47% Say Cressida Dick Should Not Resign Over Police Handling Of Sarah Everard Vigil
The public do not think Dame Cressida Dick should resign as Met police commissioner over the handling of the Sarah Everard vigil (Alamy)
A new poll has found overwhelming support for Cressida Dick to continue as Met police commissioner despite police handling of Saturday's Sarah Everard vigil – double the number of those who said she should resign.
The results of a survey by YouGov of more than 5,000 people in the UK shows 47% say she should not resign over the incident, with only 23% who say she should.
43% said the vigil should not have been allowed to go agead at all, while 40% say it should have.
The event, originally organised by Reclaim the Streets was cancelled after it was deemed to be in breach of coronavirus restrictions. Police have been accused of "heavy handed" tactics after women were forcibly restrained when many still turned up to Clapham Common on Saturday to remember the 33-year-old, who went missing from the area earlier this month.
Dick has come under pressure to resign from her post as the head of London’s police force after images circulated of women being violently manhandled by officers at the vigil.
She has defended the way the it was handled, hitting out at “armchair critics”, but she has been summoned for a meeting at Downing Street today by Boris Johnson who said he was "deeply concerned" by the scenes of people being arrested.Both home secretary Priti Patel and London mayor Sadiq Khan, who share oversight for policing in the capital, said Dick still had questions to answer as they ordered two investigations – one by the Met itself, and another by the police watchdog the HMIC.
The polling, which was conducted across Sunday and Monday, also revealed divides on the issue by age and gender, with fewer women (39%) saying it should not have been allowed to go ahead than men (47%).
Young people were most in favour of the vigil taking place (52%), 20 points higher than those aged 65 and over (32%).
The poll on Dick’s position is sharply divided on political lines, with just 16% of those who voted Tory at the last election saying she should resign, whereas 32% of Labour voters said she should go.
YouGov also polled people on the wider question of whether “events such as vigils, protests, and marches” should be allowed to take place given the current coronavirus pandemic, the public was strongly against it.
It reports that 59% say they should not be allowed, compared to just 26% who say they should.
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