Stephen Lawrence's family to meet Home Secretary Theresa May to call for new inquiry following Met Police smear campaign allegations

Lawrence family to call for public inquiry after ex undercover officer says he was tasked with 'digging up dirt' during family's campaign for justice

The Lawrence family will meet Home Secretary Theresa May tomorrow to ask for a new public inquiry into claims that police secretly hunted for information to smear their campaign, their lawyer has said.

The Home Secretary will have to respond to calls for an official inquiry as she meets with Stephen Lawrence's parents Doreen and Neville Lawrence.

Michael Mansfield QC representing the family of murdered student Stephen said they also want the inquiry to investigate all undercover activity carried out by Scotland Yard's former Special Demonstration Squad during the 1980s and 1990s.

Their calls for a public inquiry follow claims made by Peter Francis, one of the squad's former undercover officers, that he was instructed to dig up “dirt” on the Lawrence family as they fought to secure justice for Stephen after his death in 1993.  Francis also alleged that officers secretly bugged meetings they held with the murdered teenager's friend Duwayne Brooks and his lawyers.

Mr Brooks' lawyer, Jane Deighton, told Sky News that the bugging claims are both “bizarre and sinister” if proven to be true.

She said: “It's bizarre because it's a meeting that the police sought, it was a meeting that the police felt they had to seek after the Macpherson Inquiry had found that they had treated Duwayne in an institutionally racist way.

“The meeting was sold to us as a measure the police were taking to treat him with the respect he deserved. It's bizarre and it's sinister that they should have sought authority to bug this meeting.”

The gatherings took place in 1999 and 2000, between Mr Brooks, Ms Deighton, her colleague and police.

She added: “It's utterly unjustified for a police officer to ask for a meeting with a victim of crime and his solicitor and to seek to covertly bug it. Not only is it not justified, it's not justifiable, but it's also horrific.

“His main interest is to get the information about the bugging now and not to wait for a series of meetings or inquiries. What he wants is answers and he wants them now.”

Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Mr Mansfield said Stephen's father Neville wants to find the truth about the allegations and the now disbanded Special Demonstration Squad.

He said: “What Neville is asking for is an inquiry of the kind we had in the first place looking into, not just the Lawrence case, but all these cases where this (Special Demonstration Squad) has been operating using deceit, it's institutionalised deceit.

”We're going to see the Home Secretary on Thursday morning, and I can assure the public that that's what we're going to be asking the Home Secretary to be considering, establishing a proper, public, transparent inquiry.

“There are 16 inquiries going on at the moment and they're all in private.”

Earlier in the week Mrs May said Mr Francis's claims would instead be examined in two ongoing inquiries: one into the undercover operations of the Special Demonstration Squad and another into alleged police corruption in the original Lawrence inquiry.

Mrs May stressed she would be “ruthless” in purging the Metropolitan Police of any misconduct and made clear that prosecutions could follow the inquiries.

Scotland Yard confirmed it is investigating reports that officers secretly bugged meetings with Mr Brooks.

“An investigation into the circumstances of what took place has now been started by the DPS (Directorate of Professional Standards), ” it said in a statement.

“This investigation will seek to establish exactly what was authorised and what happened to any material which may have been gathered, in the context of the legal framework of that time."

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss