The police watchdog reviews the measures taken before the chief’s resignation in the criminal investigation

Michael Lockwood (Helen William/PA) (PA Archive)

The police watchdog is conducting a review to “determine whether appropriate steps have been taken” ahead of the resignation of its boss who has become the subject of a criminal investigation.

The director general of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), Michael Lockwood, stepped down from the role last week as he was the subject of a police investigation into a historic allegation.

It is understood that Mr Lockwood privately briefed a Home Office official of the allegation on November 4, and leaders within the body were first informed of it in October.

Interior Minister Suella Braverman said on Saturday she had been forced to take “immediate action” after being notified of the police investigation.

The IOPC told the Palestinian Authority news agency, “We will conduct a review to determine whether the appropriate steps have been taken at the right time.”

A spokesman said: “In mid-October, Mr Lockwood approached the IOPC General Counsel, David Emery, to say that an allegation had been brought against him and asked for his recommendation on personal legal representation.

“He was provided with that recommendation and Mr. Emery gave him a copy of our conflict of interest policy.

“In early November, Mr Lockwood separately informed his then deputy, Tom Whiting, and Mr Emery that he had been contacted and questioned by the police and gave brief details of the allegations brought against him.

“Mr Whiting has advised that under our conflict of interest policy and our code of conduct he must disclose this information to the Home Office as the Director-General is directly accountable to the Home Secretary. Mr. Emery gave identical advice.

“Mr Whiting has been informed that the disclosure was made to the Home Office at a meeting scheduled two days later on 4 November and that Mr Lockwood has been advised to continue in his role as normal.

“On Friday 2 December, we learned that Mr Lockwood had discussions with the Home Office and then informed all staff that he was resigning with immediate effect, citing personal reasons.”

The Home Office discovered last week that a dossier was being prepared for submission to the Crown Prosecution Service, before Ms Braverman took action.

The Home Secretary said: ‘I have accepted the resignation of Michael Lockwood as director general of the Independent Police Conduct Office.

“I took immediate action after being advised that Mr. Lockwood was the subject of a police investigation into a historic allegation and instructed my officials to ask him to resign or face immediate suspension from his role.”

The IOPC spokesman added that it “would not be appropriate” to comment on an ongoing criminal investigation.

Lockwood was the first director general appointed to lead the IOPC when he replaced the Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2018.

He was previously managing director of the London Borough of Harrow in North West London.

After the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, he was asked by a government task force to lead recovery and repair work and liaise with bereaved families, survivors and the wider community.

The IOPC said on Monday that Whiting had been named acting director general.

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