London

London museum salvage plan for scrapped Boris Johnson water cannon

Water canon Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The machines were bought in 2014 before their use had been licensed on the UK mainland

A museum is looking to salvage parts of three water cannon bought while Boris Johnson was London mayor after they were sold for scrap at a £300,000 loss.

The vehicles were bought by Mr Johnson as crowd-control weapons following the 2011 riots.

The Museum of London said it wanted pieces for a modern policing collection at its new Smithfield's site.

A spokesman said it was "yet to be determined whether it's possible to salvage any part".

"Many of our most interesting objects come from scrap heaps, indeed almost all archaeological finds are human waste of some sort", the museum spokesman said.

"Whether it's possible to salvage a part of the water cannon from the scrap yard has yet to be determined, but even a section of it could help to tell a complex story about policing in the capital, which forms an important part of our collection."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption London's three water cannon were bought and refurbished for more than £320,000

The vehicles were sold for £11,025 to Nottinghamshire-based Reclamations (Ollerton) Ltd which will dismantle them and export the parts.

The cannon cost £322,000 to buy second-hand and then refit.

They were bought from Germany in 2014 and Mr Johnson volunteered to be blasted by one of them to reassure people of their safety.

Then-Home Secretary Theresa May banned their use in riot situations in England and Wales in 2015, and later used the purchase to ridicule Mr Johnson in the Tory leadership race after David Cameron resigned.

Water cannon have been used in Northern Ireland but have never been deployed in the rest of the UK.

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