Sir Mark Rowley: who is new Met Police commissioner, why did Cressida Dick resign, who were the candidates?

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Rowley was selected for the role over Met assistant commissioner Nick Ephgrave

The Metropolitan Police has announced the next person to take over commissioner of the force.

Sir Mark Rowley will step into the top job after Dame Cressida Dick resigned from the post earlier this year .

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Dame Cressida was told by London mayor Sadiq Khan that he no longer had “sufficient confidence” in her leadership, amid a flurry of controversies for the Met Police.

This included the handling of the Sarah Everard case and claims of sexism, misogyny, racism and discrimination within the force.

Sir mark owley has been announced as the new Met Police Commissioner. (Credit: PA)Sir mark owley has been announced as the new Met Police Commissioner. (Credit: PA)
Sir mark owley has been announced as the new Met Police Commissioner. (Credit: PA) | PA

Who is Sir Mark Rowley?

Sir Mark Rowley is a senior police officer within the Met Police and had held the role of assistant commissioner for specialist operations from 2011 until 2015.

The Cambridge-educated police officer was announced to retire from the police in March 2018, having been succeeded by Neil Basu.

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During his career, Sir Mark has received numerous honours, including the Queen’s Police Medal in 2010 and a Knight Bachelor in 2018, the latter of which granted him the use of the title ‘Sir’.

Why did Cressida Dick resign?

Dame Cressida, who was the first woman to hold the role, resigned in February 2022.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick. Credit: VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesMetropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick. Credit: VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick. Credit: VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images | POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Her resignation came amid high-profile controversies in the Met Police.

The force was criticised in light of the Sarah Everard case. The 33-year-old was killed by a serving police officer, Wayne Couzens, raising questions over the culture within the force, while officers were also criticised for the response to a candlelight vigil held for the young woman following her death.

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The Met Police were also criticised for its slow response in opening an investigation into the Partygate gatherings in Downing Street.

Accusations of sexism and discrimination within the Met Police followed Dame Cressida until her resignation, after shocking messages between officers at Charing Cross police station were exposed.

Police at the now infamous Sarah Everard vigil. Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty ImagesPolice at the now infamous Sarah Everard vigil. Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Police at the now infamous Sarah Everard vigil. Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

An IOPC report in February 2022 saw the messages, which included racist, violent, homophic and misogynistic language used in conversations between colleagues, published.

This included jokes about rape and domestic violence, as well as derogatory jokes made about disabled people.

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After the messages were expsoed, London mayor Sadiq Khan put Dame Cressida “on notice” before telling her that he had lost confidence in her leadership and forcing her to resign.

Other controversies during her time in the role included the failure to investiagte Stephen Port properly, who was later convicted of the rape and murder of four men in 2016.

Why was Nick Ephgrave not selected for the role?

Following Dame Cressida’s resignation, many expected Nick Ephgrave to take over the role.

Mr Ephgrave is currently the assistant commissioner of the Met Police, leading many to believe that he was a natural successor to Dame Cressida.

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While he reached the final round of selection for the job - with only himself and Sir Mark still in the running - he was not successful.

It is believed that the new commissioner was expected to identify appropriate changes they would implement in the Met Police force to tackle some of the issues and controversies over the past few years.

What is Sir Mark Rowley’s book The Sleep of Reason about?

Prior to his appointment as Met Police commissioner, Sir Mark co-authored a book on counter-terrorism with journalist David Derbyshire titled ‘The Sleep of Reason’.

The novel is a thriller and centres on an attack at a theme park which sparks terrorist incidents across the UK.

The main character, detective superintendent Sophie Gabriel, works throughout the novel to stop rival Islamist and neo-Nazi groups from bringing violence to the streets.

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