Decision 'already made' on new Met Police chief

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The new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is expected to be announced within the next few days and could be disclosed as early as today.

The remaining two candidates for the post, Sir Paul Stephenson and Sir Hugh Orde, had final interviews yesterday and a decision on who will take over from Sir Ian Blair is thought to have already been made.

The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, and Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, will pass the name of the successful applicant to the Queen, who will ratify the decision and an announcement will come from the Home Office.

Sir Paul has been acting commissioner since 1 December last year when Sir Ian resigned from office after Mr Johnson told him he no longer had his support.

Sir Hugh, seen by many as the favourite for the job and widely regarded as the choice of rank and file officers, is currently the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.