Boris and the Met face the music: Commons riot inquiry begins

By staff

The inquiry into the riots which hit London and other cities will start today with appearances from the mayor and the head of the Met.

The home affairs committee inquiry into 'policing large scale disorder' will start by interviewing Boris Johnson and his deputy, Kit Malthouse.

MPs will then move on to Metropolitan police commissioner Tim Godwin and his assistant, Lynne Owens.

Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and a leading candidate for the Met commissioner role, will also appear.

Despite calls from Labour leader Ed Miliband for a large-scale public inquiry into the riots which could have looked at social and economic motivating factors, David Cameron wanted the aftermath of the disorder to be restricted to an operational appraisal of the police response.

In the end a compromise of sorts was reached, with Nick Clegg announcing a "grassroots" inquiry involving community organisers while the home affairs committee focused on policing.

There is still considerable criticism of the police response to the riots' early stages in Westminster and Met representatives are likely to get a hard time during the session.