The claim was made in relation to the handling of the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan.
A senior Metropolitan Police officer has rejected an accusation of “institutional corruption” laid against the force over its handling of the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan.
Speaking to journalists at New Scotland Yard, Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said: “It’s a very damning phrase and we clearly need to take this very, very seriously.”
He said he wants to fully understand the 1,200-page report from the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel and the definition of corruption used.
“My gut reaction to the concept that the Metropolitan Police is institutionally corrupt is one that I can only judge through my own lived experience,” he said.
Mr Ephgrave, who has spent more than 30 years in the Met, added: “It isn’t what I see every day now and it isn’t my experience over 31 years.”
He admitted that the force had made “many mistakes and many errors” in the case in the past 34 years, and apologised to Mr Morgan’s family.
“I want to take the opportunity to again apologise to the Morgan family for the failure of the Metropolitan Police to bring anyone to justice so far for that murder.
“I recognise that failure has only added to their pain and anguish over these 34 years, and for that I unreservedly apologise,” he said.
The senior officer, who was himself a murder detective in south London earlier in his career, expressed his regret that the case remains unsolved.
He said: “To this day, those responsible for Daniel’s murder have not been brought to justice. I apologise for this.
“As a former senior investigating officer on homicide, this is personally and professionally a matter of deep regret for me.”
Mr Ephgrave insisted that the panel had been given “unparalleled access” to information including the police HOLMES database, which was the first time civilian investigators of this kind had been allowed to view the system.
Defending his boss Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who was criticised for initially denying the panel access to the database, Mr Ephgrave said she is “exactly the right person” to take the report recommendations forward.