Daniel Morgan’s son says Priti Patel has added to family’s agony

Home secretary urged to ‘bring our torture to an end’ by allowing publication of report into police and media corruption

Opinion: our father was murdered, yet we have no closure after 34 years – only anger and grief

The son of the murdered private detective Daniel Morgan has said the home secretary has exacerbated the 34 years of agony for his family by blocking the publication of the report into the role police and media corruption played in shielding his killers.

Breaking a public silence of over three decades, the son, also called Daniel, said the report of a panel investigating the 1987 murder should be published, without the government vetting it beforehand.

In a piece for the Guardian, he said: “My family have endured enough words, suffering, waiting and pain: the only currency left with any value to us is action that brings our torture to an end.”

The panel was expecting to publish this coming Monday. However, on Tuesday members were told they could not do so until their report had been passed to the home secretary, Priti Patel, so she could review it and make changes if she thought necessary.

One of the main areas of inquiry for the panel was the conduct of Rupert Murdoch’s business empire, with two of those arrested after the murder having ties to the News of the World, the Sunday tabloid closed after the phone-hacking scandal.

Patel was a guest at Murdoch’s 2016 wedding in London to Jerry Hall. On Friday the Home Office said the home secretary would not discuss her relationship with Murdoch, or her attendance at his wedding, because it was a private matter.

No one has ever been convicted of the murder of Morgan, 37, who was found with an axe in his head in a south London pub car park in March 1987. The Metropolitan police have accepted their efforts have been blighted by corruption.

In the Guardian piece, Morgan’s son dismissed the home secretary’s claims she needed to see the report before publication in case parts of it breached human rights or damaged national security. Well-informed police sources say the case has no national security implications.

He wrote: “I urge the home secretary to stand aside. You say you want to review the report over concerns relating to the Human Rights Act and national security. You know you have made no preparations for any such review, because none was ever envisaged on your part.

“You have said you understand how we feel and you don’t wish to compromise the integrity or the independence of the panel and their work. If this is true, we see no reason for you not to desist immediately, so that the panel’s report may be published as it stands without any further delay.

“And I urge the [panel] to take whatever steps are in its power to stand up to the home secretary, to ensure that its independence and integrity is not compromised.

Morgan, 38, said the lack of justice as well as corruption thwarting justice had made the family’s pain since 1987 worse.

“What remains most sickening is the failure of the institutions of the state to do what was required of them: the failure to address the police corruption that has protected those responsible for the murder from justice; and the repeated failure to confront that corruption over the decades; a failure of the police hierarchy at the highest ranks; the failure of the Home Office which is supposed to be responsible for the police.”

The family had suffered throughout the generations, Morgan said. “We still have unspent grief, 34 years after the murder of my father. At this moment in time it’s a living nightmare.”

In her first public comments the home secretary defended her actions on Channel 4 News. Patel said: “I think it’s important that I, as home secretary, actually receive the report before it is published.

“I have yet to receive this report and I think it’s right that I receive the report and read it before laying it in parliament. That is standard practice when it comes to reports of this nature and that is absolutely the right process to follow.”

The Home Office was asked several days ago to name a precedent for a report of this nature. It has yet to cite one.

The brother of the murdered private detective challenged the home secretary over her remarks.

Alastair Morgan said: “She would have received the report one day before publication, as is the convention, but she blocked publication and insisted she was entitled to redact if she saw fit. This was not part of the deal.”

The standoff between the government and the panel, which is refusing to hand over its report as demanded, continues, as do discussions to try to resolve it.

There is little or no chance the report will be published before parliament goes into recess next week.

The inquiry was ordered in 2013 by the then home secretary, Theresa May.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Under the panel’s terms of reference agreed in 2013, it is for the home secretary to make arrangements for the report’s publication to parliament.

“Until the panel provide the home secretary with the report, she is unable to make those arrangements or meet her responsibilities to ensure it complies with human rights and national security considerations, should these arise.

“We hope the panel will reconsider and provide the Home Office with the report so those checks can begin swiftly and we can publish soon.”

Contributor

Vikram Dodd Police and crime correspondent

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Priti Patel accused of ‘cover-up’ over Daniel Morgan investigation
MPs allege home secretary wants to protect friends in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire by redacting report

Peter Walker Political correspondent

24, May, 2021 @5:51 PM

Article image
The Guardian view on Daniel Morgan’s murder: calling out the Met | Editorial
Editorial: The squalid tale uncovered by the inquiry is bad enough. The police’s efforts to obstruct it make it worse

Editorial

15, Jun, 2021 @6:24 PM

Article image
Who was Daniel Morgan and what is the new row over his murder case?
Priti Patel has delayed publication of a report on the unsolved 1987 murder of a private detective

Vikram Dodd Police and crime correspondent

19, May, 2021 @5:46 PM

Article image
Priti Patel faces demands for statutory inquiry into murder of Sarah Everard
Labour and SNP say investigation into ‘failures’ of Met police announced by home secretary lacks legal powers

Rajeev Syal Home affairs editor

05, Oct, 2021 @6:09 PM

Article image
Daniel Morgan murder: panel refuses to hand over report
Priti Patel demanded that findings be handed over prior to publication

Vikram Dodd Police and crime correspondent

19, May, 2021 @7:02 PM

Article image
Anger as Patel delays publication of report into private detective’s murder
Independent panel set up to investigate killing of Daniel Morgan ‘furious’ at home secretary’s move

Vikram Dodd Police and crime correspondent

18, May, 2021 @7:49 PM

Article image
Home Office agrees publication of Daniel Morgan murder report in June
Decision by Priti Patel to delay report into possible corruption prompted fury from family of investigator

Aubrey Allegretti Political correspondent

28, May, 2021 @1:10 PM

Article image
Daniel Morgan’s son says Cressida Dick should consider her position
Son of murdered private detective slams ‘cancerous’ culture of the Metropolitan police after findings of institutional corruption

Miranda Bryant

19, Jun, 2021 @11:21 AM

Article image
Daniel Morgan murder: inquiry brands Met police ‘institutionally corrupt’
Met chief censured for hampering corruption inquiry into investigation of 1987 death of private detective

Vikram Dodd and Dan Sabbagh

15, Jun, 2021 @6:45 PM

Article image
Priti Patel to order third review of police handling of Carl Beech
New inquiry would reportedly look at Met’s response to earlier investigation into its failings

Vikram Dodd Police and crime correspondent

02, Oct, 2019 @11:53 PM