Sir Paul Stephenson has taken over as temporary head of the London Met, following the resignation of Sir Ian Blair. Seen as the most likely candidate in line for the permanent position as commissioner, Sir Paul has served in Northern Ireland, Merseyside and Lancashire. Other candidates for the role of police commissioner, which will be decided in the spring of 2009, include Northern Ireland Police chief Sir Hugh Orde, Merseyside head Bernard Hogan-Howe, West Midlands boss Sir Paul Scott-Lee and Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Julie Spence.

Sir Ian Blair resigned in October citing problems of