As panic starts to grip Ken and the London Labour Party things are getting pretty desperate. Gordon lies at PMQs regularly that Boris wants to cut police numbers – as if a Tory mayor would ever cut back on coppers. Now Ken is pulling whatever levers he can to hold on to power. London’s transport commissar, Peter Hendy, has ordered his spin team to counter the popular Boris message on killer bendy-buses. Transport for London has also told taxi drivers not to issue receipts with “Back Boris” logos. Guido understands that 50,000 books of these receipts have already been snapped up by cabbies. This is a mistake by Ken, cabbies are not ones to succumb to authority. Petty diktaks like this will only get their backs up and ensure they do back Boris.
More sinister are the implicit threats to police funding hinted at if police sources don’t stop telling the truth about the appalling safety record of Ken’s bendy-buses. Ken clearly favours his friend Castro’s policing methods, where the police follow the party line…
In the comments there was some dispute about whether Hendy threatened police funding. Here is the quote from an email: “The statements clearly come from the Met traffic officers involved in the investigation (and are manifestly incorrect). It makes me inclined to cut support for TOCU in future budgets as clearly their support for us is limited to taking money and is one way.”
TOCU is the Transport Operational Command Unit, the Met division charged with tackling road safety and bus crime. Funded by TfL, it has 1,200 police officers, community support officers and traffic wardens and is a key part of the Met’s anti-crime strategy.