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Mosquito accused of ‘smear campaign’ as deputy PCC suspension row hots up

Mosquito accused of ‘smear campaign’ as deputy PCC suspension row hots up

🕔09.May 2016

West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito has lodged a formal complaint with the Labour party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), accusing PCC David Jamieson of suspending her “for racial reasons” following a campaign to “belittle” her.

Ms Mosquito, who is of African-Caribbean descent, was relieved of her £65,000-a-year duties by Mr Jamieson in March over claims that she visited the family of a murdered man without first informing investigating police officers of her intention.

The PCC said he was left with no alternative because the visit could have jeopardised a complex ongoing murder investigation. Ms Mosquito, a Christian Pastor, says she was simply visiting the house to pray with the family and did nothing wrong.

Chamberlain Files has learned that an investigation by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has concluded that there is a case to be answered by Ms Mosquito and a formal disciplinary hearing before an independent panel has been scheduled.

The difficult relationship between Mr Jamieson and Miss Mosquito appears to have broken down completely following a leak to the Mail on Sunday of details surrounding the deputy PCC’s complaint to the NEC which is based on allegations that she was victimised because of her colour.

Mr Jamieson, who was re-elected as police commissioner last Thursday, formally takes office at the end of this week and one of his first tasks will be to name a deputy commissioner, if he wishes to have one.

Ms Mosquito, a Birmingham city councillor, was originally appointed deputy PCC by Bob Jones, who became the West Midlands’ first PCC in 2012, but died in 2014.

Mr Jamieson, who replaced Mr Jones, decided to keep Ms Mosquito in her role when he became PCC but it seems most unlikely, whatever the inquiry into her conduct decides, that she can continue as deputy PCC.

In a 22-page complaint to the NEC, Ms Mosquito reveals that she has taken sick leave for stress, which she says was caused by Mr Jamieson’s behaviour towards her.

Her claims have been vehemently dismissed by Mr Jamieson’s spokesman, who described allegations of bullying and racism as “malicious and untrue”.

An unusually blunt statement has been released:

These accusations are malicious, untrue and potentially libellous.

The statements are baseless, and the commissioner is sorely disappointed that a senior colleague like Yvonne, who is a deputy police and crime commissioner in a hugely responsible and high profile role, would resort to falsehoods and smears in this way.

They have been released into the public domain only after the deputy PCC was suspended pending an investigation into potential gross misconduct where it is alleged that she interfered with a police murder inquiry.

The commissioner is proud of the work he has done to ensure there is effective policing for the West Midland’s diverse communities. On stop and search, police recruitment, safer custody, better services for people with mental health needs, tackling knife crime, preventing violent extremism, and building a fairer police complaints process, great progress has been made.

According to the Mail on Sunday article, Ms Mosquito accuses Mr Jamieson of:

  • Belittling her in front of others because she is a black woman, while never treating white female colleagues in the same manner
  • Questioning any meetings she had with Afro-Caribbean people
  • Dismissing her demand to address black-on-black crime, suggesting it is not a concern for white people
  • Warning her to be careful when meeting an Asian contact.

Ms Mosquito made her complaint a month after she was suspended by Mr Jamieson.

MP Keith Vaz, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee, told the newspaper he was “very concerned” about the allegations and had referred the matter to the General Secretary of the Labour party for “a full inquiry”.

Ms Mosquito says she was told she was suspended because she breached ‘protocol’ – but insists that, at the time, there was no defined protocol about visiting victims’ families.

However, Mr Jamieson insists the rules regarding visits were refreshed recently.

In a statement released when Ms Mosquito was suspended, Mr Jamieson said:

Such visits are allowed, of course, but there has been an understood practice for some years that, before such a visit, the police should be informed, so as to ensure that the police investigation team are aware and there is no risk of the visit compromising the investigation, nor to those making the visit.  All it takes is a phone call.

We refreshed our approach to such visits just a few weeks ago, exactly to ensure that if visits like this take place they do so without causing problems for the investigators.

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