Peers back down over crime bill

Lord Blair of Boughton claims the Mayor "cooked up" the Government scheme Credit: PA/PA Wire

Peers today backed down in a row with the House of Commons over the future possible transfer of responsibility for counter-terrorism from the Metropolitan Police to the new National Crime Agency.

The House of Lords voted by 230 to 199, Government majority 31, to keep in a section of the Crime and Courts Bill allowing ministers, at some unspecified time in the future, to go ahead with the transfer without having to introduce new primary legislation to Parliament.

The Government victory came despite former Met commissioner Lord Condon revealing the current head of the force, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, wanted full parliamentary scrutiny.

Lord Blair of Boughton, a fellow former commissioner, also claimed the Government scheme had been cooked up by London mayor Boris Johnson to give him greater power in choosing a head of the Met.

Lord Condon revealed Sir Bernard Hogan Howe wanted full parliamentary scrutiny Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Lord Condon told peers: "Lest I should be out of date in my feelings about this issue, I consulted the current commissioner on Friday of last week to see if my views and his views are on the same wavelength.

"He is content to relay to this House that he shares my concerns and shares my feelings that if there should be change, and I am not against the notion of change, primary legislation is the vehicle that will best take care of the public interest on this issue."