WAR has broken out between Priti Patel and Sadiq Khan over the shock resignation of Britain’s top cop.
The Home Secretary is fuming at the Labour London mayor for overstepping his brief by effectively showing Met Police chief Cressida Dick the door.
Whitehall insiders fear Dame Cressida’s sudden departure will leave a vacuum at the top.
A scramble is on to find a replacement for a role which leads Britain’s fight against terror as well as protecting London.
Home Office insiders are furious her decision to quit the under-fire force was sprung on them at the last minute.
One said: “The reason the commissioner was given a two-year extension was so we could search far and wide to find the right replacement.
“That will be rushed now thanks to the mayor. And not consulting with the Home Secretary is just bad manners.”
Susan Hall, Tory chairwoman of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee, said: “It will leave a void at the top as opposed to a properly managed handover, which is no way to run a service like this.”
Former Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson accused Mr Khan of “grandstanding”.
Yesterday, Ms Patel said reforming the troubled force called for “strong and decisive new leadership”.
“She declared: “This is the biggest leadership role in policing. However, at this time, the challenges facing the new commissioner are stark.
“The public in London and across the entire country must once again have confidence in the integrity and professionalism of the police officers who serve them. Policing culture and conduct have rightly come under scrutiny. Be in no doubt that a new leader must tackle these institutional issues.”
A spokeswoman for the mayor denied it was handled badly.
TOP JOB RUNNERS
FAVOURITE to take over is Neil Basu — who would be the Met’s first chief from an ethnic background.
The 53-year-old, whose dad is Indian, is popular with London Mayor Sadiq Khan but is said to have a difficult relationship with Priti Patel.
Sources say former counter-terror boss Mr Basu, now at the College of Policing, would bring stability but may be seen as too close to the current regime’s mistakes.
Other contenders include Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, who won praise for the pandemic response.
Ex-Merseyside chief Andy Cooke has a track record in tackling violent crime.
Assistant commissioner Matt Jukes is the current counter-terror head.
Ex-National Crime Agency boss Dame Lynne Owens is in recovery from cancer and is close to Mrs Patel.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17628156/war-breaks-out-priti-patel-sadiq-khan-cressida-dick/ War breaks out between Priti Patel and Sadiq Khan over shock resignation of Met Chief Cressida Dick