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Boris Johnson refuses to say if Cressida Dick is 'right' for Met Commissioner

28 July 2021, 10:38

By Fiona Jones

This is the moment Boris Johnson repeatedly refused to answer whether Dame Cressida Dick is the right person to be Met Commissioner.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Nick Ferrari, the Prime Minister was grilled over an abundance of issues, including the pay freeze for police officers and the Government's Covid travel policy.

Read more: 'Getting jabs will help, not hinder you' as England moves out of lockdown, PM tells LBC

Boris Johnson outlined to LBC's Nick Ferrari the method he would use to combat county lines and drug-based criminality: "You need to be dealing with their problems, you need to be putting money into rehab, into their mental health, away from the disaster that they're making of their lives.

"You've got to come down like a ton of bricks."

Nick commented that Dame Cressida "is not doing this", which the Prime Minister refused to acknowledge.

Mr Johnson continued: "What I'm trying to get is a twin track strategy: come down tough on the county lines drug trains: wrap them up, roll them up, we've done 1,000 already, but also look after the chronic drug users, the tragic characters that get involved."

Nick questioned: "Is Dame Cressida Dick the woman to push this through?"

"I think that she's a formidable police officer," Mr Johnson replied and, again failing to directly answer Nick's repeated question, said it was a "matter for the Mayor of London and the Home Secretary."

Alongside being grilled about the Met's chief, Nick pushed the Prime Minister on police pay after the Home Office's decision to freeze police earning £24,000 or more between this year and 2022. Those earning less than this amount will receive an additional £250.

"You’ll know that any police officer who’s earning above £24,000 per annum gets no pay rise," Nick said.

"Anything below that gets £250 per year. That’s about 60-something pence a day. It’s the cost of a Mars bar. I know we want a thin blue line, but this is ridiculous."

Mr Johnson replied: "The objective is to thicken the blue line with more officers and that’s what we’re doing."

He added: "No one would want to pay our fantastic police more than I would. We’re just going through a tough time financially for the government and I think most people do understand that.

"I just ask people to recognise that, but also that the government is doing what it can to expand police numbers as fast as we can."

Watch in full: Nick Ferrari interviews Prime Minister Boris Johnson