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Khan ‘standing up for Londoners’ by asking Met chief to resign

25th Feb 2022
Khan ‘standing up for Londoners’ by asking Met chief to resign

(Photo: WikiCommons)

Hamed Chapman & Ahmed J Versi

The Mayor of London has defended his decision to force the Commissioner of the Met Police to stand down, following the head of rank-and-file members of the largest force expressing political criticism of the move by Sadiq Khan.

“It is the Mayor’s job to stand up for Londoners and hold the police to account on their behalf, as well to support the police in bearing down on crime,” a spokesman for the Mayor told The Muslim News.

“With trust in the police among Londoners shattered following a series of devastating scandals exposing evidence of racism, misogyny, homophobia, harassment and discrimination in the Met, it was the Mayor’s view that a change of leadership was the only way to address this crisis in trust,” the Spokesman said. He stressed Khan had “always made clear that there are thousands of incredibly brave and decent police officers at the Met, to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude.”

“But the series of scandals seen in recent years has tarnished the reputation of the police, which is so crucial to policing by consent. Downplaying the scale of the change required is only going to hinder, not help, the vital process of restoring Londoners’ trust in the Met.”

Cressida Dick abruptly resigned as Commissioner on February 11, hours after Khan withdrew his support for her following a string of scandals that she had overseen in her post as the UK’s most senior police officer and the many previous calls for her to step down.

The murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer exposed the longstanding culture of racism, bullying and incompetence. There was the refusal for her to investigate a succession of allegations that there had been many illegal parties held at Downing Street contrary to Covid restrictions.

Chair of the Met Federation claimed the Mayor was trying to deflect from his failings and that members of his association had no faith in Khan and needed to support any changes, otherwise they would not work.

“The Federation will continue to speak up for our good officers. We totally accept that we have to deliver for the public and work to improve confidence, but if you haven’t got your workforce with you, then you are not going to achieve what you’re setting out to achieve,” Ken Marsh said.

“Frankly, what we are viewing is politicians trying to use policing and the career of the country’s most senior police leader to deflect from their own failings,” Marsh pointed his finger back at the Mayor, insisted the Metropolitan police commissioner had been reforming the force’s culture before she was ousted.

Last September, Dick was granted a two-year contract extension by The government that was due to start in April. But according to the Guardian, Home Office sources suggest that Priti Patel, who will appoint a successor in consultation with the Mayor, was in broad agreement despite press reports to the contrary.

Writing in the Observer, Khan set the stage for a showdown with the Home Secretary over the next commissioner, as he vowed to oppose anyone who does not understand the deep “cultural problems” within the beleaguered force. “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.’

My brothers and I would routinely cross the road when we saw officers on the beat, simply due to the fear of being unjustly targeted,” he said. Khan was adamant about his right to be involved in the process to ensure the appointment of someone who can guarantee an end to the Met’s toxic culture and has a clear plan to resolve it, which he didn’t think was the case in the situation with the outgoing commissioner.

The decision to appoint a commissioner is made by the Home Secretary following consultation with the Mayor. The PM had no role in the appointment. Lib-Dems Leader Sir Ed Davey said the PM “A man under criminal investigation by the Met should not be able to choose who’s in charge of it.”

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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