Ruth Cadbury MP and Rupa Huq MP
A group of London MPs, including the two who represent Chiswick, Rupa Huq and Ruth Cadbury, have written a letter to the new acting Met Police chief Sir Stephen House expressing their shock and concern at the vile comments shared by police officers which were revealed by police whistleblower Dave Eden.
The Mirror newspaper revealed earlier this month a message was shared by ex-officers from Wayne Couzens’ elite unit celebrated the 2020 US police killing of George Floyd. They also shared an image of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with racist language and other explicitly racist, sexist and homophobic material.
Among the messages in the WhatsApp group which included ex-officers from the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection command, was one celebrating the killing of George Floyd by police in the US, which sparked the Black LIves Matter movement. An altered photograph with the caption “Pink Floyd” showed his dying moments as a Minneapolis officer knelt on his head.
A picture was posted of a mocked-up T-shirt with an image of British Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson, who was shot last year, with a bullet hole in her head and the words “Black Lives Splatter”.
MPs questions for the acting commissioner
Now a group of 31 London Labour MPs have sent the acting commissioner a list of questions. They want to know:
- Are any serving police officers in the whatsapp group exposed by Dave Eden?
- If so, has any disciplinary action been taken against those officers?
- What action are you taking to ensure officers in current employ do not hold such views?
- Will you issue a clear statement that any serving officers who express such views will be sacked from the force for gross misconduct?
Their letter continues:
“All of us have an interest in the Metropolitan Police rebuilding trust with all of London’s communities, and revelations like these undermine the support for the vital work you do to try to keep our streets safe.
“When Dame Cressida Dick resigned she accepted that action needs to be taken to “root out those who don’t uphold our standards and don’t deserve to wear our uniform”. We fully agree with that sentiment. But these can no longer be seen as isolated cases, but an institutional problem that needs to be addressed seriously and relentlessly.We very much hope you accept that wanting to tackle these issues is not “politicising policing” but about removing bigotry from the force, for which there should be universal support.”
Their letter comes as the acting commissioner addressed members of the Parliamentary Home Affairs committee to say what he was planning to do about the misconduct of police officers. He outlined a plan to use “sophisticated” new technology, which will monitor the work phones and email addresses of police officers.
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