Michael Lockwood, the head of the Independent Office for Police Conduct, has been ‘forced to step’ down by the Home Secretary after she became aware that Mr Lockwood was the subject of a police investigation.
On Saturday, 3rd December, Suella Braverman said that Mr Lockwood was asked to either resign or be suspended once she became aware of the police investigation.
The day before, Friday 2nd December, Mr Lockwood released a statement via the IOPC that said:
“It is with great sadness that I have decided to resign as Director General of the IOPC for personal and domestic reasons, and this will be effective from today.
“It has been an enormous privilege to serve as the first Director General of the IOPC and to have led the organisation for the past five years. I am proud of the progress we have made, and I am grateful to all our staff, the Unitary Board and external stakeholders for all their support.
“The Unitary Board will now work with the Home Office to put in place new leadership arrangements as quickly as possible.”
But, the day after the IOPC statement, Ms Braverman confirmed that she had given Mr Lockwood the choice of either stepping down or being suspended. She said that she accepted Mr Lockwood’s immediate resignation.
No further official information regarding the nature of the allegation has been released, but The Times reported that the claim against 63-year-old Michael Lockwood is understood to be sexual in nature, regarding alleged behaviour ‘with a child aged 14 or 15 when he was in his 20s and living in Humberside.’
The home secretary said in a statement:
“I took immediate action upon being made aware that Mr Lockwood was the subject of a police investigation… and instructed my officials to ask him to resign or face immediate suspension from his role.”
Mr Lockwood was the first person appointed to lead the IOPC when it replaced the Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2018.
A qualified accountant, he has also worked in central government at the National Audit Office and for the Local Government Association as executive director for local government finance and policy.
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