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Met Commissioner to be quizzed by City Hall over undercover officers

Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has said the Lawrence family smear allegations are disgraceful if true. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has said the Lawrence family smear allegations are disgraceful if true. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

Thursday, June 27, 2013
8:26 AM

London police chiefs will today be “cross-examined” by representatives at City Hall over the Metropolitan Police’s use of undercover officers.

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Earlier this week, a former Scotland Yard undercover officer claimed he had been involved in an operation to smear on the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence in a bid to discredit their campaign for justice.

Peter Francis made allegations, published in the Guardian, that he had been asked to dig for “dirt” on the family following the 18-year-old’s murder in 1993.

Today, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who has said the force will apologise if the allegations turn out to be true, and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh will be quizzed by the London Assembly’s police and crime committee.

As well questions on the “deployment and supervision of undercover officers”, the pair will be asked about the expansion of Taser deployment in London and the Commissioner’s dealings with journalists during the “Plebgate” affair.

Commissioner Hogan-Howe recently admitted to having failed to make records of his conversations he had with journalists in the wake of the scandal, in breach of the force’s own rules.

From 10am, Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey is expected to answer questions on matters including community reassurance following the death of soldier Lee Rigby. The Commissioner is expected to be in attendance from around 11.30am.

Police and crime committee deputy chair Jenny Jones, Green Party Group leader, tweeted this morning: “Today at City Hall, we’ll be cross examining Met Commissioner on #UndercoverCops from 1130. But will we get answers with real content?”

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