Leroy Logan has tipped Neil Basu for the top job, saying his ‘cultural competence’ may put him ‘head and shoulders’ above other candidates.
The next commissioner of the Metropolitan Police needs to “learn from history” and acknowledge the force’s “systemic failures”, a founding member of the National Black Police Association (NBPA) has said.
The former Met superintendent, who became the first chairman of the NBPA, has tipped Neil Basu for the top job, saying his “cultural competence” may put him “head and shoulders” above other candidates.
Mr Basu, an assistant commissioner who previously worked as the head of counter-terrorism, has spent his entire career serving in the Met.
Last year he took over responsibility for the College of Policing’s strategic command course, which prepares officers and staff for promotion to the most senior ranks.
Popular among officers and widely regarded as capable, he is also the most senior police officer of Asian heritage and would be the first commissioner from an ethnic background.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Mr Logan said: “I’ve been calling for her (Dame Cressida) to go for the last two years since 2020 during the Black Lives Matter protests and the whole George Floyd issue and how she responded to that.
“She wouldn’t acknowledge institutional racism or any other systemic failure … she was in total denial then, and I found it continued throughout the following two years.”
The next candidate for the job must have a “really clear understanding that they need to acknowledge systemic failures – whether it’s institutional racism, sexisme, or anything else”, han sa, adding that they need to follow that up with making the Met “more accountable and transparent”.
Believing improvements can be accomplished “quickly”, Mr Logan said the sudden change in leadership following Dame Cressida’s departure will give the force the chance for a “clean break”.
Asked who he thinks is the best person to take over the job, han sa: “Neil Basu would be a good candidate.
“He is more in touch with what communities or the wider public is talking about, and being open and forthright and speaking truth to power about what needs to be done.”
Mr Basu has shown a lot of understanding of the issues and is “in touch with communities” so has a “cultural competence” that may put him “head and shoulders above other candidates”, Mr Logan said.
He said the candidates need to “learn from history”, which he says Dame Cressida did not and ultimately became a “victim of history”.
Asked what needs to change at the Met, Mr Logan said: “There needs to be a strong change of narrative about acknowledging where the issues are,” adding that there needed to be independent oversight of the ongoing Met review into culture and standards so that it is not the commissioner and the rest of the force “marking their own homework”.