The Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has quit after losing support from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
The Home Secretary Priti Patel has clashed with Khan over Dick’s departure as she was forced out as Commissioner.
Following a string of scandals and accusations of a toxic working culture within the Met police and Dick’s plan to reform the force she ended up losing support from Khan.
Dame Cressida was called to meet with Khan at 4:30pm on Thursday over her reforms and did not attend and threw the towel in which caught the Home Office by surprise.
The Mayor did not inform the Home Office of the meeting with Dick, the PA news agency reports.
Home Office sources, said the Home Secretary was not impressed and thought it was “rude and unprofessional” of the Mayor.
The Home Secretary will now seek to appoint the new commissioner and the process requires Patel to work with the Mayor of London to find a new successor.
The Met police was heavily critised for their hesitation to launch an investigation into the Downing Street parties.
Commander Catherine Roper will continue to investigate Boris Johnson and the alleged shindigs in Downing Street and Whitehall.
Dame Cressida 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.”
On Thursday, 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.
“I would like to thank Dame Cressida Dick for her 40 years of dedicated public service, with the vast majority spent at the Met where she was the first woman to become Commissioner. In particular, I commend her for the recent work in helping us to bring down violent crime in London – although of course there is more to do.
“I want to put on the record again that there are thousands of incredibly brave and decent police officers at the Met who go above and beyond every day to help keep us safe, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
“I will now work closely with the Home Secretary on the appointment of a new Commissioner so that we can move quickly to restore trust in the capital’s police service while keeping London safe.”
Patel said, “She would be the first to say that she has held the role during challenging times; yet for nearly five years she has undertaken her duties with a steadfast dedication to protecting our capital city and its people, including during the unprecedented period of the pandemic.”
Harriet Wistrich, director of the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) charity, said: “There were far too many stories of officers accused of violence and abuse still in their jobs and of whistle-blowers victimised instead of listened too.
“Cressida Dick’s response to these series of stories has been wholly inadequate and her description of Wayne Couzens as a ‘wrong un’ meaningless next to the mounting evidence of multiple allegations of abuse and policing failures to tackle violence against women and racism.”