Over a year ago, Boris Johnson gave the Metropolitan police the green light to buy three water cannons to use in cases of riots or public disorder. The cannons set the department back a clean £218,000, although apparently, as far as water cannons go, they were a bit of a bargain. The German police department were selling them off second-hand, which is why Boris went ahead and snapped them up before getting approval from home secretary Theresa May that the police could actually use them.
Today, Theresa May has officially blocked the use of water cannons in London, saying that in areas where people don't trust the police, the use of water cannons is potentially 'entirely counterproductive'. Boris has defended his decision, saying that 68 percent of Londoners polled said they were in favour of using water cannons. He also said despite the fact that they can't use them, they will hold onto the water cannons, so that Theresa May or a future home secretary might reassess the situation if riots did break out in the future.
All of which reminds us of the fact that last year Boris promised to prove the safety of water cannons by being blasted by one himself. We wonder if the offer still stands...