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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