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Cressida Dick Has Resigned As Metropolitan Police Commissioner

4 min read

Dame Cressida Dick has resigned as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police after five years in the role.

Her resignation follows revelations that officers in the force sent sexist and racist messages to one another over WhatsApp and Facebook groups.

On Thursday morning Dick was adamant she would not leave her post over the scandal.

"I have absolutely no intention of going and I believe that I am and actually have been for the last five years leading a real transformation in the Met," Dick told BBC Radio London earlier on Thursday. 

In a statement published on Thursday evening, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “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.”

Dick has described Khan as having left her "no choice but to step aside".

"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," the former police chief said in her resignation statement.  

"Undertaking this role as a servant of the people of London and the UK has been the greatest honour and privilege of my life," she added.

On 2 February the Mayor of London said he had placed Dick "on notice" after a report revealed that Metropolitan Police officers based at Charing Cross station had exchanged racist, misogynistic and homophobic messages. 

Comments by serving officers about raping female colleagues, killing African babies, hitting their partners, and using a knife to intimidate people into bed led to outcry from MPs about standards within the London force.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct, who compiled the report, investigated the messages of 14 officers.

Two were told they had a case to answer over gross misconduct. One was subsequently dismissed while the other resigned before being asked to leave. 

PoliticsHome understands that the Mayor of London and Dick attended a meeting last week, following the publication of the Operation Hotton report.

The meeting lasted 90 minutes, during which Khan told Dick that trust had been lost and major improvements to Met were required.

Khan said that in order to maintain his confidence, Dick would need to restore the trust of London residents.

However, PoliticsHome understands that Dick submitted a plan to restore confidence last Friday that was only a few pages long.

The force and Khan were both in talks on Thursday, but Dick did not show up for a meeting scheduled for 4.30pm. 

"It was clear before the meeting that plan was not substantial," an insider told PoliticsHome.

Commenting on Dick's resignation, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "I'd like to thank Dame Cressida for the nearly four decades of her life that she has devoted to serving the public, latterly as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. 

"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."

On social media the Prime Minister wrote: "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."

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