Theresa May (Home Secretary; Maidenhead, Conservative)
statement on my behalf about the continuing allegations that have appeared in the media over recent months of police corruption in the original investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. As my hon. Friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup said at that time, allegations of police corruption must always be taken seriously. It is essential we ensure that the actions and behaviour of corrupt police officers do not undermine public confidence in the police’s ability to respond to, investigate and fight crime. I undertook to keep the House updated.
I have asked Mark Ellison QC to carry out this review and he has agreed. Mr Ellison was the lead prosecutor in the successful prosecutions of Gary Dobson and David Norris for the murder of Stephen Lawrence. He will be supported by Alison Morgan, the junior counsel from the prosecution of Gary Dobson and David Norris.
The review team has agreed terms of reference with the Lawrence family and I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House. The review will begin in July 2012 and will aim to complete its findings by July 2013. The team will report to me and I intend to publish the review’s report.
The review will address the following questions:
Is there evidence providing reasonable grounds for suspecting that any officer associated with the initial investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence acted corruptly?
Are there any further lines of investigation connected to the issue of possible corrupt activity by any officer associated with the initial investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence?
Was the McPherson inquiry provided with all relevant material connected to the issue of possible corrupt activity by any officer associated with the initial investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence? If not, what impact might that have had on the inquiry?
The review team is calling for evidence to be submitted to the review for consideration alongside the significant amount of material made available by the Metropolitan Police Service. Evidence should be sent to SLMEQC@qebhw.co.uk or by post to Stephen Lawrence Review, PO Box 70744, London, EC4P 4DT.
I am grateful to the Commissioner for the support he has offered to the review. I know that the Metropolitan Police Service will co-operate fully with the review team.