The family of Daniel Morgan has reacted with fury after the Home Office stepped in to delay publication of a long-awaited report on his unsolved murder, and said it may keep parts of the document secret.
Mr Morgan, a private investigator, originally from Monmouthshire, was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London on March 10 1987.
Despite five police inquiries and an inquest, no-one has been brought to justice over the father-of-two’s death, with the Metropolitan Police admitting corruption had hampered the original murder investigation.
The panel examining the case had been due to publish its findings on Monday, before being told by the Home Office that no Parliamentary time could be found to allow this to happen.
But this week, the Home Office announced that it wanted to review the document, expected to contain “a sizeable chapter” on police corruption, and would keep parts of it secret if it felt this to be necessary.
Daniel Morgan’s brother, Alastair, said on Wednesday that the family is looking to the panel to defend itself from Home Office interference.
The Daniel Morgan Independent Panel said it had been told a publication date would not be agreed until the Home Office reviewed the report to ensure it complied with human rights and did not compromise national security.
Then-home secretary Theresa May announced in 2013 that an independent panel was being set up to examine the case
The panel’s remit was to address questions relating to the murder including police handling of the case, the role corruption played in protecting Mr Morgan’s killer, and the links between private investigators, police and journalists connected to the case
Mr Morgan’s family said that the report’s delay was a “kick in the teeth” and served only to “betray and undermine the very purpose of the panel”.
In a statement, they added:
The panel said that it has already worked with lawyers to ensure its report complies with human rights legislation, as well as a specialist Metropolitan Police team to ensure it poses no security risks.
It also said that the role of the Home Secretary was limited to reporting to Parliament on the panel’s work, receiving its report, laying it before Parliament, and responding to its findings.
But a Home Office spokesperson said the Home Secretary had an obligation to make sure the report complied with human rights and national security considerations.