Clive Efford is calling for a swift investigation into the new information that has come from the BBC documentary into the murder of Stephen Lawrence

The Macpherson Inquiry was set up as a direct consequence of a Parliamentary question tabled by Clive in 1997. Speaking after the programme was broadcast, Clive said, “It was clear that there were major failings in the investigation that led to no one being convicted of this terrible crime. Macpherson highlighted concerns about the failure to arrest within the first few days of the inquiry and a lack of leadership in the police. The BBC programme suggested that one of the senior officers involved in the initial murder inquiry may have had been corrupt and receiving payment from the father of one of the suspects.”

Clive said, “I understand that these allegations will be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. However, the IPCC is extremely slow in its investigations. We cannot afford to leave this matter to an organisation that is going to take too long to complete its work. These investigations need to be thorough, but they need to be dealt with expeditiously.”

“Mr Putnam claims that he informed the Met that DC Davidson had taken money from people close to the suspects in the Stephen Lawrence case and that he was prevented from giving this evidence to Macpherson. The Met claim that he never made this allegation. Mr Putnam’s interviews were taped so these should be put in the public domain so that any allegation of cover-up on the part of the Met can be answered and the full confidence of the public restored. Without this, there will always be the fear that the Met are hiding the facts.”

“I was very surprised that Assistant Commissioner John Grieve did not appear to be aware of the allegations made by Mr Putnam. Having met John Grieve on several occasions I formed the opinion that he was determined to solve this crime before he retired and would leave no stone unturned. It is difficult to understand how an officer of his seniority would have had no idea of the existence of this kind of information if Mr Putnam had made these allegations. The only way to resolve this matter is for someone independent of the Met to publish the contents of the tapes that are relevant to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.”

The Macpherson Inquiry was set up because we owed it to Stephen and his family to get to the bottom of why no one was ever convicted of his murder. The conclusions of the inquiry showed that we were right to have concerns about how the investigation was conducted. Following publication of Lord Macpherson’s report I asked the advisors to the inquiry about the failure to find evidence of corruption and was told that they looked very hard, but found no proof. We all had suspicions of corruption and they have been reignited by this documentary. They need to be thoroughly investigated with the minimum of delay.”

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