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  Revealed: the Tory plot that forced out Met chief Blair
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ContributorNew Jerusalem 
Last EditedNew Jerusalem  Oct 04, 2008 05:37am
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MediaNewspaper - Guardian
News DateSaturday, October 4, 2008 11:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionSir Ian Blair was forced to resign as Britain's top police officer in a Tory coup engineered by Boris Johnson, who insisted no permanent successor needed to be appointed until the Conservatives took over in Downing Street, the Guardian can reveal.

In a dramatic showdown between the two, the mayor of London made it clear that Blair had to quit his post as Metropolitan police commissioner. Friends of Blair said last night that when the commissioner suggested he should stay until a replacement had been found, he was told: "We don't want a successor appointed. We will have an acting arrangement until a Conservative home secretary arrives."

Johnson's attempt to put himself above the law and appoint the next commissioner was immediately challenged by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, who has been left privately seething by the mayor's flexing of muscles. By statute only the home secretary can appoint and dismiss a Met police commissioner. "There's a process in place that the mayor chose not to respect," Smith said last night.

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