COMMONS

Ian Tomlinson

28 July 2010

On the 27 July, the Home Affairs Committee discussed the considerable public concern over the decision by the Director for Public Prosecutions not to pursue a prosecution following the death of Ian Tomlinson. As a result, they agreed to write to the Attorney-General and the Home Secretary. The previous Committee took a strong interest in this issue during its inquiry into the G20 protests in 2009.

The Chair of the Committee, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, said: “We welcome the announcement made by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police about the launch of disciplinary proceedings and that the Commissioner regards this matter as serious and important.

We were extremely concerned at the decision of the DPP not to prosecute. We hope that the Attorney General will be able to review this decision and that the Home Secretary will respond to our recommendations.”

The letters are appended below.


Appendix 1: Letter from Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair, Home Affairs Committee, to Dominic Grieve QC MP, Attorney General, 27 July 2010

Dear Dominic,

G20 Protests and death of Ian Tomlinson

As you may be aware, the Home Affairs Committee in the last Parliament held an inquiry into events during the G20 protests in April 2009. This and a subsequent short inquiry into the Independent Police Complaints Commission reflected the Committee’s concerns over the use of force by police at demonstrations and about the perception that the IPCC was too lenient towards the police it investigated. The Committee in the new Parliament is keen to follow up the issues raised by these earlier inquiries.

As a result, my Committee has noted and shares the considerable public concern about the decision by the DPP not to pursue a prosecution in the case of Ian Tomlinson.

My Committee has noted your comments in the House yesterday that you have supervision and superintendence of the work of the DPP. I am therefore writing on behalf of the Committee to ask you to review his decision not to prosecute in this case.


Appendix 2: Letter from Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair, Home Affairs Committee, to Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary, 27 July 2010

Dear Theresa,

G20 Protests and death of Ian Tomlinson

As you may be aware, the Home Affairs Committee in the last Parliament held an inquiry into events during the G20 protests in April 2009. This and a subsequent short inquiry into the Independent Police Complaints Commission reflected the Committee’s concerns over the use of force by police at demonstrations and about the perception that the IPCC was too lenient towards the police it investigated. The Committee in the new Parliament is keen to follow up the issues raised by these earlier inquiries.

As a result, my Committee has noted and shares the considerable public concern about the decision by the DPP not to pursue a prosecution in the case of Ian Tomlinson.

In particular, the former Committee recommended that the police publicly clarify how and when force should legitimately be used by the police, and it deplored the use of untrained and inexperienced officers in a sensitive and volatile situation such as the G20 protests. On behalf of the Committee, I would like your views on these two issues.

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