Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick is leaving her role after a series of damaging controversies.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says it’s clear “the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top”.
Sadiq Khan put the Met Police Commissioner “on notice” last week after the police watchdog published messages sent by officers that used sexist, racist and homophobic language.
He said his entire trust in the Met hinged on her coming up with a robust plan for dealing with the behaviour.
But he said he was “not satisfied” with the commissioner’s response and in a statement on Thursday evening said: “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.”Advertisement
Last week, the police watchdog found “disgraceful” misogyny, discrimination and sex harassment among some Met PCs.
Dame Cressida was the first woman to lead the UK’s biggest police force.
Speaking on BBC London hours before her departure was announced, she said she was “seething angry” about the watchdog’s findings and that she had “absolutely no intention” of quitting.
Only a few hours later Dame Cressida Dick resigned
Dame Cressida said it was “with great sadness” she was stepping down.
“It is clear that the mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue,” she said.
“He has left me no choice but to step aside as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.”
She added: “The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service.”
It has been agreed that she will continue to serve for a short period to enable an orderly handover.
But in his statement, Mr Khan said he was “not satisfied” with Dame Cressida’s response and that she “will be stepping aside” as a result.
Mr Khan thanked the commissioner, the first woman to lead Britain’s biggest police force, for her 40-year policing career.
He said he would now “work closely with the home secretary on the appointment of a new commissioner” with an aim to restore trust in the Met.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said Dame Cressida held the role “during challenging times” and that she “exemplified the increasingly diverse nature of our police”.
Dame Cressida, who served in the role for four years, has agreed with the mayor that she will continue to serve for a short time period to enable an orderly handover.
Her resignation comes following a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens, and the exchange of racist, misogynist and homophobic messages by officers at Charing Cross Police Station.
Earlier on Thursday, when asked by the BBC if she should step down, she said: “I have absolutely no intention of going and I believe that I am and have been, actually for the last five years, leading a real transformation in the Met.”
In her full statement she said serving the people of London had been “the greatest honour and privilege of my life”.