Condon faces inquiry grilling

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The Independent Online
THE MOTHER of Stephen Lawrence has stepped up the pressure on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Condon, ahead of his appearance today at the inquiry into the black teenager's death by again calling for his resignation.

Doreen Lawrence insisted yesterday that Sir Paul, who was brought to the Metropolitan Police as a new broom to sweep away racism and corruption, should step down because "from the word go he has supported his officers in the investigation". Mrs Lawrence remains furious about the way her family were treated by the police as well as their inability to secure convictions.

Stephen, an 18-year-old A-level student, was stabbed to death by a gang of white youths at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London, in April 1993. Although five men were arrested, no one has been convicted.

Mrs Lawrence said: "At no time has [Sir Paul] acknowledged what we were saying, and what the inquiry seems to have brought out, is that what we were saying right from the start was true, is that Stephen's murder was never investigated as a way in which it should."

Speaking on BBC2's Black Britain programme, Mrs Lawrence also criticised Sir Paul's apology during the public inquiry for not being sufficiently full and sincere. "It doesn't go far enough because his remark half way through the inquiry is that he didn't like the way that his officers were treated and the questions they were asked," she said.

"At no point at that time did he say he did not like the way in which the family was treated right from the word go. He never acknowledged that."

Sir Paul is expected to face a testing interrogation at today's hearing in south London. The inquiry chairman, Sir William Macpherson of Cluny, has already made clear his strong views on the alleged police bungling and racism.