Basu seeks answers after applications for NCA role are reopened

Basu seeks answers after NCA chief applications are reopened

Former head of UK counter-terrorism policing Neil Basu has said he will be seeking an explanation from the government about why he was overlooked to be the next leader of the National Crime Agency (NCA).

He told the Sunday Times: “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.”

Last week, the Guardian reported that an expert panel had assessed both Basu and NCA acting director general Graeme Biggar, who was appointed after Dame Lynne Owens retired from the position on health grounds in September last year. Both were found to be sufficiently qualified to be appointed to the role.

However, according to the Guardian's Whitehall source, the selection process was stopped because "Downing Street intervened and favoured former Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe for the NCA role". The aforementioned expert panel had previously rejected him.

It has been suggested 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. On the other hand, Lord Hogan Howe, Met Police Commissioner between 2011 and 2017, worked closely with Johnson during his time as London Mayor, and endorsed him in the Conservative Leadership campaign in 2019.

Applications for the role have now been reopened. Asked if he planned to rule himself out of the NCA race, Hogan-Howe said: “Out of respect to the process and to the candidates, I have no comment to make.”

The Home Office has stated :"A fair and open recruitment campaign is underway to make the best possible appointment to this vital role.”


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