Met Commissioner should consider her position after Morgan findings – family

An inquiry into the unsolved 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan accused the Metropolitan Police of a form of ‘institutional corruption’.

Alastair Morgan
Alastair Morgan

The family of a private investigator murdered in the 1980s has said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick should “absolutely” be considering her position after an inquiry found extensive corruption in the force.

Alastair Morgan has been campaigning for decades for justice for his brother Daniel, who was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London, on March 10 1987.

No one has been brought to justice for the killing – an attempted prosecution in 1989 was dropped before it came to court, while a trial of five people in 2011 collapsed before a jury could return a verdict.

A report by an independent panel published on Tuesday accused the Met of “a form of institutional corruption” for concealing or denying failings over the unsolved murder.

It also said obstructive behaviour by the force had dragged an inquiry expected to take 12 months out to eight years.

Following its publication Alastair Morgan told a press conference Dame Cressida should “absolutely” be considering her position at the head of the force.

Mr Morgan said Dame Cressida had been in charge of disclosure of information to the inquiry at one point.

“She has made it very difficult. Whether she should resign? I think certainly we need much better leadership than she has provided here,” he said.

He added: “Anyone with any knowledge of the history of the police knows how much they hate scrutiny, and I think she has been true to form in that respect.”

But his partner, Kirsteen Knight, remarked that Dame Cressida, who was appointed Met Commissioner in 2017, was “no worse than any of the other commissioners that we’ve had to deal with”.

Daniel Morgan Independent Panel report
Kirsteen Knight, the partner of Alastair Morgan (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

In a statement, the Morgan family said they “welcomed” the inquiry’s findings.

The statement said: “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 family said they had been aware of police corruption at the heart of the investigation three weeks after the murder, and have been lobbying for justice and transparency for more than three decades.

“At almost every step, we found ourselves lied to, fobbed off, bullied, degraded and let down time and time again,” they said.

“What we were required to endure was nothing less than torture, and that has changed our relationship with this country forever.”

The family said the Met and the Home Office had repeatedly refused to address the “serious police corruption and criminality” surrounding the murder, even though it was “staring them in the face”.

“The panel has shown the courage that was so signally lacking from all those previously tasked to look at this case,” they said.

“In identifying the culture of corruption and cover-up at the highest ranks of the Metropolitan Police that has blighted our lives through these decades, the panel’s report has finally named the sickness that needs to be addressed.”

The Morgan family said the lengthy report was an “accurate reflection” of their experiences.

Daniel Morgan Independent Panel report
Daniel Morgan (Metropolitan Police/PA)

They said it reflected the “complicity and worse of the British state in all its guises in the police corruption and criminality that has wracked our lives”.

The family called on senior figures in the Metropolitan Police to “stop protecting those who came before you”.

It said former leaders of the force had “deliberately turned away from the stench of police corruption” and “sought to manage the fallout from that corruption instead of confronting it”.

Several members of Daniel Morgan’s family were quoted in the report itself after being interviewed by the panel.

His widow Iris Morgan said: “I just want the truth. There’s always been an element of empathy but it’s never felt like they (the police) ever cared. Why did they not stand up against it because it was wrong, not just because there was a spotlight on it?”

His daughter Sarah said: “We will never have the justice and the answers we deserve. No one will ever be held accountable. This will torment us for the rest of our lives.”

His son Daniel said: “I do not want this to be in my son’s future, I want to be able to show my son the panel’s report and to say to him, ‘Look, eventually the state can get it right’.”

Isobel Hulsmann, Daniel Morgan’s mother, who spoke to the panel before she died in November 2017, said: “Waiting year after year is so difficult and so frustrating.

“Even now, I want so much to see justice, but I fear that it will elude me. But I still have hope.”

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