James O'Brien Tells Sadiq Khan: You Don't Sound Like You Care Enough About Knife Crime
7 March 2019, 11:36
James O'Brien told Sadiq Khan that he doesn't sound like he is kept awake at night by the knife crime crisis which is engulfing London.
The Mayor is also the Police and Crime Commissioner for London, in charge of the Metropolitan Police.
With five people being stabbed to death in England in the space of a week, Sadiq explained how he is increasing business rates to pay for youth services.
But James told him: "The problem here is that you never sound as if you accept that you have been doing something wrong or you could have done something different.
"People's children are dying. The deaths are now seeping into sections of society that don't expect to be dealing with this on a daily basis. Tragically, we live in a city where some communities do expect to be dealing with this sort of crime on a daily basis.
"Every time you come in here, you're fluent, you're persuasive, you're convincing. But you never give anybody the vaguest impression that this a) keeps you awake at night and b) it could in some sense be partly your fault."
Mr Khan responded: "I hope you can see from my face the impact it has on my well-being and my health in relation to my concerns about safety.
"I meet bereaved families all the time. I can't believe anybody who meets a bereaved family doesn't have an effect on them. I've been to too many funerals. I've met too many bereaved and grieving siblings.
"I'm not making excuses for my imperfections."
When James asked for one thing he wished he'd done differently, Mr Khan responded: "I wish I'd been more effective in getting the Prime Minister to meet me."
But James told him: "That's passing the blame to the Prime Minister again."
It was a fascinating exchange. Watch it at the top of the page.