Priti Patel was called upon in parliament to publish the report into the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan ‘without deletion, amendment or redaction’ by the end of the week to avoid accusation of a further ‘cover-up’.
Labour MP Chris Bryant tabled an urgent question over concerns that the home secretary had interfered with the independence of the special panel set up to investigate the murder of the private detective who was found dead in a south London car park with an axe embedded in his head. He accused the government of continuing the ‘cover up’ of murder following a series of failed police investigations into the killing; plus the 2018 decision to cancel an investigation under the Leveson Inquiry, part two, exploring police-press relations over links between Morgan’s agency and News of the World. Daniel Morgan’s family believe that he was about to blow the whistle on police corruption.
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Chris Bryant said that Daniel Morgan died 34 years ago ‘and thanks to corruption in the police and interference by News UK, the family have had no justice’. ‘That shames all of us.’
‘So will the minister agree a date with the independent panel and Daniel’s family today for publication this week?’ Bryant continued. ‘And will she undertake to publish the report in full without deletion, amendment or redaction, because people are worried that she’s not going to do that.’
The MP asked for correspondence between the Home Secretary and her officials with News UK representatives, adding: ‘It’s not difficult to see why powerful people with very close friends in News International might want to delay or even prevent this publication.’
‘Will she publish the minutes of her and her department’s meetings with representatives of News UK over the last 12 months? If not, won’t people conclude that the cover-up is still going on and this isn’t the party of law and order, it’s the party of the cover-up?’
Home Office minister, Victoria Atkins said that her department had not yet received the report and couldn’t block publication of a report ‘if one has not yet received it’. ‘In terms of the contents of that report, I spoke earlier this afternoon to the Home Secretary about this matter and there is a very, very real wish on all sides to see this report published to see answers for the family,’ she said. ‘… We have no interest in editing this report, none whatsoever, we want the truth to come out.’
Writing for the Guardian over the weekend, Daniel Morgan’s son (also Daniel) wrote: ‘My family have endured enough words, suffering, waiting and pain: the only currency left with any value to us is action that brings our torture to an end.’