Police Review 'race Hate' Probe Into Journalist Darren Grimes And David Starkey

Scotland Yard has dropped its 'race hate' probe into journalist Darren Grimes and historian David Starkey after ill-judged remarks were made during an interview given at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests.

The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into Mr Grimes, 27, and Dr Starkey, 75, earlier this month for allegedly stirring up racial hatred in a YouTube interview.

During the hour-long interview on pro-Brexit blogger Mr Grimes' Reasoned UK channel, author Dr Starkey claimed 'slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain'.

The pair apologised for the controversial remarks, while Dr Starkey resigned his fellowship from Cambridge University and lost a book deal with HarperCollins.

However, the Met Police's decision to investigate them under the Public Order Act sparked a freedom of speech backlash from politicians including Home Secretary Priti Patel, Tory backbencher Sajid Javid and former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.

Lord Macdonald, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, slammed the 'sinister and foolish' decision of the police to investigate the pair, calling it a 'political stunt'.

Journalists including Douglas Murray, associate editor of The Spectator magazine, and Toby Young of the Free Speech Union also lined up to blast the 'absurd' probe. 

Scotland Yard then retreated from its decision to investigate them, announcing that it was reviewing the case to ensure it was 'proportionate'.

Today, the Met Police wrote to Mr Grimes and Dr Starkey to confirm that the case has been dropped 'following an initial investigation and CPS advice'. 

In a statement today, Mr Grimes, who was previously investigated for allegedly violating electoral laws during the 2016 EU referendum, said he is 'delighted to be free from months, if not years, of yet more legal drama occupying my life'.

He blasted the 'unprecedented use of the Public Order Act to regulate speech and debate', calling the probe 'vexatious' and 'truly chilling indeed'. 

Dr Starkey told MailOnline that the investigation should never have taken place, calling it 'misconceived, oppressive and designed to misuse the criminal law to curtail the proper freedom of expression and debate'. 

Scotland Yard has dropped its 'race hate' probe into Darren Grimes and David Starkey after ill-judged remarks were made during an interview given during the Black Lives Matter protests

Scotland Yard has dropped its 'race hate' probe into Darren Grimes and David Starkey after ill-judged remarks were made during an interview given during the Black Lives Matter protests 

During the interview on Mr Grimes' Reasoned UK channel, author Dr Starkey claimed 'slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain'

During the interview on Mr Grimes' Reasoned UK channel, author Dr Starkey claimed 'slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain'

In a statement today, Mr Grimes, who was previously investigated for allegedly violating electoral laws during the 2016 EU referendum, said he is 'delighted to be free from months, if not years, of yet more legal drama occupying my life'

In a statement today, Mr Grimes, who was previously investigated for allegedly violating electoral laws during the 2016 EU referendum, said he is 'delighted to be free from months, if not years, of yet more legal drama occupying my life'

MailOnline can now reveal that the controversial investigation into Mr Grimes and Dr Starkey was conducted by a unit whose new commander has only been in the Metropolitan Police force for the last six years.

It has also emerged that Met Commissioner Cressida Dick was only made aware of the probe after the furore blew up in the media on October 9.  

The Met Police's South-West Basic Command Unit (BCU) – led by Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple – was pursuing Mr Grimes for allegedly stirring up racial hatred in an interview with Dr Starkey.

Chief Supt Chapple joined Scotland Yard as an entry level superintendent in November 2014, having previously held down roles in Human Resources across the banking and finance sector.

She was head of HR for the People Delivery Team at Santander before joining the Met. Prior to that she had a 13-year career working for accountancy firm KPMG.

On joining the Met, Chief Supt Chapple became the force's spokeswoman for the Notting Hill Carnival, announcing knife arches at the event in 2018 and warning officers not to dance with revellers last year.

She took over running the London South West BCU, which has 1,300 officers working the boroughs of Wandsworth, Kingston-upon-Thames, Merton and Richmond, from Chief Supt Sally Benatar who retired after 39-years with the force at the start of September. 

The investigation into Mr Grimes was launched at the end of September – a few weeks after Chief Superintendent Chapple had taken over.

MailOnline can now reveal that the controversial investigation was conducted by a unit whose new commander has only been in the Metropolitan Police force for the last six years. Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple joined Scotland Yard as an entry level superintendent in November 2014, having previously held down roles in Human Resources across the banking and finance sector. She was head of HR for the People Delivery Team at Santander before joining the Met. Prior to that she had a 13-year career working for accountancy firm KPMG

MailOnline can now reveal that the controversial investigation was conducted by a unit whose new commander has only been in the Metropolitan Police force for the last six years. Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple joined Scotland Yard as an entry level superintendent in November 2014, having previously held down roles in Human Resources across the banking and finance sector. She was head of HR for the People Delivery Team at Santander before joining the Met. Prior to that she had a 13-year career working for accountancy firm KPMG

MailOnline can now reveal that Met Commissioner Cressida Dick was only made aware of the probe after the furore blew up in the media on October 9

MailOnline can now reveal that Met Commissioner Cressida Dick was only made aware of the probe after the furore blew up in the media on October 9

The Met has said it was passed an allegation from Durham Police of a public order offence relating to a social media video posted on June 30.  

Sources within the force have expressed surprise that the Met Commissioner was not given prior notice of this investigation taking place with one saying: 'To not have been personally briefed on an investigation which was obviously going to put the force under fire I find hard to believe. She must have been briefed and not only that given her full approval for it to go ahead.'

However a Scotland Yard insider revealed: 'All the evidence points to the Commissioner not knowing until when the story first blew up. 

'The Met is a huge force with thousands of investigation taking place, it would impossible for her to be briefed on every one of them.'  

In a statement released today, Mr Grimes said: 'The fact that it was allowed to reach this point, the fact that a precedent has been set that says that a broadcaster or journalist can face police arrest and a maximum of seven years prison time for interviewing a controversial guest is truly chilling indeed. 

Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8863741/Scotland-Yard-DROP-race-hate-probe-Darren-Grimes.html

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Scotland Yard DROP 'race hate' probe into Darren Grimes
Police review 'race hate' probe into journalist Darren Grimes and David Starkey
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