Flex round neck ‘killed Milligan’
Duncan Campbell and Lawrence Donegan
The Conservative MP Stephen Milligan died from asphyxiation due to compression on his neck caused by a ligature, Scotland Yard said last night, indicating that his death was accidental.
A spokesman said inquiries were continuing into the circumstances surrounding his death. Mr Milligan's body was found on Monday at his home in Hammersmith, west London.
He had a plastic bin liner on his head, with his hands near electric flex around his neck, and was naked except for a pair of women's stockings and a suspender belt.
Allegations that the police leaked details of the clothing Mr Milligan was wearing when he died would be the subject of an inquiry, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Paul Condon, said yesterday.
Mr. Condon said that although there had been no official request to order an internal inquiry, he felt obliged to do so because suggestions had been made that details of the death could have come from police officers. Such details were being broadcast before relatives of Mr Milligan knew of his death.
“I am personally distressed and annoyed that Mr Milligan's family heard about his death on a news programme,” Mr Condon said. The inquiry will be headed by Detective Chief Superintendent Roger Gaspar of the Complaints Investigation Bureau. The records showed that the press bureau had been “robustly” refusing to confirm Mr Milligan's identity when the broadcast media were already naming him.
There were demands at Westminster for the Government to introduce and amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill making the leaking of information by police officers an offence.
Nigel Waterson, a close friend of Mr Milligan, MP for Eastleigh, was among Conservative MPs who claimed newspapers had been tipped off about the more bizarre details of the case before Mr Milligan's family had been informed of his death.
In a letter to the Times today, Mr Milligan's cousin, Tim Milligan, a circuit judge from Stockbridge, Hampshire, criticises the Prime Minister's claim on a radio programme this week that the MP must have been “pretty unhappy, pretty miserable.”
“With respect to the Prime Miister, Stephen was neither miserable nor unhappy. On the contrary, he was thoroughly fulfilled and happy in his work at Westminster and in his Eastleigh constituency, which gave him the chance to be of service to others as he always wished.”