London Mayor to launch inquiry into racism at the Met

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London, Oct.6 : The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is reportedly considering launching an inquiry into claims of racism at the Metropolitan Police.

The proposed inquiry follows allegations by ethnic minority officers that Scotland Yard is plagued by discrimination, the Guardian has learned.

Members of the Metropolitan Black Police Association are so angry that they have said that they will begin a recruitment boycott of their force today, urging ethnic minority applicants not to join it because it is racist. They are considering advertising in newspapers as part of their campaign.

Johnson has been considering an investigation into race and the Met and plans for an inquiry are sufficiently advanced for his senior aides to have sounded out a potential chair for the inquiry.

He will attend his first meeting as the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority today.

Any inquiry into race will be unwelcome news for Scotland Yard, which is reeling after Johnson, following a series of controversies, ousted Sir Ian Blair, its commissioner.

Among the most prominent of those suspended were Tarique Ghaffur, assistant commissioner, who was suspended after he began to sue the force for racism and denounced Blair as a racist, and Commander Ali Dizaei, who was suspended over alleged misconduct.

Alfred John, chairman of the association, said the boycott was needed despite Blair's departure. "We're not going to stop because Ian Blair has gone. It is about the institutional racism that takes place in the organization," he said.

The race row began in the summer after it emerged that Ghaffur was considering suing the force for racial and religious discrimination.

He formally issued employment tribunal proceedings, then held a press conference where he professed his love of policing and denounced Blair.

The force and the Metropolitan police authority say that press conference led to the suspension from duty of Ghaffur, who was joint third in charge of the Met and part of its inner cabinet. His key adviser was Dizaei, who chairs the national Black Police Association and who was suspended over separate misconduct allegations, which he denies.

ANI

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