Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to leave her job next month

28 March 2022, 13:32 | Updated: 28 March 2022, 15:04

Cressida Dick quit as Met Police commissioner last month
Cressida Dick quit as Met Police commissioner last month. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Dame Cressida Dick will stand down as Metropolitan Police commissioner next month before her successor is appointed in the summer, the Home Secretary has confirmed.

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Dame Cressida quit in a surprise move last month but agreed to stay on until arrangements to find a replacement are finalised.

Her deputy Sir Stephen House will temporarily take charge when she leaves in April.

Priti Patel also confirmed on Monday that the circumstances of Dame Cressida's resignation will be reviewed by outgoing chief inspector of constabulary Sir Tom Winsor.

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

READ MORE: Who will replace Cressida? Runners and riders for Met Commissioner

She said in a written statement to the Commons that Dame Cressida "deserves our profound gratitude for her decades of public service and leadership in policing".

She added: "Dame Cressida has shown exceptional dedication to fighting crime in London and beyond throughout her time as Commissioner, as the first woman to hold the role of commissioner."

Ms Patel said the circumstances of her departure "warrant a closer look at the legislation which governs the suspension and removal of the Commissioner".

"I am pleased to announce that Sir Tom Winsor will be undertaking a formal review into the circumstances and implications," she said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan denies telling Cressida Dick he'd suspend her

The Home Office said the review, to begin on April 1 and expected to finish by the summer, will aim to:

  • Establish and assess the full facts, timeline of events and circumstances which resulted in the stepping aside of Dame Cressida
  • Consider whether due process was followed
  • Include recommendations on how accountability and due process may be strengthened

Dame Cressida quit after London mayor Sadiq Khan expressed his displeasure at her handling of outrage over racist, misogynist and homophobic messages shared by a group of officers based at Charing Cross police station.

Her resignation, which came hours after she said in a media interview she had no intention of quitting, was greeted with dismay by many officers.

Former Met DI 'sad to see Cressida Dick go'

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen wrote to Ms Patel calling for a review of Dame Cressida's treatment by Mr Khan, saying due process had not been followed.

Dame Cressida and City Hall had also disagreed over whether she should receive a payout and sign a gagging order, The Times reported.

Sir Stephen will temporarily fill the role as head of the force until a permanent successor is found.

He was previously chief constable of Police Scotland for three years, but - similarly to Dame Cressida - stepped down in 2015 following a series of controversies.

His time in charge had been controversial due to the force's policy on firearms and stop and search.

Cressida Dick resigns with ‘huge sadness and regret’

He ultimately went after coming under huge pressure when Police Scotland took days to respond to a fatal road crash on the M9 which saw a woman, Lamara Bell, die in hospital, while her partner, John Yuill, died at the scene.

Ms Patel's written statement added that the Met Police "faces major challenges and needs to demonstrate sustained improvements in order to regain public trust in London and nationally".

"It is vital that we get the right person for the biggest leadership role in policing in this country," she said.

She added: "In the immediate term following Dame Cressida's departure, legislation enables the deputy commissioner, Sir Steve House, to exercise temporarily the powers and duties of the Commissioner.

"Sir Steve and the mayor of London must drive improvement even before the next commissioner is in place."