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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Evening Standard Comment

OPINION - The Standard View: The Met’s apology to LGBT+ people is welcome, but incomplete

It IS a welcome apology. In a letter to the campaigner Peter Tatchell, the head of the Metropolitan Police has said sorry for historic failings towards the LGBT+ community.

Sir Mark Rowley stated that, while the force had to enforce the law at the time when homosexuality was criminalised, the manner in which this was sometimes policed had “failed the community and persists in the collective memory of LGBT+ Londoners of all ages”.

Sir Mark also acknowledged that “there are still racists, misogynists, homophobes and transphobes” in the force, as laid bare in the excoriating report by Baroness Louise Casey. Which is what makes his decision in March to reject the report’s key conclusion — that the Met’s prejudices are “institutional” — a confounding misstep.

Accepting that term would have demonstrated Scotland Yard had finally come to terms with the depth of the crisis and provided some space to begin rebuilding trust. It represents an opportunity missed.

Moreover, apologising for historic failings is quite different to saying sorry for those of more recent times. Not least the Stephen Port killings where, following the murder of a young gay man in 2014, a “calamitous litany of failures” — in the words of the police watchdog — contributed to the deaths of a further three gay men.

Apologies are not just for Pride Month. Sir Mark knows that rebuilding trust with LGBT+ Londoners — and indeed all communities in the capital — will require far more.

Newspaper wars

Forget the sale of Manchester United or golf’s shock merger — there is still nothing quite like owning a newspaper. And for those looking, you might be in luck. The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, as well as the The Spectator magazine, are set to be put up for sale following the collapse of talks between owners the Barclays and their lenders.

National newspapers don’t come on the market often, and like Premier League football clubs they possess a prestige and value beyond their bottom lines. Interest is likely to be wide.

The seemingly sudden collapse of B.UK, which owns the Telegraph Media Group, has inevitably called into question the way in which it has been run. Not least because the paper itself remains profitable. Meanwhile, the confluence of family intrigue, financial difficulties and proximity to political power makes this a story likely to run and run.

Every silver lining ...

There is an unwritten social contract between Londoners and the weather gods. We tolerate lousy grey skies for much of the year and in return summer comes. After an interminably dull spring, the capital has revelled in sunshine in recent weeks and is this weekend set for the warmest day of the year.

There may also be thunderstorms and muggy nights ahead — it is reassuring that even in good weather we have something to complain about.

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