Met response to Daniel Morgan report a ‘betrayal of the public’, says author

·2-min read
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has refused to accept the accusation of institutional corruption levelled at her force (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has refused to accept the accusation of institutional corruption levelled at her force (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)

The responses from senior Metropolitan Police officers to the Daniel Morgan report are a “betrayal of the family” of Mr Morgan and a “betrayal of the public”, one of the report’s authors has said.

An independent panel report into the Met’s failings over the 1987 unsolved murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan accused the force of “institutional corruption” when it was published last month.

Baroness O’Loan, the chair of the independent panel, told the London Assembly’s police and crime committee on Wednesday that the Met’s response to the report was “most disappointing” and “illustrates the problem”.

The peer said: “The Metropolitan Police has placed concern for its reputation above the public interest. There has been dishonesty for the benefit of the reputation of the organisation and that is institutional corruption. And the statements made on behalf of the Met have continued to lack candour, even after the publication of our report, when they referred specifically only to the failings in the first investigation.

“This is a betrayal of the family and it’s also a betrayal of the public, and of good, honest officers. And it will diminish trust - that activity, that behaviour – within the Met. It will diminish trust in the organisation.”

Under-fire Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick also appeared at City Hall on Wednesday, where she again refuted the report’s claim that the Met is institutionally corrupt.

The Commissioner said: “The report that the panel you’ve heard from this morning has delivered is a very significant report. We take it extremely seriously. We are and will carefully consider the whole report in its entirety as well, of course, as focusing on the recommendations.”

But she added that institutional corruption as defined in the report was “not the Met that I see today” and that it was “bordering on offensive” to suggest that the Met “keeps things quiet to protect our reputation”.

The Met is yet to provide an official full response to the report, including how it plans to implement the recommendations, and Dame Cressida told City Hall that it would be “unwise” to provide a timescale for that response.

But the Commissioner said that she was looking forward to returning to City Hall to “set the record straight” once that response is published in full.

Mr Morgan’s brother Alastair appeared before the police and crime committee last month, where he accused the Commissioner of “reprehensible behaviour” and told Assembly Members that the Met was in need of “deep, deep cultural change”.

At City Hall on Wednesday, Dame Cressida said she did not believe there was a need for a “fundamental” change in the culture of the Met, but said that the service needed to “step up” some of its efforts to demonstrate “we are probably the most scrutinised, probably the most accountable, probably the most governed police service in the world, and that we embrace that”.

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