Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Doreen Lawrence to be made a peer

2013-07-31 18:13:38

Doreen Lawrence
Doreen Lawrence recently called for a public inquiry into
claims the police smeared her family

The mother of the murdered London teenager Stephen Lawrence is to be made a Labour peer.

Doreen Lawrence has led a long campaign to find out what happened to her son, who was killed in a racially aggravated attack in 1993.

Two men were eventually convicted of his murder in 2011.

A Labour source said leader Ed Miliband felt Mrs Lawrence was a "hero of modern Britain" and "voices like hers" should be heard in Parliament.

Eighteen-year-old Stephen Lawrence was stabbed by a gang of white youths as he waited for a bus in south London.

An inquiry following the murder led the Metropolitan Police to be accused of institutional racism and found failings in how the force had investigated the crime.

Speaking earlier this month, in the wake of fresh allegations that officers had carried out a smear campaign against her family during the investigation, Mrs Lawrence said there were "still elements of racism within the police".

'Strength and courage'

Leading public figures, including Mr Miliband, Prime Minister David Cameron and Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe attended a memorial service earlier this year to honour the black teenager.

Mrs Lawrence, a special needs teacher, founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust to promote a positive community legacy in her son's name.

Her name will be included in a list of new peerages expected to be announced on Thursday, entitling her to sit in the House of Lords.

The BBC's Danny Shaw said he understood the nomination had been agreed by the Labour leader and put forward to No 10 in a list of recommendations.

A Labour source said: "The strength and courage she has shown in her fight for justice for her son Stephen has had a profound impact on attitudes to racism and policing.

"Her campaigning has changed, and will continue to change, our country for the better."

Source: bbc.co.uk

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