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Daniel Morgan

Volume 563: debated on Friday 10 May 2013

Daniel Morgan, a private investigator, was found murdered in a pub car park in south-east London on 10 March 1987. It is one of the country’s most notorious unsolved murder cases. After numerous separate police investigations into the case between 1987 and 2002, the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued the final attempted prosecution against five suspects in 2011.

The Metropolitan Police (MPS) have indicated that there is no likelihood of any successful prosecutions being brought in the foreseeable future. They have also admitted that police corruption was a “debilitating factor” in the original investigation. This has led to calls for an inquiry from Mr Morgan’s family, who have waged a long campaign for those responsible for his murder to be brought to justice. I have met the family and, after further serious consideration with them and their representatives, I am today announcing the creation of the Daniel Morgan independent panel.

Importantly, the panel’s work will put Mr Morgan’s family at the centre of the process and the approach to this issue has the support of the MPS Commissioner and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The panel will utilise learning from the Hillsborough independent panel process in addressing how to approach its work. The panel will be chaired by Sir Stanley Burnton, a retired Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal. The appointment of other members of the panel will take place over the coming weeks and will be announced as soon as possible.

The remit of the panel will be to shine a light on the circumstances of Daniel Morgan’s murder, its background and the handling of the case over the period since 1987. In doing so, the panel will seek to address the questions arising, including those relating to:

police involvement in the murder;

the role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder from being brought to justice and the failure to confront that corruption;

the incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World and other parts of the media and alleged corruption involved in the linkages between them.

The panel will ensure maximum possible disclosure of all relevant documentation, including information held by all relevant Government Departments and agencies and by the police and other investigative and prosecuting authorities. There is a serious and considerable public interest in having an independent panel look at this case, as part of the Government’s commitment to identifying, exposing and addressing corruption.

Recognising the volume of material that must be catalogued, analysed and preserved, the panel will seek to complete its work within a year of the documentation being made available.

A copy of the full terms of reference of the Daniel Morgan independent panel has been placed in the Library of the House.