The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that he will oppose the appointment of a new Metropolitan Police chief unless they have a robust plan to deal with the force's cultural problems. Dame Cressida Dick resigned from the role over Mr Khan's lack of confidence in her plans for reform.
Mr Khan said he was deeply concerned public trust in the force had been shattered and the new appointment needs to make things happen fast. Dame Cressida's resignation comes after a series of crises engulfed the Met Police, including cases of sexism and misogyny among some Met officers.
The police watchdog found what they described as "disgraceful examples of bullying and sexual harassment” at Charing Cross police station in central London. The Mayor is set to work with Home Secretary Priti Patel to find a replacement.
While the Home Secretary holds the power over the appointment, she must take the Labour Mayor's preference into account. Mr Khan wrote: "I will not support the appointment of a new commissioner unless they can clearly demonstrate that they understand the scale of the cultural problems within the Met and the urgency with which they must be addressed.
"In short, they need to get it, and have a proper and robust plan to deal with it." He warned that people's confidence in the force must be restored after the wave of recent scandals.
He also said that reading the damning Charing Cross report reminded him of "the bad old days of the Met from my childhood". The Mayor wrote: "Growing up in the 1970s and 80s on a council estate in south London, it was commonplace to hear stories of racist, misogynistic and abusive conduct by police officers.
"Trust in the police was at rock bottom in some communities and one of the things I remember being told as a teenager by my dad was: 'Don't make eye contact with the police, don't give them an excuse'." Ms Patel earlier said that the new commissioner must tackle policing culture and conduct.
In a statement she said: "Be in no doubt that a new leader must tackle these institutional issues." Ms Patel said the new commissioner must be focused on the basics, including tackling the abuse of women and girls, drugs and knife crime.
"Policing culture and conduct have rightly come under scrutiny," she said. "Be in no doubt that a new leader must tackle these institutional issues."
In response, Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, said: “Challenges facing policing are broader than one individual.
“Once that confidence was lost then the Met Commissioner was right to resign and I support the mayor's decision.
"But what I am concerned about in all of this debate is it's all focusing on one individual, one individual new appointment, and also one police force. I think the challenges for policing are much broader than this and there needs to be Home Office-led reforms in this area as well."
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis claimed that the London Mayor pressured Ms Dick out of her role, saying it was "rather odd", claiming that Mr Khan was possibly “playing politics."