Sadiq Khan will oppose Met Police chief who does not understand force’s ‘cultural issues’
Sadiq Khan has pledged to oppose the appointment of a new Metropolitan Police chief unless they have a “robust plan” to deal with the “cultural problems” that have engulfed Britain's police force in a series of scandals.
Writing in The Observer, the London Mayor said he was “deeply concerned” that public trust and confidence in the Met “has been shattered so badly”, which he concluded could only be rebuilt with new leadership at the top of the Met.
Dame Cressida Dick dramatically announced she was standing down as Metropolitan Police Commissioner on Thursday evening after Mr Khan made clear he had no confidence in her plans to reform the service.
Mr Khan, who had put the former commissioner "on notice", wrote that he will “work closely” with Priti Patel on the selection of Dame Cressida’s successor.
While the Conservative Home Secretary holds the power over the appointment, she must factor in the Labour Mayor’s preference.
Mr Khan wrote: “I will not support the appointment of a new commissioner unless they can clearly demonstrate that they understand the scale of the cultural problems within the Met and the urgency with which they must be addressed.
“In short, they need to get it, and they need to have a proper and robust plan to deal with it.”
The comments could worsen tensions that arose between the mayor and Ms Patel over the manner of Dame Cressida’s departure, just months after the home secretary agreed a two-year extension to her contract.
Home Office sources said Ms Patel was angered by Mr Khan’s failure to inform her that he had called Dame Cressida to a meeting on Thursday afternoon, which she considered “rude and unprofessional”.
Dame Cressida, however, chose not to attend after reportedly being informed that Mr Khan had no confidence in her plans for reform.
Sources close to the mayor said that it had been a regular bilateral meeting and that it was up to Dame Cressida to inform Ms Patel of her decision herself.
Ms Patel has said it would require “strong and decisive leadership” to rebuild public confidence in the Met’s “integrity and professionalism”.
Dame Cressida’s departure follows a barrage of criticism of the force including over its handling of the case of Sarah Everard who was raped and murdered by a serving Met officer.
Scotland Yard also faced a sustained public outcry over its policing of the vigil for the murdered woman which saw women bundled to the ground and arrested, adding fuel to critics who say there is a culture of institutional misogyny within the force.