Critics of Met Police chief sign open letter calling for her replacement

Dame Cressida Dick has reportedly been offered a two-year extension to her contract. Credit: PA

High-profile critics of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick have signed an open letter addressed to Boris Johnson urging for her to be replaced.

The letter – shared with the Daily Mail and written by authors including Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Lady Diana Brittan – accuses Dame Cressida of “presiding over a culture of incompetence and cover-up” and urges the police watchdog, the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) to introduce reforms.

It said: “Dame Cressida Dick … must not have her contract extended and must be properly investigated for her conduct, along with predecessors and those in her inner circle, who she appointed and who have questions to answer.”

The letter added she “should be replaced by an appointee outside of London via a truly independent and transparent process”.

Baroness Doreen Lawrence has signed the letter Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Baroness Lawrence, mother of teenager Stephen Lawrence, who died in a racist attack in 1993, has previously voiced her disappointment after an investigation into her son’s death was shelved last year.

Meanwhile Lady Brittan, whose home was raided when her late husband Lord Brittan was falsely accused of child abuse as part of Operation Midland, previously told the Home Affairs Select Committee that public figures caught up in the scandal had still not received justice.

It comes after reports suggested Dame Cressida had been offered a two-year extension to her contract.

Dame Cressida, who became commissioner in April 2017 and was the first woman to lead London’s force since its inception in 1829, is coming to the end of a five-year contract that was due to end in April next year.

According to The Guardian, she is being kept on for a further two years, a decision the paper claims has been made by Home Secretary Priti Patel in consultation with London mayor Sadiq Khan and Downing Street.

The paper reported she was offered the extension as those who could replace her were not yet seen as being suitable for the job.

During her tenure as the head of Britain’s biggest police force, Dame Cressida’s leadership and the Met’s integrity have faced criticism over a number of issues.

Home Secretary Priti Patel previously confirmed Dame Cressida would continue her role for a further two years Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

They include officers’ handling of a vigil held in memory of Sarah Everard, the marketing executive murdered by former Met Police Pc Wayne Couzens in March.

In June, a report on the unsolved 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan accused the force of institutional corruption and sparked denials from the Met’s leadership.

The force has also faced ongoing accusations of racial bias in its use of stop and search powers and was hit with criticism over the security of Wembley stadium during the final of the Euro 2020 championships.

Dame Cressida has also had to deal with the fallout from Operation Midland, a multimillion-pound investigation during which detectives were duped by false claims of a VIP sex abuse ring made by fantasist Carl Beech.

The Met was criticised over its handling of a vigil held for Sarah Everard. Credit: PA

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The appointment of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service is a formal process which will be confirmed in the proper way.”

Dame Cressida previously defended the Met following the Daniel Morgan report, refusing to accept the finding of institutional corruption by an independent panel, and defended the actions of officers at the Euro 2020 final.

She has previously denied the force is institutionally racist but has admitted it is “not free of discrimination, racism or bias”.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House previously apologised for failings made by the force following Operation Midland and insisted there was no cover up. The Met is defending judicial review over the Sarah Everard case.

Mr Khan’s office declined to comment. The IOPC has been approached for comment.