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Mayor refuses to comment on severance pay for ex-commissioner

Sadiq Khan initially offered a “take it or leave it” six months pay which was rejected by Cressida Dick

The London Mayor has refused to confirm whether there was a private pay-off between his office and former Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.

Lawyers said that, without one, she could have grounds for a harassment claim against him following the publication of Sir Tom Winsor’s report into the circumstances that led her to reluctantly stand down from office which concluded she “felt intimidated” into quitting.

But that report also makes clear that the Mayor had initially offered the commissioner six months salary to resign describing it at the time as “a final offer.”

After Cressida Dick rejected this as unreasonable having taken advice from the Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA), he withdrew from that position and lawyers acting for the Mayor were instructed “to engage in discussions in a reasonable way ” so that a severance package could be agreed and the commissioner could step down on her own terms.

Those negotiations included other issues such as security arrangements. 

The report does not detail how they concluded.   

On February 9 a few days before the commissioner stepped down CPOSA instructed a lawyer from  Kingsley Napley to attend at New Scotland Yard to provide legal advice in relation to the Commissioner’s position. Also present were Alan Pughsley, Chief Constable of Kent, and Ian Drysdale, Deputy Chief Officer for Kent and Vice-Chair of CPOSA. Mr Pughsley attended as ‘CPOSA Friend’ to the Commissioner

Asked directly about the issue of a pay-off, Mr Khan responded: “ I’m quite clear that I don’t accept the findings of this biased report from Winsor, who failed to look at all the facts.

“And what Londoners want to see is a mayor doing his job he’s required to do by statute – holding the commissioner to account – and if the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, the policing minister, and Tom Winsor don’t agree, that’s their problem, not mine.”

Sir Mark Rowley is due to take over as commissioner on September 12.

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