South west London MPs have been reacting with mixed emotions on Twitter to Cressida Dick’s shock resignation as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis last night.
Though there was a generally universal belief it was a positive step for the Metropolitan Police, particularly with the silence of south west London’s Conservative MPs, many’s relief was tainted with the feeling it was too little, and too late.
Dick had faced criticism during her tenure as commissioner for her handling of the Sarah Everard case and subsequent vigil, institutional discrimination within the force, and most recently the investigation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown parties.
Many MPs, including Seema Malhotra and Andy Slaughter, MPs for Feltham & Heston and Hammersmith respectively, retweeted the views of London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan in a video he posted.
Khan said: “In this country, we need police by consent, and when trust in the police breaks down to the extent it has, that model and therefore public safety is put at risk.
“Last week, I made clear to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner the scale of the change I believe is urgently required to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners in the Met.
“I’m not satisfied with the Commissioner’s response, it’s clear that the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top of the Metropolitan Police.”
As well as also retweeting the statement, Marsha De Cordova, MP for Battersea, added her own thoughts as well as retweeting her own tweet of her making a parliamentary speech from less than a week ago.
She said: “Her resignation is not enough. The whole force needs to be fundamentally reformed.
“The Metropolitan police has deep-rooted structural problems with racism, misogyny, homophobia and bullying.”
James Murray of Ealing North also added his own views to Khan’s video in a quote tweet, while Brentford and Isleworth’s Ruth Cadbury drew attention to the specific groups that she felt the Met needed to regain the trust of.
She said: “Thank you Sadiq Khan for your leadership on this.
“I know many of my constituents have been angry with the Mets [sic] leadership over the recent weeks & months.
“The Met urgently need to rebuild trust – especially with women, young people & the LGBT+ community.”
The Liberal Democrat leader and Kingston & Surbiton MP Ed Davey was supported by fellow south west London MPs Munira Wilson of Twickenham and Sarah Olney of Richmond Park, as he drew attention to the fact that he believed the Prime Minister should not be in charge of deciding her successor.
He said: “Boris Johnson must have no role in choosing Cressida Dick’s successor to lead the Met.
“A man under criminal investigation by the Met should not be able to choose who’s in charge of it.
“I would like to thank Cressida Dick for her dedicated police service, but a change of leadership in the Met is long overdue.
Perhaps the most controversial tweet from south west London MPs came from Virendra Sharma, who drew attention to the shooting of the innocent Jean Charles de Menezes.
Dick was the gold commander in the control room during the operation which led to the killing by police, and many criticised her appointment in the first place on that basis.