Metropolitan police accused of “institutional corruption” over handling of Daniel Morgan case

The long-awaited reported is highly critical of the police’s handling of the unsolved 1987 murder

Metropolitan police accused of “institutional corruption” over handling of Daniel Morgan case (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The Metropolitan police has been accused of ‘institutional corruption’ over its handling of the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan

An independent panel has concluded that the Metropolitan police owes the family of Mr Morgan and the public an apology over the way it prioritised ‘protecting itself’ during the investigation.

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At a glance: 5 key points

– A report published today by an independent panel into the Metropolitan police’s handling of the murder of Daniel Morgan in 1987 said the force had committed “a form of institutional corruption”

– Baroness Nuala O’Loan, who chaired the panel, said the Metropolitan police’s first objective was to “protect itself”

– The report notes that Mr Morgan’s family “suffered grievously as a consequence of the failure to bring his family to justice”

– The panel’s report has been welcomed by Mr Morgan’s family.

– The Home Secretary Priti Patel acknowledged the contents of the report, saying that “corrupt behaviour was not limited to the first investigation” into the murder

Crosshead: What’s been said

The report, produced by an independent panel, found: “The family of Daniel Morgan suffered grievously as a consequence of the failure to bring his family to justice, the unwarranted assurances which they were given, the misinformation which was put into the public domain, and the denial of failings in investigation, including failing to acknowledge professional competence, individuals’ venal behaviour, and managerial and organisational failures.

“The Metropolitan Police also repeatedly failed to take a fresh, thorough and critical look at past failings.

“Concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image, is dishonesty on the part of the organisation for reputational benefit and constitutes a form of institutional corruption.”

In a statement released through their lawyer, the family of Daniel Morgan said: “We welcome the recognition that we – and the public at large – have been failed over the decades by a culture of corruption and cover up in the Metropolitan Police, an institutionalised corruption that has permeated successive regimes in the Metropolitan Police and beyond to this day.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel, said: “It’s devastating that 34 years after he was murdered, nobody has been brought to justice.

“The report sets out findings from its review of the last three decades, it’s over 1,200 pages long and three volumes. It is right that we carefully review its findings.

“The report itself is deeply alarming and finds examples of corrupt behaviour – corrupt behaviour was not limited to the first investigation, that the Metropolitan Police made a litany of mistakes and that this irreparably damaged the chances of successful prosecution of Daniel Morgan’s murder.”

“The report accuses the Metropolitan Police of a form of institutional corruption.

“Police corruption is a betrayal of everything policing stands for in this country. It erodes public confidence in our entire criminal justice system. It undermines democracy and civilised society.

“We look to the police to protect us and so they are invested with great power.


Morgan, a private investigator, was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London on 10 March 1987.

Despite five police inquiries and an inquest, no-one has been brought to justice over the father-of-two’s death, with the Metropolitan Police admitting corruption had hampered the original murder investigation.

Then-home secretary Theresa May announced in 2013 that an independent panel was being set up to examine the case.

The panel’s remit was to address questions relating to the murder including police handling of the case, the role corruption played in protecting Morgan’s killer, and the links between private investigators, police and journalists connected to the case.