Daniel Morgan files found in locked cabinet inside Scotland Yard 'next to senior officer's desk'

10 May 2023, 11:59 | Updated: 10 May 2023, 13:45

The Met has issued an apology to the family of Daniel Morgan (main image). Top right, his mother Isobel Hulsmann, brother Alastair Morgan and sister Jane Royds
The Met has issued an apology to the family of Daniel Morgan (main image). Top right, his mother Isobel Hulsmann, brother Alastair Morgan and sister Jane Royds. Picture: Alamy/Shutterstock
Henry Riley

By Henry Riley

The Met police has issued an apology to the family of private investigator Daniel Morgan after paperwork relating to his case was found in a locked cupboard at Scotland Yard.

Some of the files should have been disclosed to the inquiry into his murder, Scotland Yard said.

LBC can reveal that the documents were found in a safe at New Scotland Yard on the same floor, and the vicinity where the Senior officers sit.

The Met said it had written to his family and Baroness Nuala O’Loan, Chairperson of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel, to explain what happened and apologise to the family after the files were found in a cupboard that had been locked 'for years'.

The Met was accused of being ‘institutionally corrupt’ in the report released in June 2021 with the force accused of failing to properly investigate the case and covering up mistakes afterwards.

“Concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image, is dishonesty on the part of the organisation for reputational benefit and constitutes a form of institutional corruption,” the panel concluded.

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Daniel Morgan was a private detective who was killed with an axe in 1987
Daniel Morgan was a private detective who was killed with an axe in 1987. Picture: Alamy

Daniel Morgan was a private detective based in south London who was found dead with an axe embedded in his neck in a dark corner of a Sydenham pub car park a few minutes before 10pm on 10 March 1987.

The Met police said today that some of this material found locked in the cupboard “should have been disclosed to DMIP which published its final report in June 2021.”

Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray said: “We fully acknowledge how unacceptable and deeply regrettable this situation is.

“We are working to understand what has taken place and any impact. We apologise to the family of Daniel Morgan and to the Panel.”

An HMICFRS spokesperson said: “In March 2022, we found that the Met’s approach to tackling police corruption was not fit for purpose, and that it had not learned all the lessons from its failed investigation into the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan.

“The Met has informed us of the documents it has recently discovered, which are relevant to our previous inspection. We have agreed to review these documents and will report our assessment of them in due course.”

The Met said that a total of 60 documents in total were found in the cupboard that should have been handed over to the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel and to HMICFRS as part of a subsequent inspection.

No files relating to the criminal investigation into the murder were in the cupboard, the Met said.

The force will share all of the documents with Mr Morgan’s family and Baroness O’Loan.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “This is clearly unacceptable and should never have happened. The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) have raised this matter with senior Met leaders and supports the full disclosure that has now been made to the family of Daniel Morgan and action taken to inform relevant oversight bodies.

"The Mayor is clear that there must be no repeat of such important files being misplaced. It is right that the Met has apologised to the family of Daniel Morgan and the Mayor’s thoughts are with them at this time.”

Caroline Russell AM, Chair of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, said: "Two years on from the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel’s final report, it is unacceptable that documents the Met should have submitted to the inquiry have been found in a locked cupboard.

“His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services has previously raised concerns about administrative practices and record keeping in the Met and this disclosure confirms that improvements must be made in this area.

“While it is important that Daniel Morgan’s family and Baroness Nuala O’Loan were the first to be notified of what has happened and the next steps, we expect further information from the Met in due course.

“The Committee will continue to scrutinise the Commissioner and Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to ensure that they reform the Met and rebuild trust among Londoners.”

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