Race relations hit a new low at Scotland Yard

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The Independent Online

Leaders of ethnic minority officers announced they were cutting all links with senior managers at Scotland Yard yesterday following the suspension of a high-profile Muslim officer over allegations that he fabricated evidence.

Race relations hit a new low as the Metropolitan Police branch of the National Black Police Association (NBPA) said it had lost all confidence in the leadership of Britain's largest force and described the decision to suspend Commander Ali Dizaei from duty as the culmination of a "sustained witch-hunt".

Mr Dizaei, who is the head of the NBPA, is facing three separate investigations into allegations about his conduct, including a claim that he fabricated evidence when he arrested a man outside a restaurant in west London. Sources close to the Iranian-born officer said he strongly denied any wrongdoing and expected to be vindicated.

The move to suspend Mr Dizaei on Thursday was the latest development in the bitter race row engulfing the Yard and Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Met. Mr Dizaei is a confidant of Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, the number three at the Yard, who has accused Sir Ian of racial discrimination and was placed on leave this month.

Alfred John, the chairman of the Met branch of the NBPA, said he was "appalled" at the suspension of Mr Dizaei, adding that meetings would now only be held with Sir Ian and senior Yard figures if they concerned the reinstatement of Mr Dizaei.

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