PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Only Britons need apply as the vacancy for the top job in UK policing expires.
Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House has emerged as a favourite to become Scotland Yard's new commissioner after Bill Bratton was ruled out.
Home Secretary Theresa May dashed any chances of the US "supercop" getting the job yesterday as she underlined the importance of a British citizen for the "unique policing role".
Following Sir Paul Stephenson's shock resignation over the phone-hacking scandal, a number of senior officers have been linked with the post.
Glasgow-born Mr House is considered a strong potential candidate, having previously served as an assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police in 2005.
Front-runners are also tipped to include Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police's current acting deputy commissioner, and Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Sir Hugh told MPs he was still considering the post, as the Met's Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin confirmed he would apply.
Mr Godwin's chances of replacing Sir Paul appear unclear after his mettle was tested last week by the rioting crisis that swept across the capital.
Mrs May said the process of appointing a replacement for Sir Paul was too important to delay 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.
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