Three secondhand ex-German Federal Reserve Police water cannon have been bought by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London – without Home Office authority to deploy them. The justification was that if the Metropolitan Police didn’t buy them some other police force would.
The Deputy Mayor gloated over buying this military weapon for £30,000 as opposed to £870,000 new, ignoring the view of the German authorities that the cannon are dangerous.
This decision has nothing to do with the risk of public disorder on the streets of London, or incidentally of any other British city. It is solely about Boris Johnson’s campaign to be leader of the Tory Party when he returns to the House of Commons at the next general election – trying to position himself as “harder” than his rival candidate Home Secretary Theresa May.