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London Mayor puts police chief ‘on notice’ amid slew of criticism including handling of partygate

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on November 29, 2021 in London, England.

Victoria Jones – Pool/Getty Images

  • Cressida Dick has ‘days and weeks’ to fix the Metropolitan Police, Sadiq Khan has warned.
  • The force has been rocked by a series of highly damaging scandals under Dick’s leadership.
  • Khan said: “If anyone who works for me who isn’t up to the standards Londoners expect, it’s time for them to go.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick she has “days and weeks” to keep her job, after a series of damaging scandals.

The force has been accused of presiding over a culture of misogyny and criticised for its handling of the Downing Street partygate affair.

Dick faced calls to resign over the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Metropolitan Police officer, and over police behaviour after the murder of sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry last year.

Dick also been criticised for the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into partygate after being accused of a “farcical” U-turn. The force initially said it would not investigate allegations of multiple parties at Downing Street but then abruptly announcing it would, before instructing a civil service inquiry not to publish its findings until the police probe has concluded.

Lawyers said it appeared nonsensical for the police to request that the civil service watered down its report, while opposition parties accused the police of presiding over an apparent cover-up.

Most recently a probe into racism and sexism at Charing Cross police station revealed that officers had shared highly disturbing messages with each other including one which discussed rape, beating up female partners, and “killing black children.”

Khan has told Dick to deliver a clear plan to win back the public’s confidence.

The London Mayor told Sky News on Wednesday: “It’s very important for Londoners to know if anyone who works for me who isn’t up to the standards Londoners expect, it’s time for them to go.”

He added: “The Commissioner needs to come back to me and show me that she has a clear plan, an immediate plan to root out officers like this, cultures that lead to this sort of stuff, and secondly an immediate plan to win back trust and confidence.”

Asked if Dick retained his full support, Khan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “That will be contingent upon the response from the Commissioner the next time I see her.”

In a letter to all 43,000 Metropolitan Police officers and staff last week, Dick said “enough is enough,” The Telegraph reported.

She said the force’s reputation had been damaged by too many instances of “poor conduct and nasty and inappropriate behaviour” but has resisted calls to resign.

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