One of the country’s most senior police officers has reportedly demanded an explanation from the government about why he was ruled out of the running to lead the National Crime Agency.
His intervention came after it emerged that Boris Johnson wanted Lord Hogan-Howe to take on the role.
Lord Hogan-Howe served as Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police when the force was taken in by the claims of fantasist Carl Beech and oversaw the VIP child sex abuse inquiry.
The inquiry was a disaster for the force, and led to a number of innocent people being publicly probed by the Met Police.
Lord Hogan-Howe reportedly made it to the last four candidates for the position to lead the National Crime Agency but was rejected before the final round.
Neil Basu was one of the final two candidates, along with Graeme Biggar, the acting head of the agency, The Sunday Times reported.
Applications for the post have now been reopened after the government failed to decide on a candidate and Mr Basu is not going to reapply, according to the paper.
Mr Basu, former head of UK counterterrorism policing, said: “I am disappointed in the way the process has concluded and will not be applying again. I will be seeking an explanation from the Home Office.”
Lord Hogan-Howe did not rule out reapplying and said in a statement: “Under my leadership, the capital became a safer place under an effective, modernising force which inspired high confidence in the public.”
Mr Basu used an opinion piece on Wednesday to urge police chiefs to accept and apologise for policing remaining institutionally racist.
He suggested that until the racial bias against ethnic minorities was acknowledged, communities would remain untrusting toward law enforcement.
Mr Basu also suggested the law should be changed to allow “positive discrimination” encouraging more people of colour to join the force, and better represent society – a call which reportedly irked Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Mr Basu’s comments were prompted by the release of the police race action plan by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) which aimed to improve trust in police from the black community – particularly young males.
While expressing shame about the presence of racism within the force, the report stopped shy of admitting institutional racism.
“The plan’s achilles heel is its inability to galvanise all chief constables to accept that we remain institutionally racist, and to apologise for that and our post-Windrush history,’ Mr Basu wrote in the Guardian.
“If we can’t accept we need to change and say sorry to people we have wronged, how can we expect them to trust us?
“We are guilty as charged, and the evidence can be found in the voices of our staff and communities of difference, and in the still unexplained and disproportionate data that calls out some of our poor policy and practice.”
Mr Basu’s supporters reportedly believe he was penalised in his application for the top job at the NCA because of his views on racism in the police.