Still on his skiing holiday in Italy, Scrapbook reported yesterday on the bizarre delay in London’s mayor issuing a statement on the Stephen Lawrence trial — but perhaps his previous statements can explain why.
Boris Johnson has stated that the police are the “victims” of the Macpherson report into the murder and claimed that reforms flowing from the inquiry meant police “were all stuck on racial awareness programmes”. The mayor even called vital evidence given by Lawrence’s best friend Duwayne Brooks, who was with him when he died and is now a councillor in Lewisham, “unreliable”.
In a series of articles for the Telegraph and Spectator from 1999 to 2002, Johnson casts the Lawrence case and the Macpherson report as a left-wing witchhunt against the establishment and police:
“It is an article of faith on the Left that those five, seen on video engaging in racist rants, were guilty, and that only police incompetence failed to nab them. I am not sure how far Macpherson shares that assumption.”
In January 2010, Boris Johnson quit as chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority despite his election manifesto pledge to chair the body which oversees the police in London. The fact of his ambivalence towards difficult policing issues was brought into painful relief last March when he went on a bike-riding photo call with Arnold Schwarzenegger instead of chairing a meeting about the controversial death of a black singer in police custody.
Perhaps Boris should give the residents of Eltham a recap on his views.