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Priti Patel warns against ‘prejudging’ report into Clapham Common vigil

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Priti Patel said the question of whether Metropolitan Police chief Dame Cressida Dick should resign following widespread criticism of the force’s handling of the event was one for after a “full report” into the police response.

Chief inspector of constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor has been tasked with carrying out the review and told the PA news agency he was “confident” inspectors would report findings to the Home Secretary within two weeks.

Metropolitan Police raid / PA Archive

In an interview with ITV’s Peston on Wednesday, Ms Patel said: “I work with the commissioner on all sorts of policing issues.

“Actually, to run and jump to the conclusion that someone should have to resign off the back of what we saw on Saturday, without seeing the full report, is completely wrong.

“I think, again, it’s wrong to end up in this sort of prejudging phase before we actually know the full facts.”

The vigil, in memory of Ms Everard, had originally been organised by the protest group Reclaim These Streets which was forced to cancel it after police said it would be in breach of coronavirus rules.

However, crowds still gathered to remember the 33-year-old marketing executive, whose death has led to an outpouring of grief and anger at violence against women.

Clapham Common vigil / PA Wire

While largely peaceful, it was marred by scuffles, with police officers accused of heavy-handedness after some women were bundled to the ground and handcuffed.

On Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House said his officers were “doing their duty as they saw it” to enforce legislation at the event on Saturday.

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