Exclusive

Sajid Javid tells LBC Cressida Dick is the 'right person' to lead under-fire Met

2 October 2021, 08:23 | Updated: 2 October 2021, 09:09

Sajid Javid backs Dame Cressida Dick for Met top job

By Sophie Barnett

Sajid Javid has insisted that Dame Cressida Dick is the "right person" to lead the Met in tackling violence against women and girls amid mounting calls for her resignation, adding more work needs to be done by the government to address the issue.

Speaking to Andrew Castle on LBC, the Health Secretary said we all have to draw the right lessons in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens.

It follows the former cop being handed a whole-life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of Ms Everard at the Old Bailey on Thursday.

The former Home Secretary told Andrew: "There does need to be reforms.

"I do think Cressida is the right person to take forward that reform in the police, but I also think that there is more work here for the government to do to build on the Violence Against Women strategy that's already been published.

"We've all got to draw the right lessons from this, I mean this is one of the most horrific crimes I can ever imagine and I say that as a former Home Secretary, and we've just got to make sure that the reforms that are necessary come forward."

Read more: 'I think we can trust the police': PM backs officers amid anger at Sarah Everard murder

Read more: Met officers facing probe over 'offensive Whatsapps shared with Couzens' still on duty

Grilled on how we should address the issue of women's safety, Mr Javid said it is essential to listen to women and their representative organisations about what more they think can be done.

He said the crime is so "shocking" because we "rightly associate the police with protecting those, and when that doesn't happen in the most appalling way, as we've seen, it should shock us".

Mr Javid joined a number of senior politicians who have backed the under-fire Met chief, following damning calls for her to resign after details of the case were revealed during Couzens' two-day sentencing.

Harriet Harman, the Mother of the House of Commons, has led calls for Dame Cressida to resign.

She told LBC the Met chief should "recognise it's best for her to go".

"It was on her watch that the warning signs on Sarah Everard's killer were missed.

"As soon as an allegation is made we need an immediate investigation and a prompt suspension. I didn't want to see Cressida Dick fail but it's because I want to see the changes, I want to see them taken through with energy and determination. I know she cannot do that."

Read more: Met chief faces calls to quit over how cop nicknamed 'The Rapist' slipped through the net

Read more: Harriet Harman tells LBC why she wants Cressida Dick to resign

Bell Ribeiro, Labour MP for Streatham, also joined calls for Dame Cressida to stand down.

Labour MP calls on Met Commissioner to resign

She told Andrew on LBC that she thinks by now she should have resigned.

"My constituents have simply had enough of these continued failings," she said.

"It's not just Sarah's case, there have been other cases, more recently the policing of the Euro semi-finals, there's been stop and search, and the way in which that is conducted. All of these different things keep happening in and around Cressida Dick's leadership of the Met.

"Telling women to flag down buses... I just couldn't.

"I understand and I believe in fairness this was in direct response to someone's question 'what do you do if you feel uncomfortable in the presence of a police officer' but what I want to be addressed is why can't we create a situation where I don't feel uncomfortable in front of a police officer?"

During Mr Javid's appearance on LBC, he also outlined the government's plans to draft in a former senior military commander to carry out a far-ranging overhaul of leadership in the health and social care sector.

General Sir Gordon Messenger, an ex-vice chief of the defence staff, will conduct the most far-reaching review the sector in England has seen in 40 years.

The move follows the announcement last month of a £12 billion-a-year cash injection to help the NHS catch up after the pandemic and overhaul social care.

The announcement reflects key themes of Boris Johnson's "levelling up" agenda which is expected to feature heavily in the coming week, as the Conservative Party conference gets under way from Sunday.

This story is being updated

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Five of the six victims from the stabbing have been named.

Victims of Sydney stabbings named as heartbroken tributes flood in following attack by knifeman who killed six

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

Rishi Sunak confirmed a number of Iranian drones attacking Israel were shot down by RAF jets.

RAF jets shot down ‘a number’ of Iranian drones attacking Israel, Rishi Sunak says

A demonstrator waves Iranian and Palestinian flags during an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Square in Tehran, Iran

What is the fallout from Iran’s attack on Israel?

Disability advocate Charlotte Anderson advises people on how to apply for PIP.

YouTuber who fills out PIP applications for £650 each says she has ‘only ever lost one claim in six years’

Planning documents show the owners of the pub want to rebuild it in a new location.

Owners of Crooked House agree to rebuild ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ - providing it's in a new location

Joe Biden has reaffirmed the US's commitment to defending Israel's security.

Biden reaffirms ‘ironclad support' of Israel as he plans G7 meeting to coordinate ‘diplomatic response to Iran attack’

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired at Israel

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation

The knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre has been named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi (left)

Pictured: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed six people before being shot dead by brave policewoman

Iranian drones and missiles have arrived in Israel with explosions in the skies - as officials warn of a "significant response" to the massive attack.

Explosions in skies and sirens across Jerusalem amid Iranian attack - as Israel warns of 'significant response'

USS Bataan which is heading to the Eastern Mediterranean (main) and Joe Biden (r)

US sends amphibious warship and 2,500 Marines into the Eastern Mediterranean after Iran attacks Israel

US and UK forces are helping defend Israel from Iranian drones and missiles after a massive attack was launched.

British and American jets 'shoot down Iranian drones' as Rishi Sunak slams Iran for 'reckless' attack against Israel

President Biden is holding an emergency national security meeting as the US prepares its response to Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel.

President Biden holds high-stakes emergency meeting as Iran launches full-scale attack on Israel

Iron Dome Rocket Interceptions of Hamas Rockets- Southern Israel- Night Attack On Ashdod City

Israel closes airspace as it braces for Iranian drone attack