Asian police chief ‘is seeking answers’ over snub for top job at National Crime Agency
- Neil Basu, 53, is currently Britain’s most senior non-white police officer
- He has demanded an explanation from government as to why he was overlooked for the top job at the National Crime Agency – Britain’s equivalent of the FBI
- The recruitment process for the role has been mired in accusations of cronyism
- Same say an ally of the Prime Minister was shoe-horned back into the race
- It is thought Basu was penalised due to comments he had made about race
Britain’s most senior non-white police officer has demanded an explanation from the Government as to why he was overlooked for the top job at the National Crime Agency.
The recruitment process for the director-general position at Britain’s equivalent of the FBI has been mired in accusations of cronyism after it was re-opened in a move that appeared designed to shoehorn the Prime Minister’s ally, former Scotland Yard commissioner Lord Hogan-Howe, back into the race.
Neil Basu, 53, a serving assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, said he was disappointed to have missed out on the £223,000-a-year role.
The former head of counter-terrorism policing was understood to have reached the last two candidates before the Home Office said he had not been successful and re-opened the application process.
Neil Basu, 53, a serving assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, said he was disappointed to have missed out on the £223,000-a-year role. It is thought Mr Basu had been penalised due to comments he had made about race and Boris Johnson
He told The Sunday Times: ‘I am disappointed and will not be applying again. I will be seeking an explanation from the Home Office.’
It is thought Mr Basu had been penalised due to comments he had made about race and Boris Johnson.
He had previously suggested that the Prime Minister would be barred from joining the police force because of his use of the word ‘piccaninnies’ to describe black people and a comparison he made between Muslim women wearing the niqab and ‘letterboxes’.
He has called for British policing to accept it is institutionally racist, and argued for positive discrimination to boost the number of ethnic minority officers.
Mr Basu, who would have become the first person of Asian heritage to lead a British law enforcement organisation, is understood to be consulting lawyers about his next step. Delays to the recruitment process also meant that Mr Basu missed the deadline to apply for the vacant Met commissioner role.
Lord Hogan-Howe, who oversaw the disastrous VIP child sex abuse inquiry, initially failed to progress to the final round of four NCA candidates but refused to deny he would apply again.
He also issued a statement defending his record, which appeared to be both a job pitch and a dig at Mr Basu.
He said: ‘Under my leadership, the capital became a safer place. I also led a more diverse police service, with one in three recruits from minority backgrounds by 2017.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘A fair and open recruitment campaign is under way to make the best possible appointment to this vital role.’