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Orde applies to be new Met chief

One of Britain's top police officers has sent a deadline day application to become Scotland Yard's next commissioner.

Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, confirmed his candidacy just hours before the job advert expired at noon on Wednesday, said a source.

Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House and Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police's current acting deputy commissioner, are also being linked with the post left vacant by Sir Paul Stephenson's resignation over the phone-hacking scandal.

Sir Hugh, who told MPs on Tuesday he was still undecided over the vacancy, missed out on the job in 2009 when Sir Paul was promoted.

The Met's Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin, whose mettle was tested last week by the rioting crisis which swept across the capital, also confirmed he would apply.

Home Secretary Theresa May said on Tuesday that the process of appointing a replacement for Sir Paul was too important to delay in order to enable contenders from other countries to be considered.

"I think it's absolutely important at the moment that we don't delay the appointment of a new Metropolitan Police Commissioner," Mrs May said.

"It's an Olympics year and the Met is facing challenges following the departure of Sir Paul Stephenson and (former Assistant Commissioner) John Yates.

"It's also clear to me that as long as the Met retains its national policing duties, including counter-terrorism, the Commissioner will have a unique policing role in relation to national security, and that is why the post has always been held by a British citizen."

The new Commissioner, tasked with "ensuring public confidence in police integrity", will take over the force on a five-year contract, said an advertisement for the role.

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