Two Met officers sacked over 'offensive' WhatsApp messages mocking Katie Price’s son

Harvey Price (left) and Katie Price attending the National Television Awards 2021 held at the O2
Katie Price with her son, Harvey. Credit: PA

Two serving Metropolitan Police officers have been dismissed over discriminatory messages they sent to colleagues in a WhatsApp group, including some about Katie Price’s disabled son.

Speaking to ITV News London on Thursday, Ms Price has demanded the eight Met officers behind vile messages shared in a WhatsApp group called 'Secret Squirrel S***' were dismissed.

On Friday, Pc Glynn Rees and Officer B, who was granted anonymity, were dismissed by the disciplinary panel at Palestra House in Southwark, central London, following a six-day hearing.

Eight serving and former officers were found guilty of gross misconduct. A hearing found they sent "discriminatory and offensive" messages including some which made fun of Ms Price’s disabled son.

All the officers will be barred from the all police services for life.

The sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic and disablist comments were made between May 17, 2016 and June 26, 2018.The pair, along with former sergeant Luke Thomas, former acting sergeant Luke Allen and former constables Kelsey Buchan, Lee South, Darren Jenner, and Carlo Francisco, were also barred for life from the police service.

Mr Thomas, Mr Allen, Ms Buchan, Mr South and Mr Jenner resigned from the Met after the messages were unearthed, while Mr Francisco was dismissed in July 2022 for “an unrelated matter” involving “discreditable conduct”, according to the force.

Their texts included derogatory comments about 20-year-old Mr Price, who lives with Prader–Willi syndrome and autism, and about a junior female officer, known in the hearings as Officer A.

Legal chair Christopher McKay said their messages had caused “significant harm” to the “already tarnished reputation of the Metropolitan Police Service” (MPS) and had upset Katie and Harvey Price.

He said: “Racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic attitudes revealed in the posts and comments have undermined the reputation of the Metropolitan Police Service as a fair and impartial body.

Katie Price with her son Harvey leaving Portcullis House in Westminster Credit: PA

“Harm has been caused to Harvey Price and his mother, who have learned of the posts recently, and has resulted in a loss of confidence in the MPS by Katie Price.

“Officer A is now aware of the insulting way in which she was referred to by members of the group. She must have been upset.”

The panel found the most senior-ranking officer in the group, Mr Thomas, was “one of the most active participants” in the WhatsApp group.

Mr Jenner, who legal chair Christopher McKay said is “believed to be living abroad and has not participated in any way in these proceedings”, contributed to the conversation about naming a dog after concentration camps.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was “disgusted” by the messages.

He told the PA news agency earlier: “I’m as disgusted as other Londoners are by the fact that certain police officers, any member of society, in fact, should behave in this way, further evidence of institutional racism, institutional social institutional homophobia.

“There’s no place in our police service for anybody who is racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic.

“We want our police service to be anti-racist, anti-misogynistic and anti-homophobic.”

Commander Jon Savell, Professionalism, described it as "another painful day" for the Met as he apologised on behalf of the Met to Ms Price and her son.

“I was repulsed and ashamed to read the deeply offensive messages sent by these officers and I utterly condemn their behaviour. I am deeply sorry to those who have been the subject of such awful disgusting messages," he said.

“The Commissioner has been very clear about our commitment to finding and getting rid of anyone in the Met who has these highly offensive attitudes and today's result is an example of that. I have over 600 colleagues in our professional standards directorate – a team we have significantly grown – whose absolute focus is on this critically important piece of work.

"We are under no illusion that public trust and confidence in us depends on us re-establishing our integrity and professionalism.

“This is another painful day for us. We know there are more uncomfortable days to come as we turn over the stones and uncover others who corrupt our integrity.”

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