Stephen Lawrence: Independent force will review Met Police's handling of latest evidence in murder investigation, Sadiq Khan says

Sir Mark Rowley will ask an independent police force to look at the Metropolitan Police's handling of the latest evidence in the murder of Stephen Lawrence, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said.

On the 31st anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the Met Police issued an apology to his mother Baroness Doreen Lawrence and her family over the handling of the latest evidence.

Stephen was stabbed in a racist attack in southeast London while running to catch a bus with his friend Duwayne Brooks on 22 April 1993.

Last year, it emerged there was a sixth suspect believed to have been involved in the murder of the 18-year-old.

Only two people, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were brought to justice for the crime.

Dobson and Norris were jailed for life in 2012 and charges against the three other suspects were dropped over a lack of evidence.

The BBC named Matthew White as the sixth suspect in the murder in June last year. He died aged 50 in 2021.

The Met Police apologised to Ms Lawrence after failing to give her an explanation of White's involvement.

Now the force will have its handling of the latest evidence evaluated by an independent police force, Mr Khan has said.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: "I had a frank conversation with Sir Mark Rowley today - he'll be asking a separate police force to look into the assessment the Met Police have made in relation to the fresh evidence.

"I'm hoping that reassures the Lawrence family - Doreen in particular - that under the new leadership of the Met Police they will redouble their efforts to ensure that the police has learned lessons of yesteryear.

"Sir Mark is keen that a separate police force that has the confidence of the Lawrence family looks into the Met Police's assessment to reassure the public that this police service in London now has nothing to hide."

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On the anniversary of the murder that forced a re-evaluation of policing in the UK, the London mayor added: "All of us today are thinking of Doreen and the family on the 31st anniversary of Stephen's brutal racist murder.

"The family has been let down by police officers over three decades. Dame Louise Casey found in her recent report that the police are still institutionally racist.

"I think there are lessons to be learned."