A scene from season six of Line of Duty that references the real-life unsolved murder of a private detective has resurfaced on social media after home secretary Priti Patel delayed a report into the death.
Despite five police inquiries and an inquest, his murder has never been solved and a long-awaited report into his death has again been delayed due to a Home Office review.
A panel investigating the Met Police’s handling of Morgan’s murder were due to publish its findings on Monday (17th May) but this was halted by the Home Office who wanted to review the document, which is expected to contain “a sizeable chapter” on police corruption. The Metropolitan Police has admitted corruption had hampered the original murder investigation.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the panel said: “This review is being sought on the basis of the Home Office ensuring the report’s compliance with the department’s obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998 and for reasons of national security.
“The Home Office advised it would make redactions if it did not consider the report complied with these obligations. A review of this nature has not been raised previously in the eight years since the panel was established in 2013. The panel believes that this last-minute requirement is unnecessary and is not consistent with the panel’s independence.”
The Daniel Morgan Independent Panel said that they were told that a new publication date will not be agreed upon until the Home Office can ensure that the review complies with the Human Rights Act 1998 and does not compromise national security.
This news has been called a “kick in the teeth” by Morgan’s family who called Patel’s intervention “unnecessary.” In a statement, they added: “The Home Secretary’s intervention is not only unnecessary and inconsistent with the panel’s independence. It is an outrage which betrays her ignorance – and the ignorance of those advising her – with regard to her powers in law and the panel’s terms of reference.
“It also reveals a disturbing disregard for the public interest in safeguarding the independence of the panel and its report. For us as the family of Daniel Morgan, the Home Secretary’s belated and unwarranted interference in this process is simply unacceptable.”
A spokesperson for Patel said: “This has nothing to do with the independence of the report and the Home Office is not seeking to make edits to it. As soon as we receive the report, we can begin those checks and agree a publication date.”
Morgan’s untimely death was referenced in the hit BBC police drama Line of Duty. The reference came in episode two of season six of the show ,when detective inspector Steve Arnott and detective constable Chloe Bishop investigate the murder of investigative journalist Gail Vella, who found success with a podcast series about police corruption surrounding the murder of a private detective – also called Daniel Morgan.
Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr shared the clip from the show after the news of the delayed report broke on Tuesday.
This is based on a real podcast called Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder by author Peter Jukes and Alistair Morgan, Daniel’s older brother. Their investigation and subsequent book, published in 2017, aims to expose police corruption at the time, shed new light on the case and ultimately get justice for his family.
Line of Duty writer Jed Mercurio often used tragic real-life crimes to inspire plots in the show which has now been watched by millions. Amongst them is the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and disgraced TV star and sex offender Jimmy Savile.