OVER FIFTY London MPs and Assembly Members (AMs) joined local police officers out on the beat in their constituencies before Christmas. The outings were part of the #WalkTheMet initiative which seeks to make politicians more aware of what police officers have to deal with on London’s streets – especially at this very busy time of year.
Rushanara Ali MP went out on her #WalkTheMet walk on 15th December. She tweeted: “Joined Bethnal Green’s dedicated police force on the beat this afternoon for #WalkTheMet to see the good work they do in my constituency.” Weavers police tweeted back, thanking the local MP for coming out with them.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP went out with local police the same day, tweeting: “Great to go ‘walkabout’ with @MPSPoplar and @MPSLimehouse officers Mick and George. They are highly regarded locally and clearly get results keeping us all as safe as they can.’ He also re-tweeted a tweet from Debbie Simone congratulating him on taking part.
Simone, a former Labour Council candidate who gained notoriety in the Borough when she became one of the four petitioners who launched an action in the election court against Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman, recently joined the Liberal Democrats – a move which would normally result in her expulsion from the Labour Party. Labour is, they say, a “broad church” – so their MP for Poplar & Limehouse is presumably keen to advertise that approach.
Other East End MPs who “walked” included East Ham’s Stephen Timms MP, who tweeted: “In the High Street this afternoon with the East Ham Central Safer Neighbourhoods Team #WalkTheMet. Our community appreciates their efforts on our behalf.”
It wasn’t all such a picnic. Boris “Buffoon” Johnson MP was one of those out and about. He tweeted, “Great to be out on patrol earlier with @MPSManor – big thanks to all @MPSHillingdon who do such a fantastic job keeping residents safe #WalkTheMet.” This was widely seen as extremely patronising, coming from a Conservative Government Minister who has played such a large part in cutting back police funding and, therefore, the number of officers.