Socialist Worker

Police report into death of Blair Peach may finally be released

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2182

Blair Peach

Blair Peach


The report into the death of Anti Nazi League and Socialist Workers Party member Blair Peach in 1979 got a step closer to seeing the light of day this week.

Blair's skull was crushed when he was hit on the head with an illegal weapon, such as a lead-weighted rubber cosh, while demonstrating against the National Front in Southall, west London. Friends and supporters, including Socialist Worker, have always argued that officers in the Special Patrol Group (SPG) were responsible for his death.

An investigation, carried out at the time by Metropolitan police commander John Cass, was never made public.

It was revealed that it found illegal weapons in the lockers of officers in the SPG, which is now known as the Territorial Support Group. But Cass’s report is also believed to have narrowed down the responsibility for Blair’s death to a group of six officers.

Now, 30 years later, the report has now been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will decide if all lines of inquiry were exhausted in the investigation into Blair’s death.

This could lead to people who were police officers at the time being questioned and the possibility that they might face charges.

Any investigation into Blair’s death and the actions of police should be public and transparent.


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