Brexit and a possible election, Mr Johnson faced widespread condemnation.

Chief Constable John Robins said West Yorkshire Police believed that officers would only be involved in a speech about police officer recruitment. He said: "We had no prior knowledge that the speech would be broadened to other issues until it was delivered."

West Yorkshire Police said moments before the speech, they were told that a visit to a police helicopter base, and media briefing had been cancelled. Chief Constable Robin said: "I was therefore disappointed to see my police officers as a backdrop to the part of the speech that was not related to recruitment.”

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said there was no way police officers should have been used as a background should have formed a backdrop to a speech of that nature.

He said: "I have asked the Chief Constable John Robins for a full explanation around what happened and he is already aware of my dismay and wider concerns this has created and that the public and the media saw through the attempts by Boris Johnson to cloak his political speech under the guise of police recruitment announcements."