Contender to take over Met Police top job is out of the race as he is lined up for watchdog role
- Andrew Cooke is out of the running to replace Dame Cressida Dick as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, who resigned in February
- But Cooke is Home Secretary Priti Patel’s first choice as Chief Inspector of Constabulary, a watchdog role and one of the biggest jobs in the police service
- Cooke will appear before the Commons home affairs committee tomorrow for a scrutiny session
A contender for the top job at the Metropolitan Police is out of the race after being named as the frontrunner for a watchdog role.
Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed yesterday that Andrew Cooke is her preferred candidate to be Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
It means the ex- Merseyside force head could no longer take over from Dame Cressida Dick.
Other contenders include Dame Lynne Owens, ex-National Crime Agency head, Steve Kavanagh, former Essex chief constable, and Martin Hewitt, National Police Chiefs’ Council chairman.
Andrew Cooke, now in the running as Chief Inspector of Constabulary, is no longer set to take the top Metropolitan Police job previously held by Dame Cressida Dick
Miss Patel said: ‘Andrew Cooke has substantial experience in the field of law enforcement and has already held several important leadership roles.
‘Having also considered the breadth of his skills and the valuable insights into policing he offers, I believe he is the right person to take on this vital role at a crucial time for the sector.’
Mr Cooke will appear before the Commons home affairs committee tomorrow for a scrutiny session.
Once Miss Patel has received the committee’s report she is likely to formally confirm his appointment.
Mr Cooke was chief constable of Merseyside Police for five years, stepping down last year.
He sparked anger when he said even violent criminals are ‘not inherently bad people’ and that he would rather pump billions into cutting poverty than upholding the law.
But he also oversaw the jailing of dozens of multi-millionaire drug lords, gained a reputation for tough policing and for being a keen user of stop-and-search powers.
Current chief inspector of constabulary Sir Tom Winsor will step down at the end of the month.
Priti Patel speaks during a media briefing January. The Home Secretary confirmed yesterday that Andrew Cooke is her preferred candidate to be Chief Inspector of Constabulary.