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Boris defends police over the disappearance of runaway schoolgirls thought to be in Syria

Boris Johnson has defended the police over the disappearance of three runaway schoolgirls thought to be in Syria.

Kadiza Sultana, Shamima Begum, and Amira Abase flew to Turkey two weeks ago Credit: Metropolitan Police

The families have criticised senior officers after it emerged the girls were asked to deliver a warning letter to their parents.

Kadiza Sultana, Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, vanished three weeks ago and are believed to have joined the Jihadist terror group Islamic State after travelling to Turkey.

Kadiza Sultana, Shamima Begum and Amira Abase Credit: Metropolitan Police

The police sent a letter to their parents asking for permission to interview the girls after a classmate from Bethnal Green Academy in east London disappeared in December.

The parents claim they never saw the letters. But London's mayor said today it was wrong to blame the police.

There may have been some confusion about whether the letters were handed to the parents or not and it's a pity if they weren't.

Fundamentally the duty is not wholly and exclusively with the police to spot whether somebody is in danger of being radicalised.

This is something others perhaps should have spotted, the families, friends, teachers. It's very very tough I think now for everybody to suddenly be shrieking at the police.

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is to face questions about the girls' disappearance from MPs later today.