Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'My Face Didn't Fit with Met Chief Because I Am Not White'; (1) "Excluded": Shabir Hussain Claims He Was the Victim of Racial Discrimination (2) Influence: Sir Ian Blair Is Said to Surround Himself with Favourite Sons and Daughters

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'My Face Didn't Fit with Met Chief Because I Am Not White'; (1) "Excluded": Shabir Hussain Claims He Was the Victim of Racial Discrimination (2) Influence: Sir Ian Blair Is Said to Surround Himself with Favourite Sons and Daughters

Article excerpt

Byline: DANNY BRIERLEY

MET chief Sir Ian Blair has been accused of sidelining black and Asianofficers to surround himself with a "golden circle" of hand-picked, whitefavourites.

A race discrimination tribunal heard Britain's highest ranking officer uses his"very significant influence" to earmark chosen officers for promotion overother candidates.

Traffic commander Shabir Hussain told the hearing in Stratford that because hewas Asian he was not one of the commissioner's "favourite sons and daughters",and that others less qualified had been promoted above his head.

Promotions are decided by the independent Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA)but Commander Hussain told his employment tribunal: "Promotion to the highestranks of the Met appears to operate by the earmarking of a golden circle ofpreferred candidates for promotion.

"Ian Blair in particular seems to have his favourite sons and daughters who hesponsors for promotion. I believe I was excluded from the golden circle becausemy face did not fit, and that my face did not fit because I am not white." The45-year-old officer was once tipped to become Britain's first Asian chiefconstable.

He is seeking to prove he was the victim of direct race discrimination from theMPA, its chairman Len Duvall and Sir Ian.

He joined the force in 1999 and was appointed Scotland Yard's first Asiansuperintendent.

He said: "I was misled about potential vacancies as a chief inspector, whichwere reserved for white officers. When I was promoted to superintendentofficers wasted no time to complain about me.

"At the strategic command course I was assaulted and advised to leave thecountry after the 9/11 attacks." Commander Hussain applied to become deputyassistant commissioner four times between 2003 and 2007. …

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