Suella Braverman has been accused of having a “serious lack of leadership” and giving a “weak” response after a Met Police officer was unmasked as one of the UK’s most prolific sex offenders.
David Carrick, 48, was officially sacked from the force on Tuesday after admitting 49 criminal charges, including 24 counts of rape against 12 women over an 18-year period.
In a commons statement, home secretary Braverman warned “more shocking cases” involving police officers could emerge as she urged forces to increase their efforts to root out corrupt officers.
She added the government agreed “wholeheartedly” dismissal procedures should be revised to get rid of bad officers quicker and they would “come up with the proposals” following the announcement of a review.
Watch: Home secretary Suella Braverman makes statement on David Carrick
But shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said ministers had failed to heed repeated calls for reform of police vetting and standards and accused Braverman of “re-announcing” the review into police dismissals that was initially revealed in October.
Cooper said: “We have to face up to the further evidence that this case has brought up of appalling failures in the police vetting and misconduct processes that are still not being addressed by the government and are not being addressed in this statement.
“I would say the home secretary that given the scale of the problems, not just in this case, but in previous cases as well, her statement is very weak and it shows a serious lack of leadership on something that is so grave and affects confidence in policing as well as serious crimes.”
Cooper added: “All we've got in this statement is a continuation of the existing Angiolini review.
“And a new review, another one on dismissals which I welcome… but it was announced in October, and it still hasn't started and all the home secretary has done is re-announced it today.”
The Carrick case has sparked widespread anger, coming two years after Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard.
Harriet Wistrich, director of the Centre for Women's Justice, said the police officer's crimes revealed "the deeply rotten misogynistic culture that has been allowed to fester within the Met".
The Women's Equality Party said: "They knew. The Met knew about the allegations for 20 years. They did nothing as a serial rapist abused his power. They are complicit."
The Met acknowledged its failures, with Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley adding: “This will lead to some women across London questioning whether they can trust the Met to keep them safe. We have failed. And I’m sorry. He should not have been a police officer.”
Cressida Dick resigned as commissioner last year following a number of scandals, including the Couzens case and the police mishandling of a vigil for Sarah Everard.
The Met was also accused of "institutional corruption" over the unsolved murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan.