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Sadiq Khan says Met Police are guilty of ‘overt systemic’ homophobia and discrimination

Maggie Baska June 5, 2022
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Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, wears a white collared shirt with a blue jacket as he stares slightly off camera

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says there are "real problems" within the Metropolitan Police including "overt systemic" homophobia. (Getty/Hollie Adams)

Sadiq Khan has condemned the Metropolitan Police for having “real problems” concerning evidence of “overt systemic” homophobia and discrimination. 

The mayor of London appeared on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme on 5 June to lambast the “real problems” that exist within the Met, especially after the departure of former commissioner Cressida Dick.

Khan was asked on the programme whether the Met was a “failing police force”, the Independent reported. He responded that the public was “losing trust and confidence” in the force. 

“So if that’s the criteria of measurement, then you could say so,” Khan said. “I think it has real challenges.”

He continued: “It’s possible to recognise the dedicated, decent, brave officers we have in the police service but to also say we’ve got real problems – real problems that have been shown recently in relation to evidence of overt systemic sexism, racism, homophobia, discrimination, misogyny – which need to be addressed.”

Sadiq Khan added that it was important that the new commissioner – who will be appointed by home secretary Priti Patel – takes steps to “address those challenges”. He believed the new commissioner would also need to “win back the trust and confidence of too many Londoners that has been lost”. 

“One of the reasons why I lost confidence in the previous commissioner was my lack of confidence in her plans to address the two big issues – addressing the systemic racism, sexism, homophobia and misogyny, but also the trust and confidence required from our public when you police by consent,” Khan said. 

Sadiq Khan stands outside while wearing a white button up shirt, tie and blue suit jacket
Sadiq Khan lacked confidence in former Met commissioner Cressida Dick’s ability to address “systemic” racism, homophobia and sexism. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Dick stepped down from her post in February after a damning report from England’s police watchdog exposed a disturbing pattern of homophobia, bullying and harassment

The report revealed that “malicious” homophobic, racist, misogynist and violent comments made by Met officers were dismissed as “laddish banter”. Examples of “banter” highlighted in the report included officers sending homophobic remarks to each other like “you f*****g gay” and f**k you bender”. 

Dick initially responded that she had “no intention” of quitting her job as the Met commissioner after the scandal. 

This was despite Sadiq Khan putting her “on notice” and declaring that “Londoners will put up with this” horrific behaviour. Khan added that the Met needed to show it had an urgent plan to “rive out the culture of racism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny which clearly still exists within its ranks”.

Dick admitted on 10 February that Khan’s disbelief in her ability to lead the Met left her with “no choice” but to resign as commissioner of the Met Police. 

But Dick changed her mind and admitted in a statement that Khan’s scepticism in her ability to lead the force left her “no choice” but to resign early. Her last day was on 8 April, and the role has yet to be filled.

Deputy commissioner Sir Stephen House has been temporarily serving as acting commissioner as the recruitment process continues. According to the Guardian, the process has been whittled down to the final two candidates: Mark Rowley, a former head of counter-terrorism, or Nick Ephgrave, currently part of Met’s top leadership.

 

More: Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police, Sadiq Khan

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