Critics of Met Police chief Cressida Dick sign open letter calling for her replacement

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Dame Cressida with Home Secretary Priti Patel during a visit to the new Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Dame Cressida with Home Secretary Priti Patel during a visit to the new Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

High-profile critics of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick have signed an open letter addressed to Boris Johnson urging for her to be replaced.

The letter – shared with the Daily Mail and written by authors including Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Lady Diana Brittan – accuses Dame Cressida of “presiding over a culture of incompetence and cover-up” and urges the police watchdog, the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) to introduce reforms.

It said: “Dame Cressida Dick … must not have her contract extended and must be properly investigated for her conduct, along with predecessors and those in her inner circle, who she appointed and who have questions to answer.”

The letter added she “should be replaced by an appointee outside of London via a truly independent and transparent process”.

Baroness Lawrence, mother of teenager Stephen Lawrence, who died in a racist attack in 1993, has previously voiced her disappointment after an investigation into her son’s death was shelved last year.

Meanwhile Lady Brittan, whose home was raided when her late husband Lord Brittan was falsely accused of child abuse as part of Operation Midland, previously told the Home Affairs Select Committee that public figures caught up in the scandal had still not received justice.

It comes after The Standard reported Dame Cressida had been offered a two-year extension to her contract.

Dame Cressida, who became commissioner in April 2017 and was the first woman to lead London’s force since its inception in 1829, is coming to the end of a five-year contract that was due to end in April next year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is preparing a two-year extension to Dame Cressida’s five-year contract that will keep her in post until 2024.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is also understood to be supporting the reappointment of Dame Cressida on the grounds that she remains the best person to run policing in the capital.

A Home Office spokesperson told the PA news agency: “The appointment of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service is a formal process which will be confirmed in the proper way.”

Dame Cressida previously defended the Met following the Daniel Morgan report, refusing to accept the finding of institutional corruption by an independent panel, and defended the actions of officers at the Euro 2020 final.

She has previously denied the force is institutionally racist but has admitted it is “not free of discrimination, racism or bias”.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House previously apologised for failings made by the force following Operation Midland and insisted there was no cover up. The Met is defending judicial review over the Sarah Everard case.

Mr Khan’s office declined to comment. The IOPC has been approached for comment.

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