Two senior police chiefs are embroiled in a public row over who is chosen to be the next head of the National Crime Agency (NCA) amid claims Boris Johnson is trying to handpick his own candidate.
Neil Basu, an assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, has demanded an answer from the Home Office on why he was overlooked for the NCA job after becoming one of the final two candidates for the role.
He told The Sunday Times that he was “disappointed” to be overlooked for the £223,000-a-year job, which comes after widespread claims that Johnson wants to parachute former Scotland Yard chief Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe into the role.
It has been suggested by his supporters that Basu, the most senior non-white officer in the UK, has been overlooked for his outspoken views on race and criticism of the Prime Minister.
Last week he said that the Met needs to accept that it is “institutionally racist” and previously claimed Johnson would not be unable to join the police force for his comments in 2018 that veiled Muslim women look like letter boxes.
Hogan-Howe defended his record as Met commissioner and took a veiled swipe at Basu in a statement to The Sunday Times.
He said: “Under my leadership, the capital became a safer place under an effective, modernising force which inspired high confidence in the public.
“I also led a more diverse police service, with one in three recruits from minority backgrounds by 2017.”
Hogan-Howe made it to the last four candidates in the application process for the NCA director general job, however he did not make it through to the final round.
It has been reported that Number 10 intervened at this point and applications for the role have now been reopened.
Basu will not be reapplying for the job.