04/01/2012 05:37 GMT | Updated 04/01/2012 06:24 GMT

Sir Ian Blair Sparks War Of Words With The MPA

It was unhelpful for the Metropolitan Police Authority to declare that the police are no longer institutionally racist, according to a former chief of the Met.

Sir Ian Blair claimed that the decision that the Met was institutionally racist in the 1999 Macpherson report was "right" in the police's case and "in many institutions"

"I think the recent decision by the about-to-be-defunct Metropolitan Police Authority that the Met was no longer suffering from institutional racism isn’t helpful," he told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Wednesday morning.

However a spokesperson for the MPA, the body which scrutinises the Metropolitan Police, said they had "never" made such a claim.

"The MPA has never taken a decision that the Met is no longer suffering from institutional racism," they told Huff Post UK.

Referring to July 2010's recent race and faith inquiry report by the MPA, the spokesperson said that such a decision had never been made.

"They said that the recognition that the organisation was institutionally racist had been a powerful lever for change but that a blanket use of the phrase had, paradoxically, become a barrier to reform.

"The independent panel asserted that it is more important to challenge and deal with examples of racism urgently rather than engage in a sterile academic debate about what exactly constitutes institutional racism and whether it persists."

Sir Ian has a chequered history with the MPA after the body called for an inquiry into an IT contract given to a consultancy firm owned by a friend of the former Met Police commissioner's, Andy Miller, in 2008.