The Diana inquiry cop who was on £1,000 a day

Britain’s former top policeman Lord Stevens was paid £1,000 a day for taking charge of the inquiry into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Documents released exclusively to The Mail on Sunday under the Freedom of Information Act reveal he was being paid double what he would have earned in his former role as Met Police Commissioner.

The payments, for his part-time role in charge of Operation Paget, are among a number of lucrative deals that Porsche-driving Lord Stevens has secured since he retired two years ago.

Critics have asked why a senior detective, already employed by the force, could not have overseen the inquiry.

While he was at the Yard from 2000 to 2005, Lord Stevens was paid £150,000 a year, the daily equivalent of approximately £420 — less than half the fees for his two-and-a-half years’ work on the Diana probe.

The FOI reply from the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards — which took almost a year to be answered — discloses that between February 28, 2005, and September 30, 2007, his company Stevens Consultancy raked in £276,125 for Operation Paget.

He was also reimbursed £26,550 for accommodation costs away from home — mainly in London hotels. And he received £13,599 for travel costs plus £97.51 for meals, making a total of £316,000.

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Lord Stevens — known by former Yard colleagues as “Captain Beaujolais” because of his love of fine wines — insisted last night that the payments were “justified”.

He said: “If you look at my commitment over two-and-a-half years, it’s been a continuous commitment since I left as Commissioner.

“I don’t get all of that money, because it goes into the consultancy to help run that.”

Lord Stevens confirmed his daily rate was £1,000. Asked about his other business interests, the peer said: “These figures are not the vast sums that people think.”

Lord Stevens receives £30,000 a year as non-executive chairman of Quest, the security consultancy for whom he has led the Football Association probe into soccer transfer “bungs”.

He gets a further £25,000 annual fee as a non-executive director of the Mercer Street business consultancy and is a non-executive director of airport operators BAA, currency exchanger Travelex and analytical services provider LGC.

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Happy times: Diana relaxing on holiday with Dodi shortly before their deaths

The former police chief refused to divulge how much he is paid for his other directorships, but said they were “similar figures”.

He also receives fees for speeches on leadership and policing.

Richard Barnes, a Tory member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, last night described the Operation Paget fee as “ludicrous”.

Scotland Yard would not add to its FOI statement and was unable to say why it took almost a year to provide a reply.