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Aug 29, 2008 at 07:14pm IST

Race row: UK's seniormost Asian cop asked to 'shut up'

London: Hours after publicly announcing that he would be suing the Scotland Yard for racism, Britain's most senior Asian police officer has been asked by superiors to "shut up" and "get on" with his job.

Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur went public on Thursday with a highly damaging legal action against Sir Ian Blair, accusing the Metropolitan Police chief of repeated acts of racial, religious and age discrimination.

However, Blair's deputy, Sir Paul Stephenson rebuked Ghaffur, saying, "I think it is long past time that we all shut up, stop making public statements about private disputes and get on with the job we are paid to do. That is a matter for him to reconcile with what he considers to be his proper responsibilities as one of this country's most senior police officers. We do not accept the charges of discrimination against us."

OPENING HOSTILITIES: Ghaffur has confirmed that he is taking the Met to an employment tribunal.

Questions are also being asked by his colleagues about whether Ghaffur can continue to sit with them on Met's senior management board, which is in charge of directing the police strategy in London, the media reported.

Ghaffur (53), a police officer since 1974, opened hostilities by confirming speculation that he was taking the Met to an employment tribunal.

He blames the commissioner for sidelining him in his role leading to security for London's 2012 Olympic Games.

"My current case is essentially to do with my treatment at the highest levels of the Met, in particular the discrimination I have been subject to over a long period of time by the present Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. It is to do with the continuation of that treatment into the very important job I was doing as the co-ordinator of the security and safety of the 2012 Olympics," Ghaffur had said.

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