Met Police HR director defends ‘you people’ comment

Martin Tiplady has insisted he did not mean any offence by using the phrase “you people” during talks with the Met Black Police Association (MBPA) this week.

Tiplady met the MBPA on Tuesday to broker an agreement on the proposed recruitment boycott advertised by the association, after it claimed the Met Police was “racist”. But talks reportedly broke down after Tiplady used “inappropriate language”, according to the Times.

During the meeting, Tiplady confirmed to Personnel Today that he said: “With or without an inquiry, let’s work with you people to make it [the Met Police] a better organisation and return to normality.”

But Tiplady later told Personnel Today he shook hands with all of the MBPA members at the end of the meeting, and had no idea his words had caused any offence.

He said: “My focus remains on resolving the issue that made the meeting necessary. No offence was meant by the comment I made – I meant it simply to refer to a group of people. I was unaware that any offence had been caused at the meeting – there was no reaction to anything at all [at the meeting].”

Meanwhile London mayor Boris Johnson announced the Metropolitan Police Authority would launch an inquiry into alleged racism at the Met, expected to report back in Spring 2009.

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