Cressida dick

Did Sadiq Khan force Cressida Dick out?

Crime is on the rise in London but spare a thought for the real victim in all of this: Cressida Dick. The former Metropolitan Police Commissioner quit her post in February after a string of scandals on her watch. But an independent report has today claimed that she ‘felt intimidated’ into resigning after an ultimatum from London mayor Sadiq Khan. The report, written by the former chief inspector of constabulary Sir Tom Winsor, says: In my view, in this case, the commissioner faced political pressure from the mayor to resign, that pressure being of a character and intensity which was effectively his calling on her to leave office, outside the

Is Cressida Dick’s stand-in any better?

Goodbye and good riddance: that’s the message from City Hall to Cressida Dick. The Metropolitan police Commissioner was unceremoniously deposed last month by Sadiq Khan after five scandal-filled years in post. Following a protracted dispute over her exit package, the Home Secretary has today confirmed that Dick will be leaving her job in April months before her replacement is named. Priti Patel added that Dick’s deputy Sir Stephen House will temporarily cover as head of the force until a permanent replacement can be found. Who is Sir Stephen, you ask? Well House was the first head of Police Scotland upon its 2012 merger until, that is, his career was brought to

Why I should never look at Twitter

Foreign trips can offer a sense of perspective. Heading to Saudi Arabia, I prepare for my first stint of diplomacy. While most of the world has been fixated on Ukraine, a different subject has dominated the news in Britain for the past few weeks. I wonder how, if asked, I’d explain to a Saudi minister the British media’s interest in whether an open packet of crisps and a length of mauve tinsel constitutes a party. My first problem is more practical: what clothes does a feminist pack when visiting Saudi Arabia? Ministerial briefing packs are not terribly helpful on this point. As a mother of three adult daughters, I’m not

Dick’s departure is Sadiq Khan’s victory

Sadiq Khan forced Cressida Dick out of her job as Metropolitan Police chief. Both made that very clear this evening, with Dick saying ‘the mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue’, while Khan said he was ‘not satisfied with the Commissioner’s response’ to his ultimatum for changing the Met’s culture of misogyny, racism, homophobia and bullying. The Met is clearly an institutional basket case The Mayor of London has played a political blinder on this. Unlike Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has the ultimate authority on the appointment — and exit — of the Commissioner, he has been quick to respond to last week’s report which revealed

Cressida Dick: I consider quitting ‘every few weeks’

It’s been a pretty awful year for the Metropolitan Police. Having been forced to apologise for Wayne Couzens’ murder of Sarah Everard in July, forced to apologise for their officers taking pictures of two murdered sisters in October and forced to apologise for failing Stephen Port’s victims in November, this week the Met was forced to apologise for officers sending ‘disgraceful’ abusive messages at Charing Cross police station. And let’s not forget the Met’s cack-handed last-minute intervention into Sue Gray’s inquiry which will now drag the partygate affair for weeks to come. In such circumstances it’s perhaps unsurprising that the scandal-ridden Met commissioner Cressida Dick sometimes thinks it’s time to pack it in. For Mr

Has Cressida bailed out Boris?

‘Wait for Sue Gray’ was the ministerial mantra last week. And wait, we all have, as the days have ticked by with no sign of her report into the lockdown parties allegedly held at No. 10. But now, after a week of stasis which has had Westminster on tenterhooks, Cressida Dick and the Met police have dropped another bombshell on a quiet Friday morning. Dick revealed on Tuesday that her officers would be launching a criminal investigation into ‘partygate,’ having previously ignored all calls to do so. And today the Met has issued a fresh statement, saying they want ‘minimal reference’ in Gray’s report to the No.10 parties which they’re

What is the point of the Metropolitan Police?

As the year draws to a close, it’s worth reflecting on which of our national institutions came out of 2021 in the worst shape. There’s the Foreign Office of course, whose failure to anticipate or prepare for the fall of Kabul was so brutally exposed by its top mandarin’s testimony earlier this month. There’s the Church of England, whose war on parishes came close to whipping up an Anglican insurrection. And then there’s the Conservative party, which seems to have embraced the dirigisme of Pompidou with none of the shiny infrastructure to match. But in a crowded field, the Metropolitan Police surely take the gold medal for the most incompetent and inept

Why Cressida Dick must go

After the murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, I have come to the conclusion that Cressida Dick needs to go. Yes, it’s easy to call for the resignation of a Metropolitan Police Commissioner. Things go wrong in the policing of London and when the mistakes are big enough, there will be calls for heads to roll. Often, such calls are just another way of expressing anger. But not only has Cressida Dick failed to produce tangible improvements over the past four years: under her tenure, things have become significantly worse. I was a police officer for 30 years and I’m afraid there is much truth in what critics of

Harriet Harman calls for Cressida Dick to resign

Labour’s Harriet Harman has called for Cressida Dick to resign as chief of the Metropolitan Police after Wayne Couzens was sentenced to a whole-life order for the murder, rape and kidnapping of Sarah Everard. He is the first police officer to receive such a sentence. In a letter to the Commissioner, Harman writes that ‘women’s confidence in the police will have been shattered’ by the case and that it is ‘not possible for you [Dick] to lead’ the changes necessary in the force following this case. It is significant that Harman has called for Dick to go. She is not a bandwagon politician and does not tend to call for scalps,

Cressida Dick and the ‘institutional corruption’ of the Met police

The report by Sir Richard Henriques into Operation Midland argued that the Metropolitan police was institutionally incompetent, stupid and credulous. If the devastating report by the independent panel into the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan is to be believed, the force is also institutionally corrupt. The institutional corruption consisted of dishonestly ‘concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image.’ And the ‘failings’ which the Met tried to conceal or deny appear to have sometimes consisted of actual, old-fashioned corruption by individual police officers. The stench rises overpoweringly from every one of the report’s three volumes. From the very first vital minutes after the private investigator Daniel

We’ll miss Cressida Dick when she’s gone

To all those – from Left and Right – joining in the clamour for Cressida Dick to resign as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, a pertinent question hangs in the air: Who would you hire to replace her and what good do you think it would do? If you are on the old-fashioned right of politics, you’d probably have in mind a figure in the mould of the no-nonsense former Commissioner Lord Stevens, a ‘copper’s copper’. If you are on the liberal left, you are much more likely to demand a ‘Common Purpose’ clone, steeped in the fashionable jargon of the College of Policing and identifying structural racism and non-crime

It’s too early to call for Cressida Dick’s scalp

Politics, at its most pathetic, is the Downing Street pack screaming at Prime Ministers, ‘Will you resign?’. At its best, politics and political journalism build up an unanswerable case against a miscreant and take a scalp. The scenes at Clapham Common, last night, were shocking. I have, however, worked in TV news for long enough to know that the cutting room is a minefield. As with vox-pops, the selection and rejection of pictures and voices is one of the most powerful editorial forces in a newsroom. I wasn’t at Clapham Common last night, nor were most in the mass-ranks of social media. Suffice to say, what I saw on social

The police haven’t learned from the Operation Midland disaster

Sir Richard Henriques, the former High Court Judge who published a devastating report on Operation Midland – the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into a fictitious ‘VIP paedophile ring’ made up by Carl Beech and others – has called for a criminal investigation into the officers who botched the investigation. Amongst a catalogue of other failings, officers are accused of misleading the Senior District Judge for England and Wales into issuing search warrants, by describing Mr Beech as ‘a credible witness who is telling the truth.’ Sir Richard’s report was published over four years ago. The Met’s response has been characterised by delay, confusion and obfuscation. On the one hand Bernard Hogan-Howe