Met’s race group members resign over ‘loss of credibility’

Four black members of the
Metropolitan Police Force’s independent advisory group on race relations have
resigned because they felt their role had become cosmetic.

The independent advisory group
was set up by the Met as part of its strategy to tackle its failings on race
highlighted by the Macpherson Report into the Stephen Lawrence murder.

In a resignation letter, the
four, Ben Bowling, Andrea Cork, Jennifer Douglas and Kirpal Sahota, said the
IAG had become controlled by the police and had lost its independence and

The IAG, which was originally
billed as being made up of the some of the Met’s sternest critics, advises the
force on both internal and external race relations.

A spokesman for the Met said
the force was sad that four of the IAG’s original members had thought it
necessary to resign.

He said, "They have always
been among the greatest advocates of the IAG’s assertion of the need to
initiate, not merely validate, policy, procedures and working practices.

"We are confident that the
remaining members of the group and the eight new members who joined yesterday
will continue to challenge and provide constructive criticism of policing in

"To have a continually
smooth relationship with all IAG members would be impossible if their
independence is to be maintained."

By Ben Willmott

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