Metropolitan Police Authority: public meeting

On the 10th of April I sent this letter to my MP, London Assembly Member, and a couple of Lords that I thought might be sympathetic. Only my London Assembly Member replied:

Thank you for your email. Like you, I was concerned to hear the accounts from people involved in the G20 protests.

You may be aware that the members of the Metropolitan Police Authority will, amongst other issues, discuss the G20 protest and its police operation at their next meeting. As a member of the MPA, I will ensure that the different points will be talked through frank and freely. You may also be interested in a recent statement on the circumstances surrounding Ian Tomlinson's death published by the Labour Group at the GLA.

For your further information, the above-mentioned MPA meeting is open to the public. The meeting will take place at City Hall on 30 April at 10:00 and you would be welcome to watch the proceedings.

In either case, I will keep you updated on the outcome of the meeting.

With best wishes
Joanne McCartney

She attached the following GLA Labour Group statement:

Statement on the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Ian Tomlinson

A spokesman for the Labour group on the London Assembly said: "To maintain confidence in the police, and for the sake of Mr Tomlinson's family, the IPCC investigation into the events surrounding the death of an apparently wholly innocent man should be carried out thoroughly and swiftly.

"If the public is to have confidence in the ability of the police to manage protests in a safe and appropriate manner, the circumstances surrounding Mr Tomlinson's death must be fully disclosed as soon as is practicable. There needs to be a full and open debate on the legitimacy and appropriateness of tactics used on the day. The police have a duty to explain and justify their actions.

"We expect a full report to be presented to the MPA and an open, full and frank debate to take place. While it would not be appropriate to comment on the specific events leading up to Mr Tomlinson's death until a full investigation has been completed, Labour Assembly members and others will be questioning the police about their actions on 1 April.

"Once the IPCC and any criminal investigations have been completed, we expect full disclosure of the circumstances and events leading up to Mr Tomlinson's death and some reassurance that action is being taken to ensure there are no more such tragedies."

Since my point was that I was worried discussion of Ian Tomlinson's death would obscure the wider issues, the statement wasn't particularly interesting to me. But the information about the meeting was.

Boris Johnson and senior Met officers attended a private briefing on April 23rd, in advance of the public meeting tomorrow. Dave Hill writes:

...every account I've heard of yesterday's well-attended private briefing of MPA members by senior Met officers Tim Godwin, Chris Allison and Bob Broadhurst has told of the trio vigorously justifying Operation Glencoe as a whole, even producing film footage to show some demonstrators being violent too.

I've managed to take the day off work tomorrow, and intend to be at the public meeting with a notepad and some awkward questions. We'll let you know how it goes.

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