Cressida Dick may STILL be in charge of Met Police when Partygate storm hits as details on her depature are finalised
- Negotiations between Dame Cressida Dick and Sadiq Khan are expected to be finalised soon
- Her ultimate leaving date could be as far as two months away
- She could steer Met through the conclusion of its inquiries into allegations of lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street
- Decisions will include whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson should be fined for attending alleged illegal gatherings
A decision is expected today on whether Dame Cressida Dick will stay in her Metropolitan Police Commissioner post until the controversial Partygate inquiry is complete, the Daily Mail understands.
Negotiations between Dame Cressida and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s office over her departure are likely to be finalised soon, after he abruptly triggered her resignation last week.
Her ultimate leaving date could be as far as two months away, which could mean Dame Cressida will steer the Met through the conclusion of its inquiries into allegations of lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.
Negotiations between Dame Cressida and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s office over her departure are likely to be finalised soon, after he abruptly triggered her resignation last week
Her ultimate leaving date could be as far as two months away, which could mean Dame Cressida will steer the Met through the conclusion of its inquiries into allegations of lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street. Pictured: Boris Johnson and staff in the Downing Street garden in May 2020
Decisions will include whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson should be fined for attending alleged illegal gatherings, and whether he misled the House of Commons about his knowledge of the events.
A permanent Scotland Yard commissioner is unlikely to be in place before the summer, after a lengthy appointment process.
‘We hope there will be a decision on Monday regarding the timescale of Cressida’s departure, or certainly early in the week,’ a Whitehall source said.
It is understood matters yet to be resolved include the size of Dame Cressida’s payoff for leaving the job with more than two years left on her contract – a sum that could be more than £500,000 – on top of her pension of around £160,000 a year.
Now Priti’s favourite eyes top job
Priti Patel’s favourite candidate for the Metropolitan Police top job could be back in the running as she considers her next moves after a cancer battle, it is understood.
Dame Lynne Owens is widely regarded as a shoo-in for the commissioner role if she decides to throw her hat into the ring. The former director general of the National Crime Agency retired last September after being diagnosed with breast cancer. But last night friends said she was ‘out the other side’ and has ‘started to think about what’s next’.
She is widely respected in the Home Office, where there was deep regret that her health had ruled her out from taking over the Met last year.
The incumbent commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, was given a two-year contract extension in September –despite a series of scandals – largely because of the lack of obvious successors.
‘A new commissioner probably won’t be actually at their desk until the summer. This is not a quick process,’ the source added. An interim commissioner is likely to be appointed in the meantime.
It comes as Mr Khan indicated he would veto any candidate he felt was unsuitable.
He said he would only back a new commissioner who he felt had a proper grasp of the ‘cultural problems’ at the Met.
‘As we start this important process, I make this commitment to Londoners – 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,’ Mr Khan wrote in The Observer newspaper.
‘In short, they need to get it, and they need to have a proper and robust plan to deal with it.’
Government sources said the Home Office was keen to work with Mr Khan to appoint the best candidate as soon as possible.
‘The Home Secretary is required by the legislation to take the Mayor’s views into account, and she will,’ a source said.
‘The view is that we simply want the best cop in this job.’
Rules changes in 2014 allow ministers to appoint a foreign police officer to the commissioner role and the job will be advertised internationally, with the Home Office expected to approach the embassies of the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia within days.
However, the most likely scenario is that the new commissioner will be British, sources have said.
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