The Metropolitan Police has apologised and agreed a “mutually satisfactory settlement” to the family of murdered private investigator Daniel Morgan.
The UK’s largest police force admitted the original murder investigation 36 years ago was “marred by a cycle of corruption, professional incompetence and defensiveness”.
Mr Morgan, who co-founded PI firm Southern investigations, was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London, on March 10 1987.
Mr Morgan’s family had brought a civil claim against the Met and, the force said, after a mediation process they reached a “mutually satisfactory settlement of the proposed claims, including an admission of liability on behalf of the commissioner in respect of the conduct of his officers in response to the murder”.
The Met said the settlement terms were confidential but the Times reported early in the week the force had agreed a £2 million payout.
Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said in a statement on Wednesday morning: “I unequivocally and unreservedly apologise for the failure of the Metropolitan Police Service to bring those responsible for the murder of Daniel Morgan to justice.
“From the earliest stages, his family have been repeatedly and inexcusably let down by the Metropolitan Police.
“This case has been marred by a cycle of corruption, professional incompetence and defensiveness that has repeated itself over and over again.”
The commissioner said the campaigning of Mr Morgan’s family “exposed” systemic failings in the organisation.
“I have met with the family and listened to vivid and moving accounts of the devastating impact those failings have had on their lives. They have explained how their trust in policing has been eroded,” he added.
The family said in a statement released on Wednesday: “The family of Daniel Morgan, deceased, proposed to bring civil claims arising out of his murder on March 10 1987 and the ensuing investigations into that murder against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
“As a result of a formal mediation process in July 2023, the parties were able to agree a mutually satisfactory settlement of the proposed claims, including an admission of liability on behalf of the commissioner in respect of the conduct of his officers in response to the murder.”
The Times reported Mr Morgan’s family met with the commissioner last week to apologise to them in person before the statement was signed.
The initial investigation into Mr Morgan’s death was heavily criticised. The murder scene was not searched and was left unguarded, there were no alibis sought for all the suspects.
A later probe by Hampshire Police, brought in to investigate amid fears of corruption, was compromised when a senior Met officer was appointed to work with the team.
No-one has been brought to justice over the killing.
In June 2021, an independent panel produced a scathing report which accused the Met of “a form of institutional corruption” for concealing or denying failings over the unsolved murder.
In May, documents relating to the inquiry into Mr Morgan’s death were found in a locked cabinet at New Scotland Yard that had not been used for several years.
A total of 95 pages of material which should have been disclosed to the panel was discovered.
A further 71 pages were identified that would have been provided to His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) as part of its subsequent inspection.