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'No proof' police tried to smear Lawrences

By Margaret Davis and Jamie Grierson

A probe into Scotland Yard moles has found no evidence to back claims that undercover officers sought information to smear the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Chief Constable Mick Creedon, who is leading Operation Herne into the activities of officers from the Met's now-defunct Special Demonstration Squad, told the Home Affairs Select Committee there is no evidence to support the allegations.

He said: "There is nothing in Operation Herne which suggests any attempt whatsoever to do two things. Firstly to be tasked against the Stephen Lawrence family and secondly to besmirch the Stephen Lawrence family."

Stephen's parents Neville and Doreen have called for a public inquiry into the claims.

Home Secretary Theresa May indicated she would back such a probe if it was supported by lawyer Mark Ellison who is leading a review of claims of police corruption in the original murder investigation.

Mr Creedon also revealed that Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was aware that there were references to the Lawrence family in secret police files before the smear claims were made public.

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