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May 'considers new Lawrence probe'

Home Secretary Theresa May is considering ordering a second public inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, according to reports.

The potential move has been triggered by fresh allegations that police corruption may have hindered the original investigation into the black teenager's killing.

It is claimed that a confidential report compiled by the Met's anti-corruption command was not disclosed to the panel of the 1998 public inquiry that examined the forces's handling of the case.

According to the Guardian, the documents focus on the conduct and integrity of former Metropolitan Police commander Ray Adams, who was involved in the probe into the 1993 murder. Mrs May has asked for the allegations to be thoroughly investigated to avoid undermining confidence in the police, according to reports.

Despite investigating the claims for more than a month, Scotland Yard said it could not confirm if the potentially crucial files were passed to the inquiry, headed by Sir William Macpherson.

It has prompted the family of Mr Lawrence to urge the home secretary to launch a second probe.

Doreen Lawrence, Stephen's mother, said: "This gives further impetus to my demand to the Home Secretary for a public inquiry into corruption.

"I cannot see how Theresa May can now refuse. Not only must a new public inquiry look at whether corruption existed in the police investigation but why it was that such critical information was kept from us - Stephen's family."

The Met Police said it has started its own probe into the files. A force spokesman said: "The deputy commissioner is overseeing inquiries to establish paperwork relating to investigations into corruption that have been linked to the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation. Should any new information arise it would be seriously considered."

Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack while waiting for a bus in Eltham, south-east London, on the evening of April 22 1993. David Norris and Gary Dobson were convicted of murder in January this year - 19 years after the crime - and both sentenced to life at the Old Bailey.

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