Tarique Ghaffur accuses Met police of victimisation

Tarique Ghaffur has claimed he is being victimised for making a complaint about race discrimination against the Metropolitan Police, after the force’s commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, yesterday relieved him of his duties.

Britain’s most senior Asian police officer was put on ‘gardening leave’ after he publicly claimed he had suffered racial discrimination at the force.

Commissioner Blair said the “manner and impact” of the way he conducted himself during the allegations – including presenting a televised press conference to announce his discrimination claim – is having a negative affect on his performance, which includes preparing security for the London 2012 Olympics.

Ghaffur said: “It is obvious to me that the actions that have been taken today have all the hallmarks of wilful acts of victimisation against me for explaining why I had made my complaint.”

A spokesman for the Met Black Police Association also accused Blair of victimising Ghaffur. He said: “The message this sends to black and minority ethnic officers and staff is clear. Exercise your right to challenge unfairness and discrimination at your peril.”

It is understood Ghaffur will continue to receive his £180,000 salary pending the outcome of the tribunal and the end of his contract in May 2009. The Met is investigating whether his public declaration of his race discrimination claim breached disciplinary codes.

Blair said the decision to suspend Ghaffur was nothing to do with the employment tribunal or race discrimination claims.

“My decision results from the way he has chosen to conduct himself, for example by the manner in which statements were made in his press conference, and in conducting a media campaign, both personally and through the advisors and organisations supporting him.”

Deputy assistant commissioner Chris Allison has temporarily taken over command of Central Operations, including its contribution to Olympic security.

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