Morning Chronicle - London police chief resigns as scandals rock force

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London police chief resigns as scandals rock force
London police chief resigns as scandals rock force

London police chief resigns as scandals rock force

London's police chief announced her resignation Thursday after a string of scandals rocked the British capital's force, including racism, sexism and a serving officer murdering a young woman.

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Cressida Dick, who became the first woman to head London's Metropolitan Police in 2017, said she had "no choice but to step aside" after London mayor Sadiq Khan said he no longer had confidence in her leadership.

Khan said Thursday he was "not satisfied with the commissioner's response", after he told her of broad changes needed to "root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny" in the force.

Dick said she felt "huge sadness", but it was "clear that the mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue".

Her sudden announcement comes as her police force is charged with investigating the "Partygate scandal" swirling around Prime Minister Boris Johnson over alleged parties held in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

Dick said she would stay on for a short while to "ensure the stability of the Met".

The 61-year-old had long faced calls for her resignation after high-profile scandals including the rape and murder of Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped by then-police officer Wayne Couzens in March 2021.

She referred to this in her resignation statement, saying this and "many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service".

But the force "has turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence", she said, adding she was "very optimistic about the future for the Met and for London".

Khan said earlier this month he was "utterly disgusted" after an independent watchdog said London police had sent each other "shocking" racist, sexist and homophobic messages.