Manchester

Shadow home secretary calls for review of sacked GMP officer claims

Ch Insp John Buttress
Image caption Ch Insp John Buttress was cleared of mortgage fraud at Liverpool Crown Court in January

The shadow home secretary has called for a review of an inquiry into allegations made by a sacked Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officer.

Andy Burnham has asked for the "very limited" terms of reference related to former Ch Insp John Buttress's case, as set out by GMP, to be examined.

Kent Police are investigating Mr Buttress's misconduct claims against several senior GMP officers.

The Police and Crime Commissioner said the inquiry's scope was "sufficient".

Last month, Mr Buttress was sacked for gross misconduct, having "fallen below" the force's accepted honesty standards.

Case 'overlap'

He was accused of breaching professional standards over his mortgage, after being cleared of criminal charges at Liverpool Crown Court.

He alleges he was the victim of "corrupt practice" within the force's anti-corruption unit, but GMP said an independent panel found him guilty of misconduct.

Mr Burnham, Labour MP for Leigh, wrote to Greater Manchester's police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd requesting the terms of reference be "redrafted by an independent force".

This was because Mr Burnham said there was a "considerable overlap" in the cases of Mr Buttress and another officer Mohammed Razaq, who was jailed for insurance and mortgage fraud.

Razaq was found guilty of nine fraud and money laundering offences and jailed for 18 months in July 2013.

Terms 'wide-ranging'

Mr Burnham said: "I am therefore requesting that the terms of reference are redrafted by an independent force to broaden their scope and allow them to investigate fully the worrying allegations raised."

But, Mr Lloyd said: "The terms of reference... set out for Kent Police are wide-ranging to enable a thorough and robust investigation to be carried out.

"Regarding Mr Razaq... he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and subsequently repaid a total of £51,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He did appeal against his conviction and this was dismissed in 2013.

"I am confident that the terms of reference under which Kent Police will investigate are sufficient to establish the accuracy, or otherwise, of the allegations against GMP."

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