THIRTY-one years after anti-racism activist Blair Peach died during a protest in Southall, West London, a police report has been published which outlines the story of that day.

It does not name the person who caused the blow to the head he suffered but concludes a police officer was most likely to be responsible.

Daily Echo librarian Scott Harrison, 53, from Bournemouth, was at the 3,000-strong protest that turned to tragedy on April 23 1979 and remembers the fevered atmosphere.

He said: “I lived in Streatham and I remember that every week on Streatham High Street, one side you had the National Front and on the other side were those against them and dividing the two was a line of police.”

He added: “The National Front held their meeting in the town hall in Southall as they knew it would cause trouble because it was a multi-cultural area.

“When those people against the National Front meeting heard about it, we decided to go down to the town hall and march the streets to stop them from holding the meeting.

“When the Special Patrol Group arrived and started to break up the crowds, people started to throw bottles and bricks and then run away down the side-streets. You could hear the coppers hitting their riot shields. They were taking no prisoners. It was very frightening.

“It was all over the news. The rumour we heard was that Blair Peach was beaten by one of the SPG. It took ages for the funeral to go ahead but when it did, double the amount of people who turned out for the march turned up to show their respect.

“It was an incredibly radical and violent time.

“I remember going to football matches and sometimes seeing people from the National Front. Now I can’t believe these things ever happened. (Blair Peach) was just standing up against a party which held opinions he didn’t agree with.”

The previously secret report, made public yesterday, attaches “grave suspicion” to an unnamed officer who it says may also have been involved in a cover-up. But the Metropolitan Police has said it has exhausted all its options in investigating the case.