MD2002 Review of London's Preparedness to a Major Terrorist Incident

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
07 June 2016
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

The Mayor intends to contract Lord Harris of Haringey to lead an independent review of London’s preparedness for a major terrorist incident. This is in order to provide assurance to the Mayor that London is as ready and organised as it can be in case of a major incident, and has the resources and expertise needed to cope. Where necessary and appropriate, Lord Harris will advise on what steps might be taken to mitigate any weaknesses. The review will begin in June 2016, and will report findings to the Mayor in the Summer.



That the Mayor approves:

1. The appointment of Lord Harris of Haringey to undertake a review of London’s preparedness for a major terrorist incident;

2. Expenditure up to a maximum of £15,000 (excluding VAT and reasonable out-of-pocket expenses) to procure the services of Lord Harris of Haringey to undertake the review; and

3. An exemption under GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code from the requirement for a competitive process.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Mayor has committed to undertake a London-wide strategic review to look at how the city is prepared to cope in light of terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels.  It will: 
•    consider the working relationships and cooperation between all of the agencies involved
•    consider the ability to cope with multiple simultaneous incidents
•    highlight gaps between agencies, or shortages of expertise and resources, and
propose actions to address them.

The Review will consider the implications of multi-site attacks, including the implications of those occurring simultaneously in other parts of the country. The Review will consider the London Emergency Services Liaison Panel, the London Resilience Forum, the effectiveness of collaboration between the emergency services, the inter-operability of services (including radio communications), and the programme of joint planning and exercising.

Lord Harris’s experience makes him the most appropriate person to undertake this review, particularly given the urgency. His experience includes:
•    Home Secretary’s Representative, Metropolitan Police Authority between 2004 - 2012  
•    Chair,  Metropolitan Police Authority, between 2000 - 2004  
•    Chair,  Association of London Government, between 1995 - 2000  
•    Member,  Police Counter Terrorism Board, between 2007 - 2012  
•    Chair, Advisory Council  City Security and Resilience Networks since 2010  
•    Leader,  Haringey Council between 1987 - 1999   

He has been a member of the following Parliamentary Committees:
•    National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)    May 2016 -  
•    National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)    Dec 2010 - May 2014  
•    National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)    Feb 2010 - May 2010  

He has been a Life Peer since 1998 and was also Leader (Labour Group) in the London Assembly from 2000 - 2004.

The cost of this review is expected to be £15,000 (excluding VAT and reasonable out-of-pocket expenses).

Objectives and expected outcomes

The GLA is looking to commission the services of Lord Harris of Haringey to undertake the review, which is due to report in the summer. It will be phased, with advice being produced on the various elements possibly as follows:
•    Phase One: Police (and in particular firearms) capability
•    Phase Two: Capacity of the other emergency services
•    Phase Three: Capacity of other agencies and sectors, collaboration arrangements, etc.

It is proposed that, given the urgency of this work in the context of terrorist events, this should be a direct appointment without competition as provided for in  the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code.

The Review is expected to start in June 2016.

Equality comments

There is not expected to be any negative impact in terms of equality as part of this review; it will be mindful of all the requirements set out in the Equality Act 2010 and as a result will be of benefit to all Londoners.


Other considerations

4.1    Key risk 

Should this decision not be approved, the Mayor would not receive assurance on London’s preparedness for a terrorist attack. The Mayor has stated that his key priority is the safety of Londoners. If this is not approved the Mayor will not be in a position to receive a report following the review by the end of the summer. 

4.2     Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

To review the preparedness of London, in case of a terrorist attack, was a manifesto commitment. This cross-cutting review is comprehensive.

4.3    Impact assessments and consultations

The review will include wide-ranging consultation and will consider the capacity of:

o    The Metropolitan Police Service (including its armed response capability)
o    Other police services operating in London (including the British Transport Police, and the City of London Police) and what support might be available from elsewhere in the country
o    The London Fire Brigade
o    The London Ambulance Service
o    Local Government in London
o    Other agencies including Transport for London and the Port of London Authority
o    Community organisations (such as British Red Cross, RNLI and the St John’s Ambulance) and faith groups

Financial comments

The budget allocated to this review is £15,000 (excluding VAT and reasonable expenses). It will be paid from the Corporate Management Team Budget.


Investment and Performance Board

This decision was not considered at the Investment & Performance board as it relates to an appointment by the Mayor.


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Appoint Lord Harris of Haringey

June 2016

Review Start Date

June 2016

Main milestones

There will be no running commentary during the review given the likely handling of sensitive material, but the aim is to produce a report at the end of the process containing as much of the outcomes as can be made public.

Delivery End Date

Summer 2016


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