Dame Cressida Dick, the head of London’s police force, resigned on Thursday amid a wave of scandals and missteps that have damaged public trust in the force.
Dick, whose title was the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said in a statement: “It is with huge sadness that following contact with the Mayor of London today, it is 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.”
For his part, Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement: “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.
“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.”
He went on to thank her for her service, highlighting that she was the Met’s first woman commissioner.
In an interview with the BBC just hours earlier, the embattled Dick said she had no intention of resigning.
The Met has been hit with a series of serious scandals in recent times, ranging from racist and sexist messages between police officers being exposed, to the handling of “partygate,” which is the series of lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street, and perhaps most publicly and importantly – the kidnapping, rape, and killing of Sarah Everard by a Met police officer, and the subsequent heavy-handed policing of a vigil in Everard’s memory.
Dick acknowledged these issues in her statement, saying: “The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service. There is much to do – and I know that the Met has turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence.”
She added that she will stay on for a short period to manage the transition to a new commissioner. A commissioner is appointed by the British home secretary, but the London mayor is closely involved in the decision.
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