Senior black officer sues Met on racial bias claims

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The Independent Online

A senior black Metropolitan Police officer and anti-racism campaigner is suing the force over allegations of discrimination, it was revealed today.

Superintendent Paul Wilson, 51, said his career has been held back because of the racist views of colleagues.



He will face Scotland Yard solicitors at an employment tribunal in West Croydon next week.



It is understood that part of his claim relates to a document he wrote for a long-overdue race inquiry ordered by the Metropolitan Police Authority.



The officer claimed he was sidelined after his report highlighted racial bias. He said it was then suppressed by senior colleagues.



The race inquiry was commissioned in October 2008 amid bitter in-fighting among senior officers and a recruitment boycott by black police representatives.



Interim findings have already highlighted how black and minority officers may face extra hurdles to promotion, particularly into elite units.



Mr Wilson has been an outspoken advocate of equality and is a founding member and former chairman of the Metropolitan Black Police Association.



He gave evidence at Sir William Macpherson's inquiry following the bungled investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence



Mr Wilson called for police to "name and shame" senior officers who are not prepared to act against racism.



In his latest post he is responsible for Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Lambeth and recently met Prime Minister Gordon Brown to discuss tackling knife crime.



The senior officer joined the Met in 1979 as a civilian staff member and became a warranted officer four years later.



A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Superintendent Paul Wilson is bringing an employment tribunal claim against the Met citing race discrimination over the handling of his professional development review for the reporting period 2008/09.



"The Met does not recognise the position Superintendent Wilson describes and will robustly defend the claim."



An Employment Tribunal spokesman confirmed Mr Wilson has lodged a claim of racial discrimination that will be heard at the London South Tribunal.