The London Mayor delivered a brutal ultimatum to the beleaguered Metropolitan Police commissioner, warning that she has just ‘days or weeks’ to save her job by coming up with a plan to clean up a toxic ‘culture’ in the force.
His damning indictment of Britain’s most senior police officer raises the prospect she could be forced out of the role in the same way as Sir Ian Blair was soon after Boris Johnson became London mayor.
Lord Blair was forced to quit following a damning inquest into the fatal shooting of electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, who was mistaken for a terrorist in 2005.
Dame Cressida was the gold commander in the control room during the operation that led to Mr de Menezes’ death.
Home Office sources said yesterday the commissioner’s position would be ‘untenable’ without Mr Khan’s backing.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (left) and London Mayor Sadiq Khan (right) pictured together in 2017
Met officers Deniz Jaffer (left) and Jamie Lewis (right) were jailed after taking inappropriate photographs at the scene of a double murder in Fryent Country Park, Wembley
Sarah Everard, 33, was kidnapped, raped and murder by disgraced Met cop Wayne Couzens. He was sentence to a whole life order last year
Daniel Morgan was killed with an axe in a south London car park. An independent panel accused the Met of ‘institutional corruption’ after identifying failings in its murder probe
The Met was criticised for its handling of Operation Midland, an investigation into claims of a VIP sex abuse ring made by Carl Beech, who convinced officers he was a childhood victim
Dame Cressida has come under mounting pressure following a string of scandals – from the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer, to the revelation that 14 officers at Charing Cross police station shared sickening jokes about rape, domestic violence, the Holocaust and killing black children.
Mr Khan said he was ‘disgusted’ that nine out of the 14 officers exposed by the police watchdog last week were still in their posts and two had even been promoted.
He believes the culprits should have been sacked and suggested Dame Cressida’s failure to tackle the problem during a 90-minute discussion last week had left her career hanging in the balance.
The mayor said the blunders were ‘not historic or isolated’ and must be tackled now: ‘What we have seen too often are examples of racism, misogyny, sexism, discrimination and the like.
Debacles that shook the Yard on her watch
2020: A report into the shambolic Westminster VIP child sex abuse probe said the Met was more interested in covering up mistakes than learning from them
Mar 2021: Dame Cressida is criticised for the Met’s handling of a vigil for Sarah Everard, who was murdered by Scotland Yard officer Wayne Couzens. It later emerges that Couzens was not vetted properly and officers failed to investigate after he was reported flashing women days before the murder.
Jun 2021: A report into the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan says the Met is ‘corrupt’
Dec 2021: Two Met officers who took photos of the bodies of two murder victims are jailed. The Met marks its worst year for teenage killings, with 30 deaths
Feb 2022: Details of horrific messages exchanged by officers at Charing Cross police station are unveiled in a watchdog report
‘I have been quite clear to the commissioner: my expectation is the next time I see her I want to see what her response is to the examples not of one officer, of 14 officers being involved in racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and the like behaviour, nine of whom are still serving.
‘Secondly, what her plans are to win back the trust and confidence that’s been both been knocked and shattered as a consequence.’
When asked if Dame Cressida still had his trust, Mr Khan said: ‘That will be contingent upon the response from the commissioner the next time I see her.
‘If it is the case that I no longer have trust and confidence in anybody who works for me, I’ll make that quite clear and take action.’
He added: ‘I’m not somebody who is easily disgusted or someone who will get angry easily. I’m both disgusted and angry at what we have seen over the last two weeks.’
Home Office sources said Mr Khan appeared to be ‘rolling the pitch’ for withdrawing support for Dame Cressida later this month.
One said: ‘Sadiq Khan is the police and crime commissioner for London. If he says he has no confidence in her… her position is untenable.’
Dame Cressida’s contract was given a two-year extension only last September, with Mr Khan saying at the time: ‘This will provide the experienced and strong leadership we need as our city emerges from the pandemic.’
Susan Hall, chairman of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee said: ‘Sadiq Khan knew about all of these scandals when he signed off on her contract a few weeks ago.
‘He knows he is in trouble so he is trying to deflect some of that heat.’