Mellor 'disappointed' by Straw claims

The former Conservative cabinet minister David Mellor has said he is "disappointed" about claims by the former Labour home secretary Jack Straw that the Thatcher government created a "culture of impunity" in the police that led to the Hillsborough cover-up.

Mr Straw also told the Today programme that he believed Mrs Thatcher's administration was partly responsible for the culture in the South Yorkshire force because they needed its support during the miners' strike.

Interviewed by Today presenter Justin Webb, Mr Mellor said he could not accept this view.

"When I was at the Home Office, we took through the Police and Criminal Evidence Act which remains on the statute book, unlike most of the frankly rather bungled criminal justice legislation that governments after, including Jack Straw's, have taken through," he explained.

"What that did was deal with a culture in police stations where prospective defendants were interviewed, no notes were taken at the interview, the policemen would go off to the canteen, they'd write what purported to be the full interview and then that would appear in court. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act opened up what happened in the police station by insisting that it was all taped."

BBC Radio 4 Today

BBC Radio 4 Today

Contributed by BBCR4Today
Sep 13, 2012, 09:48 AM
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