Sadiq Khan has said he is not “going to hide from the fact” that he lost confidence in the outgoing Metropolitan Police commissioner.
The London mayor spoke about why he withdrew his support for dame Cressida Dick, on the day she was cheered and applauded by a crowd of police officers and staff bidding her farewell.
Dame Cressida quit after Khan criticised her handling of racist, misogynist, and homophobic messages shared by a group of officers based at Charing Cross police station, and after a series of other scandals faced by the Met.
Her resignation came hours after she said in a media interview she had no intention of quitting. Speaking at the launch of Labour’s local election campaign in Barnet, north London, Khan said:
In the recent past, she’s worked with many others to help us reduce violent crime but I’m not going to hide from the fact that I lost confidence in her.
I’m not going to hide from the fact that we’ve had in our city a series of devastating scandals, overt racism, sexism, discrimination, homophobia, we’ve had trust and confidence from Londoners in the police service at rock bottom.
It’s one of the reasons why I lost confidence in her and it’s one of the things I’ll be looking for in a new commissioner, how they will address some of these serious issues that, frankly speaking, the current commissioner failed to address.
Say their names
Fellow police employees lined Scotland Yard, clapped and cheered to say goodbye to the police commissioner. But members of the public expressed their disgust at Dick’s grand exit from the force:
Cressida Dick and her outgoing victory laps today disgust me. Say their names. Jean Charles de Menezes, Sarah Everard, Rashan Charles, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman. The Met police are the UK’s biggest gang. It’s time we #withdrewconsent pic.twitter.com/JuQtYC82NO
— Michael Morgan (@mikewhoatv) April 8, 2022
cressida dick was in charge of the operation that murdered jean charles de menezes in cold blood, and that violence continued throughout her time as commissioner. this is what the police is. https://t.co/yu216DlAxq
— ruth (@ruth_walshe) April 8, 2022
Timeline for successor
Dick’s last day in the post will be on Sunday, after which she will take unused annual leave, with her final day of employment being April 24. Deputy commissioner Sir Stephen House will temporarily serve as acting commissioner while the recruitment process continues.
Asked about the timeline for appointing a successor, Khan said it could take around five months.
I’ll be working closely with the Home Secretary to make sure we get the widest possible pool of candidates applying, we want the best possible candidate who is successful.
Somebody who understands the challenges we face and also recognises the uniqueness of London, what a wonderful city we are, and how important it is to police by consent, to work with Londoners to restore confidence with women and girls in our city, but also minority communities, particularly black communities as well.
One thing is certain: the Met will have an uphill battle in trying to restore Londoners’ confidence in the police.
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