Priti Patel ‘commissions inquiry into handling of Cressida Dick resignation’

The apparent move reignited the row with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Sam Blewett
Sunday 27 March 2022 20:59
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Aaron Chown/PA)
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Aaron Chown/PA)

The row between Priti Patel and Sadiq Khan reignited when the Home Secretary reportedly commissioned an inquiry into the handling of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s resignation.

Dame Cressida Dick quit after losing the backing of the London Mayor over her plan to reform the force amid a string of scandals and allegations of a toxic working culture.

The Mail on Sunday reported that a review into what was described as the mayor’s “shambolic sacking” will be headed by Sir Tom Windsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is reportedly commissioning an inquiry (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Home Office was unable to confirm or deny the report, but City Hall struck back.

A source said: “It’s absolutely bizarre that the Home Secretary has decided to waste taxpayers’ money on a politically-motivated inquiry to defend the Met Commissioner when in the past two weeks alone the commissioner has overseen another two devastating scandals at the Met.

“This is a cynical and childish move from a Home Secretary that is more interested in petty politics than in doing her job of keeping the public safe and fixing her refugee scheme for families fleeing Ukraine.”

It was also being argued there is no process to investigate because the commissioner resigned rather than attending a meeting with Mr Khan to discuss the proposals.

Dame Cressida quit on February 11 after the mayor expressed his displeasure with her response to widespread public outrage over offensive messages exchanged by a group of officers based at Charing Cross police station.

The Met’s Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House wrote to Ms Patel calling for an inquiry into the handling of her departure.

Dame Cressida Dick resigned after losing the confidence of the London Mayor (Victoria Jones/PA)

In 2008, Sir Ian Blair resigned as commissioner after losing the support of then-London mayor, and now Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

A spokeswoman for the mayor defended him in response to reports of Ms Patel’s inquiry, saying public trust in Scotland Yard is “at the lowest level on record, following a series of devastating scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer and the overt racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia and discrimination exposed at Charing Cross Police Station”.

“The Mayor is clear that the Met’s next leader must demonstrate they understand the depths of the problems faced by the force and have a plan to restore the trust and confidence of Londoners,” she added.

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