Are Boris Johnson and Cressida Dick friends?

Cressida Dick ‘has to go’ over ‘party-gate’ says Abbott

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The Downing Street parties scandal has put Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick in possession of the key that could end Boris Johnson’s time as Prime Minister. Sue Gray’s much-anticipated report was released this week and unfortunately made for a disappointing read despite condemning the Prime Minister for a “failure of leadership”, as much of the report was redacted due to the Met chief’s request to keep references to events they are investigating “minimal”.

In the report, Ms Gray wrote: “As a result of the Metropolitan Police’s investigations, and so as not to prejudice the police investigative process, they have told me that it would only be appropriate to make minimal reference to the gatherings on the dates they are investigating.

“Unfortunately, this necessarily means that I am extremely limited in what I can say about those events and it is not possible at present to provide a meaningful report setting out and analysing the extensive factual information I have been able to gather.”

Dame Cressida Dick has had a controversial tenure as the head of London’s police force, and her career has already been on the line in recent months.

In her time as commissioner, Dame Cressida had been implicated in the catastrophic decision to launch an inquiry into a VIP paedophile ring that turned out to be drawn up by a conspiracy theorist.

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She has been accused of “obfuscation” by frustrating an inquiry into the axe murder of Daniel Morgan that found the Met “institutionally corrupt”.

And most recently, the Met’s handling of the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens, and the violent response by police towards women at a vigil in her honour, sparked some of the most voracious backlash against the police in recent memory.

Now, the Met has come under intense political and public pressure to explain how the gatherings were able to take place at a site with a heavy police presence – and why it took them so long to investigate.

But despite the number of scandals under her belt, Boris Johnson extended Dame Cressida’s tenure as Met Commissioner by an additional two years.

Are Boris and Cressida friends?

The relationship between the Commissioner and Prime Minister outside of their professional roles is unknown.

However, they have long run in similar circles.

It is unknown when the pair met, but they both studied at Bailliol, Oxford, albeit with Mr Johnson a few years later than Dame Cressida.

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Following the scandal of Ms Everard’s death by a Met police officer, Mr Johnson refused to order Dame Cressida’s sacking.

If he is found to have breached lockdown rules, it’s most likely the end of the road for the Prime Minister – a fate that could rest in the hands of the Commissioner.

Some of the public backlash to the launch of the criminal inquiry was directed at how it actually provides breathing space for Mr Johnson, putting space between the publication of Sue Gray’s report and the Met Police’s decision, with interest and fury waning by the time the findings are published.

But there is evidence it is spurring MPs to submit their letters to the 1922 Committee now.

A total of 54 letters would trigger a no-confidence vote, and the Prime Minister would be forced to resign if 180 or more MPs vote against him in a secret ballot.

Alternatively, the Prime Minister could resign – but given his track record, this seems unlikely.

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