Sarah Everard: Mayor candidate Shaun Bailey condemns Khan's 'failure' to handle vigil

15 March 2021, 20:55

By Fiona Jones

London Mayor candidate Shaun Bailey condemns Sadiq Khan's 'lack of leadership' over the vigil for Sarah Everard on Saturday.

In ugly scenes, officers clashed with crowds gathered on Clapham Common in south London to remember the 33-year-old woman who went missing while walking home from a friend's flat on March 3.

Serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with kidnapping and murdering the marketing executive.

Read more: Sarah Everard: Met officer facing probe after 'sending inappropriate graphic'

Mr Bailey reflected on what he believed to be Sadiq Khan's poor handling of the vigil: "I would have approached the police and said if you think we could do this operationally...let's give them a route....so it'd be spaced out.

"This has to happen, there's a huge level of anger, anguish and worry and we need to let that outpouring happen."

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Iain said that reportedly the Metropolitan Police made the operational decision not to engage with the organisers of the vigil.

Mr Bailey responded: "The Mayor of London is the police commissioner...did he sanction this level of policing? Is it a surprise to him? If he didn't know he should have done, and if he sanctioned it there's questions to be answered.

"The idea that he couldn't be involved in this decision is patently wrong."

Iain rebutted this claim, stating that the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner is "not to get involved in operational decisions and this was an operational matter."

He asked: "Are you saying if you were Mayor of London you would have tried to get involved in the operational decision?"

Mr Bailey said he would have "had a conversation" with Dame Cressida Dick, adding, "Sadiq Khan turned up and helped BLM happen, he helped Extinction Rebellion, but he was absent when this happened? He had a direct conversation with the police about those two events."

"He is their boss and he can and should have an opinion. We need to know...why he didn't take any leadership at all."

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