Brother of murdered Daniel Morgan says police 'put us through hell for 30 years' after damning report into force

A damning report raising questions about the Met's conduct then and now

The brother of murdered private investigator Daniel Morgan has said police "put us through hell for 30 years" following a damning report on their investigations.

An independent panel has accused the Metropolitan Police of “a form of institutional corruption” for concealing or denying failings over Mr Morgan's unsolved murder.

The father-of-two was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London, on March 10, 1987 - but nobody has been brought to justice.

Panel chair Baroness Nuala O’Loan said the Metropolitan Police’s first objective was to “protect itself” for failing to acknowledge its many failings since Mr Morgan’s murder.

The Met said they "deeply regret" their failure to bring Mr Morgan's killer to justice and accepted "corruption and the malicious acts of corrupt individuals were a major factor in the failure of the first investigation".

Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick apologised for the failure and said: “I would like to acknowledge, both personally and on behalf of the Met, the extraordinary resilience and determination of Daniel Morgan’s family in their pursuit of the truth and for the conviction of those responsible for his murder.

“It is a matter of great regret that no one has been brought to justice and that our mistakes have compounded the pain suffered by Daniel’s family. For that I apologise again now."

A difficult day for Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick after the report blamed her for many of the failures in the investigation

The report also criticised the Met for then assistant commissioner Dame Cressida Dick’s initial refusal to grant access to a police internal data system HOLMES and the most sensitive information.

Following the long-awaited report, which runs to 1,200 pages, Mr Morgan's brother Alastair told ITV News: “They’ve put us through hell for 30 years.

"I’m not there to sweep up your dirt, it’s not my job to follow you for 30 years and watch you and scrutinise you and challenge you every five minutes.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave apologises for the failures and says the Met "seeks to do the best it can" in his experience

“I mean, it’s taken over my life and I don’t think that is something that a police force should be allowed to do and they are accountable for it.”

Mr Morgan added that he has “never felt comfortable in this country” since his brother’s murder and that police consistently lied to him and his family.

“Over the vast majority of the time (we’ve been treated) very badly, we’ve been lied to, we’ve been misled by senior officers. And they do it with impunity.

“We were told, for example, about how good the previous inquiries had been, which was absolute, absolute nonsense and we knew it."

He said he has no hope that his brother's murderers will be brought to justice.

The panel’s report said the police force owes Mr Morgan’s family, and the public, an apology for not confronting its systemic failings and those of individual officers.

The report found: “Concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image, is dishonesty on the part of the organisation for reputational benefit and constitutes a form of institutional corruption."

'This constitutes a form of institutional corruption': Panel chairman Baroness Nuala O’Loan explains the report's findings

The report, a culmination of eight years of work, was compiled by an independent panel set up in 2013 by then-home secretary Theresa May.

Earlier on Tuesday, in a statement through their lawyer, the family of Mr Morgan said: “We welcome the recognition that we – and the public at large – have been failed over the decades by a culture of corruption and cover up in the Metropolitan Police, an institutionalised corruption that has permeated successive regimes in the Metropolitan Police and beyond to this day.”

Their lawyer added that there has been a “culture of cover up and corruption” in the police force and the family “found ourselves lied to, let down, bullied", which amounted to "nothing less than torture”.

'Police corruption and criminality': Morgan family lawyer Raju Bhatt reacts to the report

Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Commons the “deeply alarming” report revealed examples of “corrupt behaviour” and a “litany of mistakes” by the Metropolitan Police that “irreparably damaged the chances of successful prosecution.”

She described the case as “one of the most devastating episodes in the history of the Metropolitan Police”.

“Police corruption is a betrayal of everything policing stands for in this country. It erodes public confidence in our entire criminal justice system. It undermines democracy and civilised society," she told MPs.

'A betrayal of everything policing stands for in this country': Home Secretary Priti Patel speaks in the Commons

Other key points raised in the report, that runs to 1,200 pages, include:

  • the initial investigation into the murder was heavily criticised, with the murder scene not searched and left unguarded, and alibis not sought for suspects;

  • a later probe by an external force, Hampshire, was found to have been compromised by the inclusion of a senior Met officer on the team;

  • the panel called for police officers to be required to declare membership of organisations like the freemasons when they join the service;

  • it also called for vetting processes to be tightened, as well as protections for whistleblowers;

  • it also criticised the Met for then Assistant Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick’s initial refusal to grant access to a police internal data system HOLMES and the most sensitive information.

Daniel Morgan was killed with an axe in the car park of this London pub in March 1987.

Boris Johnson still has confidence in the Metropolitan Police Commissioner following the publication of the report, according to Downing Street.

Asked if the prime minister still had full confidence in Ms Dick during a Westminster briefing, his official spokesperson simply replied: “Yes.”

The brother of Mr Morgan, however, said Dame Cressida should “absolutely” be considering her position in light of the report.

Mr Morgan’s brother, Alastair, was asked whether Ms Dick should consider resigning , to which he responded: “Absolutely she should.”

Despite five police inquiries and an inquest, no-one has been brought to justice over Mr Morgan’s death, with the Metropolitan Police admitting in 2011 corruption had hampered the original murder investigation.