Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diana: Let Us Have the Inquest at Last

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diana: Let Us Have the Inquest at Last

Article excerpt

TODAY at the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, outside Kensington Palace and at the Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, the life of Diana, Princess of Wales will once again be remembered. For all her flaws, the many people whose lives she touched will think of her with affection. Yet nine years on from the crash in the Pont D'Alma tunnel in Paris, no official British report into what happened that night has yet been published.

The French inquiry shortly after the event concluded that the crash was caused by a chauffeur who was far over the alcohol limit and driving too fast. There is little reason to doubt that account.

Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner, was required by the royal coroner to conduct a wide-ranging investigation ahead of an inquest in an attempt to end the conspiracy theories that have proliferated since 1997.

Lord Stevens's team has used sophisticated forensic techniques and interviewed both the royal family and members of the security services. He is believed to have concluded that the crash was, indeed, an accident, involving no foul play.

However, a senior judicial figure needs to be found to take over the inquest from royal coroner Michael Burgess, who resigned earlier this summer, blaming his workload. Back in June, Lord Stevens had expected to publish the report in August. The search for a new coroner must be stepped up so that publication and the inquest can go ahead and the matter closed. Nine years is too long to wait.

Bravo the BBC

A BLACK media campaigner is today calling on his community to stop paying the TV licence fee in protest at last night's BBC drama Shoot the Messenger. The play, by black playwright Sharon Foster, is about an idealistic young teacher who tries to save his pupils from gang culture and crime. It is a highly critical portrayal of what the teacher, himself black, sees as the blame-shifting and negativity of young black males. …

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