Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Paul Condon has denied authorising undercover police officers to target the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

However the peer, who held the top post at Scotland Yard between 1993 and 2000, backed plans for a wider public inquiry into the activities of police moles.

His comments came after a damning report by barrister Mark Ellison QC found an undercover officer was a "spy" working within the "Lawrence family camp" during the judicial inquiry led by Sir William Macpherson into the failings surrounding the murder investigation.

Loading article content

Prime Minister David Cameron said the Lawrence family had "suffered far too much" and current Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe admitted corruption claims around the case sparked one of the worst days of his career.

Lord Condon's statement said: "I have read the reports by Mark Ellison QC and Chief Constable Creedon and I am in broad agreement with their findings. I also fully support the further action outlined by the Home Secretary.

"I confirm and restate the comments I made in the House of Lords last month. That at no stage did I ever authorise, or encourage, or know about any action by any undercover officer in relation to Mr and Mrs Lawrence or their friends or supporters or the Macpherson Inquiry hearings. Had I known, I would have stopped this action immediately as inappropriate.

"I made this statement in the House of Lords because for me it is the equivalent of saying it on oath and I am aware of the full consequences of any attempt to mislead the House of Lords.

"Similarly, I always wished the Macpherson Inquiry to have full access to all relevant information and documents held by the MPS and was dismayed and saddened to read the findings about the alleged withholding of information.

"I will continue to do all in my power to support the ongoing investigations into these matters. And I realise the enormous anxiety and concern that these fresh allegations will generate with Mr and Mrs Lawrence and their supporters."

Mr Ellison also found one of the officers in the original investigation, Detective Sergeant John Davidson, may have acted corruptly.