Police equality chief drops discrimination claim

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The Independent Online

A Muslim woman responsible for promoting racial and religious diversity within the UK's largest police force has withdrawn a claim of discrimination.

Yasmin Rehman, 42, a senior civilian manager at the Metropolitan Police, lodged employment tribunal papers alleging racial and sexual discrimination last year.

But it emerged today that she has withdrawn the claim and stepped down from her role at Scotland Yard.

After joining the Metropolitan Police in March 2004, Ms Rehman became the force's most senior Muslim woman employee.

The director of partnerships and diversity within the force's territorial policing unit was a driving force behind a series of sensitive issues.

She helped refine and implement many of the force's policies concerning work with minority ethnic groups as well as tackling forced marriages and honour killings.

But as news of her claim was made public it emerged she had been on sick leave for more than a year with stress-related problems.

In legal documents she claimed to be so marginalised because of her colour, religion and sex that she was not even allowed to make the coffee, it was reported.

Ms Rehman's case fuelled a simmering Scotland Yard race row in the wake of high-profile claims made by former Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur.

She sought advice from the Met's Black Police Association, which also supported Mr Ghaffur and Commander Ali Dizaei in their race claims against the force.

Mr Ghaffur eventually reached an out-of-court settlement after agreeing to withdraw allegations of racism against then Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

Mr Dizaei has lodged employment tribunal papers but remains suspended pending the outcome of a separate inquiry into alleged misconduct.

The news came as members of the Metropolitan Police Authority prepare to meet tomorrow to discuss the progress of a race inquiry.

London Mayor Boris Johnson announced the £100,000 review of race and faith within the force last October.

Independent Police Authority member Cindy Butts was leading the inquiry which is focusing on the experiences of black and ethnic minority officers.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We are pleased that Ms Rehman has withdrawn her employment tribunal claim. Ms Rehman has decided to leave the Metropolitan Police."

An Employment Tribunals Service spokesman said Ms Rehman formally withdrew her claim on December 18. Ms Rehman and her solicitor Nighat Sahi were not available to comment.