Boris Johnson has been in the headlines over the last few days over his decision to support the campaign to leave the EU. But there could be something else on his mind at the moment: the imminent ruling by the UK Supreme Court on a fight he is having with insurance companies following the London riots in 2011.
We wrote about this back in July 2014. The row centres on damage during the riots to a Sony warehouse in Enfield. According to the Riot (Damages) Act, which dates back to 1886, compensation for any building or property damaged during a riot can be claimed from the police as the damage is deemed to be due to defective policing. In the case of the Enfield warehouse, this would mean that the Metropolitan Police, which is funded by Boris Johnson’s office, would be liable for more than £70 million.
However, the Enfield case has gone backwards and forwards through the courts. First, a High Court judge ruled that, although the police were liable under the Act, there was a limit to this liability and ‘consequential losses’, including loss of profit and rent, were not recoverable from the police. This was challenged by insurers, and the Court of Appeal then ruled in their favour. So now the case has gone to the Supreme Court, which started its deliberations a couple of weeks ago.
We’ll report back as soon as there is any decision.