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Minister joins bid to award Yvonne Fletcher a George Medal

Murdered Met officer displayed “calm, courageous demeanour while she was so grievously wounded and dying”.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse is working with MPs to nominate murdered Met PC Yvonne Fletcher for a posthumous George Medal for bravery.

PC Fletcher was shot dead on duty in April 1984 outside the Libyan embassy in London, where she was policing a demonstration against dictator Colonel Gaddafi.

Conservative MP for Beckenham  Bob Stewart  has called for her to be awarded the medal for gallantry due to her “calm, courageous demeanour while she was so grievously wounded and dying”.

The 25-year-old officer was hit in the back by a gunshot from a first-floor window, and died in Westminster Hospital a short time later. Her murder led to an 11-day siege of the building and the severing of diplomatic links between the UK and Libya.

The man who is believed to have shot PC Fletcher was among a number of Libyans deported from the embassy after the murder without being questioned.

He was eventually arrested by UK police in 2015 in connection with the murder. But he was told in 2017 the case would not proceed and has never been charged. 

Her murder shocked the nation and provoked widespread anger that the killer who was known to have shot her from inside the embassy and had barricaded himself in the building was allowed to return to Libya once the siege was over,

PC Fletcher's dogged determination to join the police despite her small stature was also widely admired.  At 5ft 2 ins in an era of minimum height requirements in the service she had made a number of attempts to join other forces before the Met accepted her into the ranks. 

Mr Malthouse said he would ask his officials to work with Mr Stewart “to make sure that the right evidence is gathered” ahead of submitting a nomination for Yvonne Fletcher to receive the award.

During an adjournment debate in the Commons, Mr Stewart told MPs: “Yvonne’s conduct exemplified the very highest standards of the Metropolitan Police Service, in particular, when she was mortally wounded she seemed to care more about others who were with her in the ambulance than herself.

“What courage she displayed by saying to those trying to look after her that they should keep safe, stay calm – and that was within minutes of her death.

“She did that when she must have been in the gravest of agony.

“From my own experience of writing citations, may I suggest that a posthumous award of the George Medal could be considered despite the passage of years and mostly because of Yvonne’s calm, courageous demeanour while she was so grievously wounded and dying.”

Responding, Mr Malthouse told the Commons: “The fact that (Yvonne Fletcher) was a remarkable person, as (Mr Stewart) says, was exhibited by her thought for others in the face of her own mortal wounds.

“It was extraordinary that even as she lay dying, her first thoughts were for others who were in extremis nearby.

“And as (Mr Stewart) pointed out, it does speak to somebody with very special qualities who had shown them frankly throughout her progress in the police through her determination to join by whatever means she could find but also in the way she lived her life – sadly short though it was.

“Now (Mr Stewart) has raised the issue of whether she should be posthumously awarded a medal for gallantry and he will know that very often these nominations are made through official channels.

“However, it is the case that anybody can make a nomination for a gallantry award and I would be more than happy to ask my officials to work with him and indeed other members who have spoken in the debate again movingly this evening to make sure that the right evidence is gathered so that it can be submitted in good time to the committee that makes these decisions."

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