Priti Patel 'blindsided by Cressida resignation' sparking row with Sadiq Khan

10 February 2022, 19:02 | Updated: 11 February 2022, 06:46

Cressida Dick's resignation has sparked a row between Sadiq Khan and Priti Patel
Cressida Dick's resignation has sparked a row between Sadiq Khan and Priti Patel. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

The shock resignation of Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has ignited a row between the Home Secretary and the Mayor of London.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Sadiq Khan did not warn Priti Patel or the Queen - who appoints the commissioner - of his intention to call Dame Cressida into a meeting that would lead to her resignation, the Daily Mail reports.

Mr Khan summoned the beleaguered police boss at 4.30pm on Thursday after he decided her plan to reform the force was insufficient - but she handed in her resignation instead of attending as requested.

According to Home Office sources, Ms Patel thought the decision to attempt the meeting without alerting her was "rude and unprofessional".

The Telegraph also reported that the Labour mayor did not alert Sir Keir Starmer of his intentions.

Cressida Dick resigns: Tom Swarbrick hears from Ken Marsh

Dame Cressida Dick resigned as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner with "huge sadness" on Thursday evening, leaving the force to begin its hunt for a new chief.

She said she would remain in the role for a short period of time "while arrangements are made for a transition to a new Commissioner".

It will be up to Home Secretary Priti Patel and Mr Khan to work together to find Dame Cressida's successor, with more details about searching for a replacement expected in due course.

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.

Read more: Who will replace Cressida? Runners and riders for Met Commissioner

Read more: Cressida Dick: The string of scandals that left the Met chief no choice but to quit

"At his request, I have agreed to stay on for a short period to ensure the stability of the Met and its leadership while arrangements are made for a transition to a new Commissioner. Undertaking this role as a servant of the people of London and the UK has been the greatest honour and privilege of my life."

Despite Mr Khan being involved in the process of finding Dame Cressida's replacement, it is Ms Patel who will make the final decision on the next appointment.

Among those expected to be in the running for the role are: Former Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House and Chief Constable of the British Transport Police Lucy D'Orsi.

Dame Cressida Dick resigns: LBC Correspondent Matthew Thompson provides latest

Dame Cressida's resignation came just hours after she insisted she had "absolutely no intention" of quitting her job as the Met's top cop - despite a string of criticism of her tenure.

She was tight lipped on Thursday morning as she was asked about her plan for improving London's police force by LBC's correspondent Matthew Thompson.

The commissioner refused to reply when asked if she lost the confidence of Mr Khan.

Read more: Defiant Cressida Dick vows not to quit claiming the Met is better than before

Read more: Cressida Dick given 'days and weeks' to clean up Met racism and misogyny or she's out

Defiant Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick vows to continue

Mr Khan said in a statement on Thursday: "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.

Read more: Ex-Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner 'saddened' as Cressida Dick resigns

Cressida Dick resignation: Ex-Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner reacts

"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.”

Speaking on Thursday night, Dame Cressida recognised the damage caused by Sarah Everard's murder by a serving officer.

She said: "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 trust and confidence, and to raising our standards.

"I am very optimistic for the future of the Met and for London."

The Mayor of London put the commissioner "on notice" last week after a police watchdog uncovered a culture of "disgusting" rape threats, racist abuse and vile jokes about the holocaust among a group of officers at Charing Cross police station.

Mr Khan previously told LBC: "The reason I am so angry and disgusted at the revelations at Charing Cross is these aren't isolated, these aren't historic.

"They affect 14 police officers, nine of whom are still working, I'm still waiting for the Commissioner to come back to me, I meet her regularly so I'm sure I'll be seeing her later on this week."

The police watchdog said a series of investigations had found evidence of bullying and a shocking culture of racist abuse and misogyny within the ranks of the Metropolitan Police at the central London station.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it believed the "incidents are not isolated or simply the behaviour of a few bad apples".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter: "Dame Cressida has served her country with great dedication and distinction over many decades. I thank her for her role protecting the public and making our streets safer."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Keir Starmer welcomes Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Downing Street

Starmer greets Zelenskyy as Ukrainian President becomes first foreign leader to address UK cabinet since Bill Clinton

Roger Hallam was jailed for five years over M25 protests

‘Their protests are pathetic’: Armed forces minister slams Just Stop Oil as founder give five-year prison sentence

2024 Republican National Convention: Day 4

Hulk Hogan tears off shirt on stage at Republican national convention as he declares 'Trumpmania'

Clean up has begun following the riot in Leeds

Clean-up begins after riot sweeps through Leeds neighbourhood with bus set on fire and police car overturned

A global IT outage has hit airports and banks across the world

Global IT outage LIVE: Microsoft error grounds planes, stops trains with banks and IT firms hit

A Microsoft bug has caused a huge IT update

Mass IT outage grounds planes and hits trains, banks and businesses across the world

Nadiya Bychkova has 'made a complaint against Strictly'

Strictly scandal deepens as pro Nadiya Bychkova 'makes complaint against show'

MPs have been subject to abuse within weeks of being elected for the first time

'Traitor, piece of s***, horrible excuse of a woman': New MPs fear attacks after receiving hundreds of abusive messages

Trump recounted the shooting on Saturday

'I'm not supposed to be here': Emotional Donald Trump recounts assassination attempt in first speech since shooting

A police car was overturned in the disturbance and a bus was set on fire

Home Secretary condemns 'shocking' riot in Leeds, after bus set on fire and police car overturned in mass disorder

Nancy Pelosi has said 'Biden can be convinced to quit the presidential race'

Nancy Pelosi 'says Biden can be convinced to quit race', after Obama says he 'must seriously consider' stepping aside

Zelenskyy is set to address Cabinet on Friday

Zelenskyy to address UK Cabinet as Starmer pledges to tackle Russia's 'shadow fleet' to squeeze Kremlin finances

Rikki Berry was shot dead in Kirkby on Wednesday

Man shot dead in Liverpool suburb named for the first time, as police release photo

Bob Newhart has died aged 94

Comedian and actor Bob Newhart, known for his work in Elf and the Big Bang Theory, dies aged 94

Starmer and Macron have had a bilateral meeting in Oxfordshire

Starmer and Macron share sorrow over Channel migrant death, as PM calls for Europe to work together to tackle crisis

A police car was overturned in the disturbance and fires appear to have been lit

Chaos in Leeds as police car overturned and bus set on fire in riot, as Home Secretary condemns 'shocking' scenes