The speculated frontrunners to replace Cressida Dick have been named as families of those felt let down by the Met Police blast the departing Commissioner.
Dame Cressida announced on Thursday she would be stepping down after losing the backing of London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of a series of scandals during her tenure leading.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “not satisfied” Dame Cressida could “root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny that still exist” in the force or restore Londoners’ trust.
Dame Cressida acknowledged the Met’s failings in her statement, which said: “The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service. There is much to do – and I know that the Met has turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence.”
Describing her decision to resign, she said: “It is with enormous sadness that following contact with the Mayor of London today, it is clear that the Mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue. He has left me no choice but to step aside as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.
The mayor and Home Secretary Priti Patel will now begin the search for a new Commissioner.
Without a clear frontrunner to replace the outgoing commissioner, here is a look at some of the likely candidates
Neil Basu, another assistant commissioner who previously worked as the head of counter-terrorism, is thought to be a likely candidate.
Mr Basu has spent his entire career serving in the Metropolitan Police.
In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, he said that if someone used the racially offensive comments Boris Johnson had, they would not be admitted into the police force.
For some, the comments were seen as political and could prove detrimental to his chances of succeeding Dame Cressida.
But Mr Basu is popular among officers and is still widely seen as capable.
He is also the most senior police officer of Asian heritage and would be the first minority ethnic commissioner.
Matt Jukes, an assistant Metropolitan Police commissioner currently working as head of counter-terrorism, is seen by many commentators as a likely contender.
Mr Jukes first joined South Yorkshire Police as a PC before moving to South Wales Police and working his way up the ranks.
He rose to become chief constable of South Wales Police before returning to the Metropolitan Police as an assistant commissioner in 2020.
So unlike Dame Cressida, who never ran her own force before becoming commissioner, he has prior experience at the helm.
Sir Stephen House
Sir Stephen House is the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, just below Dame Cressida, and so is a natural contender for the job.
The Scottish police officer has worked in several different forces and was appointed chief constable of Police Scotland in 2012.
However, during his tenure leading Police Scotland he faced criticism for his use of armed patrols as well as stop and search.
He eventually resigned in 2015 over the deaths of Lamara Bell and John Yuill, who lay undiscovered in a wrecked car for three days despite a call from a member of the public.
But in 2018, he became an assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police and was promoted to deputy commissioner by the end of the year.
Current Chief Constable of the British Transport Police, Lucy previously worked as a senior officer at the Metropolitan Police.
During her career, she was in charge of the police response to the Beaufort Park fire in 2006 and she headed up security during Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK in 2015.
She would be following in Dame Cressida’s footsteps as the second woman to become Metropolitan Police commissioner.
Nick Ephgrave, assistant commissioner for frontline policing, is also in with a chance of getting the top job.
Mr Ephgrave began his career at the Metropolitan Police but moved to become Chief Constable of Surrey Police in late 2015.
In 2019, he returned to the Metropolitan Police as an assistant commissioner.
Like Mr Jukes, he also already has experience leading a police force.
Families of those failed by the Met Police have also spoken out since Cressida Dick’s announcement to step down.
The brother of Stephen Lawrence, who was killed in a racially motivated attack in 1993, has said the Metropolitan Police commissioner’s resignation was “needed” and it has set the police “on a pathway now of seeing real change”.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Stuart Lawrence said: “I have met her a good couple of times and those meetings always have been productive, she has always come across to me personally as someone who wants to implement change and wants to see things done differently, but she just hasn’t been able to really put that down to the rest of the forces and the people who are responsible for the different teams throughout the Metropolitan Police force.
“Its a big service, there’s lots of different members and lots of different moving parts and it’s a big job and we really need someone that’s going to be put in post now that’s going really to be able to stamp a real clean step of a new direction to go in.”
Ricky Waumsley, whose partner Daniel Whitworth was murdered by serial killer Stephen Port, said he “didn’t have much faith” in Dame Cressida Dick when he met her just before Christmas.
He said he welcomed her resignation as she “definitely needed to go.”
Outlining his meeting with the former Met chief after an inquest into the deaths of Port’s victims concluded in December, Mr Waumsley told the Today program on BBC Radio 4: “It went OK. She came across [as] friendly and she said she was going to look into improving the Met Police, but I didn’t really have much faith in her.”
Explaining why, he said it was due to a combination of the scale of what had happened and because of that meeting.
“There’s so much homophobic, sexist and racist stuff going on within the Met Police right now. I don’t think she is capable of sorting out these issues,” he said.
He said he is calling for an investigation into the officers who handled the case to be reopened.
Last year, Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball issued an apology on behalf of the Met but rejected the claim that homophobia played a part in its investigation into Port.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.