A senior Scotland Yard officer who locked himself in his car during the Westminster terror attack is due to retire within weeks, as pressure mounts on the police watchdog to investigate his conduct.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey will step down from the force in December after 34-years service.

But his admission that he failed to intervene when he witnessed terrorist, Khalid Masood, attacking and murdering Police Constable, Keith Palmer, has sparked widespread anger among the public and many of his policing colleagues.

Mackey, who was Acting Commissioner at the time, said it had been his "instinct" to get out of the car, but he had been in a short sleeved shirt with no equipment.

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 Floral tributes and a photograph of PC Keith Palmer lay outside the the Houses of Parliament following Wednesday's attack on Westminster on March 24, 2017. Photo / Getty
Floral tributes and a photograph of PC Keith Palmer lay outside the the Houses of Parliament following Wednesday's attack on Westminster on March 24, 2017. Photo / Getty

A growing number of Mackey's former colleagues have said the matter ought to be probed, with some even suggesting there could be a criminal investigation for misconduct in public office.

The Metropolitan Police has so far resisted calls to refer the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), to investigate whether Sir Craig breached any professional standards in his actions.

But sources said the matter was likely to be reviewed due to the strength of feeling since Mackey's evidence at the Westminster terror attack inquest.

Former senior Metropolitan Police officer, Paul Settle, said details of Mackey's action incident had left many serving and retired officers feeling "insulted and disgusted".

He said: "Grass roots officers are disgusted with what they have heard and Scotland Yard ought to refer this matter to the IOPC as a matter of urgency. It is important there is a full and independent examination of Sir Craig Mackey's actions that day in order to establish whether it met the professional standards expected.

"There have even been cases where officers have been charged with misconduct in public office when they have failed to act to prevent crimes and this also ought to be explored if we are to retain confidence in our police leaders."


Peter Bleksley, a former undercover detective with the Met described Mackey's lack of action as "utterly unforgivable".

Writing on Twitter, he said: "His self serving and cowardly actions epitomise why so many rank and file distrust and revile some senior managers. Mackey, you are a disgrace."

Mackey, who was knighted in the New Year's Honours, was in charge of the Cumbria Force when Derrick Bird shot dead 12 people.

The force was later criticised over its handling of the tragedy with an official report claiming there were weaknesses in the response.

Mackey will retire at the end of the year, after which IOPC investigators would not be able to compel him to participate in any misconduct investigation.