Met has 'very serious questions to answer' over Everard case, says minister

5 October 2021, 15:51 | Updated: 5 October 2021, 16:07

Safeguarding minister: Met has 'very serious questions to answer'

By Seán Hickey

The Safeguarding Minister tells LBC that an inquiry into Sarah Everard's murder will 'get under the skin' of the Metropolitan police.

Rachael MacLean MP spoke to Shelagh Fogarty following the Home Secretary's announcement that an inquiry will take place into the institutional failings that led up to the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.

Read more: Priti Patel announces inquiry into murder of Sarah Everard

Shelagh asked the Safeguarding Minister about "the shape it will take".

Ms MacLean declared that the inquiry "will look into the circumstances of how such a despicable criminal such as Wayne Couzens could become a police officer and could abuse that trust".

Read more: James O'Brien demands 'serious' advice for women following Sarah Everard trial

She added that "the attitude of the police of tackling and dealing with violence against women and girls" will also be investigated.

With these two key themes, the Safeguarding Minister believed an inquiry will seek to "make sure that women and girls that are reporting these crimes to the authorities are actually believed and they are getting the action and treatment that they deserve."

Read more: Met officer used Covid laws to handcuff and 'arrest' Sarah Everard before murdering her

Shelagh Fogarty challenges minister over police cuts

Read more: LBC Views: After Sarah Everard's case, I am even more convinced Cressida Dick must go

Shelagh wondered if the inquiry will "look at wider questions of leadership?" in the Met, referencing calls for Dame Cressida Dick to be held accountable.

"The Home Secretary has been clear that the leadership has some very very serious questions to answer," Ms MacLean noted.

Read more: Senior Tories to prioritise law and order in wake of M25 protests and Everard murder

"We need people and women and girls to feel safe when they go about their business" she said, telling Shelagh that "there has been a failing here and it's only right that we look into those types of questions".

When asked who should lead the inquiry, the Safeguarding Minister insisted that "it has to be someone that can command the trust of the public" and they should be able to "get under the skin of the organisational culture that has allowed these failings to happen."

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