Boris Johnson ‘backs former Met Police chief to take charge of National Crime Agency’

Lord Hogan-Howe could be set to lead the organisation as director-general despite failing to make it into the final round of candidates despite leading the bungled VIP paedophile ring probe.

Two highly qualified police chiefs have already been rejected for the role following interviews with Home Secretary Priti Patel, the Sunday Times reports.

The Prime Minister now reportedly wants Lord Hogan-Howe to lead the NCA – an organisation that combats organised crime and national security threats.

Lord Hogan-Howe was in charge of the Metropolitan Police during its Operation Midland investigation into false claims of a high-profile VIP ring in Parliament made by Carl Beech.


Harvey Proctor, a former Tory MP whose life was ruined by the spurious allegations, said that appointing the former Metropolitan Police commissioner could to lead the NCA would be “outrageous”.

He added: “He presided over the worst police operation in this country for decades.”

Hogan-Howe, who left the Met in 2016 with an estimated £5million pension pot, was made a life peer in 2017 and has since taken up a number of consultancy posts for various firms.

Dame Lynne Owens announced her retirement from the role after five years at the helm in September 2021.

She led the organisation as director-general since 2016 as part of a career in law enforcement spanning 32 years.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer and said she requires more extensive surgery which would mean a longer period of time off work, so decided to step down.

Dame Lynne said: “Following the treatment I received for breast cancer in the summer, the prognosis remains entirely positive and I have recovered from the initial surgery well. However results indicate, and the medical team advise, that I now require more extensive surgery (a mastectomy).

“Whilst back at work I am mindful that I have recently been away from the agency for almost four weeks, and the next stage will require a more extended period of absence.

“Throughout my service I have sought to focus on our responsibilities to the public and those I lead before myself and I cannot, with integrity, conclude that it is in the interests of the agency to leave it with such uncertainty in leadership.

“Similarly I recognise I need to create the time and space to heal physically and emotionally without the self-imposed pressure to return. I do not feel that my working life is over and I hope to contribute again in the future.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “A fair and open recruitment campaign is underway to make the best possible appointment to this vital role.

“Recent events have demonstrated how pivotal the NCA is in protecting the public from organised crime and national security threats. This process will ensure that we get the best possible candidate as the new Director General to provide the leadership and experience to take this work forward.”

Downing Street have been contacted for comment.

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