We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Mayor questions 'bunker mentality' of former Met Commissioner

Sadiq Khan told the London Assembly that, on the day she resigned, Cressida Dick and her close associates believed there was an 'ambush' coming from the Mayor's office.

Dame Cressida Dick didn't attend a scheduled meeting with the Mayor of London on the day she resigned because she falsely believed his office was planning an "ambush", the London Assembly has been told.

Sadiq Khan, appearing for a second time to answer questions around his actions in the lead up to the former commissioner's resignation on February 10, claimed that a meeting set for 4pm that day wasn't intended to force her removal from office.

Mr Khan first appeared before the Assembly's Police and Crime Committee on November 16 to discuss the findings of a review - undertaken by former Chief HMI Sir Tom Winsor - which concluded that the former commissioner was effectively "constructively dismissed" by the Mayor.

Sir Tom's report said that on February 10, the Mayor's office told Dame Cressida that Mr Khan would make a statement to the media stating that he had lost confidence in her leadership - unless she attended the 4pm meeting with a better plan for restoring public confidence.

It was also claimed that, during conservations held ahead of that meeting, his chief of staff told the former commissioner that the Mayor would publicly emphasise her achievements in post - if she agreed to resign at the end of her existing contract in April.

He also suggested she would receive six months’ pay, but no more.

While the Mayor denied knowledge of such conversations in the first Assembly session, Sir Tom said they formed “part of the pressure that was being applied to the commissioner to persuade her to resign without invoking the statutory process”.

The former commissioner did not attend that meeting.

Sir Tom said during the first Assembly session that, while he believes Dame Cressida should have attended the meeting, she was "entitled to reach" the view that Mr Khan did not want a constructive dialogue. The Mayor said today that he remains "surprised" by her decision.

Reiterating his position that the meeting was designed solely to find a way forward for the Met, Mr Khan claimed that, while he was out on visits that morning and afternoon, Dame Cressida and her associates had developed a "bunker mentality" which "made them believe there was an ambush".

"If there was an ambush, it was a strange way of doing it," he remarked, adding that there was "no bunker mentality at Union Street/City Hall”.

The Mayor told the Assembly that Dame Cressida had convened with "her solicitor and various other people" at New Scotland Yard prior to the 4pm meeting.

During today's session, committee chair Susan Hall quizzed Mr Khan on his assertion that he had cooperated fully with Sir Tom's investigation.

She said: "How can you reconcile that statement with the fact that Sir Tom had to ask you in writing nine times for an interiew; you refused to be interviewed alone, and insisted on David Bellamy and Sophie Linden [deputy mayor] being present with you?

"You did not agree to an interview until four months affter you were first asked for an interview, and only when you saw the provisional conclusions of the investigation. So how would you term that as full cooperation?"

The Mayor said his office had provided all the requested evidence in writing, and that - contrary to what has been claimed - he was happy to meet Sir Tom on his own. 

Discussing the difficulty of securing an interview with the Mayor, Sir Tom said that his "immediate reaction" after being appointed in March was to request statutory powers from the Home Office officials who were drawing up the commission's terms of reference.

He continued: "They said 'no, we have no expectation they will be necessary, because we expect everyone will give you full and timely cooperation' - they were wrong."

Leave a Comment
View Comments 9
In Other News
'We police differently in Scotland' says staff association
Reform must not come at the expense of due process, say Met Fed
Met should be broken up if it can’t reform says Casey review
More News