London Policing Board member criticised over Covid-19 and climate conspiracy posts

Sayce Holmes-Lewis is one of twelve independent members appointed this year to the newly-formed London Policing Board, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Sayce Holmes-Lewis (credit GLA)
Sayce Holmes-Lewis (credit GLA)

A member of Sadiq Khan’s new policing board has been accused of making “hugely irresponsible comments around the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change”.

In social media posts over the last two years, Sayce Holmes-Lewis has called Covid “the greatest hustle of all time” and warned against “climate lockdowns”.

The latter is a phrase commonly used by conspiracy theorists who claim governments will introduce pandemic-style lockdowns to combat global warming.

Holmes-Lewis, a charity CEO, was one of twelve people appointed by Khan – from over 300 applicants – to sit on the London Policing Board. Chaired by the mayor, the board aims to scrutinise the Met Police, after a review found it was institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic.

Holmes-Lewis’s appointment was criticised last month by City Hall Conservatives, who recalled that in 2020 he told the party’s then mayoral candidate – Shaun Bailey – that he is “obviously not a black man with true lived experience in this matter [of racist policing]”.

Emma Best, City Hall Conservatives’ deputy leader, said of the newly-uncovered posts: “I am deeply concerned that Sadiq Khan believes it appropriate to appoint someone to the policing board who has made hugely irresponsible comments around the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

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“Khan has strongly condemned ‘Covid-deniers’ and ‘conspiracy theorists’, and yet had no trouble nodding through this appointment.”

In another post, Holmes-Lewis said the World Economic Forum “will only seize control if we allow it”. He shared a thread on Twitter, purporting to detail “life after the Great Reset”.

The thread, authored by someone else, says: “The Elites want to dictate every aspect of your life from what you eat, to where you go, down to how many times a week you are allowed to shower and wash your underwear.”

After the Local Democracy Reporting Service approached the mayor’s office and Holmes-Lewis for comment, this last post – sharing the thread – was deleted.

Best said Khan should “reconsider how he makes appointments”, adding that the board cannot scrutinise the Met “if they have been handpicked by the mayor”.

Holmes-Lewis did not comment, but a spokesman for the mayor said: “Policing in our city needs to improve and change and the voices of Londoners – with a wide range of professional skills and lived experiences – must be at the heart of driving this reform.

“As a board very much independent from the Met, it is expected they will have a variety of strong opinions and perspectives.

“As well as experts in front-line policing and law, the board has strong representation from communities who have been let down by the police and have the lowest levels of trust in the Met – their contribution will be invaluable to driving the level of reform outlined in Baroness Casey’s review.

“The mayor is pleased to be working with board members and looks forward to the next meeting in December as work continues to publicly oversee and scrutinise the systematic and cultural reform of the police in our city.”

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