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3 Feb, 2022 08:19

Met chief ‘on notice’ by London mayor after report on police conduct

Sadiq Khan was “furious” to learn officers harbored misogyny and racism
Met chief ‘on notice’ by London mayor after report on police conduct

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Cressida Dick, chief of the Metropolitan Police, had an urgent 90-minute talk on Wednesday to discuss cases of racism, sexism, and bullying within the ranks identified by a watchdog. 

The report released by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) this week found “pervasive evidence” of such behavior by members of a now-defunct team working at the capital’s Charing Cross police station.

Khan was reportedly “furious” over the revelations and told Dick she was “on notice.”

“The Mayor made clear to the Commissioner how angry he is with a return to the bad days of the Met of his childhood in the 1970s and ‘80s, and that neither he nor Londoners will put up with this,” a spokesperson for the mayor told media.

He urged the Met to “show it has an effective plan for restoring the trust and confidence of Londoners in the police and to drive out the culture of racism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny which clearly still exists within its ranks.”

The police commissioner is appointed by the queen at the suggestion of the home secretary, but the mayor of London is consulted on candidates for the position. Home Secretary Priti Patel earlier told the Commons Home Affairs Committee that the watchdog’s report showed lapses in leadership “in some quarters,” but also expressed her support for the incumbent chief.

Mayor Khan defended his backing of Dick just days ago, as the police were criticized for their handling of the criminal investigation of alleged violations of Covid-19 restrictions at Downing Street – the so-called Partygate scandal.

Scotland Yard stands accused of undermining senior civil servant Sue Gray’s Partygate report by asking her to keep details relevant to the ongoing inquiry from the public. 

Khan said the home secretary “was right to reappoint Cressida Dick” to serve until at least 2024, a decision that was announced last September. 

The IOPC report and the unusual decision to publish the offensive exchanges between officers in full were the latest publicity disaster to hit the London police force, and more may come soon.

There are two separate investigations into police conduct in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder. Baroness Louise Casey leads an independent review organized by the Met itself, while Dame Elish Angiolini was asked by the Home Office to review the same matter.