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Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens had full access to Houses of Parliament as armed guard

The Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has asked the Met to explain how Couzens was vetted for the role

The Met police officer who kidnapped and murdered Sarah Everard worked as an armed guard on the Parliamentary estate on five occasions in 2020.

The Speaker of the House of Commons has now requested a meeting with the Met, to determine how ex-PC Wayne Couzens, 48, was determined to be suitable to be deployed to the parliamentary estate.

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At a glance: 5 key points

  • In his role as a firearms officer with the Metropolitan Police, Couzens was deployed to protect the House of Parliament on five separate occasions in 2020, a Met spokesperson has confirmed
  • Couzens was part of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, a unit responsible for guarding foreign embassies and diplomatic targets, including the Parliamentary Estate
  • There have been calls for Met commissioner Cressida Dick to resign over the force’s handling of the case itself and a vigil for Sarah Everard which took place days after the murder
  • Then still a serving officer, Couzens used his police-issue warrant card and handcuffs to kidnap Everard, by claiming that he was arresting her for breaking Covid guidelines
  • Couzens was handed a whole life sentence at the Old Bailey on Thursday by Lord Justice Fulford, who said his “warped, selfish and brutal” offences had eroded confidence in the police.

What’s been said?

Speaker of the House, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, said: “Like everyone, I have been sickened by the depravity of Wayne Couzens — and heartbroken for the family of Sarah Everard.

“I have asked the Met to meet me urgently to discuss how this person could have been deemed suitable for deployment here.

“Further, I will be seeking reassurance that at no time was anyone on the parliamentary estate put at risk.

“The security of members and staff has always been my number one priority, so I want to know how this man could ever have crossed the parliamentary threshold.”

A Met spokesman said: “Couzens was deployed to armed static protection duties on the Parliamentary Estate on five occasions from February to July 2020.”