originally published by: The Guardian
27th April 2010
New Zealand-born Blair Peach died after a blow to the head during a demonstration in Southall, London, against the National Front in April 1979. The anti-fascist protester Blair Peach was almost certainly killed by police at a demonstration in 1979, according to a secret report released today.
Documents published on the Metropolitan police’s website shed new light on the death of Peach, a 33-year-old teacher from New Zealand, whose death marked one of the most controversial events in modern policing history. A campaigner against the far right, Peach died from a blow to the head during a demonstration against the National Front in Southall, west London.
Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan police commissioner, said the report made “uncomfortable reading” but unequivocally accepted the finding that a Met officer was likely to be responsible for the death and expressed his “regret”.
Peach’s family have campaigned to see the crucial report for more than 30 years. It said it could “reasonably be concluded that a police officer struck the fatal blow”.
A police van carrying six officers was identified as having been at the scene when the fatal blow was struck.
The 130-page report was produced by Commander John Cass, who ran the Met’s internal complaints bureau and led the investigation into Peach’s death.