Britain’s top police officer quits after losing confidence of London mayor

Britain’s most senior police officer is leaving her post after being told she no longer commands the confidence of the mayor of London.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, who formally reports to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, will leave office after the Labour politician made clear he was not “satisfied” with her response to a host of high-profile controversies that have dogged the force in recent months.

The Met has been under intense scrutiny following the murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard by a serving policeman, while the force has lately been strongly criticized after it was revealed that some of its officers joked about raping women in a work WhatsApp group.

“Last week, I made clear to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner the scale of the change I believe is urgently required to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners in the Met and to root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny that still exists,” Khan said in a statement.

He added: “I am not satisfied with the Commissioner’s response. On being informed of this, Dame Cressida Dick has said she will be standing aside. It’s clear that the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top of the Metropolitan Police.”

Khan thanked Dick — the first woman to lead the Met — for “her 40 years of dedicated public service,” but said he would now work with Home Secretary Priti Patel to recruit a successor and “restore trust in the capital’s police service while keeping London safe.”

In her own statement, Dick said it was “clear that the Mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue.”

“He has left me no choice but to step aside as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service,” she said. Dick confirmed she will stay in post “for a short period to ensure the stability of the Met and its leadership while arrangements are made for a transition to a new Commissioner.”

Acknowledging the criticism of the force, Dick said Everard’s murder, “and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service.” But she insisted the force had “turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence,” as she paid tribute to the “extraordinary efforts” of its officers.

The dramatic change at the top of the Met also comes as the force investigates Boris Johnson’s Downing Street over claims coronavirus restrictions were breached in a series of boozy government parties.

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