Sadiq Khan says new Met chief must tackle ‘toxic culture’ in the police to rebuild public trust

Sadiq Khan said he had a “duty to act decisively” in forcing Dame Cressida Dick to resign as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Writing in the Observer, the mayor of London said: “It has become crystal-clear that there are deep cultural issues within the Met.

“It’s my job as mayor to hold the police to account on behalf of Londoners, so it was my duty to act decisively as soon as I concluded that the only way we were going to start seeing the level of change urgently required was with new leadership right at the top of the Met.”

Mr Khan said Dame Cressida’s successor would need to be prepared to tackle the cultural problems he said had “shattered” public trust.

More on Cressida Dick

“I’d like to thank Dame Cressida Dick again for her years of dedicated service and her role in helping to reduce crime in London over recent years. I will now work closely with the Home Secretary as we select a new commissioner,” he said.

“And as we start this important process, I make this commitment to Londoners – 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.”

Dame Cressida dramatically announced she was standing down as Commissioner on Thursday evening after Mr Khan made clear he had no confidence in her plans to reform the service.

Her departure follows a barrage of criticism of the force including over its handling of the case of Sarah Everard who was murdered by a serving Met officer.

The force has also been criticised for being slow to investigate reports of parties in Downing Street and Whitehall in breach of Covid restrictions.

The final straw, however, was a report by the police watchdog which exposed violently racist, misogynist and homophobic messages exchanged by officers based at Charing Cross police station.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned that the new Met chief must be prepared to tackle the “policing culture” which has left the country’s biggest force reeling from a series of scandals.

Ms Patel, who must now oversee the appointment of a new Commissioner, said it would require “strong and decisive leadership” to rebuild public confidence in the force’s “integrity and professionalism”.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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