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Cressida Dick stands down after meeting with Mayor

The Met’s Commissioner has resigned after losing a power struggle with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Dame Cressida Dick has stepped down as Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

In a statement issued on Thursday evening she said it was with “great sadness” that she was resigning.

It followed a demand from London Mayor Sadiq Khan last week that she come up with an action plan to deal with internal discipline.

The demand came after an Independent Office for Police Conduct report revealed an investigation into a group of officers at Charing Cross sharing racist and homophobic messages.

Earlier in the day, in a radio interview, she had said she was “absolutely livid” about the conduct case and had vowed to carry on.

But on Thursday evening she revealed the Mayor had rejected her plans to change the country’s biggest police force following a meeting.

She said: "It's clear that the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top of the Metropolitan Police.

"He has left me no choice but to step aside as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service."

The Commissioner said she had agreed to stay on for a short period to ensure the stability of the Met and its leadership while arrangements are made for a transition to a new Commissioner.

She added: "The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service."

Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: “The Metropolitan Police Federation – and The Metropolitan Police officers we represent – are saddened at the news Commissioner Cressida Dick is leaving her role.

“This is of course a challenging time for the Metropolitan Police Service. But policing and police officers are an easy target for critics who have never spent a day in our shoes or dealt with the daily challenges we face.

“Whilst the Federation did not always agree with Commissioner Cressida Dick, we think she was doing a good job in difficult circumstances. She genuinely cares about London, its citizens and - importantly from our perspective – her officers and their families.

“Her removal leaves a void in the leadership of London and UK policing at what is a critical time.

“Cressida Dick should have been given the opportunity and the necessary time to build back trust in the Metropolitan Police Service. She has been denied that. She should have been treated better.

“We will now – like all Londoners – await to see who politicians deem fit to lead the Metropolitan Police Service in 2022 and beyond. And to see who is willing to take up that challenge.”

It brings to an end a career that began when she joined the Met in 1983. She started on patrols in the west end of London and worked as a Sergeant in south-west London and an Inspector for five years in Peckham.

She joined Thames Valley Police as a Superintendent, where she oversaw policing in her home city of Oxford. After a short career break, Cressida returned to the Met in 2001 as a Commander.

She held a range of major roles: from 2011 to 2014, as the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations and National Police Chief Council counter-terrorist lead, Dame Cressida was responsible for UK counter terrorism policing and led operational security and counter terrorist operations for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics.

She was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 New Year Honours and retired from the Met later that year.

In 2017, she was re-attested as a police officer and took up her new responsibilities as the first female Commissioner of the Met.

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,” the Home Secretary said.

“Leading the Met has also involved driving our national counter terrorism capability at a time of multiple threats while as the first woman to hold the post, she has exemplified the increasingly diverse nature of our police and demonstrated that all can aspire to hold leadership roles in policing in this country today.”

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