Will the Government extend Met Commissioner Cressida Dick's contract?

Support is draining away for scandal plagued Met Police chief: Cressida Dick could be gone by April as key figures ask – how can the dame of disaster continue?

  • Cressida Dick is hopeful she can remain on as Metropolitan Police Commissioner
  • Her initial five-year contract is due to expire in April, but she faces opposition 
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to offer support for a contract extension
  • She has faced criticism over several major failed operations  

Cressida Dick’s hopes of securing a contract extension as Britain’s top police officer are fading, with key Government figures questioning her suitability to stay in post, the Mail can reveal.

Last month it emerged that the disaster-prone head of Scotland Yard wants to continue as Met Commissioner beyond her initial five-year contract, which expires in April.

The revelation prompted a backlash from a number of victims of Met incompetence who demanded she step down – not be given up to four more years in charge.

Dame Cressida Dick, pictured, is understood to be willing to continue as Metropolitan Police Commissioner if the government gives her a contract extension

Radio DJ Paul Gambaccini, who was arrested during the Operation Yewtree sex abuse inquiry in 2013 and spent a year on bail before the case was dropped, described Dame Cressida as an officer who ‘shames the Met’. He added: ‘She is unworthy of any position from commissioner down to dog catcher’

Dame Cressida faced criticism for trying to thwart an inquiry into the unsolved murder of private eye Daniel Morgan, pictured

Now informed sources have told this newspaper that there are mounting concerns in Government about Dame Cressida’s continued leadership of the force.

The Met chief has been caught up in a string of controversies including her handling of the Operation Midland scandal, her force’s woeful security operation at the Euro 2020 final and allegations of a ‘cover-up’ culture at Scotland Yard. In June, an official report branded the Met ‘institutionally corrupt’ and accused Dame Cressida of trying to thwart an inquiry into the unsolved murder of private eye Daniel Morgan. She has rejected the key findings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson side-stepped questions on Dame Cressida’s job prospects during a recent radio interview.

But a distinguished former chief constable told the Mail: ‘She would be mad to seek an extension.

‘She has become the story and that is when it’s time to step down.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, side-stepped questions on Dame Cressida’s job prospects during a recent radio interview

Another former top chief constable – previously a vocal supporter of the embattled Yard boss – said: ‘Cress has been administrating the Met, not leading it. It’s time for fresh blood.’

The Mail has learned that a significant number of serving senior officers are deeply unhappy with Dame Cressida’s ‘hands off’ leadership style and her ‘head in the sand’ response to criticism of her and her inner circle.

Dame Cressida’s apparent determination to secure a contract extension poses a potentially tricky political problem for Mr Johnson, who may not want to be seen to be ousting Scotland Yard’s first female chief. He was criticised in October 2008 when, in one of his first acts as London mayor, he fired gaffe-prone Met commissioner Sir Ian Blair – one of Dame Cressida’s remaining cheerleaders.

Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who lost his home and job over the Met’s disastrous Operation Midland probe into spurious child sex abuse allegations, said last month: ‘She is a disgrace and should have resigned long ago. It is time for her to go because of Operation Midland, not to be seeking any extension to her employment at the Met.’

Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who lost his home and job over the Met’s disastrous Operation Midland probe into spurious child sex abuse allegations, said last month: ‘She is a disgrace and should have resigned long ago. It is time for her to go because of Operation Midland, not to be seeking any extension to her employment at the Met’

Mr Proctor, who received £900,000 from the Met in compensation and legal costs over the fiasco, added: ‘I hold her culpable for her role in a severe waste of public funds which severely impacted a number of lives, including mine.’

Radio DJ Paul Gambaccini, who was arrested during the Operation Yewtree sex abuse inquiry in 2013 and spent a year on bail before the case was dropped, described Dame Cressida as an officer who ‘shames the Met’. He added: ‘She is unworthy of any position from commissioner down to dog catcher.

‘The disastrous mistakes made during Operation Midland and beyond it would have been enough to have ended her predecessor Bernard Hogan-Howe’s career and should have been more than enough to end hers.’

The commissioner, 60, who was formally made a dame commander by Prince Charles last month, has indicated she was ‘happy’ to remain in the top job.

Speaking after the ceremony at St James’s Palace, she said: ‘I’m very focused on my job, I love my job, it’s a huge honour.’

Downing Street has refused to be drawn on whether the Prime Minister supported her being given another term but said she ‘retains his full confidence’.

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