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A senior Met Police chief has today accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of failing to follow proper processes in the sacking of Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick

In the latest skirmish between the force hierarchy and the Labour Mayor in the wake of Dame Cressida’s shock resignation, Met Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House today told a committee he believes a review should take place.

He also revealed he had written a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel raising his concerns over the handling of Dame Cressida’s departure from the force. 

In another jab at Mr Khan, Sir Stephen also said he was ‘surprised’ at the politician’s u-turn on his support for Dame Cressida days before it was announced she would be leaving her £270,000-a-year role.

Mr Khan suddenly withdrew his support for Dame Cressida following a damning watchdog report into police conduct at Charing Cross police station.

The probe by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) exposed violently racist, misogynist and homophobic messages exchanged by officers based at the central London police station.

Sir Stephen said the apparent change of heart by Mr Khan had come as a surprise because the Mayor had been a ‘vocal supporter’ of the Commissioner ‘only a few weeks ago’.

He also claimed that the content of the messages from the police watchdog ‘cannot have been a surprise’ to the Mayor, because they had been under investigation for four years and that his office for police and crime (Mopac) had already been briefed.

But Mr Khan today hit back, saying that trust in the police among Londoners had ‘plummeted over the last two years’ and that we was working to appoint a new commissioner ‘who will take the necessary action to restore trust in the service’.

Giving evidence to the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee about Dame Cressida’s sacking, Sir Stephen said: ‘I feel deeply disappointed, there’s a clear procedure in statute laid down to allow the removal of a police chief officer, it’s not been followed in this instance.

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House (pictured) says he has written a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel raising concerns over the handling of Dame Cressida's shock resignation earlier this month.

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House (pictured) says he has written a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel raising concerns over the handling of Dame Cressida's shock resignation earlier this month.

He told a committee of London Assembly members today that he believes proper procedures have not been followed in regards to Dame Cressida Dick's (pictured) departure from her role

He told a committee of London Assembly members today that he believes proper procedures have not been followed in regards to Dame Cressida Dick's (pictured) departure from her role

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House (pictured left) says he has written a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel raising concerns over the handling of Dame Cressida’s shock resignation earlier this month. He told a committee of London Assembly members today that he believes proper procedures have not been followed in regards to Dame Cressida Dick’s (pictured right) departure from her role

Sir Stephen also revealed his 'surprise' at an apparent u-turn by London Mayor Sadiq Khan (pictured) days before it was announced Dame Cressida would be leaving her £270,000-a-year role

Sir Stephen also revealed his 'surprise' at an apparent u-turn by London Mayor Sadiq Khan (pictured) days before it was announced Dame Cressida would be leaving her £270,000-a-year role

Sir Stephen also revealed his ‘surprise’ at an apparent u-turn by London Mayor Sadiq Khan (pictured) days before it was announced Dame Cressida would be leaving her £270,000-a-year role

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House says he has written a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured)

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House says he has written a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured)

Met Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House says he has written a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured)

‘It’s not even been initiated in this instance, due process has not been followed and instead we’ve seen matters played out in the media.

‘Because of this, I’ve written to the Home Secretary to ask her to have a review carried out of the events that have taken place.’  

Dame Cressida resigned in a shock move earlier this month after Mr Khan said he was not happy with her response to outrage over offensive messages exchanged by a group of officers based at Charing Cross police station.

According to reports, Dame Cressida quit the force after being told by Mr Khan to sack officers at the heart of the Charing Cross station scandal – or risk facing suspension herself. 

While Mr Khan categorically denies threatening the outgoing chief, Dame Cressida is said to have spoken of it in a video call last week, where she explained her departure to more than 100 officers, The Times reports.

She told them how the mayor was left furious by the revelations from Charing Cross, which exposed violently racist, misogynist and homophobic messages exchanged by officers based at the central London police station.

He was particularly angry that nine officers kept their jobs within the under-fire force, with two even having been promoted, according to the paper. 

Dame Cressida is then said to have tried to spell out how the process was an independent one carried out by the police watchdog, and the fact that officers were only charged with lower level disciplinary offences meant they couldn’t be sacked.

However, this failed to satisfy the mayor, who would swiftly then announce his lack of faith in her ability to run the Met.  

Speaking about the messages, Sir Stephen told the committee: ‘The text messages and the Charing Cross case cannot have been a surprise to this mayor, Mopac (the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime) have been briefed on these events and they have been under investigation for four years.

Dame Cressida Dick was urged by Sadiq Khan to sack officers at the heart of the Charing Cross station scandal - or face suspension herself, according to reports

Dame Cressida Dick was urged by Sadiq Khan to sack officers at the heart of the Charing Cross station scandal - or face suspension herself, according to reports

Dame Cressida Dick was urged by Sadiq Khan to sack officers at the heart of the Charing Cross station scandal – or face suspension herself, according to reports

Scandal-hit Met Police is hit by decade-high sex crime accusations against officers after allegations doubled to 251 in the year since Sarah Everard was murdered 

The Metropolitan Police have been hit by ‘decade-high’ sexual offence accusations against officers after ‘claims doubled in the year’ since Sarah Everard was brutally murdered.

New figures show that 251 Met officers or staff have been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment and other sexual offences in the last year.

The majority of those accused have been male members of the force, amounting to 87 per cent of the accusations, and include 190 claims made internally by staff – a 104 per cent rise since 2020.

According to Freedom of Information figures obtained by The Telegraph, ‘dozens’ of those who have been accused of sexual misconduct held the rank of sergeant or above and just 11 out of the 217 were charged of offences last year. 

This news comes a year after former Met Police officer Wayne Couzens kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard while she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham in March 2020. 

Couzens, who was nicknamed ‘The Rapist’ by colleagues, had been accused of indecent exposure three times before he abducted the marketing executive in Clapham, south London, on March 3.

Meanwhile, a shattering watchdog report exposed earlier this month how officers joked about ‘raping’ and ‘hate-f*****g’ female colleagues, ‘killing black children’, and beating their partners in a series of highly offensive racist, sexist and homophobic messages which they tried to excuse as ‘banter’.

Last week Dame Cressida Dick was forced to quit Britain’s biggest police force after losing the Mayor of London’s support over her plan to implement major reforms to Scotland Yard following a string of scandals and accusations of a ‘toxic’ working culture. 

The Home Secretary previously said that ‘problems with the culture of the Met’ had been ‘clear for some time’, as its crisis-prone commissioner was branded ‘delusional’ and incapable of clearing out the ‘cesspit’ of ‘institutional misogyny and racism’ that had developed under her watch.

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‘Only a few weeks ago, the mayor was a vocal supporter of the commissioner in a tripartite meeting with the Home Secretary. Hence my surprise at what’s happened.

He added: ‘I feel sad for my boss that her police career and lifetime of public services ended in this way. I know that I’m not alone in feeling this.’

Dame Cressida’s resignation has since seen already-strained tensions between the force and City Hall pushed further, with some senior figures said to be concerned over what they believe to be political manoeuvring.

One told the Times‘You now have the politicians trying to completely run the place. And Khan has said he will oppose the next commissioner if they don’t toe the line. What happened to independent operational policing?’ 

It follows comments from the Met Police Federation earlier this week, which declared it has ‘no faith’ in Mr Khan after his ‘very public ousting’ of Dame Cressida, warning morale among officers had hit ‘rock bottom’.

The body representing more than 31,000 rank-and-file police officers claimed Mr Khan’s actions have ‘undermined the professional, dedicated and incredibly difficult work of tens of thousands of hard-working and brave police officers from across the capital’. 

Last week the Met Police publicly slated Mr Khan by endorsing a message on an alleged sacking ultimatum he made to Dame Cressida – and mocking him for not understanding dismissing staff was independent to her powers. 

The Times story on Dame Cressida’s alleged row with Mr Khan was retweeted by former Newsnight and current LBC correspondent Matthew Thompson, who added ‘Times saying Sadiq Khan asked Cressida to sack Charing Cross officers. She couldn’t, and resigned.

‘But if the Mayor of London doesn’t understand that the process for sacking officers is independent of chief constables… well that’s a bit of a problem.’

It was retweeted by an official Met Police account with 40,000 followers named Met Police Taskforce, who added themselves the phrase ‘Exactly this.’ 

The Met Police later apologised, saying: ‘This tweet was unacceptable and shouldn’t have been shared from a Metropolitan Police account.

‘Senior officers are addressing the matter and will be reminding officers that they are expected to be independent and impartial at all times, on and off duty, including on social media.’

The social post – now deleted – prompted an angry reaction from Mr Khan, who saw it as he was on a phone-in on LBC.

He fumed: ‘When you have Met Police accounts amplifying information that is misleading how is it possible for officers who are concerned about the behaviour of other officers to come forward?

‘Why are we surprised when whistleblowers don’t come forward if this is the attitude both the IOPC talked about and from a blue ticked account?

Mr Khan was furious about the Twitter post and denied threatening Dame Cressida with sack

Mr Khan was furious about the Twitter post and denied threatening Dame Cressida with sack

Mr Khan was furious about the Twitter post and denied threatening Dame Cressida with sack

The tweet from the Met Police Taskforce endorsing the message has now been deleted

The tweet from the Met Police Taskforce endorsing the message has now been deleted

The tweet from the Met Police Taskforce endorsing the message has now been deleted

‘I say this to the chairman of the Met police federation and the person in charge of that Met Police official account amplifying misleading information, are you making it easier or harder for officers to witness this to come forward?

‘Are you making it more likely or less likely Londoners will have their confidence restored in the police service?’

Earlier he said parts of the Times article, specifically the ultimatum, was not correct. 

He added: ‘In my view the current (Met) leadership didn’t stand the scale of the change

‘You can take Charing Cross by itself but also the punitive impact on trust and confidence. 

‘The article is not right. I am not going to hide my anger and disgust at these officers. No I didn’t.

‘I was angered and disgusted by a number of officers. It was not the case the commissioner was given an ultimatum to sack them or she would be sacked.’

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: ‘Trust in the police among Londoners has plummeted over the last two years and is now nearly at an all-time low following a series of devastating scandals involving police officers, including evidence of misogyny, racism, sexism, homophobia and bullying.

‘The Mayor is democratically elected by millions of Londoners and it is his job to hold the police to account – and he will continue to do so.

‘The Mayor is now working with the Home Secretary on the process to appoint a new Commissioner at the Met, who understands the scale of the problem and who will take the necessary action to restore trust in the service.’

Source: Daily Mail

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