A senior police officer has admitted authorising the bugging of a meeting between legal representatives, the force and a friend of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, his lawyer has said.
Duwayne Brooks, who was waiting for a bus with 18-year-old Stephen when he was murdered in 1993, met with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to discuss the claims today.
It has been alleged that Mr Brooks and his lawyers were invited to meetings with police between 1999 and 2000 in which officers secretly recorded the conversation with prior authorisation.
Speaking outside Mr Clegg’s office in Whitehall, lawyer Jane Deighton said it was “untenable” for the Government not to secure an investigation into accusations of police misconduct and added that covert recording was an “immediate concern”.
“Duwayne was very pleased that the Deputy Prime Minister agreed that he was committed to ensuring an investigation,” she said. “We are going to discuss and liaise with the Deputy Prime Minister's office next week about the details of that investigation.”
“But there was one matter of immediate concern to Duwayne and that's the allegations that he's had, that the police authorised the covert recording of his meetings with me and the police in my former offices.”
“The deputy assistant commissioner of the police has confirmed that there are documents evidencing at least one such authorisation. We believe there are more. We have asked the deputy assistant commissioner for the immediate disclosure of those documents.”
The lawyer added that the Mr Clegg had assured her client Duwayne that he would “raise the issue of immediate disclosure” with Home Secretary Theresa May.
The shocking revelation is the latest in a string of controversial accusations that have raised serious questions over police conduct during investigations into Stephen Lawrence’s death. Mr Brook’s claim comes after former undercover officer Peter Francis alleged he had been instructed to help smear the Lawrence family.
Mr Francis, who worked with Scotland Yard's former Special Demonstration Squad, spoke out about tactics that he said were used by the secretive unit in the 1980s and 1990s to “get dirt” that could be used to discredit the family.
In the wake of his claims, Stephen’s parents called for a public inquiry into the allegations, which the teenager's mother said made her feel "sick to the stomach". After a meeting with the Home Secretary last week, she said: "We want it to be open and not behind closed doors, so that we can hear once and for all exactly what was going on after Stephen was murdered."
Mrs May, who has previously said the two existing probes could examine all the allegations, has since announced that she will meet Mrs Lawrence again to discuss what should happen.