Scandal-hit Met chief Cressida Dick tearfully leaves Scotland Yard for final time

8 April 2022, 13:25 | Updated: 8 April 2022, 15:20

By Asher McShane

Dame Cressida Dick left Scotland Yard for the final time today as Sadiq Khan said she "cannot hide from the fact" he lost confidence in her.

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Dame Cressida looked tearful as she saluted colleagues lined up on the steps of the Met Police's headquarters today. There was applause, cheers and hugs from around 100 colleagues who gathered outside Scotland Yard.

But on the day of her departure, Sadiq Khan said London had seen "a series of devastating scandals, overt racism, sexism, discrimination and homophobia" during her time at the head of the Met.

The Mayor said: "In the recent past, she's worked with many others to help us reduce violent crime but I'm not going to hide from the fact that I lost confidence in her.

Dame Cressida Dick left Scotland Yard for the final time today
Dame Cressida Dick left Scotland Yard for the final time today. Picture: Scotland Yard

"I'm not going to hide from the fact that we've had in our city a series of devastating scandals, overt racism, sexism, discrimination, homophobia, we've had trust and confidence from Londoners in the police service at rock bottom.

"It's one of the reasons why I lost confidence in her and it's one of the things I'll be looking for in a new commissioner, how they will address some of these serious issues that, frankly speaking, the current commissioner failed to address."

Dame Cressida’s deputy Sir Steve House will serve as acting commissioner while her successor is decided upon. Sadiq Khan said it could take "a number of months" before the next Commissioner is found.

Officers applaud Cressida Dick as she leaves Scotland Yard
Officers applaud Cressida Dick as she leaves Scotland Yard. Picture: Scotland Yard

The London mayor said: "I'll be working closely with the Home Secretary to make sure we get the widest possible pool of candidates applying, we want the best possible candidate who is successful.

Dame Cressida quit in a surprise move last month but agreed to stay on until arrangements to find a replacement were finalised, with a successor expected to be appointed in the summer.

The mayor will work with the Home Secretary to appoint a new commissioner "to address the deep cultural issues facing the Met Police Service", his office added.

A spokesman for Mr Khan said earlier this month: "The mayor thanks Dame Cressida Dick for her decades of public service.

"The mayor has been clear that candidates for the next commissioner must have a plan to restore the trust and confidence of Londoners."

Dame Cressida will take unused annual leave after April 10, with her last day of employment being Sunday April 24.

Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed during the week that the circumstances of Dame Cressida's resignation will be reviewed by the outgoing chief inspector of constabulary Sir Tom Winsor.

The Home Office said the review, to begin on April 1 and expected to finish by the summer, will aim to:

- Establish and assess the full facts, timeline of events and circumstances which resulted in the stepping aside of Dame Cressida;

- Consider whether due process was followed; and

- Include recommendations on how accountability and due process may be strengthened.

Dame Cressida quit after Mr Khan expressed his displeasure at her handling of outrage over racist, misogynist and homophobic messages shared by a group of officers based at Charing Cross police station.

Her resignation, which came hours after she said in a media interview she had no intention of quitting, was greeted with dismay by many front-line officers.