Former New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush is in the running to become the new commissioner of Scotland Yard, staking his claim on being the fresh broom needed to sort out the beleaguered Metropolitan Police.
If successful, Bush would become the first foreign leader of a British police force, nearly a decade after Theresa May, then home secretary, changed the law to allow Commonwealth chiefs to apply.
Bush, who ran the New Zealand police for six years until 2020, is one of six men who have applied to succeed Dame Cressida Dick, who resigned in February after a series of racism, misogyny and misconduct scandals.
The UK Home Office has made clear Dick's successor will need to bring drastic improvements to the force, restore public trust and tackle its serious culture problems.
Priti Patel, the UK home secretary, is understood to be attracted by the idea of an outsider who can bring fresh ideas and is not stymied by loyalty to the Met.
Sir Mark Rowley, the former anti-terrorism chief who also ran Surrey police, is widely considered the frontrunner.
UK officials had initially played down the option of a foreign chief. It is understood Bush applied after the British embassy in New Zealand advertised the job.
Bush, who is in his early 60s and runs a consultancy firm, made wide-ranging reforms as deputy commissioner of New Zealand police by shifting to a focus on prevention rather than prosecution. The crime rate fell by 20 per cent and public satisfaction with policing rose five points to 84 per cent. When he was appointed commissioner in 2014 he started a national project called "prevention first", which transformed the police service.
It is unclear whether his approach would go down well with Patel, however, whose mantra is to urge chiefs to get tough on criminals.
Bush would also have to persuade Patel that he could overcome the challenges in London, where teenage homicides hit a record high last year, despite spending his career in New Zealand, which has one of the world's lowest crime rates.
Sources said Bush's application "certainly makes the race interesting". The successful candidate will be picked by Patel, who is required by legislation to take the view of Sadiq Khan into account.
The mayor of London effectively ousted Dick, who resigned after being told he had lost confidence in her ability to run the force. Her responses to the scandals that plagued her tenure were seen as inward-looking and defensive.
Sir Stephen House, Dick's close ally and temporary commissioner, is not believed to have applied for the job.
Mike Bush: Former commissioner of New Zealand police.
Sir Mark Rowley: Former counterrorism boss who also led Surrey police.
Nick Ephgrave: Met assistant commissioner, thought to be the only internal candidate.
Shaun Sawyer: Devon and Cornwall chief constable.
Jon Boutcher: Former Bedfordshire chief heading inquiry into allegations of murder by Stakeknife, the British agent in Northern Ireland.
Kevin Hurley: Former Met detective chief superintendent who applied but is not eligible because he did not reach the requisite senior rank.