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Police Leadership

Volume 711: debated on Monday 28 March 2022

Dame Cressida Dick will conclude her tenure as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service in April. She deserves our profound gratitude for her decades of public service and leadership in policing, as well as our best wishes for the future. Dame Cressida has shown exceptional dedication to fighting crime in London and beyond throughout her time as Commissioner, as the first woman to hold the role of Commissioner.

The circumstances in which the outgoing MPS Commissioner is leaving her role warrant a closer look at the legislation which governs the suspension and removal of the Commissioner. I am pleased to announce that Sir Tom Winsor will be undertaking a formal review into the circumstances and implications of Dame Cressida’s departure. Sir Tom brings a wealth of experience, most recently as HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services. I will return to this House with his key findings at the earliest opportunity,

The Metropolitan Police Service faces major challenges and needs to demonstrate sustained improvements in order to regain public trust in London and nationally. It is vital that we get the right person for the biggest leadership role in policing in this country.

I will shortly launch the process to recruit a new Commissioner and anticipate that it will conclude in the summer. I will then make my formal recommendation to Her Majesty the Queen. My recommendation will pay regard to the views of the Mayor of London, as occupant of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

In the immediate term following Dame Cressida’s departure, legislation enables the Deputy Commissioner, Sir Steve House, to exercise temporarily the powers and duties of the Commissioner. Sir Steve and the Mayor of London must drive improvement even before the next Commissioner is in place to ensure that the Metropolitan Police Service restores trust and takes every necessary action to keep the public safe.