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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 June 2006, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK
Row over senior policeman's CBE
Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman
Mr Hayman apologised to Forest Gate residents
Campaigners have criticised the timing of an honour given to a senior police officer embroiled in the controversy over the Forest Gate anti-terror raid.

Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman was made a CBE in the Honours list.

It comes days after he apologised to two brothers who were freed without charge a week after the raid.

But the chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, John Denham, said the honours decision would have been taken months ago.

Mr Hayman is assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police's special operations unit, which is responsible for anti-terrorism investigations.

He has been praised for his response to the July 7 terror attacks.

'Exceptional circumstances'

Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said there may have been a "wider case" to award Mr Hayman for his service to the police.

But given the "exceptional circumstances" of the Forest Gate operation, he said, there was a "strong case" to have given more thought to the timing of the award.

"Enormous anger and anxiety" still existed in the local community, Mr Clegg argued.

I wouldn't have thought maybe this was the right time for us to be saying that awards needed to be given
Asad Rehman

Mr Denham told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that while the timing of the award to Mr Hayman was "inevitably uncomfortable", the decision to award him an honour would have been taken months ago.

"There is no way in which anybody should misinterpret this as casting any type of view on the Forest Gate events," he said.

"I think in practice it's pretty difficult with something like the honours system to start saying perhaps it should have been postponed at the last moment. That would have been misinterpreted in an equally damaging way."

Some 250 officers were involved in the Forest Gate operation, which resulted in two brothers being arrested.


Mohammed Abdulkahar, 23, and Abul Koyair, 20, were questioned under terrorism laws for a week before being freed without charge.

Mr Abdulkahar, who was shot in the shoulder, has said he thought he was going to be killed by robbers targeting his home.

Asad Rehman, who has spoken in the past for the Menezes family and the two men arrested at Forest Gate, called the timing of the award "insensitive".

He said there were "issues still outstanding" regarding the Menezes inquiry, and "many, many questions" over the Forest Gate raid.

"So both of these issues combining, I wouldn't have thought maybe this was the right time for us to be saying that awards needed to be given."

Why the award has caused controversy


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