Two diversity gurus are at loggerheads with each other over whether black and Asian Army and government officials should be present at Metropolitan Police interviews to ensure there is no cultural bias.
A skirmish has broken out between the National Black Police Association (NBPA) and National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP) after NAMP chairman Fiaz Choudhury claimed senior black or minority ethnic officals from the Armed Forces or Civil Service should sit alongside Met police inspectors when they interview police officers for promotions.
Speaking at the Metropolitan Police Authority's Race Inquiry, Choudhury claimed there was still a racial 'glass ceiling' at the UK's biggest police force, where officers hired "in their own image", and that the only way to eradicate this culture was to instruct ethnic minority officials from outside the police to oversee interviews.
But the president of the NBPA, Ali Dizaei, rubbished the idea, labelling it a "seat-of-the-pants response".
He told Personnel Today: "[The proposal] is not a very clever way to deal with recruitment issues.
"We are not at war so there is no need to be appointing [Met] leaders based on charismatic leadership who lead from the front and defeat terrorists. I don't know how that would have relevance to police leadership when it comes to dealing with knife crime and youth criminality."
Dizaei, who has yet to appear before the inquiry, said the Met should work with organisations that have dramatically improved diversity, and translate that into a policing context.
"What we need to do is parachute in people who see policing from a different set of lenses, ones who have made great leaps in diversity," he said. "Organisations like Toyota, HSBC and Victim Support all appreciate the value of diversity and have rejigged their products and internal approaches to great effect."
The Inquiry will continue until mid-April.
Choudhury declined to comment further on his proposal.