Met Police Officer Tarique Ghaffur 'relieved of duties' after race claim

Met Police Officer Tarique Ghaffur 'relieved of duties' after race claim

The Metropolitan police chief, Sir Ian Blair, today made a dramatic intervention in the race row engulfing his force when he announced that the senior officer who accused him of being a racist was being temporarily relieved of his duties.

Blair said this afternoon that Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur had been put on authorised leave of his responsibilities with immediate effect.

He blamed Ghaffur's behaviour since his announcement last month that he was taking Scotland Yard to an employment tribunal for racially discriminating against him.

Blair was referring to a press conference held by Ghaffur two weeks ago when he appeared in full uniform and made an unprecedented personal attack on the commissioner, accusing him of being a racist.

Blair said in a statement: "For the avoidance of doubt, the decision has nothing to do with his actions in filing the ET (employment tribunal) application or the fact that he has made the allegations which are the subject matter of the ET claim.

"Rather, my decision results from the way in which he has chosen to conduct himself, for example by the manner in which statements were made in his press conference, and in conducting a media campaign, both personally and through the advisers and organisations supporting him."

The Met said the authorised leave of absence meant that Ghaffur would no longer be in charge of the Met's central operations command, nor take a part in the force's management board and would give up his involvement in the security for the Olympic games.