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British Muslim police officer suspended in racism row

Britain’s most senior Asian police officer has been “relieved of his command”, the decision came after Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur lodged a £1.2m racial discrimination claim against the Met, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Sep 10, 2008 00:58 IST
Vijay Dutt

Britain’s most senior Asian police officer has been “relieved of his command”, the National Black Police Association (NBPA) has said.

The decision came after Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur lodged a £1.2m racial discrimination claim against the Metropolitan Police (Met).

Commissioner Ian Blair made the decision after meeting with Ghaffur and his lawyer at Scotland Yard.

The chairman of NBPA, Alfred John, said it was “disappointed” with the “unprecedented decision”.

And added, “We are disappointed by the move of the Commissioner to do that. His message to his employees and the people of London is very clear — you can come and work for us but don’t make any complaints if you are black, Asian or Muslim because the organisation will get you.”

The Ugandan born of Pak-origin parents, 53-year-old, who joined the police service in 1974 after coming to Britain as a teenage refugee, was expected to issue a statement later.

Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur lodged the claim against the Met with an employment tribunal on August 22. He claims he was discriminated against on grounds of race, religion and age.

Ghaffur is head of security planning for London’s 2012 Olympics.

Sources said that he would remain on his £180,000-a-year salary pending the outcome of the tribunal and the end of his contract next May.

Meanwhile the Met’s Professional Standards Committee has called for an investigation into whether Ghaffur breached disciplinary codes by staging a televised press conference to announce his race claim.

Many at Scotland Yard would be relieved at his departure, where some in the senior ranks had said they felt they could no longer work closely with Ghaffur.