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Former Met boss denies authorising Stephen Lawrence family spying
Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Paul Condon has denied authorising undercover police officers to target the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.
However the peer, who held the top post at Scotland Yard between 1993 and 2000, backed plans for a wider public inquiry into the activities of police moles.
His comments came after a damning report by barrister Mark Ellison QC found that an undercover officer was a "spy" working within the ''Lawrence family camp'' during the judicial inquiry led by Sir William Macpherson into the failings surrounding the murder investigation.
Prime Minister David Cameron said today that the Lawrence family have "suffered far too much", and current Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe admitted corruption claims around the case sparked one of the worst days of his career.
Lord Condon's statement said: "I have read the reports by Mark Ellison QC and Chief Constable Creedon and I am in broad agreement with their findings. I also fully support the further action outlined by the Home Secretary.
"I confirm and restate the comments I made in the House of Lords last month. That at no stage did I ever authorise, or encourage, or know about any action by any undercover officer in relation to Mr and Mrs Lawrence or their friends or supporters or the Macpherson Inquiry hearings. Had I known I would have stopped this action immediately as inappropriate.
"I made this statement in the House of Lords because for me it is the equivalent of saying it on oath and I am aware of the full consequences of any attempt to mislead the House of Lords.
"Similarly I always wished the Macpherson Inquiry to have full access to all relevant information and documents held by the MPS and was dismayed and saddened to read the findings about the alleged withholding of information.
"I will continue to do all in my power to support the ongoing investigations into these matters. And I realise the enormous anxiety and concern that these fresh allegations will generate with Mr and Mrs Lawrence and their supporters."
Mr Ellison also found that one of the officers in the original investigation into Mr Lawrence's death, Detective Sergeant John Davidson, may have acted corruptly.
It was claimed that he had links to Clifford Norris, the gangland boss father of David Norris, one of the two men who were finally convicted in 2012 of the teenager's racist murder.
Speaking during a visit to Bedford, Mr Cameron said: "Well it is very shocking what's been revealed and I think it's absolutely right, as the Home Secretary said, to have a full independent public inquiry along the lines of Ellison's suggestion to make we do get to the truth.
"It should not have taken this long and the Lawrence family have suffered far too much.
"But this will get to the truth and will help us to make sure that we have the very best in terms of British policing which is what this country deserves."
Sir Bernard said it was "awful" to see the devastation of Mr Lawrence's parents Neville and Doreen at the latest revelations.
Baroness Lawrence was on the verge of breaking down as she gave a statement on the report to the House of Lords yesterday.
"This was a devastating report for the Metropolitan Police and one of the worst days that I have seen as a police officer," Sir Bernard said.
"To see Neville and Doreen Lawrence struggling through their tears was awful. The Met has come to know them well and I have enormous respect for their quiet dignity and powerful determination to see justice, which I share.
"I cannot rewrite history and the events of the past but I do have a responsibility to ensure the trust and the confidence of the people of London in the Met now and in the future. This will need a considered response to meet head-on the concerns that have been expressed in yesterday's report."
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