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METROPOLITAN Police Commissioner Cressida Dick faced calls to resign today after she was personally criticised in a report finding institutional corruption in the London force.
The long-awaited report into the unsolved murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan found that the Met was “institutionally corrupt” in its handling of the case and accused the force of prioritising its reputation over the public interest.
The independent panel said that the refusal by senior Met officers, including Dame Cressida, to give investigators access to a police sensitive database “caused major delays and further unnecessary distress to the family of Daniel Morgan.”
The inquiry, called in 2013, was expected to last two months but has instead been dragged out over eight years.
Mr Morgan was found dead in 1987 with an axe embedded in his head in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London.
The Met admitted that corruption had hampered the first murder investigation, and despite five inquiries in total and an inquest, no-one has been brought to justice decades on from the murder.
Anthony Morgan, who has led a 30-year campaign for justice for his brother, said Dame Cressida should “absolutely” reconsider her position.
“She has made it very difficult. Whether she should resign? I think certainly we need much better leadership than she has provided here,” he told today’s press conference.
Chair Nuala O’Loan said the independent panel had never received any reasonable excuse for why Dame Cressida and her successors refused to give them access to the database, called Holmes.
The family’s solicitor Raju Bhatt said: “You heard from the panel that the institutionalised corruption that they found is a current problem in the present tense.
“The current leadership in the Met has to take responsibility for that continuing.”
In a statement, the Morgan family said they welcomed the inquiry’s findings.
“In particular, we welcome the recognition that we — and the public at large — have been failed over the decades by a culture of corruption and cover-up in the Metropolitan Police, an institutionalised corruption that has permeated successive regimes in the Metropolitan Police and beyond to this day,” the statement said.
The 1,200-page report sought to answer questions about police involvement in Mr Morgan’s murder, the role of police corruption in protecting the murderers and the links between News of the World journalists and suspects.
The panel’s chair also criticised Priti Patel for delaying the publication of the report last month.
The Home Secretary claimed she needed to review it for national security risks.
Baroness O’Loan said she did not believe the Home Secretary's intervention was justified.
The Met said: “We deeply regret our failure to bring those who murdered Daniel Morgan to justice.”
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