Stephen Lawrence murder: External police force will review Met's assessment of any new evidence

Stephen Lawrence (PA)
Stephen Lawrence (PA)

An external police force will review the Met’s assessment of any fresh evidence in the Stephen Lawrence murder case, it was announced on Monday.

City Hall said Sadiq Khan was keen to see a police force which “commands the Lawrence family’s confidence” involved in the case.

It comes after Stephen’s mother, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, has questioned why the investigation into his killing was not reopened after a new suspect came to light.

Following an hour-long meeting between the Mayor and Sir Mark Rowley at City Hall on Monday, a spokesman for Mr Khan said they both agreed that another force will review any new evidence in the case.

Mr Khan’s spokesman added: “It was a good, frank and constructive discussion with the Commissioner. He has Sadiq’s full confidence in policing London.

“London is policed by consent and they both agreed getting community relations right is fundamental to that.”

Scotland Yard was accused of a “shocking level of failure” after Sir Mark was forced to apologise for breaking a promise to update Baroness Lawrence on an aborted probe into a sixth suspect.

The commissioner said he was sorry for the Met not answering questions stemming from a BBC investigation into the murder of the 18-year-old by a racist gang in Eltham on April 22, 1993.

The teenager was attacked by a group of young white men as he ran to catch a bus with his friend Duwayne Brooks.

The broadcaster says Baroness Lawrence was promised an explanation after it last year named Matthew White as a sixth suspect in the case.

White, who died in 2021 aged 50, was in 2020 convicted of an assault on a black shop worker near where Mr Lawrence was murdered.

The victim told the BBC that White had said: “Remember you’re in Eltham. Remember where you are, remember what happened to Stephen Lawrence. I can call my boys, they can come down and they can deal with you.”

Only two men, David Norris and Gary Dobson, have been convicted over the teen’s murder.

But police investigations have been marred by corruption, racist attitudes and multiple failures.

The BBC reported that independent witnesses had said that White was present at the murder and that he also matched the description of the main attacker given by Mr Brooks.But that evidence of his involvement was not pursued adequately.

Mr Khan paid tribute to Baroness Lawrence’s fight for justice on the 31st anniversary of the killing.

He said:  “It is vital that any new lines of inquiry are properly investigated.”