Partygate probe will be ‘unaffected’ by Met Chief resignation, says minister

Partygate probe will be ‘unaffected’ by Met Chief resignation, says minister

A transport minister has said the criminal investigation into twelve allegations of lockdown-defying gatherings across Downing Street and Whitehall following Dame Cressida Dick’s announcement of her resignation as chief commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Robert Courts, the MP for Witney, stressed in an interview with Sky News this morning: “The police are very used to handling matters where there are different partners. They’re completely independent, I have complete confidence in their ability to operationally carry out an investigation. That will not be affected by the role we’re talking about.”

In her statement of resignation, Dick said she had “agreed to stay on for a short period”.

The chair London Assembly police and crime committee, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that London mayor Sadiq Khan had handled the situation “extremely badly” and that a “void” would be left at the Met

Susan Hall argued: “Confidence in the police at the moment is at an all-time low and this hasn’t helped either.

“The way he said to the media that he’d put her on notice, he should have been talking behind closed doors. He also renewed her contract a couple of months ago. I feel this has been, as usual by Sadiq Khan, handled extremely badly,” she went on.

Dick’s announcement that she “had no choice but to step down” follows the publication   of a report earlier this month that evidenced occurrences of  violence, misogyny, racism and bullying among 14 officers based at Charing Cross police station.

The report followed the horrific kidnapping, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met Officer last March.

Meanwhile, Dal Babu, an ex Met chief superintendent, stressed that her departure was only a matter of time.

Last month Babu claimed there was a  “culture of impunity within forces” that he compared to “crisis management” rather than policing.

“Cressida has had five years to put her house in order and failed,” he said when quizzed on the matter by Sky News. “We need to acknowledge the shortcomings that have been there and trust in police has hit the floor, it’s gone down and down and down. We need someone new who’s able to do this in a more effective way.”