A group of high-profile victims of police corruption, malpractice and incompetence are urging Boris Johnson not to extend the contract of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.
The mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence is one of the signatories of an open letter calling on Mr Johnson to replace Dame Cressida and accusing her of “presiding over a culture of incompetence and cover-up”.
The letter – shared with the Daily Mail and written by authors including Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Lady Diana Brittan – says the 60-year-old “must be properly investigated for her conduct”, along with her “predecessors and those in her inner circle, who she appointed and who have questions to answer”.
The group says she should be replaced by someone outside of London “via a truly independent and transparent process”, whilst also calling for an overhaul of the Met’s senior team.
It comes after reports suggested Dame Cressida was offered a two-year extension to her contract as no other candidates were seen as suitable for the job.
According to The Guardian, Downing Street, Home Secretary Priti Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan supported the move, despite the force attracting criticism under her leadership – particularly in the last six months.
She resisted calls for her resignation over the force’s heavy-handed policing of a vigil held in memory of Sarah Everard, the marketing executive murdered by former Met Police officer Wayne Couzens in March.
Meanwhile, in June a report on the unsolved 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan accused the force of institutional corruption.
The force has also faced ongoing accusations of racial bias in its use of stop and search powers and was hit with criticism over the security of Wembley stadium during the final of the Euro 2020 championships.
Dame Cressida has previously denied the force is institutionally racist but has admitted it is “not free of discrimination, racism or bias”.
She has also had to deal with the fallout from Operation Midland, a multimillion-pound investigation during which detectives were duped by false claims of a VIP sex abuse ring made by fantasist Carl Beech.
Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House previously apologised for failings made by the force following Operation Midland and insisted there was no cover-up.
Baroness Lawrence, mother of teenager Stephen Lawrence, who died in a racist attack in 1993, has voiced her disappointment after an investigation into her son’s death was shelved last year.
Meanwhile Lady Brittan, whose home was raided when her late husband Lord Brittan was falsely accused of child abuse as part of Operation Midland, previously told the Home Affairs Select Committee that public figures caught up in the scandal had still not received justice.
Alastair Morgan, the brother of Daniel, and four others affected by abuse claims; radio presenter Paul Gambaccini, former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, Edward Heath’s biographer Michael McManus and Nick Bramall, the son of Lord Bramall have all signed the letter.
The group have requested a meeting with Mr Johnson and the home secretary to discuss their hopes for wider reform of the force.
Dame Cressida, who became commissioner in April 2017 and was the first woman to lead London’s force since its inception in 1829, is coming to the end of a five-year contract that was due to finish in April next year.
Reports have suggested that she could still turn down the offer of a contract extension if both sides fail to reach an agreement on the details of the deal.
A Home Office spokesperson told the PA news agency: “The appointment of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service is a formal process which will be confirmed in the proper way.”