Doreen Lawrence: I want answers
The mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence is to meet Britain's most senior police officer on Friday following a "promising" meeting with the Home Secretary.
Doreen Lawrence will go to New Scotland Yard to see Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to discuss claims that undercover officers hunted for information to smear her family.
Speaking at City Hall in London, Sir Bernard said he would try to answer some of the 13 questions that her lawyer Imran Khan has put forward to the force, but insisted that it is not for him to call for a public inquiry.
He said: "We can see if we can answer those questions, we can tell her what we're doing. At the end of the day all I have to offer is a police inquiry. Whether or not the Government or Parliament is persuaded by that, I can't really say any more than I have said already."
Mrs Lawrence met Theresa May at the Home Office to urge her to hold a full investigation in public. Claims have been made by former undercover officer Peter Francis that attempts were made to find information to smear the Lawrence family following Stephen's murder in April 1993.
Mrs May said earlier this week that the claims could be examined by two existing inquiries - a police investigation into the activities of undercover officers and another led by Mark Ellison QC into allegations of corruption in the original investigation into Stephen's murder.
Speaking after the meeting, Mrs Lawrence said: "She said all options are open and she explained about the different reviews that are going on at the moment and how it could be expanded.
"I made my point quite clear. For the past 20 years the fact that we as a family have been talking about corruption and we have undercover officers trying to smear our family. I want answers. I want to know who was the senior officer who signed that off. We had no idea this was going on from 1993 until 1997."
Sir Bernard said that he has asked Mick Creedon, the officer from Derbyshire Police leading the inquiry into the SDS, to prioritise the Lawrence claims. The SDS was set up in 1968 and was dissolved in 2008.
Additional claims have been made that meetings between Stephen's friend Duwayne Brooks - who was with him on the night that he was murdered by racists - his lawyers and police were bugged. Under questioning by the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, Sir Bernard confirmed that an internal investigation has been launched into what happened, after Mr Brooks' solicitor wrote to the force earlier this week.