Alan Johnson guard sacked for 'affair'


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The Independent Online

A police bodyguard was sacked last night following an investigation into claims he had an affair with the wife of the former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson.

PC Paul Rice was suspended by Scotland Yard when the allegations surfaced in January. Mr Johnson stepped down as shadow Chancellor at the same moment, explaining he was finding it "difficult to cope" with "personal issues in my private life".

Mr Rice was dismissed without notice as a protection officer following an investigation by the Met's directorate of professional standards (DPS). He lost his job after a misconduct hearing last night.

He is understood to have worked for Mr Johnson for more than a year, guarding his home and travelling with him both in Britain and abroad. After the general election in May 2010, Mr Rice switched to protecting Mr Johnson's Conservative successor, Theresa May.

Posts guarding VIPs are heavily vetted and officers are warned they need to maintain the highest personal integrity.

Commander Peter Spindler, of the DPS, said: "The behaviour displayed by the officer was unacceptable and as such the board has rightly sanctioned him for the abuse of his position of trust.

"He has damaged the reputation of the Metropolitan Police Service and the specialist discipline in which he worked. By doing so he breached the high professional standards expected by the public and his colleagues."

Mr Johnson stunned Westminster – and forced Ed Miliband into a snap reshuffle - by quitting the Labour frontbench after just four months in the post. He has refused to elaborate on the reasons for his resignation.

He has been married to Laura, his second wife, for almost 20 years. The couple have a 10-year-old son.