Sarah Everard: Harriet Harman calls for Dame Cressida Dick to resign

Labour's Harriet Harman said on GB News that Dame Cressida Dick has no 'credibility' to continue as Metropolitan Police commissioner


Dame Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police commissioner, faced yet more calls to step down amid demands for urgent action to restore the confidence of women in the police after Wayne Couzens was handed a whole life sentence for the killing.

Harriet Harman, in an interview with GB News, has spoken about a need for "fundamental changes" in the Metropolitan police.

The Labour party politician called for the Metropolitan Police Crime Commissioner to resign, saying "she ignored the warning signs that happened on her watch."

"The trust relationship between women and the Metropolitan Police has been completely broken. And in order to rebuild it, there needs to be action. And it's pretty evident reaction that there needs to be", said Harriet Harman.

"There needs to be a system whereby as soon as an allegation is made against an officer of violence against women, they are immediately suspended."

"There's an investigation not by their own force, but by a different force. So it's got a measure of independence that anybody who covers up for a colleague is all is is subject to will have been regarded as doing gross misconduct and be dismissed that tmhere should be proper vetting procedures to ensure that the attitudes of the recruits to the police are not misogynistic, that they don't engage in violent sexual activity."

Dame Cressida Dick's contract was extended by two years earlier this month, which means she will continue to lead the Met until 2024.

Speaking at the Home Office, Priti Patel said: “There are questions, serious questions that need to be answered by the Metropolitan Police … from the very day that Sarah went missing, I have been, clearly, in contact with the Metropolitan Police and putting forward some questions around the conduct of the potential suspect at the time and all the requirements and checks that should have been put in place.”

When asked if Dame Cressida should resign, she said: “I will continue to work with the Metropolitan Police and the commissioner to hold them to account as everybody would expect me to do, and I will continue to do that.”

Describing Couzens as a “monster” and the case as “sickening” and an “appalling tragedy”, Ms Patel said: “It is right that he has been given a whole-life tariff and with that he can never walk the streets of our country again.”

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (left) with Home Secretary Priti Patel during a visit to the new Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre (CTOC) in West Brompton, London.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (left) with Home Secretary Priti Patel during a visit to the new Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre (CTOC) in West Brompton, London.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House of the Metropolitan Police told the London Assembly’s police and crime committee the actions of Couzens “constitute a gross betrayal of everything in policing that we believe in, everything that the Met stands for”, adding: “He was one of us and we need to look at ourselves very, very carefully to understand, a, how was he allowed to be one of us, and what does it say about us as an organisation that he was.”

He said: “I know that the case of Sarah’s murderer has raised questions for us, such as on recruitment, vetting and other areas, and we are working hard to strengthen our systems, our practices, and to look at our culture and improve it.

“We know we have to work to rebuild trust and confidence, and we will do all we can to achieve that.”