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London Mayor Sadiq Khan will oppose hiring Met chief if they don’t have ‘robust plan’ to tackle cultural issues | UK News


London’s mayor has vowed to oppose the appointment of a new Met Police chief unless they are prepared to urgently tackle cultural problems within the force.

Writing in The Observer, Sadiq Khan warned that Dame Cressida Dick’s successor must have a “proper and robust plan” to deal with the Met’s shortcomings.

Dame Cressida announced she would be leaving the role last Thursday after Mr Khan declared that “the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top”.

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Mayor explains why police chief quit

Read more: The controversies presided over by Cressida Dick

In his newspaper piece, the mayor pointed to a string of scandals that have engulfed the force in recent years.

Mr Khan spoke of his disgust and anger after evidence of racism, sexism, homophobia and bullying was uncovered among officers serving at Charing Cross station – with nine of those involved still working within the force.

He also highlighted “serious incidents” including the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer – and the way a peaceful vigil in her memory was policed.

The mayor said the Met’s current state reminded him of when trust in the police “was at rock bottom” in the 1970s and 1980s when he was a child growing up in London – and he described crossing the road after seeing officers on the beat “simply due to the fear of being unjustly targeted”.

Mr Khan also warned that a breakdown in trust between the police and the public makes it harder to tackle crime. Not only are victims less likely to come forward, but community groups end up being more reluctant to work with officers.

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Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick resigns

Read more: How will Cressida Dick’s successor be chosen, and who are the top contenders?

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been tasked with deciding who should replace Dame Cressida, but she must take Mr Khan’s preference into account.

Tensions have arose between the two politicians over her departure.

A Home Office source told Sky News that Mr Khan had not told Ms Patel of his intention to request a meeting with the commissioner before her dramatic resignation – and that Ms Patel had found this “rude and unprofessional”.