- Her Sudden Announcement Comes As Her Police Investigate The “Partygate” Scandal
- Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel praise her achievements in tweets.
- Dick says she would stay for a short while to ensure the stability of the Met.
London: The London police chief announced her resignation on Thursday after a string of scandals shook the British capital’s armed forces, including racism, sexism and a conscript officer who murdered a young woman.
Cressida Dick, who became the first woman to become head of London’s Metropolitan Police in 2017, said she had “no choice but to step aside” after London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he no longer had faith in her leadership.
“I say this with deep sadness and regret,” the UK’s senior police officer said in a televised statement, dressed in her uniform.
The Scotland Yard chief defended her role and the work of her service, finishing by thanking her fellow officers for the “extraordinary effort you put in every day”.
Khan said on Thursday he was “unsatisfied with the Commissioner’s response” after a meeting last week where he insisted major changes were needed to “eradicate racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny” in the corps.
Dick said she felt “an enormous sadness” but it was “clear that the mayor no longer has enough faith in my leadership to continue”. She would remain as head of the service until 2024.
Her sudden announcement comes as her police are investigating the ‘Partygate’ scandal swirling around Prime Minister Boris Johnson over alleged parties in violation of coronavirus restrictions.
Dick said she would be staying for a short while to “ensure the stability of the Met.”
Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel praised her achievements in tweets.
“I thank her for her role in protecting the public and making our streets safer,” Johnson said, while Patel said Dick served in “challenging times” and had “demonstrated determined dedication to protecting our capital and its people.”
The 61-year-old had long faced calls for her resignation after high-profile scandals, including the rape and murder of Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped in March 2021 by then-police officer Wayne Couzens.
Dick has acknowledged that the case has “disgraced” the police.
Couzens seized the 33-year-old marketing manager after wrongly arresting her for violating coronavirus restrictions. He is sentenced to the rest of his life in prison.
Dick was also criticized for the police response during a vigil for Everard in a London park, when police struggled with the mostly female crowd and physically restrained protesters and arrested four people.
Dick referred to “the murder of Sarah Everard” in her resignation, saying this and “a lot of other terrible cases of late, I know, have damaged confidence in this fantastic police force”.
But police “have turned their full attention to restoring public confidence,” she said, adding that she was “very optimistic about the future for the Met and for London”.
Khan said earlier this month that he was “utterly disgusted” after an independent watchdog said London police had sent each other “shocking” racist, sexist and homophobic messages.
Dick grew up in Oxford and attended university before joining the Met in 1983. She revealed in her first interview as a commissioner that she was in a same-sex relationship with a Scotland Yard inspector.