UK race row cop told to shut up' and get on with his job

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London, Aug.29 : Race row policeman Tarique Ghaffur has been told by his superiors to 'shut up' and get on with his job.

The message was conveyed to Britain's senior most Asian policeman last night after he publicly announced that he would be suing Scotland Yard for racism.

Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur was rebuked after appearing before TV cameras in full uniform to accuse Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, of subjecting him to years of racial discrimination.

Within two hours the Met's Deputy Commissioner responded angrily. Sir Paul Stephenson said: "I think it is long past time that we all shut up, stop making public statements about private disputes and get on with the job we are paid to do."

According to The Times, Scotland Yard lawyers are examining whether Ghaffur's behavior amounts to insubordination.

Questions are also being asked by his colleagues about whether he can continue to sit with them on the Met's senior management board, which directs police strategy in the capital.

Yesterday's bitter exchanges followed months of backbiting and infighting at Scotland Yard and made the internal civil war a public affair.

Ghaffur, a police officer since 1974, opened hostilities by confirming speculation that he was taking the Met to an employment tribunal.

Accompanied by his lawyer, he held a press conference at a West End hotel to announce that he was taking his legal action with "deep regret".

His central grievance is that his contract has not been renewed beyond March and he is being removed from the job of devising security arrangements for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Sir Paul responded with his stinging rebuke.

"That is a matter for him to reconcile with what he considers to be his proper responsibilities as one of this country's most senior police officers. We do not accept the charges of discrimination against us," he said.

However, should Ghaffur's legal action succeed, it will further intensify the calls for Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to force Sir Ian out of his job.

Ghaffur is the Met's joint third highest ranking officer, and he is the first officer of such seniority to consider suing his chief.

According to The Telegraph, Ghaffur said he is not seeking "massive" damages, but may be in line for more than a million pounds in compensation from the force.

ANI

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