7 Mar 2014

Stephen Lawrence: the Met on a precipice?

Whose version is closer to the truth? An eminent QC or a highly experienced police chief? Will a public inquiry get any closer than they have?

The latest revelations surrounding the Stephen Lawrence case are indeed very disturbing – the most worrying being the possibility that the  judge-led Macpherson public inquiry was undermined by the backroom antics of the Metropolitan police.

Mark Ellison QC’s description of “a spy in the Lawrence family camp” is explosive and we are left with the suspicion of a deliberate attempt within the hierarchy of the Metropolitan police to conceal material from that public inquiry.

The Met has finally responded by moving one officer central to these allegations. Commander Richard Walton is now in counter terrorism,  but at the time of the inquiry was engaged with the team preparing final submissions to Macpherson. It’s the first of what may well have to a series of response to the avalanche of accusations.

Imran Khan, the lawyer representing Doreen Lawrence, said today they are drawing up a list of officers identified in Ellison’s report.

This is going to be a very painful time for the Met and it’s difficult to see when it will end, given it will be at least a year before a public inquiry takes place, based presumably on what the Met finds out in its own commissioned investigation into decades of undercover policing. The Stephen Lawrence investigation and the Macpherson inquiry are merely chapters.

The Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe describes yesterday as one of the worst days in of his career. But there will be worse to come in trying to maintain public confidence.

Watch the full interview with Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe below.

And that will also worry the Home Office. This is the price for not being transparent.

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2 reader comments

  1. Alan says:

    Mr hogan Howe has the luxury of a bad day unlike the victims of his unaccountable regime.

  2. Richard says:

    Having just seen the PMQs question about Dounreay I should add that the 1998 Dounreay backup power failure incident was a matter in the security situation which Kent Police Authority called for inquiry into August 1997.

    Some years after the Dounreay incidents the Scottish Energy Minister called for a report from a Kent electrician re backup generator unreliability. This resulted in Nuclear Constabulary being called in and as far as I know they reported to Head of Civil Nuclear Security at DTI.

    Lord Carlile QC further to the Terrorism Report last year has had his attention drawn to the 2012 serious nuclear incident at Devonport due to backup genny failure.

    Obviously by the time of his March 1999 decision not to compel inquiry, Jack Straw was aware of the 1998 Dounreay incident. Also the 1998 Hunterston B incident. it is an incredible decision and he should explain on oath.

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