The heroics of brave police officers are once again being highlighted – as a London police chief is slammed for hiding during the Westminster terror attack.
Sir Craig Mackey, the now deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, was slammed online as it was revealed he locked himself in his vehicle before being driven away as colleague PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death outside the Houses of Parliament in March last year.
Amid calls for him to quit, social media users have slammed Sir Craig on Twitter, with one branding him a ‘disgrace’ compared with hero police officer Wayne Marques, who fought London Bridge attackers while being stabbed in the head, leg and hand.
The British Transport Police officer fought off terrorists Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba with just his baton, having been temporarily blinded in one eye as they lunged at him with their knives. Also during the London Bridge attack, off-duty Metropolitan Police officer Charlie Guenigault rushed to help the injured without protective clothing.
Freddy Forsyth Tweeted today that Sir Craig was ‘unlike BTP PC Wayne Marques who single-handedly ran at and engaged the 3 Muslim terrorists during the London Bridge attack in June ’17 armed with only his police baton’.
He added Sir Craig is an ‘absolute coward’ as Jess Clark pointed out that Mr Marques earned significantly less than the commissioner.
Sir Craig Mackey (pictured receiving his knighthood at Buckingham Palace in June) has been slammed online for not helping PC Keith Palmer as people compared him with the heroic officer Wayne Marques (right)
Mr Guenigault rushed to the aid of victims during the London Bridge attack despite being off-duty and not having his Metropolitan Police protective clothing
Mr Guenigault was out with friends when the terrorists smashed their van into a nearby restaurant.
The 26-year-old, from Dartford in Kent, was stabbed multiple times after running towards the attackers and pushing one of them away from British Transport Police officer Wayne Marques.
He lay still as the attackers fled the scene and was helped by passers-by Ellen Gauntlett and Justin Jones, who are also honoured in this year’s list.
The officer’s award citation reads: ‘Pc Guenigault was off-duty when he showed exemplary action in response to this terrorist attack. He tried to protect fellow police officers and members of the public by distracting and attempting to stop the terrorists.
‘He placed himself in danger and was aware of the possibility of serious personal injury.’
During his heroic actions, Pc Guenigault received stab wounds to his head, leg, back and stomach and had to undergo a three-hour operation to remove his spleen, He was awarded the George Medal.
Some have highlighted the cases of Lisa Potts and Bernard Kenny, both of whom put themselves in grave danger to protect people from violence.
Ms Potts suffered horrific injuries in 1996 when she tried to shield youngsters from machete-wielding paranoid schizophrenic Horrett Campbell in the grounds of St Luke’s School, Blakenhall.
Bernard Kenny was seriously injured when he was stabbed as he intervened when Thomas Mair attacked MP Jo Cox in June 2016.
Her case was highlighted recently by Darren Randell, who was referring to it in light of Sir Craig’s actions.
Posting a picture of both Ms Potts and Sir Craig, he said: ‘This is a photo of Lisa Potts returning to work in Jan 1997.
The news about Sir Craig has brought to light the cases of Lisa Potts (left) and Bernard Kenny (right). Ms Potts suffered horrific injuries in 1996 when she tried to shield youngsters from machete-wielding paranoid schizophrenic Horrett Campbell. While Bernard Kenny was seriously injured when he was stabbed as he intervened when Thomas Mair attacked MP Jo Cox in June 2016
‘In July 1996 she saved the lives of her primary school pupils by shielding them from a paranoid schizophrenic who was attacking them with a machete.
‘Lisa suffered cuts to her head, back and arms.’
‘The second photo is Sir Craig Mackey. Whilst PC Keith Palmer was being hacked to death by Khalid Masood, Sir Craig Mackey, who was nearby, stayed in his car and locked the doors.’
In a similar vein to Ms Potts, Bernard Kenny was seriously injured when he was stabbed as he intervened when Thomas Mair attacked Mrs Cox in his home village of Birstall, West Yorkshire, in June 2016.
His case has been referenced in light of Sir Craig by a Steve Brookstein.
Writing on Facebook, he said: ‘Metropolitan Police chief Sir Craig Mackey locked himself in his car when PC Palmer was being attacked in Westminster.
‘A former miner in his 70s, Bernard Kenny was stabbed trying to save MP Jo Cox from her attacker.
‘I’m not saying a word’.
Darren Randall took to Facebook to highlight the case of Ms Potts in light of Sir Craig’s actions. He posted two pictures – one showing Ms Potts and another showing Sir Craig
Steve Brookstein highlighted the case of now deceased Bernard Kenny. He also juxtaposed the actions of Sir Craig against the heroics of another
Others have also referenced Roy Larner, 48, who was repeatedly stabbed as he fought with Islamic terrorists who killed eight and injured 48 others in and Borough Market last 3 June.
Larner famously shouted ‘F*** you, I’m Millwall’ as he grappled with the extremists.
He was, however, since found to have launched into a racist outburst at his local MP’s office in Brixton and given a suspended prison sentence.
Furious police officers have also recently been sharing photoshopped images of Sir Craig Mackey holding a white feather of cowardice after news of his actions emerged.
Sir Craig Mackey is facing intense scrutiny as it was revealed he locked himself in his vehicle before being driven away as colleague PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death outside the Houses of Parliament in March last year.
Fellow officers have mocked the top cop as ‘Commissioner Coward’ in police forums, sharing a image of him collecting his knighthood in June with the medal replaced with a white feather, a Victorian symbol for a lack of bravery or courage.
Retired policemen and women called on the Met chief to resign from the role, with one former firearms officer claiming his position was now ‘untenable’.
Sir Craig earned more than £270,000 a year as acting commissioner and is due to retire from policing in December, when he will pick up a gold-plated pension.
A photoshopped image mocking Sir Craig, swapping his knighthood (pictured left, in June this year) for a white feather (right)
Masood’s movements as he entered the Palace of Westminster during the sickening attack
PC Keith Palmer (shown left) was stabbed to death by terrorist Khalid Masood (right) during last year’s Westminster terror attack
An anonymous police blogger, who goes by the name Inspector Gadget on Twitter, wrote that a moment such as the one Sir Craig faced is one that ‘defines us forever’
Peter Bleksley, a former undercover detective with the Met and star of Channel 4’s Hunted, described the police chief’s actions as ‘utterly unforgivable’.
During a debate on Good Morning Britain today, he called for Sir Craig to and ‘be investigated and booted off the force’.
While an anonymous police blogger, who goes by the name Inspector Gadget on Twitter, wrote earlier this week: ‘We’ll probably only face a genuinely fatal risk once in a 30 year career. How we act in that moment defines us forever.’
Philip Flower, an ex-Metropolitan Police chief superintendent, also wrote on the issue in the Daily Mail today.
Sir Craig Mackey’s 34 years in policing
Sir Craig began his career when joined Wiltshire Police in 1984.
In 2001, he transferred to Gloucestershire Police to become its Assistant Chief Constable before later becoming Deputy Chief Constable.
In September 2007, Sir Craig joined Cumbria Police as its Chief Constable, a post he remained in until his appointment as the Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner in 2012.
Mackey was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in the 2009 New Year Honours and appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to Policing
On the announcement of his knighthood, Scotland Yard praised his role in reforming the Met amid tightening budgets and his push for diversity within the force.
When he retires in December, he will have been the longest serving Deputy Commissioner since the 1950s.
He said: ‘What I do know is that, if I’d still been in the Met, Sir Craig’s conduct would mean that I would never want to serve under him.
‘Many current and former police officers, of all rank and file, feel the same way. They took to the airwaves and social media platforms yesterday to express their disbelief at his failure to act.’
Calls for Sir Craig, who was then Commissioner of the Met, to quit came as he gave evidence to the inquest into the death of terrorist Khalid Masood at the Old Bailey.
Now Deputy Commissioner, Sir Craig said he went to get out of the car but was told to ‘shut the door’ and locked it.
But speaking on Good Morning Britain, Mr Bleksley said: ‘A police officer’s natural instinct is to get out and help. Always. That is what you do.
‘Policing is a family, it is a collective, it is that thin blue line. We are talking about a senior officer who saw his colleague attacked and decided to sit tight in his car.
‘During the London Bridge attack, PC Charlie Guenigault, without blinking an eye, he got involved. That’s heroism, that’s getting involved, that being a police officer.’
PC Palmer staggered past Sir Craig’s car, pursued by Masood, who was then shot dead by protection officers working for then-Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.
Sir Craig was then swept away around 30 seconds after Masood, who murdered five people that day, was gunned down.
He told the inquest: ‘I was in shirtsleeves, with no radio. We had no protective equipment. The way that the male came in, he was clearly a threat.’
Peter Bleksley (left, alongside former chief Dal Babu), a former undercover detective with the Met, described the police chief’s actions as ‘utterly unforgivable’
CCTV from the scene shows the Met Chief in his vehicle, circled, as it was swept away in the immediate aftermath of the attack
Sir Craig said he went to get out of the car, which was passing through the vehicle barrier just inside the gates, but was told: ‘Shut the door’ and they drove off as the carnage unfolded
He added: ‘The attacker had one of those looks where, if they get you in that look they would be after you.’
Dozens have been speaking out on Twitter as news of Sir Craig’s actions became known.
Writing on the social media platform, Patrice Duvere said: ‘Sir Craig Mackey, you are not fit to wear your uniform and are a disgrace to the police profession.
‘I award you a white feather of cowardice.’
While another user, under the name TM30, wrote: ‘Lots has been said about Sir Craig Mackey which I won’t go over.
Sir Craig Mackey has been slammed online after it was revealed he locked himself in his vehicle before being driven away as colleague PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death outside the Houses of Parliament in March last year
The only thing I will say is that in his own words he saw PC Keith Palmer stagger and fall backwards having been stabbed yet you did nothing.
‘He was part of your family part of my family and you did nothing.’
A white feather for a coward: A symbol to shame men into war
The white feather has been a symbol of cowardice in Britain since the 18th century.
The tradition is thought to derive from cockfighting and the belief that a cockerel sporting a white feather in its tail was likely to be a poor fighter.
It resurfaced prominently during the First World War, when conscientious objectors were shamed by members of the Suffragette movement.
The Order of the White Feather aimed to force men into enlisting in the army, by asking women to approach men in the street who were not wearing a uniform and hand them a white feather.
This prompted the Home Secretary to issue politicians and public servants with lapel badges reading ‘King and Country’ to indicate that they too were serving the war effort.
However, there were also unfortunate occasions when wounded soldiers on leave from the trenches wearing civilian clothes would sometimes be presented with a white feather by women unaware of their service.
In one instance Private Ernest Atkins, who was on leave from the Western Front, was riding a tram when he was presented with a white feather by a girl sitting behind him.
He smacked her across the face with his pay book and said: ‘Certainly I’ll take your feather back to the boys at Passchendaele.
Others were a little more sympathetic however.
One user, called @janaKotlarova, said: ‘Sir Craig Mackey would not be alive today if he intervened. There wouldn’t be one but two police officers dead.
‘What do you expect this old chubby unarmed officer to do? Fight a crazed man with knives? That’s suicide.’
A former firearms officer described Sir Craig’s position as ‘untenable’.
Andy Redhead claimed that the policeman, who was acting commissioner on the day of the attack, had lost the ‘respect’ of other officers after failing to intervene.
Speaking on Nick Ferrari’s LBC Breakfast show, Mr Redhead said: ‘I think he should reconsider his position.’
Mr Ferrari then asked: ‘What could he have achieved in a short-sleeve white shirt?’
Mr Redhead replied: ‘Do something is better than do nothing. The primary function of a police officer is to preserve life.’
Sir Craig told the inquest: ‘I was in shirtsleeves, with no radio. We had no protective equipment.The way that the male came in, he was clearly a threat.’
He added: ‘The attacker had one of those looks where, if they get you in that look they would be after you.’ Sir Craig earned more than £270,000 a year as acting commissioner and is due to retire in December.
Last night a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘It was evident that there were officers already present with the necessary skills to neutralise the threat and to administer advanced first aid.’
The inquest continues.
During a debate on Good Morning Britain today, Mr Bleksley called for Sir Craig to and ‘be investigated and booted off the force’
Sir Craig Mackey is pictured after observing a minute’s silence outside New Scotland Yard during a vigil to remember the victims of the Westminster terror attack