Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 17:17 UK

Full text: Sir Ian Blair resigns

Sir Ian Blair
Sir Ian Blair will step down at the start of December

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair is standing down from his post after saying he had lost the backing of London mayor Boris Johnson.

Here is the full text of his resignation statement at New Scotland Yard.

I was appointed as the 24th Metropolitan Police Commissioner in February 2005. Since that time, it has been the proudest task of my life to lead the men and women of the Metropolitan Police.

I believe that the record of the Met under my command in relation to the expansion of neighbourhood policing, reduced crime, increased detection, improved public confidence and our response to terrorism has been a worthy one.

It is the duty of the commissioner to lead the Met through good times and bad: to accept the burdens and pressures of office and, above all, to be a steward of the service he commands.

I have today offered my resignation as commissioner to the home secretary, which she has reluctantly but graciously accepted.

I am resigning not because of any failures by my service and not because the pressures of the office and the many stories that surround it are too much.

'Unable to continue'

I am resigning in the best interests of the people of London and the Metropolitan Police Service. I would have wished to continue to serve Londoners until my term of office expired in February 2010.

However, at a meeting yesterday, the new Mayor made clear, in a very pleasant but determined way, that he wished there to be a change of leadership at the Met.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson put law and order at the centre of his mayoral campaign

I understand that to serve effectively the commissioner must have the confidence of both the mayor and the home secretary.

Without the mayor's backing, I do not consider that I can continue in the job.

Personally I see no bar to working effectively with the new mayor, but it is there that we differ and hence I am unable to continue.

The home secretary has asked that I should stay for enough time for the process of appointing my successor to be got under way.

I will therefore leave office on December 1, 2008, giving the home secretary and Metropolitan Police Authority time to make plans for the appointment of my successor.

I offer Boris Johnson and his team at City Hall and at the Police Authority the very best of fortune.

'Affection'

I say to the people of London that I believe that, in the Metropolitan Police service, they have a quite wonderful institution made up of extraordinary men and women, who daily risk their lives on your behalf.

I say to those men and women and the staff who support them that they are part of one of the greatest police services in the world.

This great institution will always have a central place of affection in my heart.

Thank you very much.



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