Pro-Palestine protesters scale scaffolding near Hyde Park
The one thing that everybody has to remember is that Sadiq Khan effectively sacked the previous Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Dame Cressida Dick.
This more than anything may explain why the current Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley was so resistant to cancel pro-Palestinian marches in London and has taken a soft approach to policing them.
What we are seeing play out on London’s streets is Khan’s own political agenda, one designed to get him re-elected next May.
For a man who hypocritically attacked Suella Braverman for political interference last week, he has not been shy in exerting his position as London Mayor, responsible for policing, to his own ends.
Khan sacked Dick because he was “not satisfied” with her response to calls for change following a series of scandals including the police watchdog publishing racist, misogynist and homophobic messages exchanged by Met officers.
Now Rowley has to dance to his tune.
READ MORE: Suella Braverman vows to end ‘sick’ pro-Palestine protests after weekend chaos
Let us go back to the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7 where 1,400 innocent Israeli citizens were brutally murdered including children burnt alive by terrorists and more than 200 were abducted.
Khan took days to condemn it and he was slow to act over Hamas supporters openly celebrating the atrocities on London’s streets.
His statements barely mention the words Jew or Israel and he has focussed on not wanting any sort of hate as a general topic.
He has not joined the marches but he has openly supported them going ahead.
This is despite jihadi flags being on display, anti-Semitic banners and chants, violence and open glorification of the Hamas terrorist acts.
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The underlying message is that Khan does not object to any of this at all.
Nor has he properly reached out to the Jewish community which is virtually in hiding out of fear for their lives.
But roll forward to his statement last night after the dreadful protests on Armistice Day – the worst yet by so-called pro-Palestinians – and Khan’s statement was instructive.
He focussed entirely on “the far right” who he also blamed for the anti-Semitism on the streets.
There was not a word about the pro-Palestinian thugs who – checks notes – were chanting anti-Semitic slogans, carrying racist signs, supporting terrorism, attacking a government minister (Michael Gove), screaming “death to all Jews”, intimidating poppy sellers and generally rioting.
And what did we see from the police? We saw them follow the Khan playbook.
Compare his statement to Karen Pollock, a Labour supporter who is chief executive of the Holocaust Education Trust.
She said: “Pontificate as much as you like on here and get your likes and retweets, but please know that today’s ‘peace marches’ included blatant antisemitism, calls for the destruction of Israel and support for Hamas terrorists. There is plenty of evidence of this.”
There was no attempt to arrest or stop any of the anti-Semites on the pro-Palestinian march, no attempt to deal with people glorifying Hamas and its terrorism, no attempt to arrest people with racist banners but instead dozens of people on the “far right” demonstration were arrested.
In one case the police actually were videoed threatening a couple who were the victims of harassment from pro-Palestinian demonstrators objecting to them wearing poppies in Victoria Station (the same place where Gove had to flee for his life).
But we have seen it in the weeks leading up to this weekend. A lack of police action apart from posting some social media messages asking for people to be identified instead of arresting them there and then.
The Met, though, have actively stopped images of kidnapped Israeli children being displayed in one of the more disturbing parts of their policing.
Anybody who watched Rowley parrot what Khan said at the Greater London Authority questions the other day will know the Commissioner is entirely in the Mayor’s pocket.
The “hate marchers” – as Ms Braverman dubbed them – are in truth Khan’s voters. Hard Left and Muslim activists for whom Palestine is a totemic issue.
The debate this weekend has focussed on whether Ms Braverman should be sacked as Home Secretary for suggesting the police have shown political bias in the way they treat protests.
The problem though is that she is not wrong.
Anybody who saw them hand out cups of tea to climate change extremists like Just Stop Oil or take the knee for Black Lives Matter Marxists as they tore up London compared to the way they robustly treated anti-lockdown protesters knows this to be true.
This weekend has just proven to be the latest example of the Met’s bias.
The real debate though should not be about Braverman’s future but whether Khan should be allowed to maintain police powers and whether Rowley is fit to be Commissioner.
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