Who might be next Met Police commissioner?

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Four candidates have applied to become the new Metropolitan Police commissioner following the resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson.

Home Secretary Theresa May, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Metropolitan Police Authority chairman Kit Malthouse will select Britain's next top officer. So who is in the running?

STEPHEN HOUSE: ASKED BY HOME OFFICE TO APPLY

Stephen House, the chief constable of Strathclyde Police, applied for the job after being contacted by Home Office officials.

Chief Constable Stephen House Stephen House served as a deputy assistant commissioner in the Met for six years

Mr House, 54, was born in Glasgow and moved to London with his family in the 1960s.

He graduated from Aberdeen University before joining Sussex Police in 1981 where he helped police the Brighton Grand Hotel bombing aftermath.

He went on to serve in uniform and operational roles with the Northamptonshire and West Yorkshire forces.

Mr House joined the Met in 2001, where he set up the new territorial policing central operations group. He later headed the specialist crime directorate, with responsibility for areas including homicide, child abuse, the Flying Squad, undercover policing and gun crime.

He began his current role as head of Scotland's largest police force in 2007 and won praise early on for his initiative on gang violence in Glasgow.

In February, ahead of a conference on the future of policing, Mr House suggested a national Scottish police force would be better equipped to deal with major incidents.

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said Mr House had emerged as one of the early front runners.

SIR HUGH ORDE: APPLIED FOR JOB

Sir Hugh Orde, who is thought to have applied, is one of the favourites for the job, according to our correspondent.

He narrowly missed out when Sir Paul got the job in 2009.

Sir Hugh Orde (left) Sir Hugh Orde pictured with Theresa May at Acpo's conference earlier this month

He is currently president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), a job which gives him a high profile, good contacts and an excellent insight into the issues facing the Met and other forces up and down the country.

Although he was born in Surrey, his biggest claim to fame is his stewardship of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

He was chief constable of the PSNI for seven years from 2002 and oversaw the challenge of reforming the force and winning the support of Catholics and Irish nationalists in the wake of the Good Friday Agreement.

Violence and sectarian tension fell massively in Northern Ireland during his time, although critics might argue this was due to political and social factors as much as to police tactics.

Sir Hugh began his career with the Met in 1977 and become a commander for crime in 1998, prior to taking the job in Northern Ireland.

Gifted with a dry sense of humour, he is popular with crime reporters and has endeared himself to ordinary police officers with his remarks about government pay reforms.

The question might be whether he is too outspoken to get the job of commissioner, which relies on discretion and a fair amount of "biting your lip".

His chances of securing the post are said to have diminished following comments made after the recent riots in England. The home secretary was reported to have been unhappy after Sir Hugh rejected suggestions that the restoration of calm was due to political intervention, although the officer later denied there was any rift with the government.

BERNARD HOGAN-HOWE: APPLIED FOR JOB

Bernard Hogan-Howe Bernard Hogan-Howe might be considered an outside bet for the job

Former Merseyside head Bernard Hogan-Howe was drafted into the Metropolitan Police last month as deputy commissioner after Sir Paul quit.

He was chief constable of Merseyside police between 2004 and 2009. He was the man in charge when 11-year-old Rhys Jones was shot dead as he walked home from football practice.

The killing horrified the nation and there were grumblings from some in the media when there was no immediate arrest.

But Mr Hogan-Howe got his man in December 2008 when Sean Mercer, 18, was jailed for life and several members of his gang were also locked up.

The Sheffield-born football enthusiast joined South Yorkshire Police in 1979, working his way up and gaining an MA in law from Oxford University and a diploma in applied criminology from Cambridge University along the way.

In 1997 he moved to Merseyside police and four years later joined the Met as an assistant commissioner, before returning to Liverpool in 2004.

In 2008 he accused some judges of being lenient on gun crime by overlooking mandatory five-year sentences for possession of a firearm.

TIM GODWIN: APPLIED FOR JOB

Tim Godwin has a much lower profile than Sir Hugh but is seen as a "safe pair of hands" and stepped in as acting commissioner when Sir Paul Stephenson quit last month.

Tim Godwin Tim Godwin has been acting commissioner since Sir Paul Stephenson quit last month

He started out in the Merchant Navy but joined Sussex Police in 1981, rising through the ranks.

In 1999 he switched to the Met, becoming a commander in south London and was promoted to deputy assistant commissioner in 2001.

He has a background in territorial policing and led the safer streets initiative, which saw robbery cut by 30% over three years.

In December 2009 he became acting deputy commissioner, a job which was made permanent in July 2009.

Mr Godwin has confirmed he has put his name forward. However, his chances may have been harmed by the government's view that the Met got its tactics wrong during the initial disturbances in London.

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