The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has resigned from her role tonight (February 10) just hours after saying she had “absolutely no intention” of quitting.
Dame Cressida Dick has dramatically left the job after a string of scandals in recent months, most recently the ‘Partygate’ investigations involving the Prime Minister’s office.
Speaking to BBC Radio London earlier today, Dame Cressida said she recognized the scandal of parties at No 10 has “hugely disgusted” members of the public.
In the full statement issued by Scotland Yard this evening, she mentioned the challenges of the role, including “the 2017 terrorist attacks, the Grenfell fire, difficult protests, the pandemic, the murder of serving officers”.
She also acknowledged that the murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met Officer Wayne Couzens “damaged confidence in this fantastic police service”.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan had earlier been quoted as saying that she had “days or weeks” to convince him she should stay in post.
Tonight he said:”Last week, I made clear to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner the scale of the change I believe is urgently required to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners in the Met and to root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny that still exists.
“I am not satisfied with the Commissioner’s response.
“On being informed of this, Dame Cressida Dick has said she will be standing aside. 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.
“I would like to thank Dame Cressida Dick for her 40 years of dedicated public service, with the vast majority spent at the Met where she was the first woman to become Commissioner. In particular, I commend her for the recent work in helping us to bring down violent crime in London – although of course there is more to do.
“I want to put on the record again that there are thousands of incredibly brave and decent police officers at the Met who go above and beyond every day to help keep us safe, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
“I will now work closely with the Home Secretary on the appointment of a new Commissioner so that we can move quickly to restore trust in the capital’s police service while keeping London safe.”
In the full statement issued by Scotland Yard she said: “It is with huge sadness that following contact with the Mayor of London today, it is clear that the Mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue. He has left me no choice but to step aside as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.
“At his request, I have 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.
“Undertaking this role as a servant of the people of London and the UK has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life.
“Throughout my career I have sought to protect the people of this wonderful thriving and diverse city.
“There have been many tough calls. And many challenges. The 2017 terrorist attacks, the Grenfell fire, difficult protests, the pandemic, the murder of serving officers.
“I’m incredibly proud of my team and all they have achieved.
“Since day one tackling violence in all its forms has been my number one priority. We continue to see teenagers murdered on our streets and every attack is a tragedy.
“But we are delivering and overall violence is down. The Met is bucking the national trend. We are achieving remarkable results in key areas of violence, with thousands of fewer victims of knife crime, robbery and other attacks.
“I leave a Met that is growing and will soon record the largest ever number of officers. London is becoming safer. These great people include more women than ever in every rank and role and an increasing number from a broad range of ethnic backgrounds that truly reflect the diversity of London.
“This Met is looking to the future and is ready for threats to come. Officers are better equipped and better informed as we take advantage of mobile and other technologies and forensic capabilities, and introduce better uniform and safety equipment.
“We are delivering enormous transformational change, improving our systems and trialling innovative and state-of-the-art technology including live facial recognition and faster ways to capture and examine digital information.
“Our counter terrorism capability is world leading. Last year I was extremely proud to see the first phase of the Counter Terrorism Operations Center bringing all agencies together in one place as we adapt to the evolving threat.
“This is the Met where every hour of every day our people perform heroic acts to protect the public. We are more accountable, more transparent and more open than ever – with deeper links to our communities.
“The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service. There is much to do – and I know that the Met has turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence. For that reason I am very optimistic about the future for the Met and for London.
“Thank you to everyone in the Met and those who work with us for the extraordinary efforts you make each and every day. The public depend on you, for your professionalism, courage, compassion and integrity. You make a huge difference to people’s lives every day. I salute you.”
Dame Cressida had been in the role since April 2017, following in the footsteps of Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.