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17 Feb, 2022 14:55

London mayor accuses Scotland Yard of ‘amplifying’ disinformation

Sadiq Khan denied giving any ultimatum to Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to fire officers
London mayor accuses Scotland Yard of ‘amplifying’ disinformation

London mayor Sadiq Khan has accused the Metropolitan Police of “amplifying” misleading information after a police Twitter account made a now-deleted post on Thursday about the alleged circumstances surrounding the shock resignation of police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.

The blue-ticked official Met Police Taskforce account retweeted a post by LBC journalist Matthew Thompson, who suggested Dick had resigned after Khan told her to fire disgraced Charing Cross officers, which she “couldn’t” do and so quit instead.

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,” Thompson wrote. The Met Police Taskforce responded, adding, “Exactly this.”

Asked about the tweet shortly after on LBC radio, Khan accused the Met police of spreading disinformation.

When you have Met Police accounts amplifying information that is misleading, how is it possible for officers concerned about behavior of other officers to come forward? Why are we surprised that when whistleblowers don’t come forward if this is the attitude both IOPC talked about and from a blue ticked account?” he said.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) report had previously revealed “disgraceful” behavior among Met officers at the Charing Cross station and a culture of racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Khan also denied threatening to sack Dick unless she fired the officers, as The Times had reported.

It is not the case that the Commissioner was given ultimatum to sack them or she would be sacked,” he said.

The Met police issued an apology over its tweet on Thursday, calling it “unacceptable” and admitting that it “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 Met Police spokesperson said in a statement.

Cressida Dick has announced her resignation on January 25 in an unusually strongly worded and emotional statement. She said that Khan had left her “no choice but to step aside as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.