Scotland Yard pays £7,460 for a portrait of ex-chief Bernard Hogan-Howe... a year after he warned of the dangers of looming budget cuts
- The 60-year-old has come under fire for not contributing to the portrait's cost
- Failed VIP sex abuse inquiry was among the controversies of his five-year tenure
- He left his £270,000 Met post last February with estimated £5.8million pension
- Details of the portrait emerged from a Freedom of Information request
As his controversial reign at Scotland Yard came to an end, Bernard Hogan-Howe warned of the dangers of looming budget cuts in the force.
The former Metropolitan Police commissioner said the ‘warning lights’ were ‘flashing’ over rising crime figures and urged the Government to meet a pledge to protect police funding.
About a year later, the newly appointed peer, who retired with an estimated £6 million pension pot, is facing questions over his concerns about Met finances.
Critics have asked why Lord Hogan-Howe, 60, has not helped to pay for a £7,460 portrait of him to mark his retirement.
Instead the Met, which is facing huge cuts, has been left to pick up the bill.
Lord Hogan-Howe, 60, has not helped to pay for a £7,460 portrait of him to mark his retirement after vacating his £270,000 Met post last February with an estimated £5.8million pension pot
Former Met chief superintendent Kevin Hurley said: ‘While I support the tradition of commissioners having a portrait done on their retirement, I believe it would have been wise – in this era of desperate financial hardship in the Met – for Lord Hogan-Howe to have made a contribution to its cost.’
Details of the portrait of Lord Hogan-Howe, whose five-year tenure was marred by controversies including the failed VIP sex abuse inquiry, were revealed after a Freedom of Information request.
The painting cost £7,460 and was done by Sophie Gilbart-Denham, 40, a ‘classically trained portrait and animal painter’.
Miss Gilbart- Denham, a graduate of the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, is the daughter of a former crown equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Seymour Gilbart-Denham, who was once responsible for coordinating transport and ceremonial horses in the Royal Household.
Lord Hogan-Howe’s wife of ten years, Marion, has worked in the Household as assistant to the crown equerry.
Lord Hogan-Howe left his £270,000 Met post last February.
Experts calculate his taxpayer-funded final salary pension pot was worth at least £5.8 million.
His pension will depend on any lump sum he withdrew on retirement.
The Yorkshireman was criticised for presiding over the disastrous £2.5 million inquiry into a fictitious VIP paedophile ring.
He was also the driving force behind the Yard’s bungled £20 million Operation Elveden inquiry into alleged payments to public officials by journalists.
Two years ago he defended accepting a £65,000 Range Rover from Scotland Yard, saying he hoped people would not see it as a ‘luxury’.
The commissioner came under fire for receiving the vehicle, complete with a £1,000 backseat entertainment system, just days before warning that government cuts could put the public in danger.
Sophie Gilbart-Denham, 40, a ‘classically trained portrait and animal painter’ (pictured), produced the portrait. She is the daughter of a former crown equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Seymour Gilbart-Denham, who was once responsible for coordinating transport and ceremonial horses in the Royal Household
In November, his successor, Cressida Dick, told MPs that losing up to 3,000 police officers in London would make it harder to ‘bear down’ on the rise in violent crime and to prevent extremism.
She said that the need to find £400 million savings in the Met over the next four years would mean a 10 per cent reduction from 30,000 to about 27,000 officers and make it difficult to continue to tackle knife, moped-related and gun crime.
Scotland Yard said: ‘As a long-running tradition every commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is captured for a portrait.
‘The portrait of Lord Hogan-Howe will be displayed at Hendon College, alongside portraits of all the previous commissioners. The Met did pay for the painting.’
Last month after accepting his peerage, Lord Hogan-Howe, a keen skier, had to reveal details of his holiday home and lucrative advisory roles.
It was disclosed he has an apartment in a region of Switzerland popular with expats.
Since retiring he has become a consultant for Towergate Insurance and is advising HSBC on ‘financial crime risk reduction’.
Lord Hogan-Howe could not be reached for comment yesterday.
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