Priti Patel has announced an official inquiry into “systematic failures” by the Metropolitan Police after the murder of Sarah Everard.
The home secretary said at the Conservative party conference today that the probe would look into how Wayne Couzens, who was a serving police officer when he murdered Everard, was able to continue to be employed by the force.
It comes just days after Boris Johnson refused to commit to an inquiry into the murder.
Patel said the probe would “give the independent oversight needed, to ensure something like this can never happen again”.
“It is abhorrent that a serving police officer was able to abuse his position of power, authority and trust to commit such a horrific crime,” she said.
“The public have a right to know what systematic failures enabled his continued employment as a police officer.
“We need answers as to why this was allowed to happen.”
The Home Office said the first part of the probe “will examine Wayne Couzens’ previous behaviour and will establish a definitive account of his conduct leading up to his conviction” as well as “any opportunities missed”.
The second part will look at wider issues around policing, including “vetting practices, professional standards and discipline, and workplace behaviour”.
Couzens was last week given a whole life order for the abduction, rape and murder of the 33-year-old Everard in March.
The serving police officer used his police warrant card to handcuff and abduct Everard.
It was revealed in the aftermath of his arrest that Couzens was given the nickname of “rapist” from some Met officers.
Two serving officers are under investigation by the Met for allegedly racist and misogynist messages sent in a WhatsApp group with the murderer.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he had been in conversation with the home secretary over the past few days and they “agreed that the gravity of the situation required no less than a proper inquiry”.
“This inquiry must leave no stone unturned to ensure that the failures that led to a serving police officer killing Sarah Everard can never happen again,” Khan said.
“And while I know the vast majority of officers are decent and dedicated public servants, the inquiry must also address reports of widespread cultural issues.”
Met commissioner Cressida Dick came under heavy pressure to resign over the Everard murder and the response to a vigil in her memory that saw police officers manhandle and arrest women.
Dick has also overseen a number of other disasters as commissioner, such as Operation Midland which saw high profile establishment figures wrongly accused of paedophilia.
She was controversially awarded a two-year extension recently, sparking criticism from many quarters.