Sadiq Khan threatens to veto Government's next Met Police chief choice

The Mayor of London has said he will not back the Government’s choice for the next Met Police Commissioner if he does not have confidence in them to do the job.

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Sadiq Khan has said he will refuse to back the Government's next choice for Met Police Commissioner if he doesn't agree with it.

Former Met Commissioner Cressida Dick resigned from her post after a number of meetings with Mr Khan.

The Mayor of London revealed how he had questioned a number of Ms Dick's decision, but denied issuing her with any ultimatums on sacking staff.

Sadiq Khan and Cressida Dick
Sadiq Khan and Cressida Dick

He said reports he demanded Cressida Dick sack rogue officers at Charing Cross police station or face suspension are “not right”.

He added: “You summarised the article and the article is not right. That isn’t the position. But I am not going to hide my anger at these officers.”

The Mayor of London was also challenged about claims that the process of sacking officers is independent of chief constables, retweeted by the Met Police Taskforce.

Mr Khan replied that it “pains me to say this” but added these claims were “wrong”.

Sadiq Khan will not back the Government’s choice for the next Met Police Commissioner if he does not have confidence in them to do the job.

New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, in London
New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, in London

The Mayor of London said: “One of the things I have got to say to Londoners is I will not support the appointment of the next commissioner if I don’t have confidence that he or she understands the importance of addressing these deep cultural issues.”

He also confirmed that he would be involved in the interview process for the next commissioner.

Mr Khan also said: “The legislation is quite clear that the Home Secretary appoints the commissioner.

“The good news is that legislation also says ‘with due regard to the Mayor of London’. I have got no doubt the Home Secretary will be incredibly professional when it comes to recruiting the next commissioner.”

The Mayor of London said the Met Police has “deep cultural issues”, including “overt racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, discrimination”.

He suggested on LBC that there had been improvements at the Met Police since he was a child, saying: “There are so many decent dedicated, brave officers. But there has got to be an acknowledgement that there are deep cultural issues.

“We are not talking about unconscious bias, we’re not talking about unwitting prejudice. We’re talking about overt racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, discrimination and the like.”

He said victims of serious crimes including rape, sexual abuse and knife crime “are not coming forward because they don’t trust the police”. He said witnesses are also not coming forward in some cases.

“Trust and confidence is crucial,” he said, adding that is why it is important “to address the two issues I did raise with the commissioner, which is one, what are your urgent plans to address the cultural issues, to root out this overt racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia and the like?

“And, secondly, what are your urgent plans to restore the trust and confidence in Londoners that’s been shattered? That’s my job as the mayor.”