Five serving police officers, including three from Scotland Yard, are also being investigated for allegedly sharing racist, misogynistic and homophobic messages with Couzens on WhatsApp.
‘Closure as quickly as possible’ for Sarah Everard’s family
Dame Elish has led several independent investigations into police forces before, most recently Police Scotland last year.
Her report laid bare evidence of racism, misogyny and homophobia and led her to call for a push to rid Police Scotland of “canteen culture” and “machismo behaviour”.
It was in this culture, she concluded, that racist and sexist attitudes were informally shared.
On Monday, Priti Patel said the inquiry will proceed on a non-statutory basis in a bid to give Ms Everard’s family “closure as quickly as possible”.
The Home Secretary told MPs: “I will not rule out converting this onto a statutory footing should Dame Elish feel that she’s unable to fulfil the terms of reference on a non-statutory basis.
“Sarah Everard’s life was ended too early by an evil man whose job it was to protect her.
“We owe it to her and her loved ones and her family to prevent something like this from ever happening again.”