Top Police Officer Who Was Forced To Apologise To Soham Murder Parents Has Resigned

PUBLISHED: 18:57 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:33 04 May 2010

THE Metropolitan Police Commissioner who was forced to apologise to the families of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman after making a throwaway comment to the media has resigned from the force. In 2006, Sir Ian Blair told the media almost nobody could und

THE Metropolitan Police Commissioner who was forced to apologise to the families of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman after making a throwaway comment to the media has resigned from the force.

In 2006, Sir Ian Blair told the media "almost nobody" could understand why the disappearance of the two 10-year-olds in 2002 had dominated the news headlines and become "the biggest story in Britain".

Sir Ian Blair, who is Britain's most senior police officer, quit after a meeting with London mayor Boris Johnson.

He said: "I am resigning not because of any failures by my service and not because of the pressure of the office and the many stories that surround it are too much. I am resigning in the best interests of the people of London and the Metropolitan Police Service.

Sir Ian,, who will leave on December 1, added: "I would have wished to continue to serve Londoners until my term of office expired in February 2010. However, at a meeting on Wednesday, the new mayor made clear, in a very pleasant but determined way, that he wished there to be a change in leadership at the Met."

Sir Ian's resignation also follows fresh revelations in a daily newspaper that he paid a close-friend a five-figure sum to sharpen his image.

Sir Ian's three-and-a-half-year reign has been mired in controversy.

The most serious crisis he faced was the death of innocent Brazilian Jean-Charles de Menezes, who was shot dead by armed officers at Stockwell tube station after being mistaken for a suicide bomber.

In the aftermath of the killing, it emerged that the operation had been chaotic and beset by intelligence blunders.

There were also claims that Sir Ian had misled the public by stating de Menezes had been acting suspiciously. He was cleared of the accusation last year.

Jean-Charles de Menezes was shot dead after police mistook him for a suicide bomber.

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