Tag Archives: crime

Appeal against Operation Elveden’s refusal to investigate Piers Morgan and others

 

DPS Appeals Unit,

Metropolitan Police Service,

22nd Floor ESB,

Lillie Road,

London

SW6 1TR

Email:  Appeals@met.police.uk

CC

Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary)

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP (Attorney-General)

Alison Saunders (DPP)

G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Commissioner)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

Mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

6 April 2014

Dear  Sirs,

This is a formal appeal against the refusal of the Metropolitan Police to investigate Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards for the illegal receipt of information from the police and perjury before the Leveson Inquiry and Det Supt Jeff Curtis (now retired) for a failure to investigate Morgan and Edwards  when the complaint was first submitted to the Met.

You will find below the following correspondence in this order:

My correspondence with Operation Elveden (Elveden)

My correspondence with the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS).

The two batches of correspondence are clearly delineated. Each set of emails runs from the earliest to the latest in that order, that is , the latest email will be the last one in the set.

The matter looks complicated simply because of the volume of correspondence. This is entirely due to Elveden and the DPS prevaricating. You will see from the correspondence  that I made the complaint in January 2013 and I did not receive a conclusive answer from the DPS until March 2014 and only then after I had written to the Home Secretary to complain.

Stripped of the volume of correspondence the business is very simple. I have provided Elevden  with a letter sent by Piers Morgan to the Press Complaints Commission  when he was editor of the Daily Mirror in which  Morgan admits that he received information from a Metropolitan police officer in circumstances  which can only have been illegal.  A facsimile copy of Morgan’s letter is attached.

Edwards was the Mirror’s chief crime reporter  who wrote the story based on  the information obtained illegally from the police.   Even without Morgan’s letter it is  clear from the Mirror story that information had been illegally obtained because of the nature of the information in the story.  I supplied  Elveden with a photostat copy of the story

For the perjury complaint I supplied  Elveden with the relevant extracts from Leveson stating that they have never obtained information illegally.

As for Det Supt Curtis, not only did he fail to question anyone at the Mirror or examine their records for evidence of payment for information, he did so after promising me that he would be doing both things. I provided Operation Elevden with a tape recording of Curtis making those promises.

The fact that  I made the complaints against Curtis 14 years ago and the PCA rejected them is neither here nor there because of the peculiar circumstances which obtained at the time. Tony and Cherie Blair attempted to have me prosecuted and failed in the most humiliating fashion during the 1997 General Election campaign (the CPS sent the papers back to the police within hours of receiving them with NO CRIME emblazoned across them) . The Mirror story concerned the Blairs’  failure to have me prosecuted.  After that failure the Blairs set  Special Branch  and MI5 on to me (I used the Data Protection Act to force both to admit they held files of me) and I consequently  suffered ten years of harassment (for Blair’s entire premiership) which the Tory MP Sir Richard Body made public in the following Early Day Motion:

CONDUCT OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR SEDGEFIELD 10:11:99

 Sir Richard Body

That this House regrets that the Right honourable Member for Sedgefield [Tony Blair] attempted to persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring criminal charges against Robert Henderson, concerning the Right honourable Member’s complaints to the police of an offence against the person, malicious letters and racial insult arising from letters Robert Henderson had written to the Right honourable Member complaining about various instances of publicly-reported racism involving the Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaints of the Right honourable Member and the Right honourable Member failed to take any civil action against Robert Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon Robert Henderson, notwithstanding that Robert Henderson had been officially cleared of any illegal action.

This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record – see  http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702

The reason I could not get the police and the PCA to act is horribly simple: they were not willing to act because Blair was Prime Minister, that is they refused to apply the law for illicit reasons to protect the most powerful politician in the land.  This was truly a who shall guard the guards situation. To reject my complaint on the grounds that it is out of time would be perverse in these circumstances.  At the least, those at the PCA who refused my complaint  should be charged with misconduct in a public office.

As this matter has already been reviewed by the DPS, I presume that they have the full documentation and other items such as the tape recording of Curtis.  Should anything be missing let me know and I will supply duplicates. If the DPS do not have the complete papers and other supporting artefacts, the DCI Neligan’s review of the case is by definition a sham.

My grounds for appeal are as follows:

1. I have not been adequately informed about the findings of the investigation or any proposals resulting from the report

As I have already pointed out, the handling of my complaints  has been a dismal catalogue of prevarication. In addition, despite my repeated requests to be interviewed byElveden and give a formal statement and  to be interviewed by the DPS, astonishingly I have been denied any face to face contact with any member of Elevden or the DPS and consequently have not been able to make a formal statement. This behaviour strongly suggests that both Elevden and the DPS know very well that I have provided cast-iron evidence and are desperate not to be subjected to questioning as to why no investigation has occurred because  they know that it is impossible to give a rational reason for why they have not acted on Morgan’s incriminating letter.

  1. I disagree with the findings of the investigation including whether a person has a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct

The findings are absurd because of the Morgan letter alone, but the Mirror story and Curtis’ failure to investigate Morgan, Edwards and the Mirror generally make them doubly ridiculous.

All that both Elevden and the DPS have done is say we do not choose to investigate. They have not meaningfully justified their refusasl. For example, take DCI Neligan’s dismissal of the complaints against Morgan and Edwards,viz:

As Appropriate Authority, I am required to consider the findings and conclusions of complaint investigations to determine:

  • whether the report should be referred to the Director of Prosecutions (CPS);
  • whether or not any person to whose conduct the investigation relates to has a case to answer in respect of misconduct, gross misconduct or no case to answer;
  • whether or not any such person’s performance is unsatisfactory;
  • what action, if any, we will take in respect of the matters dealt with in the report; and
  • what other action (if any) we will take in respect of these matters.

After considering these points I am satisfied the outcome does not need to be referred to the CPS.

I can also inform you that it has been determined there has not been a breach of the professional standards by any officer. Furthermore, I have conducted review of the officers’ performance, which I found to be satisfactory. This means that no further action will be taken in respect of your complaint.

Absolutely no explanation of  why the complaints were refused is provided , merely the grounds on which they have been considered.  That is  shamefully inadequate. Worse, there is good reason to believe DCI Neligan cobbled together this  judgement after I had panicked him into doing something by writing to the Home Secretary and copying the email to  the type of  distribution list  that is attached to this email. I very much doubt whether he has even read most of the correspondence which arose from the case  before it came to his desk.

The evidence is cast-iron and a failure to investigate is clear evidence of misconduct in public office and an attempt to pervert the course of justice by every officer who has handled my original complaint and the referral to the DPS.

3. I disagree with the police proposals for action – or lack of them – in light of the report

I disagree with them for the reasons given in 2, that is the evidence is cast-iron and a failure to investigate is clear evidence of misconduct in public office and an attempt to pervert the course of justice by every officer who has handled my original complaint and the referral to the DPS. Please take this as a formal complaint against all these officers. You have their names in the supporting correspondence.

4. I disagree with the decision not to refer the report to the CPS.

I disagree for exactly the same reasons I have given under 3.

The hard facts which are being ignored are these:

a. The Piers Morgan letter to the PCC is enough to convict Morgan of receiving  information illegally from a police officer, conspiracy to breach the Official Secrets Act and  conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and breaches of the Data Protection Act.  All that applies whether or not it can ;proved that money or any other material inducement was given to the police officer.

b. Morgan’s letter plus the Mirror story which used the illicit information is enough to convict Edwards  of receiving information illegally from a police officer, conspiracy to breach the Official Secrets Act and  conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and breaches of the Data Protection Act.

c. The evidence given by Morgan and Edwards under oath provides strong grounds for investigating them for perjury. If it could be shown that the police officer received money – which was almost certainly  the case – they would be open and shut cases of perjury.  At the least Morgan and Edwards should be investigated to see whether money did change hands.

d. The Morgan letter, the Mirror story and the tape recording of Curtis promising to investigate Morgan, Edwards and the Mirror generally is enough to convict Curtis or misconduct in a public office and of perverting the course of justice.

I suggest you print out the attached Piers Morgan letter and sit and look at it for a while and ask yourself how on earth a failure to investigate such evidence could be explained in a court or before TV cameras.

Finally,  I repeat the request  to meet with whoever is going to deal with this case at the DPS  and to give a formal statement.

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

—————————————————————-

From: robert henderson [mailto:anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: 09 April 2014 17:20
To: DPS Mailbox – Appeals
Subject: Appeal against failure of Operation Elveden to investigate Piers Morgan and others – please acknowledge

Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS)

Appeals Unit,Metropolitan Police Service,

22nd Floor ESB,Lillie Road,

LondonSW6 1TR

Email:  Appeals@met.police.uk
9 April 2014

 Dear Sirs,

I sent the appeal reproduced  below  to you on 6th April. I have not received an acknowledgement. Please acknowledge receipt of the original email by return. 

Yours sincerely, 

Robert Henderson 

—————————————————————–

To

  • anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Dear Mr Henderson,

Thank you for your appeal regarding your recent complaint against police, reference PC/0455/14. This was received in this office on 6th April 2014.

I regret to inform you it is taking approximately sixteen (16) weeks to consider new appeals. Therefore, you ought to expect not to hear anything in the intervening period. However, we are constantly reviewing cases and that timescale may be reduced. If not, we will write or email you again in 16 weeks time with an update, providing a realistic timescale of when you can expect your appeal assessment to be completed.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth Gibbs 
Police Sergeant
Directorate of Professional Standards
Appeals Team

 

 

Piers Morgan’s criminality: The Met Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards prodded into action

Neligan’s response came the day after I sent an email  to Theresa May informing her of Morgan’s criminal behaviour and the failure of the Met to investigate it . (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/operation-eleveden-and-piers-morgans-criminality-the-home-secretary-brought-into-play/).
The DPS’  response looks like a very hastily cobbled together  piece written simply to cover the backs of Neligan and his department because of the inordinate delay in responding to me.  Much of the text was  taken from my previous correspondence with Elevden, the CPS and the DPS. It is largely a cut and [paste job.
The rejection of the complaints is farcically thin. All Neligan does is baldly assert that there is no misconduct or grounds to investigate in the cases of Morgan and Edwards. In the case of D-Supt Jeff Curtis  he tosses aside the fact that Curtis did not interview Morgan and Edwards.
I shall be appealing and will post that appeal here.
I have written a further email to the Home Secretary Theresa May in response to Neligan’s emailhttp://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/operation-eleveden-and-piers-morgans-criminality-the-home-secretary-brought-into-play/
—————————————————————
Directorate of Professional Standards
 Empress State Building
22nd Floor
Lillie Road
West Brompton
London
SW6 1TR
Telephone: 0207 230 1212
Email:
Your ref:
Our ref: PC455/14
Date:   10/03/14

The outcome of your complaint against police.

 

(by e-mail)

Dear Mr. Henderson,

Thank you for all the information you have provided concerning your complaints about Operation Elveden. We take all complaints seriously and I am grateful to you for bringing this matter to our attention.

In your latest e-mail, you explained that you had made the following criminal allegations to Operation Elveden:

1. That Piers Morgan when editor of the Mirror obtained information from a Met Officer(s) in circumstances which can only have been illegal. The letter from Morgan to the PCC which I have supplied to Elveden and which you have a copy of in facsimile conclusively proves this.

2. That Jeff Edwards when chief crime reporter for the Daily Mirror illegally received information from Met Officer(s).  Morgans letter plus the story printed by the Daily Mirror about me conclusively prove Edwards received such information.  

 3. That both Morgan and Edwards  committed perjury when questioned under oath about receiving information illegally from the police. I provided Operation Elveden with the relevant Leveson transcripts.

On 13 June 2013, you received the following response to those allegations from Detective Inspector Daniel Smith:

Dear Mr Henderson,

I write in relation to the allegations you made following your contact with DC Rooke in January of this year. I have reviewed the matters raised by you in this, and subsequent communications, with DC Rooke.

I understand that the matters raised by you relate to an article published in 1997 and that the matter was investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service (Complaints Investigation Bureau). The matter was referred to the Police Complaints Authority in 1999.

I understand that there is no new evidence or information available and as a result I have decided that no investigation will be conducted into the points raised by you.In relation to the Perjury allegation, having read the transcripts provided, I do not believe there is evidence that shows an offence has been committed. As a consequence this allegation will not be investigated.

Yours sincerely,

 

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith

You subsequently complained about this decision and as the Professional Standards Champion (PSC) with responsibility for Operation Elveden, I was asked to deal with that complaint. The legislation surrounding complaints against the police requires that the relevant force (referred to as the Appropriate Authority) considers the outcome of any complaint investigation. A PSC for a particular department is the senior officer that has been delegated by the Commissioner to act as the Appropriate Authority for that department.

I have now reviewed all the correspondence you have submitted, including the clarification of your complaint that you supplied to Chief Inspector Dunn, and the police records that relate to this matter. I am now in a position to inform you of the outcome of my enquiries. The police do not have to record or investigate an allegation of crime if there is evidence that no crime has taken place. The information you supplied to Operation Elveden was properly considered, as is evidenced by their correspondence with you in which they seek to clarify matters and identify any new evidence or information. The matter was then properly referred to one of the Detective Inspectors leading the operation to consider whether further investigation was required.

Detective Inspector Smith, as he explained in his e-mail to you, decided that the first two of your allegations had previously been recorded and investigated and as there was no new evidence or information, no further investigation was justified. He also reviewed your allegation of perjury and found that following initial investigation (a review of the relevant transcripts) there was evidence to indicate that in fact no crime had been committed.  He therefore decided that this allegation did not need to be recorded or investigated. His actions and decisions comply with the Home Office National Crime Recording Standards and the MPS Crime Management Policy. These are decisions he had the authority to make and they were made through the appropriate process, in line with the relevant policy and guidance and were made after giving all the information due consideration.

As Appropriate Authority, I am required to consider the findings and conclusions of complaint investigations to determine:

whether the report should be referred to the Director of Prosecutions (CPS);

    • whether or not any person to whose conduct the investigation relates to has a case to answer in respect of misconduct, gross misconduct or no case to answer;
  • whether or not any such person’s performance is unsatisfactory;
    • what action, if any, we will take in respect of the matters dealt with in the report; and
  • what other action (if any) we will take in respect of these matters.

After considering these points I am satisfied the outcome does not need to be referred to the CPS.

I can also inform you that it has been determined there has not been a breach of the professional standards by any officer. Furthermore, I have conducted review of the officers’ performance, which I found to be satisfactory. This means that no further action will be taken in respect of your complaint.

In addition to the points above it has also been considered whether you received an appropriate level of service from the Metropolitan Police. This means how you were dealt with overall and not just by any one individual. After reviewing the circumstances of your complaint the Chief Inspector (CST) is satisfied there has not been a failure identified in the way we dealt with you. Your complaint is therefore not upheld.

We are grateful to you for raising this issue and giving us the opportunity to review the actions of those concerned. It is always useful to receive feedback on how our officers and staff perform; as an organisation it allows us to learn and develop and to identify ways we can improve our service in the future.

If you do not agree with the outcome of this investigation or its findings you can appeal to the Appeals Unit of the Directorate of Professional Standards. There is no right of appeal to the IPCC. You have 28 days from the day after the date of this letter to make your appeal. The 28th day is 07/04/2014. Appeals received after 28 days may not be allowed unless there are exceptional circumstances.

You can appeal on any one of the following grounds (you will see that not all of these necessarily apply to your case); that you:

have not been adequately informed about the findings of the investigation or any proposals resulting from the report;

disagree with the findings of the investigation including whether a person has a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct;

disagree with the police proposals for action – or lack of them – in light of the report;

disagree with the decision not to refer the report to the CPS.

 If you do decide to appeal, this is the address to write to:

DPS Appeals Unit,

Metropolitan Police Service,

22nd Floor ESB,

Lillie Road,

London

SW6 1TR

 Or by email to ‘Appeals@met.police.uk’

Further information about how to appeal can be found on the IPCC website:

www.ipcc.gov.uk

You also made a fourth allegation:

4. That Det Supt Jeff Curtis committed misconduct in a public office and perverted the course of justice by claiming he had investigated my complaints against Morgan and Edwards when the reality was that he failed to conduct any investigation at all, and that  despite having Morgans letter to the PCC and the Mirror article about me.  Curtis eventually shamefacedly admitted to me in a phone call that he had  not spoken to anyone at the Mirror including Morgan and Edwards and consequently there had been no  investigation of the Mirrors accounts  and other records to see whether any money had been paid. Curtis failed to investigate Morgan and Edwards despite his promise to do so in an interview with me which I recorded. I have supplied Eleveden with a copy of that recording so you can hear  him making the promise on which he reneged.  

This amounts to a complaint about Detective Superintendent Jeff Curtis, who retired in 2003. This complaint appears to arise from events that occurred between 1997 and 1999, some 14 years ago. I also note that the PCA were involved and decided that no further investigation was required. There is a statutory time limit of 12 months in which a complaint can be made and as a result, unless you can provide reasonable grounds to account for this time delay, an application to “disapply” your complaint will be submitted. This means that although your complaint has been recorded, no further action will be taken.

If you disagree with this, you need to provide further information to show why your complaint is not out of time. You need to do this within 28 days from the day following the date of this letter. The 28th day is XX/XX/XX. Please provide your representations in writing to the postal or e-mail address shown above.

Any representations you make will be taken into account before a final decision is made as to whether your complaint will be investigated or not. If no representations are made or your representations are deemed to be insufficient, then your complaint will be disapplied.

If your complaint is disapplied then no further action will be taken with it. Further information about disapplications can be found on the IPCC website: www.ipcc.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Name   Tim Neligan

Detective Chief Inspector

DPS SI

Cast iron proof of Piers Morgan’s criminality distributed widely to the mainstream media

Robert Henderson

Over the past two days I have sent the following to some 200 individual mediafolk and media outlets. The email addresses are at the bottom of the email – these are all emails which did not produce a bounce so you should be able to use them if you wish to.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

My name is Robert Henderson. Over a year ago I supplied the Metropolitan police with unequivocal evidence that  Piers Morgan when Daily Mirror editor received information from one or more of their officers in circumstances which can only have been illegal.  That evidence is in a letter from Morgan to the Press complaints Commission in which he writes”The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect)”.   The letter is in text form below and in  facsimile form in the attached file Morganletterscan.docx . Please ask Hogan-Howe why this is not being investigated.

The accusations of criminal behaviour  made against me by Morgan in the letter are a tissue of lies. The reality of my dealings with the Blairs  is neatly précised in an  Early Day Motion put down by Sir Richard Body:

10 November 1999

CONDUCT OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR SEDGEFIELD 10:11:99

 Sir Richard Body

 That this House regrets that the Right honourable Member for Sedgefield [Tony Blair] attempted to persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring criminal charges against Robert Henderson, concerning the Right honourable Member’s complaints to the police of an offence against the person, malicious letters and racial insult arising from letters Robert Henderson had written to the Right honourable Member complaining about various instances of publicly-reported racism involving the Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaints of the Right honourable Member and the Right honourable Member failed to take any civil action against Robert Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon Robert Henderson, notwithstanding that Robert Henderson had been officially cleared of any illegal action.

This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record – see  http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702

Robert Henderson

—————————————————————————

FROM THE EDITOR

By fax (0171-353 8355) & by post

16 October 1997

Your ref: 970738

Christopher Hayes Esq

Press Complaints Commission

I Salisbury Square

London

EC4Y 8AE

 

Dear Mr Hayes

Mr Robert Henderson

I refer to Mr Henderson’s complaint as outlined in his letter of 23 September.

As you are aware, we have been in contact with Mr Henderson for some time due to his propensity to bombard individuals and this office with correspondence. There are certain irrefutable facts that escape emphasis in Mr Henderson’s correspondence.

Far from ignoring any of his correspondence we have written to him on the 20 May, 22 July and 6 August We have consistently made it clear  that we have no intention of entering into any further correspondence with him.

Be that as it may I will address his concerns:-

In essence, the basic “sting” of the article, of which he complains, was that he had been sending numerous insulting letters, some with racist undertones, to Mr and Mrs Blair which had been passed to the  Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.

Mr Henderson himself admits that he sent Mr and Mrs Blair at least thirteen letters. I have no way of directly knowing of the content of those letters because I have not had sight of them. However, clearly  they sufficiently concerned Mr Blair’s office to be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service and I think the Commission is perfectly entitled to draw an adverse inference on the contents of those letters as a result of that referral.

I cannot accept Mr Henderson’s explanation for writing to Cherie Blair.

To do so was clearly designed to intimidate.

In Mr Henderson’s draft article “Moral Simpletons Target Innocent Man”  the bile that he shows on the second page of that article clearly  illustrates his capacity to insult in his letters to Mr and Mrs Blair (to the extent that they be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service). I would also refer the Commission to Mr Henderson’s gratuitous reference to a “Blaireich”.

He also admits to expressing his disgust (we can only guess in what terms) of the decision of Mr and Mrs Blair not to send their son to a school whereby a white schoolboy was, apparently, murdered by five other boys (and that that murder was racially motivated).

The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) gave us the detail of the letters that we then published. Nothing that Mr Henderson writes has convinced me that the article was anything other than accurate.

Perhaps one can get a flavour of his correspondence with Mr and Mrs Blair by examining the final sentence of his draft article in which he states “It was a cargo of ancient male gonads”.

The Commission may be aware (I am attempting to get hold of the article) that the article of Mr Henderson’s that appeared in Wisden’s Cricket Monthly in 1995 gave rise to an extraordinary amount of controversy and resulted in Wisden paying substantial libel damages to the Cricketer, Devon Malcolm, whom the Commission will be aware is a coloured fast bowler for England. As I understand the matter, and Mr Henderson will correct me if I am wrong, the article implied that coloured players will not try as hard when playing for England as white players.

I have discussed the legal position with the newspaper’s solicitor, Martin Cruddace , and he has assured me that the law has recently developed whereby words (be they written or spoken) can constitute assault if the pattern of those words is such as to make the recipient of them either anxious or ill. It has developed as a reaction to the former impotence of the law on stalking.

The law has therefore developed since the publication of the dictionary reference on which Mr Henderson relies.

I cannot accept that the taking of the photographs of Mr Henderson, given the clear public interest concerning the subject matter of The Mirror article, could possibly constitute harassment under the Code.

I am most concerned not to waste any further time in dealing with Mr Henderson’s complaint but, naturally, if the Commission wishes me to address any further matters then I will endeavour to do so.

However, I hope that the above is sufficient to convince the Commission that the basic “sting” of the article is accurate and that Mr Henderson’s complaint ought to be dismissed.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Piers Morgan

 

 

==========================================

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Press

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Parliamentary pay, expenses and conditions: a remedy for corruption

 

Robert Henderson

Parliamentary pay and expenses are never  far from the public eye these days. Neither the Commons voting on its own remuneration nor the setting up a supposedly independent pay review body has proven satisfactory from the point of view of the public. Nor did an earlier attempt at linking pay to that of a middle ranking civil servant avoid the difficulty of the initial setting of the peg by which MPs’ pay should be decided. .

As for expenses they have been a standing cause for Parliamentary shame ever since the Daily Telegraph exposed the gross abuses which were going on in 2009 when they purchased records of Parliamentary expenses which politicians  had done their very best to keep secret (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5297606/MPs-expenses-Full-list-of-MPs-investigated-by-the-Telegraph.html).

MPs Pay

MPs’ pay  should be comfortable but no more than that,  let us say  three times the average national wage. That  would take it up to around £80,000 at present. I think most people would accept  that as  reasonable if MPs were banned from taking other paid  work and expenses abuse, both legal and illegal, was tightly controlled. It would give the backbench MP a salary akin to that of a doctor or a solicitor.  In addition, they have a seriously generous pension by present day standards, subsidised food and drink within the Palace of  Westminster and a substantial payment to tide them over should they lose their seat.  There might be a case for removing or lessening such perks, but for the moment I would let them stay. The subsidised food is justified by the ending of any expense claims  allowed for meals in London and the transition payment is reasonable if  MPs are allowed no  outside of politics  employment whilst an MP. The pension is more vulnerable to attack because there is a case for saying MPs should not have a more generous pension regime than is the norm for British society.

We can be sure that there would be no shortage of takers at £80,000 pa even with the other conditions I have proposed.  Indeed  the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which has recently recommended an 11% rise,  admits that the current £66, 000 is quite sufficient to entice many to be parliamentary candidates (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10516391/No-evidence-MPs-66000-salary-deters-people-from-standing-for-Parliament-pay-watchdog-admits.html).  The idea that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys should produce a hollow laugh from anyone who has paid attention to how MPs behave, whether  in terms of being dishonest or lazy or simply incompetent. Our present remuneration system produces all too often MPs who act as though they see being an MP as merely a ticket to ride the  gravy train and  an ego trip.  Few  show any real independence of thought or action for very rarely does an MP, even a backbencher, step radically out of line on a party policy, even where, so often these days, the policies are self-evidently not in the national interest, for example, the continuing mass immigration in the UK and the ever increasing suppression of dissent against the ever tighter grasp  of political correctness.  

Their pay should  be uprated up or down in  accordance with the rise or fall of the average wage.  That would provide both a simple and transparent system for the public to understand and give MPs a direct reminder once a year of how their stewardship of the country is going. It would also get rid of any squabbling over who makes the decision and remove, after the initial decision on the multiple of the average wage to be used, any further human decision making. Consequently, there would be an appearance of objectivity top any rise.

The job of an MP should be full time  for two reasons. The first is a matter of practicality:  the size of the average UK constituency is large (68, 000 – http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/elections-and-voting/constituencies/ ) and requires a good deal of time spent on it if people are to be represented properly . In addition,  much of the present business of Parliament goes through with precious little  scrutiny because MPs are so often absent – even the Commons committees routinely have MPs missing. 

The second reason is fundamental to the office of MP: if they have outside interests there is a strong likelihood they will be compromised, because their extra-Parliamentary work will very often impinge on Parliamentary business.  That is not just the obvious cases such as back benchers being sponsored by unions,  being in receipt of non-executive directorships or receiving   consultancy fees, but also that deriving from seemingly innocuous employment such as practising at the Bar or working as a doctor because these can readily give them vested interests.  For example, a barrister would have a vested interest in changes to legal Aid; a doctor in the alteration of the terms of general practice. MPs are supposed to declare any  interest but they can still vote.  In principle,  Ministers have to be not only honest in actuality, but show themselves to be like Caesar’s wife above suspicion. This they do  by divesting  themselves of  directorships and placing any shares they may have in blind trusts. If it is thought necessary for ministers to have such, it should be doubly  necessary for backbenchers because they would prima facie be much more in the way of  temptation when it comes to satisfying their own selfish interests rather than those of the country because they have far less pay than a Minister.   

The post-office legalised bribes that come in the form of sinecures on the boards of companies must also be stopped.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10516295/Whitehalls-revolving-door-speeds-up-ex-ministers-and-civil-servants-seeking-jobs-in-private-sector-doubles.html ).

MPs Expenses

It might be thought that after the revelation  by the Daily Telegraph in 2009 of the  grotesquely inappropriate  things for which MPs were allowed to claim,  caution if not morality would have greatly curbed the abuses.  Sadly, it appears there is still some bizarre  poking of Hon Members’ noses into the expenses trough, for example, the brawling Scottish MP Eric Joyce, who sits as an independent since losing the Labour whip, stung the taxpayer for  £229 for a pair of designer glasses. (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/disgraced-mp-eric-joyce-stung-2896178).

The only expenses MPs should be allowed are for accommodation when they are in London and have constituencies a fair distance from the capital and the cost of travel between their constituencies. It is reasonable to expect them to meet their food costs whilst away from home, not least because of the subsidised  meals they can get within the Place of Westminster.

Housing can be met one of two ways,   build a furnished hostel to house MPs or simply put out contracts to London hoteliers for a bulk rate. Fully furnished accommodation with no need for  MPs to buy any household goods.

As for travel, the government should negotiate a bulk contract for MPs and their families with the rail companies. The spouses and children could be restricted to a set number of trips a year.  I doubt whether any MPs live far from a  railway station.  I would restrict them to railway travel if the taxpayer is paying. Those who  live  a genuinely long distance away, for example, in the far north of Scotland or Northern Ireland,  could be covered  by a bulk buy contract with one or more airlines.

If this seems somewhat Spartan rations,  remember that MPs who have constituencies too far from Westminster to make a daily commute practical  probably only spend Monday-Thursday nights in London. In addition, the Commons only sits for about 6 months of the year. Consequently, the argument that MPs need a flat or house in London to maintain family life is clearly untrue.

If such a regimen was introduced expenses fraud would vanish because an MP would have little  opportunity for it. Their  accommodation in London would be paid for by the government directly, there would be no household purchases needed because the accommodation would be furnished and travel expenses would be paid for by the government directly. MPs would have to claim nothing.

The other great abuse is the employment by MPs’ of their relatives or friends as staff.   As this is public money being spent it is reasonable that these positions are put out to open competition. But even if that was done, the  MP would still be likely to choose the relative or friend.  That is a good reason to ban MPs from employing anyone close to them. A second reason to ban their employment  is that a close relative or friend would be more likely on average to turn a blind eye to bad behaviour by an MP and MPs would be aware of this and moderate their criminal tendencies. The third reason is that some MPs at least have employed relatives and friends who have done precious little work. Someone unknown to the MP before employment is much more likely to do the work for which they are paid.

To help ensure that MPs are not illicitly enriching themselves, a full statement of assets including those held by close family members should be included in the Members Register of Interests. These should be checked against the actual material circumstances of each MP  when they first become and MP, once a Parliament and when the MP leaves Parliament.

There is also a crying need for a proper investigation into the way Parliamentary  expense administrators and the special HMRC unit dealing with MPs pay have failed to apply the HMRC’s  “Wholly, necessarily and exclusively incurred in the performance of the job”  expenses test. It was clear from the Telegraph data published in 2009 that well over half of MPs had claims which comprehensively failed the test, yet very few were brought to book over it.  Consequently, the Parliamentary administrators and the HMRC unit should be investigated for systematically failing to apply the test. 

The House of Lords

The Lords is a mess. It is neither political fish nor fowl nor good red flesh. Trying to reform it is really a lost cause because most of the hereditary peers  are gone (which removes the idea of independent members  beholden to no one) and the vast majority of the regular attendees are placemen of the major political parties. It would be better if the House was abolished and replaced by an entirely new chamber with none of the placemen in it so there is a genuine change of political personnel. (Personally, I would favour a House of 1,000 members selected by lot from those who were willing to serve with a single term of eight years. They would act as a kind of jury to oversee the legislation of the Commons but would not initiate the legislation.  The primacy of the Commons would not be challenged and political parties would not be able to control the house). 

However, there is no prospect of any radical change in the foreseeable future so what should be done under present circumstances?

Peers do not get pay, but  an attendance allowance and expenses, including London accommodation if they live far enough away. . They cheat  by selling influence , claiming illegitimate expenses and by abusing the attendance allowance rules. The last they do by signing on for the day then leaving the Lords shortly afterwards having pocketed £300 from the taxpayer (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/video-tory-lord-hanningfield-exposed-2934895#ixzz2nj1KwOwp)  It is doubtful  whether this abuse of the attendance allowance is illegal because there are no clear duties for peers, but it is clearly an abuse and should be stopped. As for the selling of influence, that  should be made a criminal offence. Expenses should be  restricted to travel and overnight accommodation and could be included within whatever arrangements are made for MPs.  

How could things be improved on the attendance allowance front?  By paying a salary? That is not really a starter because most of the peers entitled to sit in the House – there are approaching  800 at present – do not wish to attend regularly. The so-called working peers – almost all placemen and women of the major parties – might be given a salary while the others continued with a more rigorously policed  attendance allowance scheme  but that would be a messy arrangement.   The best option would be payment based on objective criteria such as participation in debates and voting  rather than simply clocking in.  This could be linked to definite duties such as I discuss in the next section.  

Terms of service

Apart from abuses in drawing expenses,  some  MPs neglect their political duties, both  at Westminster or in their constituency.  For example, Gordon Brown is notorious for very rarely being in the Commons since his  resignation as Prime Minister – he has even started describing himself as an ex-politician  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/gordon-brown/10415046/Gordon-Brown-Im-an-ex-politician.html). In addition  there is no general public scrutiny of the performance of  a constituency MP, the only real test of the latter being the opinion of their constituency party because the vast majority of constituents will never have cause to go to their MP seeking personal help. 

MPs can get away with such neglect because there is no legal requirement for an MP to do anything either at Westminster or in his constituency. There is a Code of Conduct for MPs but observation of the Code  is not a legal requirement.  Complaints under the Code  can be referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Commissioner’s report on any investigation  he or she may undertake may  be considered by the Committee on Standards (until the beginning of 2012 the Committee on Standards and Privileges http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/standards-and-privileges-committee/). In principle, the House of Commons can also take action as a House if it so chooses. 

Apart from the lack of legal teeth, here are two problems with this system: first, the penalties which are imposed are normally  minor, for example, a reprimand and instruction to apologise to the House; second, even the relatively  minor sanctions that the Committee for Standards can mete out are all too often not imposed.

MPs can be excluded from the House, sometimes for years, but these are rare punishments, especially where powerful and influential members are involved. Think of Peter Mandelson under Blair who was forced to resign a  ministerial position not once but twice: the first time over his false declaration when applying for a mortgage  and his acceptance of a very large loan accepted from a political colleague, the second after the Indian Hinduja brothers received British passports in questionable circumstances after Mandelson had taken a hand in the matter  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/3130348/The-scandals-that-brought-Peter-Mandelson-down-twice-before.html). Nor would the police investigate Mandelson for his false declaration when applying for a mortgage, despite this being an established fact – I made a complaint to the Met asking them to do so but the police refused to even register the complaint (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/laws-are-for-little-people-the-mandelson-mortgage-fraud-cover-up/).

The Code of Conduct is a document which shares something with  the 1936 Soviet Constitution. The latter was a wondrously cornucopia of democratic goodies; the Code of Conduct is splendidly ethical statement of how an MP should behave. Neither the Soviet Constitution nor the Code of Conduct had or has any connection with reality.  Consider these extracts from the Code of Conduct:

“Selflessness

Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

Integrity

Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

Objectivity

In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

Accountability

Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

Openness

Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

Honesty

Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

Leadership

Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.” (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmcode/1885/188502.htm#a1)

How far  this is from reality is epitomised by the IPSA chairman claiming that the 11% pay rise for MPs is necessary otherwise they would return to large-scale abuse of expenses. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10512763/Increase-MPs-pay-or-risk-another-expenses-scandal-Ipsa-chairman-says.html).

The Code of Conduct needs to be enforced rigorously, but that would still leave MPs free to  devote too little time to their political duties. Consequently, there needs to be a legal enforceable job description which requires MPs to do things such  hold regular constituency surgeries, respond to constituents mail within a certain numbers of days  and attend Westminster whenever Parliament is sitting unless they have a reasonable excuse for being absent such as attending to ministerial duties or undertaking official Parliamentary business away from Westminster.

What improvements in politicians’ behaviour would result?

The changes I propose, or something like them, would remove from Parliament those who are there to enrich themselves. The remuneration (including perks) would be sufficient to enable an MP to live decently but not extravagantly.  Because MPs would have all the previously legal ways of enriching themselves through such things as  absurdly lax expenses rules, employing relatives  or spending large amounts of  time on non-political work, only surreptitiously selling influence would be available to them.  However, with proper oversight  such as checking the actual material circumstances of  an MP even that would become decidedly risky. Make selling influence a criminal offence with a hefty prison sentence and it would be most unattractive prospect.

If MPs come to the business knowing they cannot be a law unto themselves but will be subject to the type of constraints which the general population are held by in their work, that in itself will tend to produce politicians who are interested in formulating and implementing policy and serving their constituents rather than serving their own interests.   What I propose  would not be a panacea but a good beginning in the sorely needed attempt to change the ethical weather in Parliament.  There is nothing more corrupting than seeing those with power being corrupt for it  taints the whole of society by example.

 

Operation Elveden and Piers Morgan et al – I try to bring Norman Baker MP into the picture

Note:I have had some dealings with Norman Baker regarding both the Blairs’ attempts to prosecute me and its aftermath and the David Kelly death. Robert Henderson

Mr Norman Baker MP

House of Commons

London  SW1A 0AA

9 October 2013

Dear Mr Baker,

Congratulations on your promotion to the Home Office.

I have a scandal which comes within your new remit. In January this year I supplied Operation Elveden with a letter sent by Piers Morgan to the PCC when he was editor of the Daily Mirror. A copy of that letter is attached in facsimile.

In the letter Morgan writes “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect”. That can only mean the information was given illegally. Moreover, the information which the Mirror received was of a nature which could not have been legally given  to a newspaper.  The information concerned me.

Operation Elveden refused to investigate – It took them around  five months to tell me they were not going to act. During that time I made repeated requests to be interviewed  and  give a formal statement,   but these requests  were ignored.

I then wrote to the DPP asking him to intervene.  I received no overt encouragement from him,  but something may have happened behind the scenes because Elveden  emailed me to say the matter had been referred to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards .  That was nearly two months ago. The matter is being dealt with by the head of the Directorate, Det Chief Supt Alaric Bonthron.  I have made several requests for him to meet me but he has simply ignored them.

As a subsidiary scandal, I  give you this.  I supplied to the Leveson Inquiry a copy of  the Morgan letter along with a good deal of other material relating to press abuse . Leveson refused to allow me to be a core participant, refused to call me as a witness, failed to use the letter as evidence against Morgan when he was giving evidence under oath and was so desperate to write me out of the script that he excluded me from the list of people who had made submissions to the Inquiry.

I would greatly value a meeting with you to discuss this matter.  I realise that you will be immensely busy as a minister , but this is a matter which falls absolutely within the Home Office remit.  Moreover, it goes to the heart of  our justice system because this is who shall guard the guards territory.  The police are in effect perverting the course of justice by refusing to act on the clearest evidence of a serious crime having been committed.

There is a good deal of correspondence below this email, but  please do not be daunted by that. I suggest that you concentrate for the moment on the Morgan letter and,  if you are willing to meet me,  I will run you through the story then.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

Click on the tags Operation Elveden and Leveson Inquiry for the full story of those issues. Click on the category The Scandalous Blairs for that story.

Operation Elveden become nonsensical over Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from the Met

Note: The most likely explanation for this absurd email from Marion Kent is that Elveden are well aware of the toxic (for them) nature of the case and they are paralysed by the knowledge.  Robert Henderson

From: “Marion.Kent@met.police.uk” <Marion.Kent@met.police.uk>

Sent: Friday, 27 September 2013, 15:12

Subject: Re: Operation Elveden and their refusal to investigate Piers Morgan et al

Sent on behalf of Det Chief Superintendent Gordon Briggs

Dear Mr Henderson,

I have been asked to respond to you on behalf of Commander Basu in his absence.

I am aware that DI Smith has now passed onto you, as you requested, the contact details of Detective Chief Superintendent Bonthron, the OCU Commander of the Department of Professional Standards. DCS Bonthron is over seeing the review into your original complaint, a review which I asked him to undertake to assess whether there may be any new lines of enquiry which can be progressed. DI Smith wrote to you on 29.07.2013 to notify you of this. Your complaint concerning Mr. Piers Morgan sits outside of Operation Elveden’s terms of reference and it was for this reason that DPS have been asked to take the lead and review your case.

DCS Bonthron has recently informed me that you have made a formal complaint about Operation Elveden’s decision not to re-investigate your allegations and whilst that matter too is being investigated it is more appropriate for you to liaise with him so that he can update you on the progress of both issues.

Yours sincerely

Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Briggs

Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta.

————————————————————————————————————————————-

To

Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Briggs

Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta.

CC Det Chief Superintendant  Alaric Bonthron

Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards

Keir Starmer (DPP)

Alison Saunders Chief Crown Prosecutor (London)

G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Met Commissioner)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

29  Sept 2013

Dear DCS Briggs,

Thank you for your email of 27 Sept. You write “Your complaint concerning Mr. Piers Morgan sits outside of Operation Elveden’s terms of reference and it was for this reason that DPS have been asked to take the lead and review your case.”

This is frankly bewildering. Operation Elveden’s remit is to investigate the illicit supply of information by police officers to the media. I have supplied you with a letter in which Piers Morgan admits  receiving information in circumstances which can only have been illegal.  Please explain to me  by return how that part of my complaint against Morgan is not within Operation Elveden’s remit.

To aid you let me remind you of what AC Cressida Dick told the Home Affairs Committee:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmhaff/67/67we18.htm

Home Affairs Committee

Written evidence submitted by AC Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police [LSP 40]

Question 3—Your policy regarding leaks by police officers to the press where no payments have been made

Operation Elveden’s terms of reference are “to investigate alleged criminal offences that police officers or public officials have accepted money for supplying information to journalists”. The terms of reference have not been changed, however when suspected criminal wrongdoing that does not include payment comes to light it cannot be ignored.

Of the 64 arrests made on Operation Elveden, only one has been where payment is not a feature of the investigation. It is difficult to comment further on this issue without potentially prejudicing future prosecutions.”

And

“LETTER FROM AC CRESSIDA DICK TO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOCIETY OF EDITORS, 26 MARCH 2013

I am writing to you concerning the Metropolitan Police investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials (Operation Elveden) which is running in conjunction with the Operation Weeting phone-hacking inquiry.

In the light of some recent reporting and commentary about Operation Elveden I thought it would be helpful to reassure editors on a number of points. I am sure you will understand that for legal reasons I will not refer to current active cases. I believe it is important to remember that we are not investigating victimless crimes nor has the remit of Operation Elveden been extended to any police officer who has simply spoken with a journalist, as has been suggested. The investigation is about police officers and public officials who we have reasonable grounds to suspect have abused their positions in return for corrupt payments. However when suspected criminal wrongdoing that does not involve payment comes to light it cannot be ignored.”

That is of particular interest because it commits Elveden to pursuing investigations even where no payment to the police can be proved. Of course, it is odds on that the Mirror did pay the police officer concerned, but whether or not that can be proved after this period of time Morgan and Edwards can be readily pursued for this part of my complaints against them. In fact,  Morgan’s letter hands you their prosecutions on a plate.

I would further remind you that the information received illegally by the Mirror caused  me considerable damage so it definitely was not “a victimless crime”.  You might care to tuck away in your memory the fact that I had a heart attack 11 months  after the Mirror story appeared, an attack almost certainly down to the stress generated by  the story and its aftermath.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

 

Operation Elveden: I make contact with the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards

Det Chief Superintendant  Alaric Bonthron

Head of the

Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards

23rd Floor North

Empress State Building

Lillie Road

London SW6 ITR

CC Keir Starmer (DPP)

Alison Saunders Chief Crown Prosecutor (London)

G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Met Commissioner)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

20 Sept 2013

Dear Mr  Bonthron,

DI Daniel Smith of Operation Elveden (see first document down) tells me you are dealing with my complaints regarding the failure of Operation Elveden to investigate serious crimes involving these erstwhile employees of the Daily Mirror Piers Morgan (editor) and  Jeff Edwards (Chief Crime Reporter) ,   plus Det Supt Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard  (who I presume is now retired) .

You will find below my complete correspondence with  Operation Elveden and the CPS.  The correspondence with Elevden comes before the CPS. You will also see I have just written to the attorney-general.

If Elveden have not passed their complete file on my complaint  to you, the only thing you may now  be missing is the recording of my meeting with Det Supt Jeff Curtis at which he promised to interview Piers Morgan and  Jeff Edwards. This he then failed to do despite having a copy of a letter from Morgan to the PCC supplied by me in which Morgan admitted receiving information from the Met Police in circumstances which can only have been illegal . A facsimile of this letter is attached.

Operation Elveden have had my complaint and evidence  since the end of January. That is an unconscionable delay in investigating Morgan, Edwards, and Curtis.  The wilful ignoring of  such clear evidence as I have provided amounts to misconduct in a public office and/or an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

Frankly, I find it very odd that you have not contacted me before now to arrange an interview. I wish to meet you to discuss this matter as soon as possible.  Please arrange to meet me ASAP.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

—————————————————————————————————————————-

From: “Alaric.Bonthron@olympics.pnn.police.uk” <alaric.bonthron@olympics.pnn.police.uk>

To: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Cc: mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk; keir.starmer@cps.gsi.gov.uk; alison.saunders@cps.gsi.gov.uk; Gregor.McGill@cps.gsi.gov.uk; Bernard.Hogan-Howe@met.pnn.police.uk; Neil.Basu@met.pnn.police.uk; Daniel.Smith3@met.pnn.police.uk; whittingdalej@parliament.uk; george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk; geraldhowarth@parliament.uk

Sent: Monday, 23 September 2013, 11:16

Subject: RE: Operation Elveden and their refusal to investigate Piers Morgan et al cont.

Mr Henderson

Thank you for the email below. I would like to point out we are currently reviewing the previous matters dealt with by D.Supt Curtis which you had sent to the MPS. This review is in hand and you will be updated in due course.

Many thanks

Alaric

Alaric Bonthron

Detective Chief Superintendent

Directorate of Professional Standards – Deputy Commissioners Portfolio

MetPhone: 786633 | Telephone: 020 7161 6633 Address: 23rd Floor, Empress State Building, Lillie Road, London, SW6 1TR

————————————————————————————————————————————-

156 Levita House, Chalton Street, London NW1 1HR

Tel: 0207 387 5018   Email: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Det Chief Superintendant  Alaric Bonthron

Head of the

Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards

23rd Floor North

Empress State Building

Lillie Road

London SW6 ITR

CC Keir Starmer (DPP)

Alison Saunders Chief Crown Prosecutor (London)

G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Met Commissioner)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

25 September  2013

Dear Mr Bonthron,

Your email of 23 September continues the behaviour I have experienced at the hands of  Operation Elveden. I have asked you to meet me and you have simply ignored the request.  Frankly, that does not inspire confidence in me that you will deal with this matter honestly. It also  builds on my rational mistrust of the Met Police which has developed through my experience of the force over the past  sixteen years.

It is not that think the police are generally corrupt,  but rather that there are two circumstances in which the will almost invariably  act dishonestly. The first is where their own misbehaviour places them in danger, for example, selling information to the media; the second is where those with power and influence are the subject of allegations of criminality.  Both circumstances apply with knobs on in my case.

Since March 1997, when the Blairs attempted and failed humiliatingly to have me prosecuted on bogus charges, I have been given ample reason for doubting the honesty of the Met. My experience with the Blairs is neatly summarised in this Early Day Motion put down by Sir Richard Body:

CONDUCT OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR SEDGEFIELD 10:11:99

Sir Richard Body

That this House regrets that the Right honourable Member for Sedgefield [Tony Blair] attempted to persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring criminal charges against Robert Henderson, concerning the Right honourable Member’s complaints to the police of an offence against the person, malicious letters and racial insult arising from letters Robert Henderson had written to the Right honourable Member complaining about various instances of publicly-reported racism involving the Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaints of the Right honourable Member and the Right honourable Member failed to take any civil action against Robert Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon Robert Henderson, notwithstanding that Robert Henderson had been officially cleared of any illegal action.

This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record – see

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702

The police refused to meaningfully investigate any of my complaints against the Blairs and  the Mirror.  I also suffered harassment throughout Blair’s premiership, behaviour which abruptly stopped when he left office.  The harassment went from ostentatiously opening my post to vicious incitements in chat rooms to attack me to death threats.  During that time I was unable to get the police to meaningfully investigate any of my complaints about the harassment.

I think that should be  enough to  put you in the picture.  Do not read into it that I am not prepared to give you a fair chance to play the honest man. Play square with me and you will have clean moral hands in this matter as far as I am concerned.  But if you attempt to shrug off my complaints you will become part of the scandal. Ask yourself this simple question Mr Bonthron; would you be happy standing in a witness box or before TV cameras trying to explain why a letter from a Fleet Street editor admitting receiving information from the Met Police in circumstances which can only have been illegal is not grounds to investigate that editor?

I ask again that you to arrange a meeting with me ASAP.  If you are unwilling to meet me, please say so and explain your reasons.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

—————————————————————————————————————————-

From: “Alaric.Bonthron@olympics.pnn.police.uk” <alaric.bonthron@olympics.pnn.police.uk>

To: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Sent: Wednesday, 2 October 2013, 15:19

Subject: RE: Operation Elveden and their refusal to investigate Piers Morgan et al cont.

Mr Henderson

Thank you for your further email. I explained in the first I would be having the matters raised in your original messages to the Elveden team reviewed then would get back to you. This has not changed and I will be in contact in due course.

Thank you

Alaric

Alaric Bonthron

Detective Chief Superintendent

Directorate of Professional Standards – Deputy Commissioners Portfolio

MetPhone: 786633 | Telephone: 020 7161 6633 |Address: 23rd Floor, Empress State Building, Lillie Road, London, SW6 1TR

—————————————————————————————————————————-

From: “Alaric.Bonthron@olympics.pnn.police.uk” <alaric.bonthron@olympics.pnn.police.uk>

To: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Sent: Wednesday, 2 October 2013, 15:19

Subject: RE: Operation Elveden and their refusal to investigate Piers Morgan et al cont.

 

Mr Henderson

Thank you for your further email. I explained in the first I would be having the matters raised in your original messages to the Elveden team reviewed then would get back to you. This has not changed and I will be in contact in due course.

Thank you

 

Alaric

Alaric Bonthron

Detective Chief Superintendent

Directorate of Professional Standards – Deputy Commissioners Portfolio

MetPhone: 786633 | Telephone: 020 7161 6633 |Address: 23rd Floor, Empress State Building, Lillie Road, London, SW6 1TR

———————————————————————————————–

Det Chief Superintendant  Alaric Bonthron

Head of the

Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards

23rd Floor North

Empress State Building

Lillie Road

London SW6 ITR

 

CC Keir Starmer (DPP)

Alison Saunders Chief Crown Prosecutor (London)

G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Met Commissioner)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

 

8 October  2013

 

Dear Mr Bonthron,

I refer to your email of 2 October. Yet again you have ignored my request for a meeting with you. I am not going to get into a perpetual exchange of  emails making the  request and you ignoring it, so this will be the last time I make the request.  Are you willing to meet me and if not why not?

You may think that this extremely toxic (for the Met and you)  problem will simply go away if you ignore it. The question you should be considering is what if it does not go away, what if the media censorship is broken? How would you explain your behaviour if you were in a witness box or in front of TV cameras?  I can just envisage it: “Mr Bonthron, are you seriously suggesting that the possession of a letter from a Fleet Street editor admitting he received information illegally from the Met Police does not constitute  grounds for investigation?

Think about it.

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————————–

I sent my email to the attorney-general in the evening of the 18th Sept and got messages back from DI Smith giving me the contact details for the Directorate of  professional Standards, something he had failed to do for two weeks following  my request  I also received  an  email immediately from the staff officer serving the head of Operation Elveden . This was the first time I have had any response from Basu’s office.

Bonthron is the head of the Directorate of Professional Standards   and the fact that someone so senior is dealing with the matter is indicative of the concern my complaints are causing. The involvement of police officers of far too high a rank to investigate the type of complaints I have made is a common thread throughout my dealings with the police since the Blairs tried and failed miserably to have me prosecuted. Since 1997 I have had these  senior  coppers dealing with my complaints:

Det Chief Supt Tony Dawson – The Met’s Internal Investigations Command

Dept Supt Jeff Curtis

Chief Supt John Yates

Chief Supt Eric Brown

Supt Cliff Hughes

Supt Alex Fish

Chief Inspector Julia Wortley

Chief Inspector Ian West

Det Chief Inspector Stephen Kershaw

——————————————————————————–

RE: Operation Elveden and their refusal to investigate Piers Morgan et al

From

Neil.Basu@met.police.uk

To

anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Dear Mr Henderson,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of this e-mail and a second of the same date which is timed at 20:32hrs.

You have hopefully already received Commander Basu’s out of office notification and are therefore aware that he will be unable to respond to you personally in a timely way. I have therefore passed your messages to Detective Chief Superintendent (DCS) Gordon Briggs who is the officer overseeing the Elvedon, Weeting and Tuleta investigations. DCS Briggs will make contact to provide a response within 7 days.

Yours sincerely

Marion Kent PS 6010 CO

Staff Officer to Cmdr Neil Basu – Armed Policing

Specialist Crime & Operations

Room 1113 | 11th Floor | Tower Block

New Scotland Yard

10 Broadway

SW1H 0BG

MetPhone 761727 Telephone 020 7230 1727

Email marion.kent@met.pnn.police.uk

——————————————————————————————————-Email: Daniel.Smith3@met.police.uk

http://www.met.police.uk

Your ref:

Our ref: Op Elveden

19/09/13

Dear Mr Henderson

In response to your recent request for information I am able to supply you with the below details.

The review of the original investigation is being conducted by the Department of Professional Standards. The Officer conducting the review is Detective Chief Superintendent Alaric Bonthron.

Mr Bonthron’s address is EMPRESS STATE BUILDING, LILLIE ROAD, LONDON, SW6 1TR

Mr Bonthron is contactable via the email address ‘alaric.bonthron@met.police.uk’

The Department of Professional Standards will update you at the conclusion of the review or in month should the review not be concluded sooner.

Yours sincerely,

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith

 

Click on the tag Operation Elveden for the full story

See in particular http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/operation-elvedens-failure-to-investigate-pier-morgan-et-al-referred-to-the-attorney-general/

and

http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/piers-morgans-illegal-receipt-of-information-from-the-police-his-perjury-and-operation-elveden/

Operation Elveden’s failure to investigate Pier Morgan et al referred to the Attorney-General

Mr Dominic Grieve PC MP

Attorney-General

20 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0NF

CC

Alison Saunders Chief Crown Prosecutor (London)

Gregor McGill (CPS: Head of Organised Crime Division)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Met Commissioner)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

19 September 2013

Dear Mr Grieve,

Operation Elveden are failing to  investigate serious crimes committed by the Daily Mirror  for which they have  cast iron evidence.

The full story is in the correspondence I reproduce below. (The correspondence is divided into two sections – that with Elevden and that with the CPS). However, I realise that you are an immensely busy man,  so to take you to instantly to  the heart of the corrupt behaviour of Operation Elveden please read first the attached facsimile letter Piers Morgan  sent to the PCC whilst editor of the Daily Mirror. In this letter he admits receiving information from the Metropolitan Police in circumstances which can only be illegal, viz: “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect)…”.

The other document you need to  read is my initial email (dated  21 January 2013) to the then head of Operation Elveden  Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh – see first  document below this letter.   That will give you the background to and the range  of crimes Elveden are  failing to investigate.

I have provided Eleveden with a copy of Morgan’s  letter, together  with other evidence of criminal behaviour on the part of the Mirror’s erstwhile Chief Crime Reporter Jeff Edwards,  in receiving information illicitly from the police. I have also supplied Elveden with evidence that both Morgan and Edwards  perjured themselves before the Leveson Inquiry.  Finally, there is the misconduct of the police in not investigating these crimes for which they have cast-iron evidence.

The behaviour of Operation Elveden has been extraordinary.  They have ignored my  repeated requests to be interviewed and provide  a formal statement. Astonishingly  my only contact with them has been through written correspondence.

Despite having the Piers Morgan letter (amongst other very strong evidence), DI Daniel  Smith (see letter dated 13 June 2013) informed me that no investigation would be undertaken without giving any meaningful explanation.

The Metropolitan Police’s ’ Department for Professional Standards is supposedly investigating the failure of Operation  Elveden to investigate the crimes I have reported to them.  However, no one from that department has contacted me. In addition, Elveden  have failed to answer my request that they give me the contact details and names of those conducting the investigation (see my email to DI Daniel  Smith dated 6 Sept 2013).

As you will see from the correspondence, I have also tried without success to get the DPP to act on what is a clear failure on the part of the police to investigate serious crimes . That is the reason I now write to you.  I realise that the police are meant to be independent of the DPP and the DDP is meant to be independent of the law officers. However, this is a wholly exceptional circumstance because we are clearly deep into who shall guard the guards territory, with the police blatantly failing to do their duty to  investigate very clear and serious crimes.   If the police are not brought to book over this, it means they are a law unto themselves.

I ask you to take up this matter and to  use your influence to get my allegations of criminality investigated thoroughly. I would greatly welcome a meeting with you to discuss the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

————————————————————————————————————————————————

Replacing the BBC licence fee

Robert Henderson

I have always had objections to the licence fee. It is a poll tax enforced by an extensive and expensive bureaucracy armed with extensive powers to harass the public. The practical consequences of the fee are the poor subsidising the rich and thousands of the poor, mostly women, brought before the courts each year for non-payment of the licence fee. The last is far from being a small matter because recently it has been revealed that an incredible ten per cent of court cases in the UK (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/10256679/TV-licence-offences-account-for-one-in-ten-UK-court-cases.html).

But whether or not you think the licence fee is the best solution to funding public service broadcasting (PSB), your opinion  will become academic in the foreseeable future  because the technology is moving on rapidly. TVs as we know them will  be on the way out by the time the BBC charter comes up for renewal in 2016, as computers (and conceivably something completely new) become the means to view what we now call television. (A tax on personal computers is currently being mooted. Take it from a retired Inland Revenue Officer, this  is administratively bonkers).

The alternatives to the licence fee fill defenders of PSB with horror, and in most instances, justifiably so. Voluntary subscriptions could never provide the necessary finance and advertising would corrupt programming because of the need to draw audiences.

But there is one means of funding which could preserve the status quo – direct funding by the taxpayer. I have never understood the objection in principle to this. If direct funding could be cut off or reduced at any time by a Government, so can the licence fee. In principle, Parliament could pass a Bill tomorrow overturning the BBC’s current charter. More realistically, a future Government could simply decide to destroy or at least severely emasculate the BBC through legislative action.

Can anyone honestly say that the World Service (WS), which is (and always has been) directly funded by the taxpayer, has been the creature of any government? Has any government seriously reduced WS funding because it did not do what the government wanted? I think most people would give a pretty firm no to both questions. The BBC domestic service is in fact already receiving substantial direct payments from the taxpayer in the shape of  payments of around œ400 pa to compensate the BBC for the licence fee exemptions made for the over-75s. Has that made any noticeable difference in the relationship between the BBC and the Government?

Direct funding could be guaranteed on the same basis as the licence fee, a ten-year charter with a guarantee that direct funding would last for the period of the charter. Ideally, the funding would be linked to some objective criteria such as a proportion of the total UK broadcasting spend and adjusted annually according to whatever the total UK spend was for the past year. This would both guard against politicians interfering during the period of the charter and  provide less opportunity for the private side of the industry to complain about unfair competition because the proportion of the overall UK spend would remain static. That would remove the private sector fear that the BBC’s seemingly remorseless expansion will have limits. The BBC could strengthen their position further in that respect if they eschewed any active commercial activity beyond selling programmes which they have made in-house or funded directly from an independent production company.

Direct funding would also improve the relationship between the BBC and the public. All experience shows that direct payment by the individual is what causes friction. Hence, the Council Tax causes more friction than paying income tax, VAT etc from which central government pays the majority of local council spending. Hide the expenditure in general taxation and complaints usually die. Even the most  belligerent member of the “Why should I pay the licence fee when I don’t watch the BBC” brigade would find it difficult to rally under a “Why should I pay my taxes to directly fund the BBC” banner.

In the end PSB is reliant on what politicians do. But  there are several good reasons why they would not willingly damage the BBC. To begin with politicians are human beings (just)  and many have an affection for the Corporation. A substantial hard-core are committed to PSB in principle. Others see it as a prestigious British institution which deserves to be preserved for that reason. There are also the base political reasons. The first is obvious: dismantling or seriously damaging an organisation as large and influential as the BBC would be a risky business for any government, which would risk being caught in pincer movement of journalistic wrath and public resentment at the loss of a unique service (the BBC is one of those institutions which will not be truly appreciated until it ism not there).

The second base reason is wonderfully self-serving and simple. The continued existence of the BBC is convenient for politicians, because it provides them with political coverage and opportunities which no private broadcaster can offer. This advantage may grow as privately financed  broadcasting becomes increasingly fragmented in the future. Politicians need large audiences. Broadcasts with small and diminishing audiences is not what they want. If the BBC  continues to exist in something like its present size and importance, a large audience can be guaranteed.

In an ideal world, the public would have such elevated tastes that PSB would not be necessary because only the best programmes would be broadcast as the market acted to select them. However, the world being far from perfect, PSB funded by the taxpayer offers the best hope for broadcasting which is not driven solely or largely by the meretricious hand of demand.



Operation Elveden update – Stony silence to date from Met Police’s Department of Professional Standards

SCO12 – AC Private Office & Business Support

SCO12 AC Private Office & Business Support

Mr Robert Henderson

2.211

Jubilee House Putney

230-232 Putney Bridge Road

London

SW15 2PD

Telephone:

Facsimile:

Email: Daniel.Smith3@met.police.uk

http://www.met.police.uk

Your ref:

Our ref: Op Elveden

06/09/13

Dear Mr Henderson

Further to our previous communication I can confirm that the Department of Professional Standards are reviewing the investigation. The review is not yet complete and I am therefore unable to provide you with the result.

I will provide you with more information when I am able to do so. But If I am unable to provide you with a conclusion within a month I shall inform you of this by letter.

Yours sincerely,

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG  CC

CC Keir Starmer (DPP)

Alison Saunders Chief Crown Prosecutor (London)

G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Met Commissioner)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

7 Sept  2013

Dear Mr Smith,

I have your email of 6 September. Please supply me by return with the following:

1. The full  name(s) and rank(s) of those undertaking the investigation of my complaints.

2. The address of the office they are working from.

3. Their contact emails and phone numbers.

I wish I could say that I find it extraordinary that none of those investigating the complaints have contacted me. However, sadly I cannot say that because this very odd behaviour  is par for the course since I lodged the complaints with Operation Elveden.  Despite my repeated  requests to be interviewed and  to provide a formal statement I have had no meeting with the police. The only plausible motive for such  behaviour  is a desire by the police to avoid having to maintain to my face the absurdity that there are no reasonable grounds to investigate Piers Morgan et al when I have provided Elveden with a letter from  Morgan to the PCC in which he admits receiving information from a Metropolitan police officer  in circumstances which can only have been illegal when he was editor of the Daily Mirror.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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