Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London who consulted with the Home Secretary on the decision to extend Dame Cressida’s term, said she would provide “experienced and strong leadership” as London emerges from the pandemic.
He said: “The Met Commissioner has the most difficult policing job in the country, overseeing the safety of more than 10 million people living, working and visiting our global city.
“The last four-and-a-half years have also presented significant additional challenges for the Met, including terror attacks, the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, rising public order incidents and policing challenging Covid-19 restrictions.
“It’s my role as Mayor to both support the Commissioner and hold her to account, and I will continue to do so to ensure we continue to reduce serious violence in all its forms and increase trust and confidence in our police force among London’s diverse communities.”
It comes after officers in Scotland Yard gave their “full support” to their boss amid critics calling for her to be replaced.
Ken Marsh, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents more than 30,000 officers in London, said Dame Cressida had the “full support of the rank and file”.
Calls for Dame Cressida to be replaced
However, a letter from a number of high-profile figures was sent earlier this week, urging Boris Johnson to replace the Commissioner, arguing that she “must be properly investigated for her conduct, along with predecessors and those in her inner circle, who she appointed and who have questions to answer”.
Signatories included Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon; Lady Brittan of Spennithorne; Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP; and Paul Gambaccini, the broadcaster, all of whom expressed disappointment or criticism of the police over cases affecting them.
Their letter also urged the Independent Office of Police Conduct, the police watchdog, to introduce reforms.
Mr Marsh said he understands “fully” the positions the letter signatories are in and his “heart goes out to them”.
Asked about criticism of Dame Cressida, he said: “From what I’ve seen, she’s done everything she can to answer all comments that are put to her and everything that’s put in front of her.”
In a separate statement issued by the Police Federation, it said it “fully supports” the contract extension, adding: “It is easy to comment and criticise from the sidelines.
“Whilst the Federation does not always agree with the Commissioner – the same goes for anyone who holds that post – we think she is doing a good job in difficult circumstances. We know her to be an ethical, courageous and highly competent police leader who genuinely cares about London, its citizens and her officers.”