Top police officer condemns Boris Johnson for using ‘my officers as backdrop’

A top police officer has hit out at Boris Johnson for using trainee officers as a backdrop to a political speech.

West Yorkshire Police chief constable John Robins said the force had agreed to using its officers on the understanding that the speech would be in connection to a police recruitment drive.

Mr Robins said he had "no prior knowledge" that Mr Johnson's speech would also include comments about Brexit and an attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

Image: Mr Johnson delivering his speech in Wakefield on Thursday

Before the speech began, officers were stood behind Mr Johnson's lectern for "at least" 20 minutes due to his late arrival.

And then, during the speech, one officer became unwell and was seen on camera sitting down while Mr Johnson was talking.


Mr Robins said in a statement on Friday: "It was the understanding of West Yorkshire Police that any involvement of our officers was solely about police officer recruitment. We had no prior knowledge that the speech would be broadened to other issues until it was delivered.

"I was therefore disappointed to see my police officers as a backdrop to the part of the speech that was not related to recruitment."

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West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said Home Secretary Priti Patel was originally due to visit, but instead it was "hijacked" by Mr Johnson.

He said: "For him to… use trainee police officers as the backdrop to what became a political speech was totally inappropriate, those officers and West Yorkshire Police shoulRead More – Source

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