The home secretary and the mayor of London have clashed over the departure of Dame Cressida Dick after she was forced out as Metropolitan Police commissioner.
Dame Cressida quit after losing the support of Sadiq Khan over her plan to reform the Met following a string of scandals and accusations of a toxic working culture.
It is understood the beleaguered Met chief was called to a meeting with the mayor yesterday afternoon over the reforms but declined to attend and offered her resignation instead – catching the home office by surprise.
It is understood Mr Khan did not inform the home secretary he had requested a meeting with the commissioner.
According to home office sources, Ms Patel was not impressed by this and thought it was “rude and unprofessional”.
Ms Patel has the final say on the next appointment, but the process requires her to consult Mr Khan as mayor.
He said he would be “working closely” with the home secretary to find a successor.