Cressida Dick: Met commissioner to leave force in April, Priti Patel confirms

In a written statement to the House of Commons, home secretary Priti Patel today (Monday, March 28) confirmed she had ordered a formal review into Dame Cressida’s departure.

Outgoing Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick will leave her role as head of the force in April, the home secretary has confirmed.

Dame Cressida’s shock exit as chief of the Met came after a series of scandals which led to mayor of LondonSadiq Khan announcing he had lost confidence in her leadership.

Crises included the murder of Sarah Everard by serving cop Wayne Couzens, officers taking photos of the bodies of murdered black sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry and shock racist, misogynistic and homophobic messages emerging from Charing Cross police station.

No successor has yet been appointed.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick is standing down from the Met Police (Photo AFP/Getty)

Deputy commissioner Sir Steve House will take up the reins at the Met until a replacement can be agreed on - which is not expected to be before the summer.

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In a written statement to the House of Commons, home secretary Priti Patel today (Monday, March 28) confirmed she had ordered a formal review into Dame Cressida’s departure.

She said: “Dame Cressida Dick will conclude her tenure as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in April.

“I will shortly launch the process to recruit a new commissioner and anticipate that it will conclude in the summer. I will then make my formal recommendation to the Queen.

Priti Patel speaking in the House of Commons.

“My recommendation will pay regard to the views of the mayor of London, as occupant of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).

“In the immediate term, legislation enables the deputy commissioner, Sir Stephen House, to exercise temporarily the powers and duties of the commissioner.”

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And she added: “The circumstances in which the outgoing commissioner is leaving her role warrant a closer look at the legislation which governs the suspension and removal of the commissioner.”

Former chief inspector at watchdog Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) Sir Tom Winsor will lead the “formal review into the circumstances and implications of Dame Cressida’s departure”.

Sir Stephen House, deputy commissioner of the Met Police. Photo: Getty

Ms Patel also said she wanted to see improvements to the force “even before the next commissioner is in place” driven by Sir Stephen and Mr Khan.

“The Metropolitan Police Service faces major challenges and needs to demonstrate sustained improvements in order to regain public trust in London and nationally,” she said.

“It is vital we get the right person for the biggest leadership role in policing in this country.”

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The announcement follows reports of further tension between the mayor and the Met over the terms of Dame Cressida’s departure.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (C) addresses the media. Photo: Getty

She is thought to be receiving a pay out of around £500,000, according to the Guardian, while the Times newspaper reports that Dame Cressida’s pension will be £100,000 a year.

City Hall was understood to have requested a confidentiality clause within the exit deal, which has been dropped, leaving the former commissioner free to speak as she sees fit.

Sir Stephen called for a review last month when he spoke at City Hall, saying: “I feel deeply disappointed.

“Due process has not been followed, and instead we’ve seen matters played out in the media.

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“Because of this, I’ve written to the home secretary to ask her to have a review carried out of the events that have taken place.”

A spokesperson for the mayor said: “Public trust in the Met Police is at the lowest level on record, following a series of devastating scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer and the overt racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia and discrimination exposed at Charing Cross police station.

“It was against this backdrop that the mayor lost confidence in the ability of the current Met commissioner to lead the deep-rooted change needed.

“The mayor is now working with the home secretary to appoint a new commissioner who understands the depths of the problems faced by the force and has a plan to restore the trust and confidence of Londoners.

“This process is expected to conclude in the summer.”

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The Met Police declined to comment.