Exclusive

Sadiq Khan tells LBC he won’t force the Met Police to release Partygate pictures

17 February 2022, 12:22 | Updated: 17 February 2022, 12:58

By Liam Gould

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has told LBC he will not insist that the Metropolitan Police release Partygate photographs in their possession.

Speaking exclusively to James O'Brien, Mr Khan said: “Just think how inappropriate it would be for me - a Labour Mayor - getting involved in operational matters where a Conservative politician is being investigated.

“I’ve got no influence in relation to whether the police do investigate Boris Johnson, and what’s published.

“I’ve always been as the Mayor cognisant of the importance of me understanding which side of the line I should be on.

“There are some countries around the world where the police do have their arms twisted in relation to operational issues."

It comes after reports that the Cabinet Office have asked the Met Police to confirm the 300 photographs under investigation from the Partygate scandal will not be made public.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, along with a number of other officials, were sent questionnaires by the Police as part of the investigation.

Read more: Emotional Sadiq Khan denies claims he issued an ultimatum to force Cressida Dick out of the Met

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has told LBC he won't force the Met police to release the Partygate photos.
The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has told LBC he won't force the Met police to release the Partygate photos. Picture: LBC/Alamy

Read more: Back to the Cold War: Russian threat could last a generation, minister warns

James asked: “It is reported today that the Cabinet Office asked the Met not to publish any photographs that may have come up in their investigations on the numerous Downing Street parties. Who holds the heft?”

Mr Khan replied: “Well there’s two issues here. One is the what the Cabinet Office does or doesn’t do - that’s an issue for the Government in publishing photographs.

“We believe in open trials, there are very few trials that are held in secret. Open justice leads to greater public confidence.

“We’ve got to be very careful about an impression being given that there’s a cover-up, or one rule for the Prime Minister and his colleagues, one rule for the rest of us.

He added: “I’d say to those that are involved in the prosecution and those in the Cabinet Office, you should be doing a job without fear or favour.

“Let’s not change the rules because of requests from the Prime Minister, or a perception of consequence if you don’t”.

Mr Khan made the comments during a Speak to Sadiq segment on LBC on Thursday, where he also dismissed claims he forced Cressida Dick out of the Met.

He told James: "That isn't the position. But I'm not going to hide my anger and disgust at these officers."

Mr Khan was referring to the officers who were the subject of the damning Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) report into behaviour at Charing Cross police station.

James asked: "You didn't say sack these officers or go?"

Mr Khan replied: "No. I didn't."

"It is not the case that the commissioner was given an ultimatum to sack them or she would be sacked," he reiterated.

It comes after a report in The Times said the mayor asked Dame Cressida to sack the officers at the centre of the Charing Cross scandal or face suspension herself.