Tag Archives: media

How the BBC fixes the political bias of Any Questions

Robert Henderson

The programme is fixed generally because all those invited will on subjects such as race, immigration, homosexuality and feminism  toe the pc line to a large degree. (Ask yourself when was the last time you heard someone on Any Questions saying that mass immigration is an unalloyed ill). They will do this either from ideological conviction or the fear of the consequences if they become accused of a pc “crime”.

There is also a more particular built in bias which will generally result in preponderance politically correct  and left leaning answer. To demonstrate this I have compiled  the details of panel members  for a couple of recent two month runs of Any Questions – June-July 2013 and January-February 2014 (17 programmes). These details are shown at the bottom of this blog post.

Then there are  the biases produced by race, ethnicity and employment. Those who are there as right leaning representatives,  but are immigrants or the children of immigrants, members of a racial or ethnic minority or compromised by receiving public money or favours such as those bestowed on the quangocracy will often be left leaning in certain areas such as the desirability of mass immigration or the worth of public service, regardless of their nominal political orientation.

In the four months covered by the two periods chosen, the leftist, politically correct bias is clear: on every panel at least two (half the panel) of the participants are formally left leaning and in a number of cases more than two. A good example is the 28 2 2014 programme where at least three members (Hughes, Eagle, Greer)  are of the left and arguably all four because Chua being the child or immigrants and a member of an ethnic minority will in many areas automatically be pc (for example immigration)  even if she has some non pc ideas as well.

There is no example of any programme with more than two right leaning members  on it. Moreover, many of those classified as right-leaning will be right leaning only in the area of economics and even there someone who supports laissez faire economics is veering into the leftist world because the effects of globalism feed into the liberal left internationalist credo.

It is also noteworthy that although there are a few members of panels who may  reasonably be categorised as of the hard left, for example, Diane Abbott and Laurie Penny,   there is no one who represents the far right.

It is reasonable to suspect that the BBC packs all its audiences for political and current affairs programmes in a  similar way.

28 2 2014

The Bath Literature Festival with Justice Minister Simon Hughes MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Maria Eagle MP, Yale Law professor and author Amy Chua, and writer and broadcaster Germaine Greer.

Political count: two left-leaning MPs (Hughes and Eagle), an immigrant and radical feminist (Greer) and an ethnic minority representative  and child of immigrants to the USA (Chua).

21 2 2014

Blundells School in Tiverton, Devon, with Secretary of State for Scotland and Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael, Conservative backbench MP Nadhim Zahawi MP, New Statesman columnist Laurie Penny and Labour backbench MP Frank Field.

Political count: two left leaning MPs (Field and Carmichael ), one ethnic minority  immigrant  and right leaning MP (Zahawi) and one member of the hard left (Penny).

14 2 2014

Central Hall Methodist Church in Walsall with Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz MP, Fisheries and Farming Minister George Eustice MP, Pauline Black from The Selecter and UKIP Party Director Lisa Duffy.

Political count: ne Left leaning MP, immigrant  and ethnic minority representative (Vas), one right leaning  MP (Eustice), one ethnic minority  representative  (Black) and  one right leaning representative from a minor party (Duffy).

7 2 2014

Altrincham Grammar School for Girls with Defence Minister and Tory MP  Anna Soubry, journalist and poverty campaigner Jack Monroe, the Liberal Democrat MP Jeremy Browne and the Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw MP.

Political count: one Tory MP but with a strong streak of political correctness (Soubry), two left leaning MPs (Browne and Straw) and one leftist journalist and campaigner (Monroe).

31 1 2014

Purfleet in Essex with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles MP, Labour backbencher Diane Abbott MP, author and columnist Simon Heffer and the new Green party peer Baroness Jenny Jones

Political count: one centrist Tory MP (Pickles), one hard left MP who is the  daughter of immigrants  and an ethnic minority representative (Abbott), one right leaning journalist (Heffer) and , one hard left peer, (Jones).

24 1 2014

Gwyn Hall in Neath, with the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, Jill Evans Plaid Cymru MEP for Wales, Conservative Vice Chairman for Campaigning, Michael Fabricant MP, and the former leader of the Liberal Party Lord Steel.

Political count: two  left leaning politicians (Jones and Evans) and one right leaning  MP (Fabricant) and one left leaning peer (Steel).

17 1 2014

Greenbank High School in Southport with the former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham, Supermarket Ombudsman Christine Tacon and Liverpool based textiles businessman Tony Caldeira.

Political count:  one right leaning MP (Mitchell), one left leaning MP (Burnham), one member of the Quangocracy (Tacon) and one businessman who is a Tory Party supporter (Caldeira).

10 1 2014

Heythrop College in London with Justice Secretary Chris Grayling MP, Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan MP, Patrick O’Flynn the new Communications Director for UKIP and former coalition minister the Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather.

Political count: two left leaning MPs (Khan and Teather), one right leaning Tory MP (Grayling) and one rightist representative for a minor party (O’Flynn).

27 7 2013

Endellion, Cornwall with Lord Hattersley, writer Jessica Mann, Times columnist Phil Collins and Jacob Rees Mogg MP.

Political count: one leftist peer (Hattersley), one rightist MP (Rees-Mogg), one immigrant  who has been part of Quangocracy (Mann), one left leaning journalist (Collins) .

19  7 2013

Bridport in Dorset with Lord Ashdown, Kate Hoey MP, Baroness Julia Neuberger and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Lawson.

Political count: two left leaning peers (Ashdown and Neuberger), one centrist Tory peer (Lawson) and one left leaning MP (Hoey). Neuberger is the daughter of an immigrant mother and a member of an ethnic minority.

12 7 2013

Bushey in Hertfordshire with Chuka Umunna Shadow Business Secretary, Vice Chairman of the Society of Business Economists Bronwyn Curtis, Grant Shapps Chairman of the Conservative Party and the Speaker’s Chaplain the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin.

Political count: one left-leaning immigrant and member of an ethnic minority MP  (Umunna), One immigrant Australian economist (Curtis), one right leaning MP (Shapps) and one ethnic minority immigrant representative (Rose Hudson-Wilkin).

5 7 2013

from Keswick in the Lake District with Liberal Democrat President Tim Farron, Shadow Europe Minister Emma Reynolds MP, Deputy leader of UKIP Paul Nuttall and Leader of the 1922 Committee Graham Brady MP.

Political count: two left leaning MPs (Farron and Reynolds), one right leaning member of a minor party  (Nuttall) and one right leaning MP (Brady).

28 6 2013

Titchfield in Hampshire with John Denham MP, Chair of the Public Administration Select Committee Bernard Jenkin MP, Chair of the Bar Council Maura McGowan QC and Minister of State for Justice Lord McNally.

Political count: one left leaning MP (Denham), one right leaning MP (Jenkin), one criminal lawyer  with no obvious political affiliation (McGowan) and , one left leaning peer (McNally).

21 6 2013

Purley in Croydon. The panel are Labour peer Baroness Oona King; editor of Prospect magazine Bronwen Maddox, Foreign and Commonwealth minister Alistair Burt and the novelist, journalist and human rights activist Joan Smith.

Political count: one left leaning ethnic representative peer (King), one right leaning journalist (Maddox), one right leaning MP (Burt) and one left leaning journalist (Smith).

14 6 2013

Great Yarmouth Racecourse in Norfolk with Daniel Hannan MEP, commentator Mehdi Hasan, Communities and Local Government Minister Don Foster MP and Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Mary Creagh MP.

Political count: one right leaning MEP (Hannan), one son of immigrants and left leaning ethnic minority representative journalist (Medhi Hassan) and two left leaning MPs (Foster and Creagh)

7 6 2013

The Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales with Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson MP, Labour’s Peter Hain MP, Leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Woods, and commentator James Delingpole.

Political count: one right leaning MP (Paterson) one left leaning MP (Hain), one hard left representative (Woods)  and one rightist journalist (Delingpole).

1 6 2013

Slough in Berkshire. The panel includes the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers MP, the director of the think-tank British Future Sunder Katwala, Business woman Julie White and Labour peer Lord Adonis.

Political count: one right leaning MP (Villiers), one left leaning ethnic minority representative who is the son of immigrants (Katwala), one business woman whose company D-Drill gets a good deal of its work from government (White) and one left leaning peer (Adonis).

Why did Piers Morgan lose his CNN programme?

Robert Henderson 

Piers Morgan  has had his CNN  show cancelled  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10657333/CNN-announces-end-to-Piers-Morgans-talk-show.html)

It  is a rather large coincidence that this happened  four days after I circulated  widely to the media, both  here and in the USA,   a copy of Morgan’s letter in which he admits receiving information from the Met Police in circumstances which can only have been illegal  (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/cast-iron-proof-of-piers-morgans-criminality-distributed-widely-to-the-mainstream-media/)

If it is not simply a coincidence , it could be that CNN are simply putting Morgan out to grass for a spell to see if the police investigate him. If so, he should be given another CNN vehicle  within the next year if he does not face criminal charges..

The cancelling of his programme is more plausibly down to  my circulation of his PCC letter to the media   than his questioning about phone hacking by police in  December,  for which he was neither arrested nor charged. The time delay between December and now make  also it improbable that his show was cancelled because of his December questioning. It is just possible that Morgan is about to be charged in relation to phone-hacking and that has promoted the CNN action

Operation Elveden, Piers Morgan, et al – The Metropolitan Police are struck dumb

To:

Chief Inspector Andy Dunn

Head of complaint support

Directorate of Professional Standards

Metropolitan Police

23rd Floor North

Empress State Building

Lillie Road

London SW6 ITR

CC 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

3 February 2014

Dear Mr Dunn,

More than a year has passed since I submitted evidence (on 21 January 2013)  to Operation Elveden concerning the illegal supply of information by the Metropolitan Police to the Daily Mirror, the perjury of Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards when giving evidence under oath to the Leveson Inquiry and the failure of Det Supt Jeff Curtis to investigate my original complaint..

The evidence included a letter from Piers Morgan when editor of the Daily Mirror to the PCC in which he admitted receiving information from the Met Police in circumstances which can only have been illegal. That letter alone is sufficient to charge  Morgan. Scandalously,  no investigation has  begun.

On 6th December you wrote to me asking for a recapitulation  of my complaints,  something that would have been unnecessary if you had read my initial submission to Elveden. Nonetheless, I provided you with the recapitulation (see below my email of 9th December ).  I am still waiting for a response to  that  email from you or anyone else within the Met Police.

The longer  the Met  delays making a decision, the deeper the hole the organisation is digging for itself.  If  there is a continuing refusal to investigate  Morgan et al,  the Met will simply make the hole deeper, for no disinterested party  is going to believe that an investigation should not have been made once they have seen the Morgan letter.  Because of that the Met needs for its own sake to supply me with a conclusive  answer very soon saying either an investigation has been started or that no investigation will be made. If it is the latter, I shall require a full explanation for the failure to investigate.

The reasons for the failure to begin an investigation  are plausibly (1) the  high profile nature of those accused and (2) the misconduct of police officers in dealing with my original complaint and the present complaint. Those reasons constitute both an attempt to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in a public office.  You might like to bear that in mind when considering your own position.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

—————————————————–

  • Today at 10:01 AM
To
  • anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk
Mr. Henderson,
Once again, I am sorry for the delay in letting you know what is happening. It has been decided that your complaint about the decision of Op. Elveden not to investigate your criminal allegations will be recorded and will be dealt with by DCI Tim Neligan, who is the Professional Standards Champion for DPS. I was waiting for the complaint to be formally recorded so I could give you the reference number but unfortunately there has been some confusion about the way it should be recorded, which I am in the process of sorting out.
I will ask DCI Neligan to contact you and will ensure you are given a reference number in due course.
Regards,
Andy Dunn.

 —————————————————–

The previous post on this subject :  

http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/operation-elveden-and-piers-morgan-the-metropolitan-police-commissioner-brought-into-play/

Click on Operation Elveden tag for all posts on this story.

Politically incorrect film reviews – Mandela: the long walk to freedom

Robert Henderson

Main cast Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela

Naomie Harris as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Tony Kgoroge as Walter Sisulu

Riaad Moosa as Ahmed Kathrada

Zolani Mkiva as Raymond Mhlaba

Simo Mogwaza as Andrew Mlangeni

Fana Mokoena as Govan Mbeki

Thapelo Mokoena as Elias Motsoaledi

Jamie Bartlett as James Gregory

Deon Lotz as Kobie Coetzee

Terry Pheto as Evelyn Mase

Dir: Justin Chadwick;

Cert 12A, 146 min

There are two films currently on release with a very high pc approbation quotient: 12 Years a Slave and Mandela: a long walk to freedom.  The latter  is a better film simply as a film, both because it had a male lead who imposes himself on the film and because it possesses something resembling a plot rather than a repetitive  series of  scenes of brutality and contempt being inflicted by whites on blacks.  But  being superior to 12 Years a Slave does not make it a good film let alone a great one and this Mandela biopic has serious flaws.

There are two ways to swatch a biopic: simply as a drama without worrying about its verisimilitude or to judge it as one would a documentary. This film   fails on both counts. As a drama it is too fragmented and lacking in action  to maintain  tension.  It is also  handicapped because  it  is difficult to view it as simply a drama when the person and events for which they are noted are so recent. Inevitably, it will be seen as a de facto documentary, but it fails to deserve that name because it is profoundly dishonest in its reporting of the facts.  More on that later.

The film starts  with two  considerable  dramatic disadvantages: the very long  period which it covers – even Mandela’s adulthood in the period covered by the film stretches over  more than 50 years –   made the film inescapably but unduly episodic  and the  27 years he spent in prison was a setting where there is limited scope to show Mandela doing very much.  The large cast also works  against character development other than that of Mandela. Even the depiction of Winnie Mandela is distinctly one-dimensional. There is also the problem of representing her as an irresistible beauty. She was not that even when young and the use of the considerably better looking Naomi Harris to represent her is a form of dishonesty because a good looking actress exhorting violence   will have a much less toxic effect  than a rather plain woman doing so.

Idris Elba as Mandela gives a strong performance judged simply as a character, but because of the inevitable documentary element his appearance does  present problems.  Because everyone knows what Mandela looked like and sounded like, it is difficult to shed the image of the real Mandela in the mind’s eye while watching Elba who  has no real facial similarity to the young Mandela, a fact made ever more obvious as their looks diverged with Mandela’s ageing in the film. By the time the real Mandela emerged from prison and was before the world’s cameras, his face had developed a curious Chinese look  and been drained of its robustness. All that was done, and perhaps all that could  done to age Elba, was to give him greying hair.

Then there was a question of physique and vitality.  Elba is a powerfully built man and although Mandela was no 7-stone weakling as a young man,  he was still substantially shorter (6’0” against Elba’s 6’3”) and much less heavily muscled than Elba.  That did  not matter so much in the scenes of Mandela’s youth, but it became ever more problematical as Mandela aged. By the time the scenes of  Mandela’s release arrived  Elba was still a hulking figure whereas the real Mandela at that age had become a rather physically frail figure.

The final problem of impersonation was that Elba caught Mandela’s voice as we know it from his time after his release quite well, but that did mean he was using  the voice of  Mandela as an old man throughout the film. (I did try to find a recording of Mandela  pre-imprisonment but was unable to do so).

But the main black mark against the film is that it is wilfully and widely dishonest. This turns it into nothing more than a propaganda vehicle.  The serious dishonesty consists of acts of omission. These are:

1. Mandela’s Marxism and membership of the South African Communist Party (SACP) is  not mentioned, nor is  the heavy influence of Communists within the SACP.

2. The brutal behaviour of the ANC members to both those, both within and without the party,  who fell out of favour with the ANC leadership,  either as the result of personal quarrels or because they were judged to be disloyal. Even a pro-ANC account admits there were considerable abuses (http://www.nelsonmandela.org/omalley/index.php/site/q/03lv02167/04lv02264/05lv02303/06lv02304/07lv02305/08lv02312.htm – see 6.3.3.2 onwards in particular).  This behaviour went unremarked.

3. Winnie Mandella’s glorying in the murder by torture that is “necklacing” is barely given a glance, with Mandela making a single reference to it in a scene with Winnie in which he simply says the necklacing must stop. There is precious little attention given to the practice in general. There  is one fleeting scene of someone being chased, caught, having  a tyre placed over his head, the tyre being soaked  with petrol and set alight.  The scene lasts a few seconds. There is no explanation of why the person is being murdered, who the person was and who was doing the killing. It was tokenism of the most extreme sort.

Winnie Mandela also had a nice line impersonal  intimidation and violence up to and including murder. She ran a bunch of thugs known as the Mandela Football team  and was convicted of  assault and kidnapping in 1991 after the death of ANC youth activist, Stompie Seipei Moeketsi.  The sentence was six years in prison initially but this was reduced to two years suspended on appeal.   There was no reference in the film  to either Stompie or her conviction. As for the Mandela Football Team, there was a  sentence or two in a scene when Mandela said the violence must stop – the same scene as the single reference to  necklacing by Mandela in  the film – but nothing else.  Mandela’s failure to condemn her behaviour for so long was represented as an understandable weakness of the heart rather than any indication of serious fault in Mandela.

4. The film runs to Mandela’s election to the Presidency in 1994. By that time he had shown a rather worrying fondness for unpleasant dictators such as Fidel Castro and Gaddafi. Such behaviour went unremarked.

5. Far too little  is made of Mandela’s womanising and the failure  of his first marriage to Evelyn Mase because of that and his placing of the ANC cause above his family.   There are a few rows, and one scene of what might be called domestic violence by Mandela, although that could be interpreted as self-defence, but the overall impression is that somehow the break-up was Mase’s fault, at least in part.  Nothing was said about the fact that Mandela left Mase to bring up three young children with precious little if any financial support from Mandela before he went into prison or the ANC after he was imprisoned.

Is this film  worth seeing? Certainly not on its own terms, for it is  not only dishonest but rather pedestrian.  Political animals may wish to see it to prime themselves on the extent that the politically correct myth  has overturned reality in the case of Mandela and how readily the mainstream film reviewers have bought into it.

 

NB Also published by the Quarterly Review in their new Perspectives film  section  - http://www.quarterly-review.org/?p=2356

 

 

A Diary of the Hutton Inquiry

It is ten years since the suspicious death of the British weapons expert Dr David Kelly who disagreed with the claims of the dossier used  by Tony Blair to justify committing the UK to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  His death has never been satisfactorily explained. The journalist Andrew Gilligan, who was a central figure in the furore over the Blair dossier’s claim that Saddam Hussein could have nuclear weapons in the air within 45 minutes has looked back at the years since Kelly’s death in a recent article:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10192271/The-betrayal-of-Dr-David-Kelly-10-years-on.html

I wrote the diary  below day by day during the Hutton Inquiry.  Particularly noteworthy are these general matters:

1. The frequent contradiction of evidence.

2. The eagerness of Kelly’s wife and daughter to support the suicide theory.

3. The thinness of the suicide theory.

4 No  public  enquiry has every fingered a  serving  PM  as  being seriously at fault.  That alone told you the Hutton inquiry would be  a charade.   Hutton’s willingness to sell-the-pass on honest enquiry  was confirmed  when  he failed to recall Blair for  re-examination  in  the second  half  of  the  hearing.  The failure  to  publish  the  further submissions    confirms Hutton’s tacit complicity in protecting  Blair.

Robert Henderson 2 August 2013

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

The Hutton Inquiry

Preliminary statement 1 8 2003

Lord Hutton opened the inquiry today, 1 August. He made a statement detailing  how  he  would proceed generally,  the  sequence  of  events leading  up to the inquiry and the detailed agenda of witness  hearing.

The main points are:

1. He and he alone will determine the way the inquiry is  conducted, citing Lord Scarman’s words in the 1974 Red lion disturbances inquiry.

2. He will hold public hearings except where national security prevents it.

3. A transcript of the   public hearings will be available to the public.

4. Lord Hutton delayed a decision on the issue of televising the proceedings until the inquiry reconvenes on 11 August.

5. Lord  Hutton  will allow cross-examination where  he deems it necessary.

6. Those called before the committee will be allowed to use legal representation.

7.  Lord  Hutton will call, amongst others,   Blair,  Straw,  Campbell, Hoon,  MoD civil servants,  BBC members including Gavin Davies  and  Dr Kelly’s widow to give evidence.

8. Lord Hutton has the post-mortem report compiled by a Dr Hunt.  This suggests  death was due to bleeding.  However,  it also  revealed  that Kelly  had  serious coronary disease and this may have  contributed  to the  speed of his death.  Intriguingly,  Kelly had four electrode  pads such  as  are  used  for  ECGs on his  chest  (I  have  ECGs  performed regularly. Occasionally the technician will forget to remove an odd pad but it is pretty rare.  Moreover,  if they do forget it is very obvious that they have done so – RH ).

9. Dr Kelly’s wrist was described as having several cuts and the watch had been taken after bleeding had begun. Dr Hunt, rather oddly, took this as an indication that it was suicide.

10. Lord Hutton will call both medical evidence on Dr Kelly’s physical state and psychiatric advice as to what his state of mind might have been.

11. Lord Hutton will seek details of what  religious tenets the Baha’i faith  might  have  which could have affected Dr  Kelly’s  attitude  to death.

12. Lord Hutton will consider submissions from anyone who thinks they have useful information to give. (This is my note taken directly from his broadcast address. RH)

-Note: I rang them today and attendance for the public is first come first served on the day. I know court 73. It is not large. There will be places reserved fro the  media, so public seats will be very limited.

No schedule of hearing dates is yet available.  RH

http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk

Hearing Dates

For public attendance enquiries, please contact the Hutton Inquiry team on 0207 855 5295 .

For Press attendance enquiries, please contact Mike Burrell on 0207 210 8692.

Unless otherwise noted all hearings will take place in Courtroom 73 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

At the opening of the Kelly Inquiry, Lord Hutton  stated that the four ECG electrode pads  found on Kelly’s chest had been placed there by the ambulance staff  who had attended the discovery of his body. They supposedly put them on the chest to allow them to test for any heart action.

So, we are asked to believe that it takes three weeks for this explanation to come to light  – surely the ambulance staff  would have come forward rapidly?  Moreover, would paramedics check for heart activity in this manner? Is it normal practice? Opinion in the main British ngs seems to be that it is within the competence of paramedics but not routine practice.  RH

Whose in for a grilling this week from the Hutton Inquiry ?

http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/

The inquiry does not sit on Fridays. Day 5 will be next Monday.  During WC 18 Aug  Alastair Campbell and Tom Kelly (No 10 spokesman  who called David Kelly a Walter Mitty) will appear. RH

THE INQUISITORIAL PHASE

WEEK  1

The Hutton Inquiry day 1 – 11  8 2003

At the opening of the Kelly Inquiry, Lord Hutton  stated that the four ECG electrode pads  found on Kelly’s chest had been placed there by the ambulance staff  who had attended the discovery of his body. They supposedly put them on the chest to allow them to test for any heart action.

So, we are asked to believe that it takes three weeks for this explanation to come to light  – surely the ambulance staff  would have come forward rapidly?  Moreover, would paramedics check for heart activity in this manner? Is it normal practice? Opinion in the main British ngs seems to be that it is within the competence of paramedics but not routine practice.

Two other important points.

(1) It was confirmed that  Kelly was a high level state employee who  was THE British expert in his field,  who had  top level  security clearance  and   who  worked  with the  security  services  of  various countries. Ergo, he had every reason both to know what the WMD evidence was and to have knowledge of intelligence service dissatisfaction with the dossier.

(2) he was a disappointed man who may well have felt moved to tell  the truth to Andrew Gilligan out of pique at what he saw was a lack  of official recognition. RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 2 – 12 9 2003

The BBC reporter, Andrew Gilligan, stood by his story that Kelly had raised  the subject of the dubious nature of some of  the  intelligence and the name of Campbell but admitted some of his language in one Today interview  was unfortunate – he  suggested that the government knew the 45-minute warning was wrong when it was merely dubious because it came from a single source.

The  Newsnight  reporter,   Susan  Watts,  also  gave  evidence   which supported Gilligan’s story in its main details,  the 45-minute  source, Campbell’s involvement etc.

Watts’ tape of her meeting with Kelly is to be broadcast to the Inquiry today. RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 3 – 13 9 2003

The main entertainment of the day was the Newsnight presenter Susan Watt’s  tape of a meeting she had had with Kelly. Unfortunately the tape was of poor quality  and even with technical enhancement was unclear in parts.

An  interesting  development  was   conflict  between  Watts  and   her employers  (the BBC).  The BBC had a transcript of the tape made  which Watts  was  not  satisfied with and she made  her  own  which  differed places  where she used “her recollection of the meeting”  to  “clarify” indistinct passages.

Watts  claimed that BBC management had tried to  pressurise her into massaging  her  story  to agree with Andrew  Gilligan’s   and  she  had refused   to   do  so.   (Interestingly,  Watts  has  her   own   legal representation at the hearing, reputedly paid for by the BBC).

Despite Watts claims about BBC management’s attempts to tailor her story, the odd thing was that the tape  essentially told the same story as Gilligan had told – Kelly is to heard saying that the British intelligence bods  are unhappy with the treatment of their material and that No 10 is the point at which it was  mistreated -  with the exception of claiming directly that Campbell had doctored the story.

Even here the difference is  less  than decisive.  On the tape Kelly is to  heard  saying  that  the NO 10 press  office  was  responsible  for altering  the dossier.  When Watts asks him if Campbell was involved, Kelly says he cannot say that but adds that  the No 10  press office is “Synonymous with Campbell” because he runs it.

Bizarrely,  Watts interprets  this as a clear statement  that  Campbell had  not  part  in altering the balance and tone of  the  dossier  with regard  to the 45-minute warning.  To  most people,  including me,  it looks  like a routine oblique finger-pointing at Campbell by  Kelly  “I can’t name him but nudge, nudge, wink, wink…”

Very odd behaviour by Watts, suggesting she had been got at by either the security services or NuLabcur.

The  question also has to be asked,  if the BBC did try to get  her  to massage  her  story,  why  on earth did  they  bother?  Her  story  and Gilligan’s  did not contradict one another in any fundamental  way  and her  tape   supported   Gilligan’s  on all the  major  points   of  his original story. RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 4 – 14 9 2003

The main interest  on day 4 was the involvement of the Government, MoD and by implication, the intelligence services, in exposing Kelly to public scrutiny.

The permanent under secretary at the MoD, Sir Kevin Tebbit, advised that Kelly appear only before the Commons Security and Intelligence committee – which meets in private – and not before the Foreign Affairs Committee which holds public hearings. He was overruled by Geoff Hoon, the Defence Minister.

Kelly  was  called to two internal MoD disciplinary  meetings.  At  the first  he  was “read the riot act” .  The second took  place  after  Blair wanted  a further examination of the  discrepancies  between Gilligan  and Kelly’s account of what was said.  Mr Velveteen’s  wishes were committed to paper in a letter from Sir David Omand,  the  Cabinet

Office  co-ordinator  of  intelligence.  At  the  disciplinary   second interview, Kelly was interviewed by the MoD head of personnel,  Richard Hatfield.

The head of the Joint Intelligence Committee , John Scarlett, wanted Kelly subjected to a “security-style” interview to “clarify” inconsistencies in Kelly’s remarks. This never took place. Kelly was told at his first disciplinary interview that if further details came out which contradicted his original story, he could face further disciplinary action. However, on 14 July, three days before Kelly’s death,  a friend of Kelly’s a  foreign office employee, Patrick Lamb,   phoned Kelly to assure him that his pension was safe and added “David, the worst is over. You have nothing to fear.

Kelly was receiving phone calls and emails from the MoD hierarchy right up to his death, including one from his line manager Brian Wells, after Kelly had gone for his final walk.   RH

Other Kelly news in the week:

The Kelly Inquest was resumed yesterday, 14 August, by the Oxfordshire coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, to hear medical evidence not available at the previous hearing.

An amended cause of death was submitted. This stated that Kelly’s death was from a  “massive haemorrhage”  from the left wrist, compounded by furred arteries, which Kelly probably did not know about. An overdose, but not a fatal one, of co-proxamol was found in his body.

One can understand that tests for drugs would take time, but why would death through massive haemorrhaging not have been immediately obvious from the post mortem?

Also, how likely is massive haemorrhaging likely to take place from a cut to a single wrist? RH

——————————————–

WEEK 2

Monday, 18 August

Pam Teare Ministry of Defence Press Office

Jonathan Powell Prime Minister’s Office

David Manning Prime Minister’s Office

Tuesday, 19 August

Alastair Campbell  Prime Minister’s Office

David Manning Prime Minister’s Office

Wednesday, 20 August

Sir Kevin Tebbit Ministry of Defence

Godric Smith Prime Minister’s Press Office

Tom Kelly Prime Minister’s Press Office

Thursday, 21 August

Donald Anderson MP Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Nick Rufford Sunday Times, journalist

James Blitz Financial Times, journalist

Richard Norton-Taylor Guardian, journalist

Tom Baldwin The Times, journalist

Lee Hughes Hutton Inquiry Secretariat

The Hutton Inquiry Day 5 -  18 8 2003

– Jonathan Powell, Blair’s  chief of staff appeared, Sir David Manning,  Blair’s chief foreign policy advisor and Pam Teare, MoD director of news, appeared.  Main points:

1.  Powell admitted no consideration was given to  the effect on  Kelly on being forced into the public fold – failure of an employer’s duty of care.

2. An email sent by Powell  before the  Sept 2002 dossier was published and referring to an earlier draft, ran: “The  document does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.

In other words it shows he has the means but it does not demonstrate he has the motive to attack his neighbours, let alone the West.”  Clear evidence that the original draft was altered to demonstrate a political point rather than an interpretation of the raw intelligence.

3. On Sept 5 2002 Alastair Campbell chaired a meeting of the Iraq Communications  Group.  Afterwards Powell emailed Campbell asking  what was going on. Campbell replied: “Re dossier, substantial rewrite,  with JS  [John  Scarlett,  chairman of JIC] and Julian M [Miller ,  head  of Cabinet  Office  Assessment staff] in charge…Structure  as  per  TB’s[Tony Blair's] discussion.”

4. On July 7 2003 Balir  called a meeting of Sir David Manning, Sir Kevin Tebbit (MoD permanent Secretary), John Scarlett (chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee), Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary), Alistair Campbell, Jonathan Powell and others to discuss the matter.

5.Blair  was concerned about Kelly might say before the committee, ie that he would say something at odds with the official Government  line on the dossier -  Powell: “The Prime Minister asked what do we know of Dr Kelly’s views on weapons of mass destruction?” Kelly was probably only allowed to go to the FAC after Balir  had been reassured that Kelly was a supporter of the invasion.

6.  An email from Tom Kelly, the No 10 press spokesman,  was introduced to the evidence.  It read ”  It is now a game of chicken with the  BBC. The only way they will shift is if they see the screw tightening.”

7. Kelly reviewed the final draft of the Sept 2002 dossier with defence intelligence staff.

8. Powell admitted that Kelly’s identification to the media was done to disprove the BBC story. At the time  Blair and co.  were unaware of Kelly’s   deep  involvement in the intelligence side of the  dossier.

Because of this No 10 believed exposing Kelly would discredit  Gilligan as  Kelly could not possibly have known what the dossier  contained  or the  disputes which had arisen between the intelligence people  and  No 10.  If true,  it reveals an incredible ineptitude by Blair and co.  in not establishing Kelly’s true status and knowledge before throwing him to the media.

Further material:

From:  Jonathan Powell

Sent:  17 September 2002 19.41

To:  Scarlett John – SEC – A

Cc:  Alastair Campbell; David Manning

Subject:  Dossier

The  dossier  is good and convincing for those who are prepared  to  be convinced.  I have only three points,  none of which affect the way the document is drafted and presented.  First the document does nothing  to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat to Saddam.

In other words it shows he has the means but it does not demonstrate he has  the  motive to attack his neighbours let alone the west.  We  will need  to make it clear in launching the document that we do  not  claim that  we have evidence that he is an imminent threat.  The case we  are making  is that he has continued to develop WMD since 1998,  and is  in breach  of  the  UN resolutions. The  international  community  has  to enforce those resolutions if the UN is to be taken seriously. Second we will be asked about the connections with Al Que’ada.  (The next section is blanked out but seems to start with) The dossier says nothing  about those  and TB will need…?  ( it continues) Third,  if I was Saddam  I would take a party of western journalists to Ibn Sina factory or one of the  others  pictured in the document to demonstrate there  is  nothing there. How do we close off that avenue to him in advance.

———————-

Second email

———————-

From:  Jonathan Powell

Sent:  5 September 2002 14.41

To:  Alastair Campbell

Subject:  RE

what is the timing on preparation of it and publication? Will TB have something he can read on the plane to the US? —original message— From: Sandra Powell On Behalf Of Alastair Campbell

Sent:  5 September 2002 14.38

To:  Alastair Campbell

Subject:

Re dossier, substantial rewrite, with JS and Julian M in charge, which JS will take to US next Friday, and be in shape Monday thereafter.

Structure as per TB’s discussion. Agreement that there has to be real intelligence material in their presentation as such.

—original message—

From:  Jonathan Powell

Sent:  5 September 2002 13.50

To: Alastair Campbell

Subject:

( A blank section, then)

What did you decide on dossiers?

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 19 8 2003

The Inquiry  devoted  most the day to questioning  Alastair Campbell. Campbell’s performance can be summed up  as  er, didn’t see that… er can’t remember… er… if I’d known them what I know now… er… 1. References to dossiers in emails to Campbell, from Campbell, between other No 10 staff,  before a meeting  on 5 Sept 2002 between Campbell and various MoD and FO officials were, Campbell said, not references to drafts of the dossier but, wait for it, “documents”.

2.  At the meeting of 5 Sept 2002,  Campbell claims that it was decided to create a new dossier. Challenged by Lord Hutton – “It looks like a fairly detailed draft dossier [Mr Campbell]” – about his email to Jonathan Powell of 5 Sept that ran “Re dossier, substantial rewrite, with JS [John Scarlett, chairman of JIC] and Julian M [Miler, head of Cabinet  Office  Assessment staff] in charge…Structure  as  per  TB’s [Tony  Blair's] discussion…”  Campbell replied “I don’t  recall  this document  forming a substantial part of our discussions [on  writing  a new dossier].  In other words, a an earlier draft dossier did exist and Campbell must have had sight of it.

3. Various emails relating to the early drafts of the dossier  were introduced into the evidence,  for example,  an email from David Pruce, an FO press officer working in no 10, called for the dossier to be “personalised” and concentrate on Saddam Hussein. In another mail to Philip Bassett, a special adviser in Downing Street, Pruce  wrote ” I think we are in a lot of trouble as this stands.” Campbell claimed that he had either not seen  the emails or they were disregarded because the people sending them were acting above their station.

4. A week before publication, Campbell asked the Joint Intelligence Committee for 15 changes to the re-written dossier.  The JIC accepted some and refused others. The question has to be asked, if intelligence is to be trusted, why should politicians and their creatures have any influence into its presentation?

5. Campbell admitted that it was in his interest for Kelly to have been identified.

6.  Campbell said that with out old friend hindsight things could have been handled better in presenting Kelly to the media.

7. Campbell claimed that Blair had told him to “stand back” from the question of what to do about Kelly after Kelly had admitted that he might be Gilligan’s source.

8.  An email from the BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan to a Lib Dem  member of  the  Foreign  Office  select  committee,  David  Chidgey,   MP  for Eastleigh,  has come to light.  This suggested that Chidgey  ask  Kelly certain  questions  when he appeared before  the  committee,  including Kelly’s assessment of the threat  from Iraq saying with Gilligan saying that  :   “If  [Kelly  is]  allowed  to  answer  frankly  it  will   be devastating.”  RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry Day 7  20 8 2003

No 10 mediafolk Tom Kelly and Godric Smith official (title: The Prime Ministers   Official  Spokesman)   and  Sir  Kevin  Tebbit,   permanent secretary at the MoD, provided the main entertainment of the day.

Tom Kelly

1. Kelly was the No 10 creature who called David Kelly a “Walter Mitty fantasist”.  Asked why he had described him so, Kelly said: “it was a mistake to be sucked into that conversation  in that climate.” Not ashamed or morally wrong, but simply an error of tactics. Kelly claimed he had been speaking off the record.

2. Asked if he was trying to plant an impression in journalists minds, Kelly said:” I wanted journalists to be aware of possible questions and issues from the government’s perspective.”

Godric Smith (Smith has already announced that he would be leaving No 10′s employment before the Kelly story broke).

1. Smith related how he had overheard a conversation between Alastair Campbell  and the defence secretary Geoff Hoon (on speaker phone) in which Campbell suggested that  “the news that an individual had come forward who could be  the possible source be given that evening  to one paper”.  This rather destroys Campbell’s claim in evidence yesterday that he had kept well away from the Kelly affair on Blair’s orders.

2. Asked why drafts of the Sept 2002 dossier had landed on the desks of relatively junior press officers when it was supposedly “owned” by the intelligence services, Smith said “It is not unknown fro drafts of documents to be circulated”.  Compare this with Campbell’s assertion that the oversight of the dossier was kept within senior advisors and civil servants.

Sir Kevin Tebbit

1. Tebbit confirmed that  Geoff Hoon had overridden his wish to keep away from the Foreign Affairs select committee. On being asked how he felt about it, Sir Kevin replied: ” I acquiesced. It’s perfectly reasonable for ministers to decide who appears before  committees, not for officials. That was the secretary of state’s prerogative and I accepted that.”

2. Tebbit advised ministers that Kelly should not be treated as a “windfall bonus”.

3. Lord Hutton asked why, after the Foreign Affairs committee had exonerated Campbell  of the charge of deliberately putting in false

evidence and the BBC  had accepted that Campbell had not done so,  that it  was necessary to expose Kelly to public view.  Sir  Kevin  replied: “The pressure and strain issue was not one we were aware of in the sense you are implying,” A clear failure of an employer’s duty of care.

4. Sir Kevin said that he had had no input into the dossier whatsoever, an amazing thing if true as he is in charge of the MoD.  Taking his statement as true, it means the dossier responsibility  was kept strictly within No 10 and the intelligence agencies.

Other news

Documents released by the Inquiry yesterday showed that Campbell had urged a change to the text of the “45-minute warning”, changing a “may” to an “are” in the original se text.  The change was ostensibly to ensure that the summary and the main text agreed in sentiment.  Compare this  with  his  claim  to  the  Inquiry  that  he  had  no   influence “whatsoever” in the wording of the claim of 45 minutes deployment.

The Foreign Affairs committee have also complained that Campbell only mention  11  of  his   15 suggested  changes to  the  dossier  when  he appeared before them. RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry days  8 – 22 August 2003

The main players were Donald Anderson, the chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) and a surprise witness, David Broucher, a British FO diplomat who is Britain’s permanent representative to the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva, an ambassador rank posting.

Donald Anderson

1. Anderson said that his instincts were against calling Kelly at all because he did not want to get involved in the dispute between the Government and the BBC. He agreed that  Kelly should appear after Blair and Campbell made it clear they were determined he should appear.

2. Anderson revealed that the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon had imposed conditions on the questions David Kelly  could be asked if he appeared before the FAC. These included the issue of Iraq’s WMDs. Anderson said that he agreed to the request because he thought it reasonable and also feared Kelly would not be allowed to appear at all if he refused Hoon’s request.

3. Anderson claimed that the briefing of an FAC member (David Chidgey) by Gilligan was “unusual and unprecedented” (Chortle). 4. Anderson said that he though the interviewing of Kelly by the committee had been fair overall.

David Broucher

1.  Broucher  met David Kelly in February 2003 before the  decision  to go to war had been officially made. 2.  Broucher  said that at that meeting Kelly ,  far  from  being  100% behind the war as previously claimed,   was seriously disturbed by  the prospect of war.

3. Broucher said Kelly had been telling Iraqi contacts working for Saddam  Hussein that if  they persuaded Hussein  to cooperate  with the weapons inspectors then no invasion would take place. By February Kelly doubted this and feared he would had put his contacts at risk if and when an invasion occurred because Hussein would see them as traitors.

4. Just before the end of their meeting Broucher asked Kelly what he thought would happen if an invasion took place. Kelly replied ” I will probably be found dead in the woods”.  Broucher said he took it as a throwaway  remark  and  thought  little of it,  thinking  if  it  meant anything Kelly feared reprisals by Iraqis against him. Broucher did not mention  it to anyone else at the time,  and only revealed it  to  the Inquiry recently – see email at the bottom of the post.

Assuming Broucher is telling the truth, and there is no obvious reason why  he  should not be,  what are we to make of Kelly’s  statement?  It could  be  indicative  of   either a deep  feeling  of  pending   moral betrayal  by  Kelly  of  his Iraqi  contacts,  he  could,  as  Broucher surmised,  be  afraid of reprisals in the event of an invasion   or  it could simply be a flip remark without Kelly meaning anything serious by it.

If Kelly was in a  suicidal mood or feared for his life from Iraqi  before he became embroiled in the Gilligan affair, he both resisted the urge to kill himself and had the reassurance of not having been attacked for months after the invasion. The suicide and fear  would surely have been diminishing if they existed at all. So,  why would he kill himself in July after he had ostensibly got through the worst of whatever would happen to him? The answer may lie in the “dark actors”

Kelly referred to shortly before his death. Could he have been threatened  by  someone  representing the British state  or  a  foreign power?

Other points

The second  page of Gilligan’s email to LibDem MP David Chidgey   was released. It showed Gilligan trying to steer Chidgey away from Kelly as his source.

David Broucher’s memo to FCO

Text of ‘death in woods’ e-mail

This is the text of an e-mail sent by senior diplomat David Broucher to Patrick   Lamb,  deputy head of counter-proliferation  at  the  Foreign Office on 5 August,  2003, marked confidential and personal.

Patrick,

Is the FCO preparing evidence for the Hutton Inquiry? If so, I may have something relevant to contribute that I have been straining to recover from a  very deep memory hole.

In  a  conversation  in Geneva which took place in  late  February,  he explained to me that he thought that the weapons inspectors could  have a good idea what  the  Iraqis had built and destroyed because they were inveterate keepers of written  records, something they had, he thought, learnt  from  us.  There was a paper file on  everything  down  to  the smallest item.

He said that his Iraqi contacts had pointed out to him that revealing too  much  about their state of readiness might well heighten the  risk that they would be attacked. To gain their trust he had been obliged to assure them that if they  complied with the weapons inspectors’ demands they would not be.

The implication was that if an invasion went ahead that would make  him a liar and he would have betrayed his contacts,  some of whom might  be killed  as a  direct result of his actions.  I asked what would  happen then  and  he replied in a  throwaway line he would probably  be  found dead in the woods.

I did not think much of this at the time, taking it to be a hint that the Iraqis might try and take revenge against him,  something that  did not  seem  at  all  fanciful then.  I now see that  he  may  have  been thinking on rather different  lines.

This aspect has not come out at all in the press, though for all I know it  may  be common knowledge amongst his colleagues,  in which case  my contribution would add nothing. But if it is a new thought,  perhaps it should be fed in.

——————————————–

WEEK 3

The Hutton Inquiry day 9 -  25 August 2003

The  Joint  Intelligence  Committee  (JIC)  chairman,   John  Scarlett, provided  the  main event of the day.  Labour MP  Andrew  Mackinlay,  a Foreign  Affairs  Committee (FAC)  member,  and Sir David Omand  of  the cabinet office also appeared.

John Scarlett

Note:  Scarlett’s   evidence  should  be read  in  the  knowledge  that Alastair Campbell described him to the inquiry as “a mate”.   It should also be remembered that Scarlett is a senior civil servant. Such people do not rise to their positions unless they are thought to be compliant personalities  as  far as politicians are concerned.  The  Yes  Minster  portrayal  of   politicians being terrified of civil  servants  is  the exact reverse of the truth. (I write as an ex-head office civil servant in one of the largest departments). Newspaper reports also describe Scarlett as being very close to Blair and  being a “moderniser” within MI6 when he worked there.  (Moderniser = Blairite)

Scarlett’s approach to the Inquiry is essentially keep repeating the mantra “I was placed under no pressure by No 10″ whilst conveniently forgetting evidence to contrary.

1.  Scarlett  denied  feeling any pressure from No  10  to  alter   the wording of the Sept 2002 dossier.

2.  The Inquiry’s chief counsel,  James Dingemans QC,  referred  to  an email  sent  by  an (unnamed) member of  Scarlett’s  staff  which  ran: “Unsurprisingly, they [No10] have further questions and answers they want expanded… No 10 wants the document to be as strong as possible…”   Scarlett denied that this was pressure on intelligence services to come up with  something good.

3. Scarlett claimed he found it “quite useful to have presentational advice” from various Whitehall press officers such as John Williams, head of the FCO press office.

4. Alastair Campbell has told the inquiry that with regard to the 45 minute WMD claim,   he had “No input, output  or influence at any stage of the process” . Scarlett contradicted this by admitting that a memo from Campbell on 17 Sept 2003 – seven days  before the dossier was published – amounted to requests for changes such as changing the use may  in the sentence “the Iraqi military may be able to deploy chemical or biological weapons with 45 minutes”. Scarlett  replied the next day to Campbell saying the language had been “tightened”.  Scarlett denied that such changes were more than presentational and fell into the realm of intelligence assessment.

5.  Scarlett received several more emails from Campbell with further suggestions. 6. The 45 minute claim first appeared in an intelligence assessment from MI6 on 30 August and appeared first in dossier in the draft of 5 Sept 2003, ie before Alastair Campbell denies seeing any form of the dossier.

7. In the published dossier the 45-minute claim was unqualified stating that the Iraqi military “are able to deploy chemical and biological weapons with 45 minutes of an order to do so.”

8. Scarlett denied that there had been any dissent  within “the intelligence community” over the dossier  despite the claim by a former JIC head, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, that the dossier had caused “turbulence” within intelligence circles.

9. During his questioning, reference was made to a Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) meeting to discuss the strong terms in which an early draft was  couched.   David Kelly attended that meeting  which  supports  his claim to have inside and detailed knowledge of the dossier  development and the opinion of intelligence officers of the dossier and the way  it was being changed.   Kelly;s involvement at such a high level conflicts with Scarlett’s  claim that Kelly could not have given the information Gilligan claims he gave.

Andrew MacKinlay

1. Mackinlay  was the MP who described Kelly as “chaff” at his  FAC appearance.

2.  MacKinlay defended  his  aggressive FAC questioning  because  Kelly was prevaricating.

3.  MacKinlay described Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon’s  restriction  on what could be asked of Kelly  by the FAC as ” monumental cheek”.

4. He criticised Gilligan’s contact with a FAC member to influence him in his questioning of Kelly.

Sir David Omand

1. Omand revealed that Geoff Hoon had originally wanted Kelly to appear before the Commons  security and intelligence committee in public session, a procedure absolutely out of the ordinary for this committee which almost invariably sits in camera.

2. Omand admitted that the MoD owed Kelly a duty of care as their employee.

What has the Inquiry shown so far?

1.  The complete absence of cabinet involvement in either  the  dossier

or

the Kelly affair before his death.

2. Blair’s utter reliance on an unelected circle of favourites.

3. No  obvious trigger for Kelly to kill himself has emerged.

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 10 – 27 8 2003

The Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon provided the main entertainment of the day.  Having  arrived  to a crowd of demonstrators  outside  the  Royal Courts of Justice singing “You ain’t nothing but a Hoondog,  lyin’  all the  time”,   Hoon  proceeded  to  unwittingly  engage  in   the   most excoriating  exercise in self humiliation as he comprehensively  denied having  any  meaningful  function within either the Government  or  the ministry of which he is supposed to be in  charge.  His performance can be summed up as “I am a British cabinet minister… I know nothing”.

Others to appear were  a friend and work colleague, Wing-Commander John Clark and a Labour MP, Ann Taylor, who is a member of the Commons Intelligence and Security committee to which David Kelly gave evidence in camera.

Geoff Hoon

1. Hoon said that he had first learned of Kelly’s name on 4 July from Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD.

2. Hoon claimed that he had not wanted to name Kelly before it was certain that he was the BBC source and that was not certain until after Kelly’s death.

3. Hoon said that the only person outside government to whom he had revealed the name was the chairman of the BBC,  Gavyn Davies, and that revelation was

4. Hoon denied he was involved in a proposal by Alastair Campbell to leak  Kelly’s name to the media. Godric Smith gave evidence that he had overheard  a conversation on speakerphone between Campbell  and Hoon in which Campbell suggested leaking to a paper.

5. Hoon denied he had been involved in  the MoD decision to interview Kelly after he had admitted talking to Gilligan.

6. Hoon claimed that the decision to issue a public statement revealing that an unnamed civil servant had been identified as the BBC source was made in Downing St and the Cabinet Office.

7. Hoon denied that as far as he was concerned, “there was some sort of conspiracy, some sort of plan, some sort of plan to covertly make his [Kelly's] name known [to the media]“.

8. Hoon claimed that he had not seen the instructions issued to MoD press  officers   instructing them to confirm a name if it was  put  to them by the media,  although under questioning  he admitted knowing  of its existence; “I was obviously aware of the advice that I had received that  if the right name was given to the MoD press office  they  should confirm it”.

9. Hoon admitted he had overridden the advice of the MoD permanent secretary, Sir Kevin Tebbit, that Kelly should not give evidence in public before the Foreign Affairs Committee, but, bizarrely, tried to evade responsibility by saying that his private secretary. Peter Watkins,  had written the letter overruling Tebbit, not Hoon himself.

John Clark

1. Clark shared an office with Kelly at the MoD. He is an expert in counter  proliferation and arms control.  He described Kelly  as  being THE EXPERT when it came to understanding Iraq’s WMD status.

2. Clark said  that Kelly  had not, as Downing Street and the MoD claimed, resigned to his name being made public.

3. Clark said that Kelly was much disturbed by having to appear before TV cameras.

4. Clark said that the Kelly’s were  greatly unsettled by  the media attention which forced them to flee to Cornwall.

5. Clark said that even after Kelly’s  appearances before the Commons committees, he [Clark] and other MoD officials were forced to harry

Kelly  with further questions  sent to them by the Foreign Affairs Committee.

6. Clark said that Kelly was utterly thrown by the FAC question about the Newsnight  journalist, Susan Watts, because he had not expected her name to come up.

Ann Taylor

1. Taylor said that in evidence given in camera to the Intelligence and Security Select Committee, “He [Kelly] did describe the dossier as accurate  – as a fair reflection of the intelligence available at the time.” RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 11 -  28 8 2003

The appearance of  Tony Blair and  Gavyn Davies (BBC Chairman)

Tony Blair

Balir arrived with his usual small  army of bodyguards in a bullet-proof car (very wise) and passed a group of demonstrators with a tasteful array of Blair  masks with Pinocchio noses and BLIAR placards.

His evidence is best  summed  up as  “I take full responsibility for everything  but none of it was my fault. “

1. Blair gave evidence for two and a half hours.  His answers showed he had been intimately involved in the strategy to deal with the Kelly affair after Kelly admitted he had spoken to Andrew Gilligan – Blair convened at least 3 meetings   in four days of senior defence and intelligence staff to deal with the matter.   Compare this with http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=438133

“Just over five weeks ago, on learning of Dr Kelly’s apparent suicide during  an  official  flight  from Shanghai to  Hong  Kong,  the  Prime Minister had  “categorically” and “emphatically” denied he had played a part in revealing  the scientist’s name…

“But the Prime Minister, under questioning, conceded that no one was even  present from the MoD at a crucial meeting on 8 July, chaired by him, in which the decision was taken to issue a statement about a civil servant  coming forward as Mr Gilligan’s contact. He also acknowledged there was no such thing as “normal MoD procedure” in this unusual situation.”

2. Bizarrely, Blair claimed that the MoD had been left in charge of dealing  with  Kelly  while  admitting  that  he  had  been  intimately involved.

3. Blair claimed that Kelly’s name would have come out regardless. This is nonsense. Had Kelly kept quiet, Gilligan would have done and nothing could have been established. Had the MoD and No 10 kept quiet after Kelly came forward (I have my doubts whether he did this – I suspect he was  already  under  surveillance and  suspicion  by  Special  Branch), Gilligan  would  have kept quiet and no one outside  Government   would have known Kelly was involved.

4. Blair said the Sept 2002 dossier was produced after he had spoken with Bush about Iraq and they had decided “something must be done”.

5. Blair had the same  memory lapses as Campbell, Hoon et al. He had no recollection of seeing any draft dossier before  10 Sept. He had no recollection of John Scarlett (JIC chairman) wanting Kelly to be subjected to a “security interview”. He had no knowledge of any scheme to leak Kelly’s name to the media. In fact he could remember precious little of anything which happened.

6. Blair denied categorically that he or anyone else in NO10 had inserted the “45 minutes” notice of biological and chemical attack into the Sept 2002 dossier.

7. Blair said that if the charge of tampering with intelligence, in particular the 45-minute charge,  to justify action against Iraq  had been true he would have had to resign because it was “an attack that went to the heart of the office of prime minister, but also …to the credibility of the country.” (Note to  Mr Velveteen: you must resign immediately because this has been objectively  established).

8. Blair claimed the  dossier did not make the case for war but merely laid out the then position regarding Iraq’s WMDs.

9.  On  four  occasions Blair he said  he  took  “full  responsibility” without saying what it was exactly he took full responsibility for, but claimed  that all the decisions  he was responsible for were the  right decisions:  “I take full responsibility for the decisions…I stand  by them; I believe they were the right decisions.” (I suggest readers have a quick lie down after reading that).

10. Blair admitted he was the first person to  tell someone in Government that  a  source had come forward when he spoke to Gavyn  Davies.  Blair said that he felt that the only way to resolve the dispute with the BBC was for the BBC to issue “a clear and unequivocal# statement that the original story was wrong.

11. Blair was disconcerted by an email sent by Godric Smith, his official spokesmen, to his private secretary, Clare Sumner on 9 July, the day after the MoD had announced it had identified the possible source of Gilligan’s story. . Miss Sumner claimed that she had not opened the email until w/c 18 Aug. The purpose of the email appeared to be to instruct Labour members of the FAC to insist  David Kelly appeared. The text of the email runs:

“In the light of the new evidence from the MoD last night and the BBC’s own statement in response we believe we need to see AG [Andrew Gilligan], RS [Richard Sambrook, the BBC news chief] and source.

“If the individual who has come forward is the same source as the BBC source then we know he is not a senior intelligence source, which we believe could be material to our inquiry.

“”AG  said in answer to John Maples [a tory on the committee]  that  he had  only discussed the WMD dossier with one source before   the  story was  broadcast.  We  now  know from the MoD  statement  that,  if  this individual  is not the source,  that statement cannot be correct.  This too could be material to our inquiry.”

There  was  no indication on the email to whom it had been  sent  apart from Miss Sumner,  but the wording is clearly intended to give the  FAC reasons to call Kelly. Blair denied any knowledge of the  email.

Gavyn Davies

1. Davies apologised for the conduct of Andrew Gilligan in suggesting questions to a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.  The matter  is to be referred to the BBC board of governors.

2. Davies said it was wrong for a journalist to reveal a source of another  journalist’s  work  as  Gilligan  appeared  to  have  done  by revealing Kelly’s link with Susan Watts, the BBC Newsnight presenter, in his email to  a Lib Dem research assistant  who passed the information to Lib Dem MP, David Chidgey. Davies offered a partial excuse for Gilligan’s behaviour by saying that Gilligan was under great pressure and thought the  FAC was trying to discredit him as a journalist.

3. Davies blamed Alastair Campbell for keeping the story running and expanding it with his belligerent appearance before the FAC.

4. Describing his phone call with Blair on 7 July, Davies said that Blair wanted to come to an agreement with the BBC to lower the temperature. This did not happen because the BBC stood by Gilligan.

5. Davies said it was reasonable for the BBC to report a source who was trusted on the basis that it was simply their opinion and not that of the BBC.

6. Davies accepted that Gilligan had made a mistake in his first broadcast  of 29 May when he claimed that the Government  had  inserted the  45-minute claim into the dossier.  Asked by Lord Hutton   why  the BBC had not offered a qualified withdrawal,  Davies replied that it was up to people to make their assessment of what was said.

7. Davies said that Gilligan reporting style was one written in primary colours not in shades of grey.

8. Davies did make a reasonably convincing display of regret at Kelly’s death, unlike anyone on the NuLabcur side to date. RH

——————————————–

WEEK 4

The Hutton Inquiry – Day 12 – 1 9 2003

The  day  was  taken up by David Kelly’s widow,  Janice,  58,  daughter Rachel  and sister,  Mrs Sarah Pope.   Mrs Kelly and Rachel gave  their evidence via audiolink.

Janice Kelly

I.  Mrs Kelly said that it was part of her husband’s job to talk to the media.

2.   Mrs Kelly noticed a change in her husband’s behaviour towards  the end   June – the same time when he began to suspect people  thought  he was  Gilligan’s source.  (It is worth noting that  Kelly’s   subsequent claim  that Gilligan’s report bore little relationship to what  he  had told him  sits ill with the suspicion that he was being fingered as the source.  After all, if he had merely given Gilligan innocuous technical information,  why would Kelly have been suspected or thought himself to be suspected?).  Eventually,  Kelly told his wife  one evening that  he was going for a walk to “think something through”.  Soon after he  made his admission to the MoD.

3.   Mrs Kelly contradicted the claim put out by both No 10,  Blair and the MOD,  that Kelly expected to identified. According to Mrs Kelly the first  he suspected it was when he heard on the TV news of 8 July  that the  MoD  had  admitted that someone had  come  forward  as  Gilligan’s source.   Kelly told his wife at that point that he was the person  who had come forward.

Mrs Kelly asked whether his job or pension were threatened.  Kelly said they could be if things got worse. Note:  Kelly was told before he died that his pension was safe.

4.   On 9 July,  a Sunday Times journalist Nick Rufford  visited  their home.   He  spent  four or five minutes with Kelly  before  Kelly  said “Please leave now”.  Kelly then told his wife that Rufford had told him his name was about to be made public and the media would be  on the way en  masse.    Kelly   then  said  Rupert  Murdoch  had  offered   hotel accommodation   for the Kellys away from the then media if Kelly  would write  an  article for them.  Rufford subsequently wrote up  his  brief meeting with Kelly as a full blown interview.  Kelly commented: “Thanks Nick,  the  MoD will think I have been talking to the  papers  after  I expressly said I wouldn’t.”

5. Mrs Kelly said that the first Kelly had known of his name being made public was when Rufford  told him.   The first he knew of the MoD press statement was after the event.

6.  The MoD then rang and told them to leave in five minutes. They left within ten minutes and went to a hotel in Weston-Super-Mare. At no time did the MoD provide them with any active support.

7.   Mrs Kelly said that her husband had felt “let down”:  “He told  me several times that he felt totally let down and betrayed … by the way the  MoD  had  let his name be known.”  Note:  we  know  from  previous evidence   that the MoD  wanted to keep Kelly’s name out the media  but were overridden by No  Blair.

8.  Mrs Kelly described how, after Kelly’s name came out,   he appeared more and more unhappy and “diminished”. He was not only angry about his “outing”  by the MoD but regarded his description  as a middle  ranking civil servant as demeaning.

9.  Mrs Kelly said that on the day of his death,  17 July,  David Kelly worked  in  study  until the early afternoon.  Mrs Kelly  said  he  was subdued  and looked “wretched”…I just thought he had a broken heart ,  he  had  shrunken  into  himself.    He  couldn’t  put  two  sentences together”.

Note: I wonder if I am alone in finding the evidence of Mrs Kelly and her daughter a little Mills and Boonish?

10.  The police informed her of Kelly’s death on the 18 July and showed her  a photocopy of a knife which she identified as an old  Boy  Scouts knife he had had since childhood.

Rachel Kelly

1.  Rachel  said  that  her  father  was  “really  very,  very   deeply traumatised by the fact that [it] would be televised. It was playing onhis  mind.”    When he arrived at her house the day before he  appeared the  Commons committee  she could “see in his face [that] there  was  a lot of distress and anxiety…  he seemed childlike and I was conscious that our roles had reversed, he needed me to look after him.”

2.  Rachel said that when she saw her father  on 15 July soon after  he had  given his evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs (FAC)  Committee he  was  angry at his treatment describing one of the  MPs  -  probably Andrew MacKinlay who accused him of being a “fall guy” and “chaff” – as “an utter bastard”  for the manner in which he had asked his questions. All  he would say generally about the experience was that it was  “very hard”   and blame himself for memory failures.

3.  Rachel said  that  her father  expressed incredulity at  Gilligan’s report being based on what he had told him. Here we know, from the tape made by the Newsnight reporter, Susan Watts,  that Kelly lied,  just as he  lied to the FAC.   Doubtless he was trying  to create a  protective fictional shell to protect himself, both emotionally and to sustain the story he had told since his admission to his MoD line manager onwards.

3. Rachel described how her father had been rather thrown by the change in his schedule in the Commons.  He was scheduled to appear before  the Intelligence  and  Security  committee (ISC) in camera  before  the  FAC public hearing and had hoped to use the ISC appearance as a dry run for the FAC.  In the event the ISC meeting was put back until the following day  and  Kelly had to go before the cameras with the FAC  without  any “practise”.

Sarah Pope

1.  Mrs Pope said  that David Kelly had,  a  ten years or so after  the event,   given  her  some  sketchy  details  of  his  debriefing  of  a biological weapons expert,  a task Mrs Pope suggested which would  only have been given to someone who was absolutely trusted.

2.   Mrs  Pope pointed to  a possible discrepancy between  the  British Diplomat, David Broucher’s recollection of his meeting with David Kelly at which he said Kelly had claimed that if the Iraq invasion went ahead he would be found dead in the woods. Broucher put this in February 2000.  Mrs Pope said that David Kelly’s diary put it a year earlier.

Further notes

1.  The painkillers found by Kelly were Mrs Kelly’s which she used  for her arthritis.

2.  Judging by a photograph published in the Daily Telegraph on 2 Sept, the  Kellys  own  a substantial detached house.  The  house  is  in  an expensive  area. It must be worth 500,000 plus. Hence, the Kellys were not without assets.

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry – Day 13 – 2 9 2003

A  medley of witnesses,  the main among them being Prof  Keith  Hawton, Professor of Psychiatry at Oxford University, Ruth Absolom, a neighbour who met him on his final walk,  Louise Holmes,  a volunteer dog handler in  the  local search and rescue team who found Kelly’s body,  Det  Sgt Geoffrey Webb of Thames Valley Police and Barney  Leith,  the secretary of the emanational Assembly of the Baha’i faith (in Britain).

Prof Keith Hawton

Note:  The kindest and most accurate  description of psychiatry is that it  is  institutionalised quackery.  As the psychologist  Hans  Eysenck never ceased to enjoy pointing out,  psychiatric treatment has no better record  in  curing  those with psychiatric  problems  than  the  simple passing of time,  ie, the evidence is that psychiatrists have no effect and  their claims of cures and alleviations are simply attributable  to the natural process of circumstances changing over time.

1.  Hawton claimed that Kelly’s death was almost certainly suicide:  “I am well-nigh certain.”

2.  Hawton believed the trigger for suicide was Kelly’s  sense of being publicly disgraced,  his fear of losing his job (he was very near civil service   retirement  age)  and the continuing pressure  he  was  being placed  under by the MoD to answer questions,  including  questions  by MPs.   On the day he vanished, he received an email from the MoD asking for  further  information  to answer a question from  the  Tory  Shadow Defence spokesman, Bernard Jenkin, about his links with the media.  Ask by counsel to the inquiry,  James Dingemans,    to describe the factors leading  to his death,  Hawton said: “The major factor was  the  severe loss  of self-esteem  resulting from his feeling that people  had  lost trust in him  and from his dismay at being exposed to the media.”

3.  Hawton said that Kelly had swallowed approximately  30  co-proxamol painkilling  tablets.

Note:  These are meant to his wife’s.  How many tablets did she normally have,  how many were left in the bottle  found by him  and how many would the bottle hold?

4. Hawton said a majority of suicides did not leave a suicide note.

5.  Hawton  claimed  that  a lay person would not  have  been  able  to anticipate Kelly’s suicide from his behaviour.

6. Faced with evidence such as Kelly’s arrangement with his daughter to meet  her on the 18 July and an emails sent at 11.18 am on the  day  of his disappearance which expressed optimism for the future,  Hawton said this pointed to Kelly’s decision to kill himself came late in the  day: “It is my opinion that it is likely that he formed the intention  either during  the morning,  or during the early part of the afternoon  before that walk.”   Dontcha just love the way psychiatrists fit the facts  to

their opinion?

Ruth Absolom

1. Absolom is the last  person known to have seen Kelly alive.

2. Absolom described Kelly as “his normal self”.

3.  “See  you again,  then Ruth”.  The last words of Kelly as  he  bade Absolom goodbye.

Louise Holmes

1.  Holmes said that her dog discovered Kelly shortly after 8am on the day  after his disappearance.   Note: This means the  paradmedics  must have seen Kelly’s body some time later. It is odds on that Kelly  would have killed himself before dark the previous day. If so,  he would have been  dead  for 12 hours or more by the time the  paramedics  saw  him.

Rigor mortis would have begun to set in. Why did the paramedics not see that he was obviously dead and put the ECG pads on him,  if indeed they did?

2. Holmes approached the body until she “stood within a few feet of the body…  He  was  at the base of a tree  with almost his  head  on  his shoulders,  just slumped back against the tree.  His legs were straight in front of his, his right arm was to the side of him, his left arm had a lot of blood on it and was bent back in a funny position.”

Note:  why the “funny” position?

3.  Holmes said that she was convinced the body was Kelly’s and that he was dead.

Note: compare this with the paramedics behaviour.

4.  Holmes checked for signs of life,  found none and the went back  to raise the alarm.  She estimates her time at the scene of death to  have been “probably a couple of minutes”.

5.  A  subsequent  police  search of the scene  revealed  a  flat  cap, glasses,  a wristwatch, a scout knife and a bottle of painkillers.  The police said there was no sign of a struggle.

Det Sgt Geoffrey Webb

1.  Webb interviewed the Kelly family before the body was found.:  “The Kelly family were very upbeat at that time.  They were hopeful that  no harm  had  come to Kelly  and genuinely believed that  perhaps  he  had become ill somewhere.”

Note:  compare this with the evidence yesterday

of Mrs Kelly and Rachel Kelly that David Kelly had been most  disturbed in the days leading up to his death.

2.  Webb told the Inquiry that a photograph dated to 1993 of  Dr  Kelly outside  the  parliament building in Moscow standing with  someone  who looked very like Andrew Gilligan was removed from Kelly’s study.

Note: if  it is Gilligan,  it would mean both Kelly and Gilligan  were  lying about how long they have known one another.  The BBC issued a statement on  Gilligan’s behalf (2 Sept)  saying that Gilligan had never been  in Moscow. No denial from Gilligan himself.

Barney Leith

1.  Leith  said that there was nothing in the Baha’i faith to encourage suicide.

Other notes

1.  Kelly was authorised to speak to the media but in theory only  with official permission.

2.   Kelly  began  “using  his  discretion”   to  speak  without  prior permission,  with the unofficial agreement of his bosses.  According to a  letter from one of Kelly’s line bosses, Patrick Lamb,  this  worked well until the past year, with Dr Kelly telling the Foreign Office (FO) press office about his   contacts after the event. By the beginning  of 2003  Kelly began talking to journalists without telling the  FO.   The MoD also complained that they were not in the picture.

3.  Kelly was only supposed to give technical information or  objective details about individuals engaged in the WMD world, ie,  what their job was.  Section  6  of  the  MoD personnel  manual,  under  the  heading “Principles governing disclosure of information” the manual states “You must  not  comment  on,  or  make  disclosure  of:  classified  or  ‘in confidence’   information;   relations  between  civil   servants   and ministers,  and  advice given to ministers,  politically  controversial issues…information that would conflict with MoD inter-state or  bring the  Civil Service into disrepute…anything that the MoD would  regard as objectionable about individuals or organisation.”  As the  Newsnight reporter, Susan Watt’s tape showed, Kelly had gone way beyond this.

4.  It follows from 3. that Kelly  clearly lied to his superiors in the MoD, the two Commons Committees he gave evidence to and his family.  It also  explains  why he was so disturbed the Foreign  Affairs  Committee member,  Andrew MacKinlay,  pressing him on his other contacts with the media.

5.  Kelly  denial of meeting another journalist,  Gavin  Hewitt,   also comes into the category of a lie.

6.  Kelly was receiving no medication from his GP,  who had very little contact with him in the past few years. No history of depression.

7.  An  unopened  letter  from the MoD’s  head  of  Personnel,  Richard Hatfield containing an official reprimand was found in Kelly’s home. It was sent some days before Kelly’s death. The police opened the letter.

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry – Day 14 – 3 9 2003

The  Inquiry  heard  evidence from Brian Jones,  the  recently  retired assistant  director  (nuclear,  chemical  biological)  in  the  Defence Analysis staff and a Mr A (The names A,  James A).  a chemical  weapons analyst  who  was  to chemical weapons what  Kelly  was  to  biological weapons.

Brian Jones

1. Jones said that David Kelly provided expert advice to his staff. He, Jones, had a friendly relationship with Kelly.

2.  Jones  said that the term WMD had become a  “convenient  catch-all” and that it was difficult describe most chemical and biological weapons were dubiously described as such.

3. Jones described disquiet within  his staff and other people involved in  intelligence gathering at the  way  the information supplied to  No

10   had  been  used.   He  described  the  use  of  the  material   as “over-egging”, ie the material was not invented but overemphasised.  As a regular visitor to the department, Kelly was aware of the disquiet.

4.  Jones said that reservations amongst his staff were not  heeded  by the JIC and left out of the dossier.   Jones said of   Mr A (see below) that    “He  was  very concerned that some of  the  statements  in  the dossier did not accurately represent his assessment of the intelligence available to him.”

5. Jones was so concerned at this failure to accept expert opinion that he  wrote  a  formal memo to the MoD’s  Defence   Intelligence  Service putting his disquiet on the record.

6.  Jones  contradicted  Alastair Campbell’s claim  that  he  had  only suggested presentational changes to the dossier.   He  said some of the changes  suggested by Campbell to John Scarlett,  the chairman  of  the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC),  such as the  successful request to strengthen  the  word  “may”  in the  45-minute  claim,  were  normally discussed  between intelligence staff:  “These are the kind  of  things which  we spend  hours  debating.  They are  very  important  in  this business.  The use of a might or a may does convey some uncertainty  in the information you are trying to present.”

7. Jones said that when he went on holiday in 2002  work on the dossier lacked urgency.  When he returned from  holiday on 30/8/02 he found the mood  had changed and it was all hands to the dossier wheel.  “”One  of the  first  things  that  my staff told me was  that  the  dossier  had suddenly become very active and that they had been very busy working on it,  looking at several drafts and responding to drafts in a very short timescale. It really had dominated their workload.”

8.  Jones said that Kelly was one of the first people he  saw  when  he returned from holiday. He asked Kelly his opinion of the dossier. Kelly said he “thought it was good”.

9.  Asked by James Dingemans, chief counsel to the inquiry, whether the extra  workload  had causes complaint amongst  his staff,  Jones  said: “There  was  certainly higher pressure than we normally relate  to  any particular  single piece of work.  My staff were being pressed  to  get their comments back to the assessment staff very quickly indeed.”

10.   Jones  said  neither  he  nor  his  director  had  seen  the  new intelligence  which  supposedly  backed up  the claim   that  Iraq  was producing  chemical and biological weapons.

11.   Jones said the 45-minute claim would have been acceptable to  him with the qualification “intelligence indicates”.

The  executive  summary  to the dossier said  that   the  weapons  “are deployable”. Jones  thought that was  “too strong.”

12.  Jones said he was aware that people within No 10′s  communications department were making suggestions about the dossier. Under  questioning  by Mr Dingemans, admitted that  pressure  had  been brought to bear by No 10.

13. Jones said that to the best of his knowledge the final draft of the dossier had not been discussed by the JIC.

Mr A

1. Mr A said he was a friend of Kelly.

2.  When he read the draft dossier  for the first time Mr A  concluded:  “There were errors of detail and errors of emphasis in my view.”

3.  Mr A was most disturbed by the inclusion of a chemical plant at  Al Qa’Qa which he did not view as a WMD threat.   Mr A was so disturbed by this  inclusion  that  he emailed Kelley on Sept,  the  day  after  the publication of the dossier saying”:  You will recall [blank - who  he?] admitting they were grasping at straws.  Another example supporting our view   that you and I should have been more involved in this  than  the spin  merchants  of this administration. Let’s hope  it  [the  dossier] turns into tomorrow’s chip wrappers.”

Further points

The  evidence  of  Jones and Mr A are utterly at odds with  the  No  10 version  of disquiet over the use of intelligence.    Blair  and  Straw before  the Foreign Affairs committee (FAC)  have denied  categorically that  they  were  aware of any dissent  from  within  the  intelligence services,   while   Alastair Campbell  told the FAC that   “I  remember being  called  out of a breakfast with the Prime  Minister  and  Polish prime  minister  because  I  had to speak  to  John  Scarlett  just  to absolutely  double/triple  check  there was nothing in  this  idea  the intelligence  agencies  were somehow unhappy with the  way  we  behaved during  the thing.  John said,  ‘Absolutely.  It is complete and  utter nonsense and you can say that with my  authority.’”

Scarlett  told  the   Inquiry a week later:  “I was not  aware  of  any unhappiness within the intelligence community about the contents of the dossier and the judgments we were making in it.”

However,  such denials are a little difficult to square with John Reid, the  then leader of the Commons, saying earlier this year that   “there have been uncorroborated briefings by a potentially rogue element -  or indeed  rogue  elements – in the intelligence services…  “I  find  it difficult to grasp why this should be believed against the word of  theBritish  Prime  Minister  and  the  head  of  the  Joint   Intelligence Committee”.

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry – Day 15 – 4 9 2003

A  short  day  – Lord Hutton ended the  proceedings  around  1pm.   The Inquiry is now adjourned until 15 Sept. The main players in the abbreviated day were Richard Taylor,  a special adviser  to the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon,  and The  journalist  Tom Mangold and   a UN arms inspector Olivia Bosch.

Richard Taylor

1.  Taylor said that Kelly was never told his name would be made public in the way it was made public.  Note:  This raises questions about  the truth  of Hoon’s claim that he had never seen the document  instructing MoD press officers how to react to media questions.

2.  Taylor  revealed that Geoff Hoon,  chaired a meeting on 9  July  at which  the  decision to confirm Kelly’s name to journalists  was  made. Hoon  failed  to mention this meeting in his evidence.  Others  at  the meeting were Pam Teare, MoD director of news, and Peter Watkins, Hoon’s permanent secretary.

3. Taylor said that the decision to put Kelly’s name in a letter to the BBC  chairman,  Gavyn  Davies,  was made  at  the  same  meeting.  This contradicts Hoon’s claim that it was Jonathan Powell, chief of staff at No 10, who had made the decision.

4.  Taylor  confirmed  the  name of Kelly  to  a  journalist  from  the Financial Times later in the day (9 July).

5.   Taylor agreed with James  Dingemans, chief counsel to the inquiry, that  he  had never previously confirmed a civil servants name  to  the media in such a manner.

Tom Mangold

1. Mangold used Kelly extensively in preparing his book Plague Wars. He knew Kelly well.   He described Kelly as a “Decent honourable and  well informed man”.

2. Mangold related a conversation he had with Kelly about the 45-minute claim:  We  gossiped  about the 45-minute claim because  I  thought  it seemed risible to me.” Kelly agreed that it was risible and “He [Kelly] did not think that the weapons could be deployed or activated within 45 minutes.”

3.  Mangold  said that identifying Kelly as Gilligan’s source  was  not that  hard  for those interested in the subject because “It is  such  a small  world,  the biological weapons world, and there aren’t many  UK inspectors …I only know four or five. Of those, only he [Kelly] spoke to the press.”

4.   Mangold  emailed  Kelly  before  his  name  was  public  knowledge suggesting  he  might  be Gilligan’s source,  suggesting  it  might  be “Someone i know and admire.”  Kelly replied: “Tom.  Thanks.  Not a good time to be in communication.”

Olivia Bosch

1. Bosch is a former Unscom inspector who got to know Kelly well during that   work.    She  currently  works  for  the  Royal   Institute   of international Affairs and has dealings with the MoD.

2.  Bosch  related  a conversation she had had  with  Kelly  about  his meeting  with Gilligan on 22 May 2003:  “He [Kelly] said he  was  taken aback by the way Andrew Gilligan tried to elicit information from  him. I said:’Yes,  but that is what journalists do.’ But he said that he had never  experienced it in the way that Gilligan had tried to do so by  a name game.”

3.  That “name game”,  Kelly said,  consisted of Gilligan putting names for him to confirm or deny. The first name was that of Gilligan.  Kelly claimed that he merely said “Maybe”.

Note:  this directly  contradicts Gilligan’s  account which has Kelly mentioning Campbell’s name off  his own  bat.  As  Kelly has been shown to be a  liar  before  the  Foreign Affairs  Committee,    and  we  have  the  evidence  of  the  Newsnight journalist  Susan  Watt’s tape in which Kelly mentions  Campbell,   the odds  are  he  lied  to  Bosch  and  was  simply  trying  to  create  a psychologically comfortable version of what happened.

4. Bosch claimed to have had daily conversations with Kelly in the days leading up to his death, during which up to his death.

Note: a possible relationship  between the two?  He mentioned that his pension  and  job might be affected.

We know that Kelly had been told his pension was  safe  before  he died and that he was only months  away  from  the normal civil service retirement age of 60.

5.  Bosch said that Kelly had told her that the question of his  naming had  been raised at in meetings with MoD and that he had been asked  to comment  on  the  press  statement  before  its  release.

Note:   this contradicts  Janice  Kelly’s evidence that Kelly had told  her  he  had assurances  that  his name would not be made public and  that  he  knew nothing  about  the  press release until a few minutes  before  it  was released.   The possibilities that Kelly was either a pathological liar or more probably a man driven to systematic lying by pressure,  have to be considered.

Lord Hutton’s closing statement

1.   Hutton will now spend the next week digesting the evidence to date and  deciding  which  witnesses  should be  recalled  and  whether  new witnesses should be called.

2. Whether witnesses are recalled or not will not be evidence of itself of whether Hutton intends to criticise them in his report.

3.  Hutton has written privately to those witnesses whom at this  stage he intends to criticise.  If they accept his criticism they will not be ecalled unless there is a specific reason for doing so,  eg to clarify a point of fact.  Witnesses who wish to dispute criticism will be given the chance to do so by being recalled.

4.   Hutton stressed that he might well change his view of a particular witness between now and the end of the enquiry depending on what  fresh evidence was given.

Other points

1.  Documents released yesterday included  minutes of a Cabinet  Office meeting  on 18 Sept 2002.  The first item in the minutes is  under  the heading  “Ownership of the dossier”.  It states “Ownership lay with  No 10″.  This contradicts the Joint Intelligence Committee  chairman  John Scarlett’s  claim that ownership of the dossier lay with him until  the approved final text was handed over by him on 20 Sept 2002.

2.  The  minutes were not supplied to the Inquiry when  the  Government  submitted  its  original papers.  A covering note by  the  Government’s solicitors  stated  that  it  was  not  included  because  it  was  not considered “relevant”.

Summary of the four weeks

The first phase of the inquiry is now complete.  What are we to make of it?

1.  It is important to realise the limitations placed on the Inquiry. Hutton  does  not  have the power to compel witnesses  to  appear  or documents to be disclosed. The  documents  released by  No 10, the MoD et  al  are  only what they are prepared   to  release.    Think  how different  it would be if this was a police investigation  with   the power  to  enter premises and seize whatever documents  and  computer equipment they  alighted upon.

2.  The other  serious restrictions are  the fact that witnesses  are not compelled to give witness statements or give their oral  evidence under  oath.  This greatly increases the ability of witnesses to  lie and evade because the witness knows that they cannot be charged  with perjury.   Nor can they be held in contempt.

3.  The absence of  the oath also has had an important  side  effect. The  inquiry  has taken over the  function of the  coroner  and  will perform the inquest on Kelly. This means that unlike a normal inquest the evidence relating to his death will not be taken under oath.

4. Hutton’s hands may have been tied in the matter of oaths,  calling witnesses and seeking documents,  but I also think he has handicapped the inquiry by deciding that the first stage would  be inquisitorial, ie,  witnesses would be allowed to tell their story with a minimum of questioning.

5.  It  is all very well to get people  to  commit  themselves  first before  trying  to  pick  holes in  their  story,  that  is  standard interrogation technique. But it is necessary to pick holes as soon as possible  after the telling of the story to prevent the person  under interrogation being given time to think about what they have said and to  fabricate a defence of any weak points.  Hutton has  allowed  the witnesses ample time to do just that.  The question is why did Hutton decide on this way of conducting the inquiry?

6.  The other administratively weak point so far has been the failure to call people from No 10 who were involved with the dossier but  are further down the pecking order than the likes of Campbell and  Godric Smith.  Subordinates will often panic in such circumstances and spill the beans.

7.  Finally,  apart from John Scarlett,  there was a curious lack  of intelligence  witnesses.  In particular why was the head of  MI6  who gave evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee on the day of  Kelly’s disappearance (17 July), not called?

When  the inquiry resumes,  cross-examination will be allowed.  Counsel not only for the inquiry but for the government,  the BBC and Mrs Kelly (and possibly others) will be allowed to into the proceedings. RH

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The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 5

Day 16 – 15 9 2003

Phase 2 of the inquiry will allow cross-examination by  counsel for the government, BBC, MoD, Mrs Kelly and others,  eg representing the various witnesses. Apart from James  Dingemans QC, counsel for the inquiry, Jeremy Gompertz QC  will appear for the Kelly family, Andrew Caldecott QC for  the BBC, Heather Rogers, QC, for Andrew Gilligan and  Jonathan Sumption QC for the government. All will be paid  for, one way or the other, by the taxpayer – Mrs Kelly’s  legal expenses are being covered by the taxpayer, while the  BBC is using licence payers’ money to pay their own and  Gilligan’s legal expenses. God alone knows what the cost  will be.

Before witnesses were called counsel for the inquiry, James  Dingemans, outlined the manner in which matters would be  handled. From this statement it is clear that the  cross-examination will be tightly controlled and that the  inquiry will attempt work to a strict timetable, although the  timetable could be breached if Hutton thinks it necessary.  The suspicion must be that any really awkward questions for  the government will suddenly be discovered to be “not  relevant” to the inquiry and cross examination on them  forbidden.

The weakness of the general structure of the inquiry -  information gathering first, followed by a long gap before  cross-examination is obvious, giving as it does plenty of  time to prepare defences to weaknesses or contradictions in a  story.

The people to be recalled will include Alastair Campbell,  Geoff Hoon and John Scarlett (chairman of the Joint  Intelligence Committee) but not Blair. It is possible but  improbable that he could be yet called if further information  is unearthed in this stage of the inquiry suggest he should  be recalled, eg if evidence is brought forward which  contradicts what Blair has said or points to his direct  involvement in something relevant and damaging.

The fact that Blair has not be recalled to be cross-examined  despite the ample evidence that he had a central role in  deciding what to do about Kelly and the BBC is a strong

pointer to the way Hutton will approach the writing of his  report – unless some really dramatic and unambiguous evidence  is unearthed fingering Blair, I predict it will  criticise the likes of Hoon, Campbell and the BBC, but say  nothing about Blair.

The witnesses

The main entertainment of the day was provided by the head of  MI6, Sir Richard Bingham Dearlove, and the Director General  of the BBC, Greg Dyke. Supporting roles came from Tony Cragg,  former deputy chief of defence intelligence, and Sir Joe  French, the chief of defence intelligence.

Sir Richard Dearlove

1. “C” as Dearlove is known (I will leave readers to imagine  what the “C” stands for), gave evidence as a disembodied  voice over an audiolink.

2. Dearlove was not cross-examined – he could in theory be  recalled for it. This points to one of the great weaknesses  of inquiry, its disjointed nature. Dearlove should have been  called in the first stage of the inquiry and then, if he was  to be recalled, cross-examined yesterday before the recalled  witnesses reappear. That would have given the inquiry the fullest information to tax the likes of Campbell with when  they are cross-examined.

3. The appearance by Dearlove is (I think) the first occasion  where such a senior intelligence officer has given evidence  in public. His appearance, together with the considerable  amount of MI6 data made public gives the lie to the claim  beloved of all British governments that security data must be  kept secret. In fact, the vast majority of it, and especially  the analysis, could be made public with no damage to agents  and sources.

4. Dearlove criticised Kelly for having unauthorised contact  with the media declaring himself horrified to discover what  Kelly had done, describing it as a severe disciplinary  breach.

5. Dearlove defended the “45-minute” single source claim,  saying it was from a strong source and that much of  intelligence was “single-sourced”. The original source was  claimed to be a senior Iraqi officer (a brigadier) whose  statement was reported by another Iraqi source.

6. Dearlove denied having any knowledge of dissatisfaction about the dossier within the intelligence services.

7. Dearlove accepts, with the benefit of our old elite friend  “hindsight” , that the “45-minute” claim might have been both  misinterpreted by some as referring to long range weapons and  have been given too much prominence in the dossier.

Tony Craig and Sir Joe French

1. Craig and French admitted they ignored the concerns of  two members of their staff. They also disclosed under  questioning that the concerns went beyond those two, Dr Brian Jones and MR A, a memo of 16 Sept 2002 objecting to the  passage on Iraq’s chemical and biological capacity at that  time as “too strong”.

2. Cragg said that he had not passed on his staffs’ doubts  because he thought they had been resolved at a meeting between  Defence Intelligence Service staff, Cabinet Office officials  and MI6. Consequently, the doubts were never passed to John  Scarlett and the JIC.

3. French supported Cragg and attempted to play down the  significance of the staff who had objected, a rather  difficult thing to do considering the positions they held and  the work they did.

Greg Dyke

1. Dyke adopted the “I am in charge of the BBC; I know  nothing” as a general tactic.

2. Dyke admitted he had not heard Gilligan’s broadcast or  read a transcript of the broadcast until weeks after it was  broadcast – he read a transcript on 5 July 2003.

3. Dyke said that he had been on holiday at the time of the  Gilligan broadcast and he was not really aware of any great  difficulty until after Gilligan and Campbell had appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee.

4. Asked by James Dingemans how many times a BBC journalist  had given evidence to a Commons select committee in recent  years, Dyke said “I do not know”.

5. Dyke said he believed Alastair Campbell’s general attack on BBC news reporting was pre-planned and that he heightened  the tension by writing to Richard Sambrook, head of BBC News.

6. Dyke said, with our old elite friend hindsight in close  company, that he should have ordered a full investigation  of the matter before responding to Campbell.

Other points

1. A document released by the inquiry headed “Note for the  record”, stated that the writer of the note, the BBC chairman  Gavyn Davies, had been told by an unnamed MP that Alastair  Campbell had hardened up the dossier. The MP claimed an MI6 official had told him this.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 week 5

Day 17 – 16 9 2003

A rather quiet day with Martin Howard, the deputy chief of  defence intelligence at the MoD, Kate Wilson, MoD chief press  officer, Nicholas Hunt, pathologist and Det Con Graham Coe,  the first policeman on the scene.

Martin Howard

1. Howard prevented the views and doubts of Dr Jones (A  Defence Intelligence Analyst staff scientist) and those of Mr  A (a chemical weapons specialist) from being presented to the Intelligence and Security Commons Select Committee  (ISC). Asked by Caldecott why  this had been done Howard  replied: “My feeling was that this dealt with internal  correspondence in the DIS [Defence Intelligence Service]  which happened last September… it would not be appropriate  to reveal what was internal correspondence to the ISC.”

Note:  feeble in the extreme. The whole point of the ISC meeting in  public is that it can hear anything.

2. Eventually, after Kelly death, Howard did supply the  information to the ISC. Asked why, he admitted it was simply  due to the establishment of the Hutton Inquiry.

4. Questioned by Gompertz about the procedure for confirming  Kelly’s name to the media, Howard said that he thought  Kelly’s name would have come out regardless of the MoD  procedure, which he justified on the grounds that it allowed  the MoD to be avoid telling a direct lie. He also pointed out  that the failure of Kelly’s name to come into the public  realm would have led to others being suspected by the media.

Gompertz suggested that the MoD was “playing Russian roulette  on Kelly”. Howard unsurprisingly did not agree.

Kate Wilson

1. Wilson denied Andrew Gilligan’s claim that he had warned  the MoD of the story before it was broadcast.

2. Wilson denied that clues to Kelly’s identity had been  given to the media by the MOD.

3. Wilson denied of how the Q and A MoD material was altered.

Nicholas Hunt

1. Hunt described five cuts to the left wrist, with one,  presumably the last, cutting the main artery. Other cuts were  tentative according to Hunt. In Hunt’s opinion the nature and  development of the cuts was consistent with a normal  suicide’s pattern.

2. Hunt said that the overdose of painkillers hastened the  death, as did the hardening of the arteries.

3. There were no signs of a struggle on the body.

4. Hunt described the removal of the watch and spectacles as  also typical of suicide.

Note: The only problem with this  argument is that the first cut or cuts to Kelly’s wrist were  made while, apparently , the watch was still on – blood was  found on the strap.

5. Hunt said that the type of private spot in which Kelly was  found was “often favoured by people intending self-harm”.

Graham Coe

1. Coe found Kelly’s body lying on his back by a large tree:  “I saw blood around his left wrist. I saw a knife like a  pruning knife and a watch.”

Note: how difficult would it be  to cut the artery with such a knife?

2. Coe said that no other part of the body was bloodstained.  The body was fully clothed, wearing a Barbour jacket,  trousers and cap. A small water bottle was nearby.

Other points

1. Friction between the BBC Governors and BBC management is  reported. In particular a Governor Dame Pauline Neville Jones  apparently believes the BBC management  “betrayed” the  Governors . Dame Pauline has denied that she has said this.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 5

Day 18 – 17 9 2003

The day was dominated by Andrew Gilligan, Richard Sambrook  (head of BBC News) and Richard Hatfield, director of  personnel at the MoD.

Andrew Gilligan

1. Before his cross examination, Gilligan made a number of  admissions which removed much of the potential venom from his  cross examination.

2. Gilligan admitted making a mistake in his initial  broadcast (at 6.07am) when he claimed that the government had  probably known the 45-minute claim was false. However, by  7.32am the wording had been changed from “wrong” to  questionable”.

Note: this is an unnecessary admission because  it is a reasonable conclusion from both the political  circumstances surrounding the dossier and what we now know  from the disclosures to the inquiry, that Campbell and Blair  had every reason to doubt the intelligence.

3. Gilligan apologised for his description of Kelly as a “intelligence service source:”It was not intentional, a kind of slip of the tongue. It is something that does happen in  live broadcasts. It is an occupational hazard.”

Note: This is a reasonable apology – Kelly should have described as  long the lines of “a source familiar with the preparation of  the dossier and the intelligence community”.

4. Gilligan apologised for sending an email to a member of  the Foreign Affairs Committee:”It was quite wrong to send it.  I can only apologise. I did not know for sure that David Kelly was Susan Watt’s source. I was under enormous pressure  at the time, I was simply not thinking straight so I really  want to apologise for this.”

5. Questioned by Mrs Kelly counsel, Jeremy Gompertz, Gilligan  denied that he had suggested the name of Campbell (or any  other name) to Kelly and insisted Kelly had come up with the  name off his own bat. Gilligan pointed out that he had  mentioned Kelly’s name to Susan Watts, the Newsnight  journalist, as well.

6. Gilligan directly contradicted Kate Wilson, MoD chief  press officer, who had claimed that Gilligan had given  neither her or anyone else in the MoD advance notice of the  story. Gilligan said that he had told the MoD the night  before the story went out to enable them to brief Adam  Ingram, Armed Forces minister.

Richard Sambrook

1. Sambrook said that Gilligan was a reporter who painted in  primary colours rather than more subtle shades. Good at  finding stories, weaker on presenting them.

2. Sambrook criticised Gilligan for not giving Downing  Street an opportunity to respond to allegations.

3. Sambrook said that the story should have been checked by  lawyers before it was broadcast but was not checked.

4. Sambrook denied he had given clues to Kelly’s identity  during a lunch at the offices of the Times newspaper.

5. Sambrook said that he had not know about Gilligan’s email  to the FAC committee member until it was revealed to the  inquiry. He described it as improper.

6. Richard Hatfield

1. Hatfield directly contradicted Mrs Kelly’s evidence that  the MoD had shown every consideration towards Kelly and  protected him as well as any employer could be expected to defend an employee. “The MoD gave outstanding support to Dr  Kelly”.

2. Hatfield said that Kelly had no power to veto the release  of his name to the media and had “not specifically discussed”  with Kelly the plans for naming him.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 5

Day 19 – 18 9 2003

Richard Hatfield (MoD head of personnel) and Andrew Gilligan  continued their evidence. Pam Teare (MoD chief press officer)  and William Wilding (computer expert) were the main items on  the menu.

Richard Hatfield

1. Hatfield claimed that Kelly had only himself to blame for  becoming exposed to public scrutiny , because he was guilty  of a very serious disciplinary breach.

2. Hatfield criticised Kelly for failing to prepare his wife  for the media interest which he, Hatfield believed, must  have known would happen if his name became public.

3. Hatfield admitted that Kelly had not been told that he had  been identified to the media for two and a half hours after  it had happened.

4. Hatfield claimed that Kelly had been warned 24 hours in  advance of the press statement that it was to be made.

5. Hatfield admitted that no counselling had been arranged  for Kelly.

6. Hatfield said that had he known that it would come to an  inquiry such as this one, he would have asked Kelly if he was  happy to have his name given out.

7. Hatfield said with hindsight he would have instigated  disciplinary proceedings against Kelly.

Pam Teare

1. There were three versions of the Q and A drawn up by  Teare for MoD press officers if they were challenged on the  question of Kelly’s (then unknown to the media) identity.  The first refused to identify him, the second allowed him to  be named only after he had been contacted by the MoD, the  third allowed his name to be disclosed without contact.

Teare said the various drafts were simply a “work in  progress.”

2. Teare gave more details of a meeting she had with Geoff  Hoon, Defence Secretary. She said that contrary to his  denials, Hoon might have seen a copy of the Q and A briefing.

3. Teare denied having discussed with Alastair Campbell the  naming strategy. Confronted with Campbell’s diary entries  which said they had discussed it, she accepted that she had.

William Wilding

1. Wilding appeared on behalf of Gilligan. He had examined  Gilligan’s personal organiser in which he had made notes of  his meeting with Kelly on the 22.

2. Wilding found two versions of the notes, one dated 21 and  one date 22 May. Wilding said that judging by other files he  had examined the date setting on the organiser was out by a  day .

3. Of the two versions of Kelly’s file with his notes, the  earlier did not contain the name Campbell, the later version did.

Andrew Gilligan

1. Gilligan explained the two versions of the notes as being  made at the same time and the second version being what Kelly had agreed to Gilligan using for his report. He denied he had created the second file on the following day of his  meeting with Kelly. Note: Even if the organisers date setting  was a day out of kilter the only way that Gilligan could  have created the two files on the same day with different dates is if the organisers date change from the 21 to the 22 came during his meeting with Kelly. Rather improbable.

2. Gilligan remained adamant that Kelly had been the one to  mention the name Campbell first during his conversation with Kelly.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6

Day 20 – 23 9 2003

The defence secretary Geoff Hoon and Alastair Campbell were  back for cross-examination.

1. Hoon admitted approving the strategy to confirm Kelly’s  identity to the media and accepted that the strategy helped  the media to identify Kelly. He was not drawn on why he had  changed his evidence from his previous appearance.

Note: that  tells you what a farce this “inquiry” is.

2. Hoon’s change of evidence came after the publication of  extracts from Alastair Campbell’s diary which contradicted  his earlier evidence.

3. Hoon’s admission of responsibility for the strategy is the  first admission of responsibility for it.

4. Hoon said that he had overruled the Mod permanent secretary, Sir Kevin Tebbit, when it came to naming Kelly, but justified this on the grounds that civil servants merely  advised.

5. Hoon denied knowledge of the clues given to the media by Tom Kelly, the PM’s spokesman, to direct them to Kelly.

6. Despite the admissions, Hoon claimed that everything had been done “to ensure that Dr Kelly was properly supported.”

7. Hoon claimed that steps had been taken to keep Kelly’s name from the public and said that he had only revealed Kelly’s name to the BBC chairman, Gavyn Davies, in a private  letter.

8. Hoon denied that there was any Government policy to “out”  Kelly.

9. Hoon admitted allowing the country to falsely believe that  it was at risk from long-range weapons of mass destruction, a  misapprehension circulated by the media. Asked why he had  not corrected this misapprehension, he replied:”I have spent many years trying to persuade newspapers and journalists to correct their stories – - it is an extraordinarily  time-consuming and frustrating process.”

Note: an absurd  excuse in this reason as most of the media would have been only too anxious to point out weaknesses in the case to go to war.

Alastair Campbell

1. Extracts from Campbell’s personal diary contradicted his  and others previous evidence. They show that Campbell wanted  Kelly’s name out in the public sphere (“The biggest thing  needed…was to get the source out), that Kelly was to be  used as a weapon in No 10′s fight with the BBC and that, contrary to Blair’s claim, Kelly was coached by senior MoD officials before he went before the ISC and FAC Commons committees.

2. Campbell’s diary made clear the hysterical state he was in during the affair. He wrote of establishing Kelly as the  source to “f**k Gilligan up”. He also wrote of wanting a clear victory not a messy draw.

3. Campbell’s diary reported Sir Kevin Tebbit (Mod permanent secretary) as saying that Kelly was “a bit of a show off”.

4. Hilariously, Campbell’s lawyer tried to massage these highly damaging passages away by claiming that “The diary records Mr Campbell’s immediate reactions, which are not necessarily the same as the views he will take after a little time has passed fro reflection.” This is nonsense when it comes to the recording of facts rather than opinion. The sooner the writing after the event, the more accurate. Courts recognise this, treating contemporaneous notes and notes made shortly after an event by the likes of the police and the Revenue as of prime importance as records of fact.

5. Campbell was questioned again about his influence over the  dossier. Before the FAC Campbell claimed he suggested 10  changes, but in written evidence to the inquiry he admitted to 16. Campbell told the inquiry that he had not mentioned  the other six to the FAC because they merely “ironed out an inconsistency”.

6. Campbell insisted that his suggestions were merely  presentational and that John Scarlett (chair of the Joint  Intelligence Committee) was in control of the dossier.

7. Campbell denied that the 45-minute claim was an influential part of the dossier during the preparation of the dossier.

8. Campbell said that Blair would have resigned if it was shown that the dossier had been “sexed up”.

9. Campbell’s diary entries showed Blair to be arguing against extending the battle with the BBC and urging that the MoD deal with Kelly. Note: when were the diaries written?

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6

Day 21 – 23 9 2003

Tom Kelly (Blair’s official spokesman), Godric Smith (No 10  press officer) and John Scarlett (chairman of the Joint  Intelligence Committee – JIC) were recalled for  cross-examination.

Tom Kelly (TK)

1. TK was questioned further on his description of Kelly as a “Walter Mitty” character at a private briefing with journalists. TK claimed he could not recall the conversation related by Paul Waugh of the Independent and claimed Waugh had “misunderstood him” both in terms of whether the briefing was off the record and what he intended when he described Kelly as a Walter Mitty. TK claimed any reference to Kelly as “Walter Mitty” was merely raising a possibility, ie was Kelly exaggerating.

2. TK apologised again for using the term “Walter Mitty”.

3. An email from Jonathan Powell (Blair’s chief of staff) suggested that Kelly was a “rogue element”. Questioned by the Kelly counsel, Jeremy Gompertz, as to whether Kelly was regarded as a rogue element by No 10, TK replied: “categorically not.”

Godric Smith

1. Questioned on the Alastair Campbell diary extracts showing that Campbell wanted to use Kelly to damage Gilligan Smith said: “I think there is a qualitative difference between a desire for something to happen and actually taking concrete steps to make it happen.”

John Scarlett

1. Scarlett admitted that he had changed a passage in the dossier at the suggestion of Jonathan Powell (Blair’s chief of staff). A memo from Powell – sent 45 minutes after the deadline for comments on the final draft – pointed out that the dossier as it stood implied that the threat from Iraqi WMDs would arise only if an attack on Iraq was carried out. Scarlett removed this reference claiming the change” was as a result of the exercise of my professional judgement, not the intervention of Downing Street” and that he had changed the dossier after going “back to the intelligence assessments” and finding that the original comment was not justified. (Ho,ho).

2. Scarlett was also questioned further on the changes requested by Alastair Campbell, particularly the change of “may be deployed” to are deployable” in the claim that Iraqi MDs could be deployed within 45-minutes. Scarlett denied the changes were anything other than intelligence driven: “In one way or another, all these points had a presentational angle to them, the question of clarity of language and the way things were expressed. At no point did I feel that there was a an attempt to question the editorial judgement or the intelligence judgement.”

3. Scarlett admitted that no final meeting of the JIC took place before the dossier was finally agreed. Scarlett said that such a meeting was not necessary because any member of the committee could have raised objections to the final draft and none did.

4. Contradicting his evidence in the first phase of the inquiry, Scarlett admitted he knew of concerns within the intelligence community about the dossier but said that he believed they were dealt with before publication of the dossier.

5. Questioned on the BBC’s counsel, Andrew Caldecott, about why battlefield weapons had been allowed to be described as WMDs, Scarlett said that they were WMDs. He was unable to explain meaningfully how these battlefield weapons could have threatened British bases in Cyprus or why the media misrepresentation of the weapons had not been corrected by the government.

Other points

1. When is Jonathan Powell to be re-questioned? He keeps popping up as the main mover after Campbell in this matter.

2. Kelly’s dental records disappeared from his dentist’s shortly after his death. The records turned up in the cabinettwo days later. The police said they could find no signs of a

break-in.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6

Day 22 – 24 9 2003

Gavyn Davies (BBC chairman) and Bryan Wells (Kelly’s line manager at the MoD), Nick Rufford (reporter on The Sunday Times), Keith Hawton (professor of psychiatry at Oxford) and Patrick Lamb (Kelly’s contact at the foreign office) were recalled.

Gavyn Davies

1. Davies admitted that the Director General of the BBC, Greg Dyke, had tried to stop the BBC governors publicly criticising editorial managers for their handling of the Andrew Gilligan story.

2. Davies based his defence of the Board of Governors robust stand against the government because “We were faced with such an unprecedented attack on our integrity. I think it was  perfectly reasonable for me to take the view that the public would look to the governors to stand up for the independence of the BBC.”

3. Pressed on why the Governors did not directly investigate what Gilligan had been told by his “source”, Davies said that the governors had been reassured by the BBC’s director of news, Richard Sambrook, that the source was credible and that Gilligan stood by his story. Davies made the point that the governors were not there to duplicate the work of the management and to have interfered directly over Gilligan would hav duplicated the work.

4. Davies said that several Governors wished to stop BBC journalists writing for the newspapers.

5. Davies claimed the Governors were all tough minded and independent figures who would not be bullied by the Government.

Note; The Board of Governors is the routine run of the great and the good.

Bryan Wells

1. Wells retracted evidence he had given when he appeared in the first phase of the inquiry. Wells said it was not true, as he had claimed, that Kelly had been warned at an early stage that his name might be made public. This possibility was not raised until Kelly’s second MoD interview on 7 July 2003 and even then, according to Wells, his naming was not treated as inevitable.

2. Wells informed Kelly that his name was to made public in a 46 second telephone conversation between Wells and Kelly - the call was made while Wells was travelling on a train. Wells claimed that Kelly took the news without expressing concern. This contradicts Mrs Kelly’s evidence of Kelly’s response to the news.

3. Questioned by counsel for the inquiry, James Dingemans, Wells said that Kelly was not involved in discussions about how his name might emerge. This contradicted the head of personnel at the MoD, Richard Hatfield’s evidence.

Nick Rufford

1. Asked about the offer of Murdoch newspapers to pay for the Kelly’s to go to a hotel, Rufford said: “It was a light-hearted context – when we met for a drink or a meal, Dr Kelly would always want to ensure that I did not pay personally and would say ‘Is this on Mr Murdoch?’”.

Keith Hawton

1. Asked for further comments on Kelly’s possible motive for suicide, Hawton said “I think one major factor was the immense loss of self esteem that he had from feeling people had lost trust in him and from his dismay – maybe that is an understatement – of being exposed to the media.”

Note: A weak piece of armchair psychology to say the least. In fact, the inquiry has signally failed to show any plausible cause for him to commit suicide when it is born in mind that he knew that his pension was safe, his daughter was about to be married, he was getting a good deal of private support from friends and colleagues and had a crippled wife to look after.

Patrick Lamb

1. Kelly had wanted Lamb to accompany him to the FAC hearing but he had had to refuse because Kelly was under MoD control.

Further points

1. Kelly’s 1985 vetting report contained a note that Kelly’s mother probably committed suicide in the 1960s.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6

Day 23 – 25 9 2003

Officially the final day of the inquiry, although Sit Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD, is slated to give further evidence after the inquiry has formally closed. 22 days of evidence and 70 witnesses.

The day was taken up by the various QCs, all paid for by the taxpayer in one way or another. They were: James Dingemans QC, counsel for the inquiry, Jeremy Gompertz QC will appear for the Kelly family, Andrew Caldecott QC for the BBC, Heather Rogers, QC, for Andrew Gilligan and Jonathan Sumption QC for the government.

James Dingemans

1. Dingemans said that Kelly had stepped into a maelstrom when he admitted his contact with Andrew Gilligan to his MoD superiors.

2. Dingemans said the inquiry must address the question of whether Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell had crossed the line of presentation to “making a case”.

Jeremy Gompertz

1. Gompertz said that Kelly had been used as a political pawn by the Government:”This was a cynical abuse of power which deserves the strongest possible condemnation.”

2. Gompertz accused the Government of failing to support Kelly and his managers at the MoD of displaying “a total lack of care”.

3. Gompertz accused the Government of misdescribing Kelly “to suit the needs of the hour, as a middle ranking official…”

4. Gompertz contrasted the Government’s We have made no mistakes or blunders approach with that of the BBC which had admitted mistakes.

5. Gompertz described the claim of Richard Hatfield (MoD head of personnel) that Kelly had received “Outstanding support” as “risible” if the events were not so serious.

6. Gompertz rejected strongly the idea that Kelly was the agent of his own misfortunes.

7. Gompertz claimed that Kelly had not committed a disciplinary offence. Note: this is simple nonsense. He had undoubtedly breached the MoD confidentiality code and arguably had committed a criminal offence under the Official Secrets Act.

8. Gompertz characterised the denials of Government use of Kelly to discredit Gilligan, including Blair, Campbell and Geoff Hoon, as “hypocrisy”@ “It was out of the question that

the Prime Minister should have no say in a document for which he had to be personally responsible to Parliament.”

9. Gompertz referred to an email received only yesterday and hence too late to be used in cross-examination. The email was dated 9 July and was sent by Hoon’s private secretary, Peter Watkins, to Mrs Wilson in the MoD press office. Part of it read: ” Jonathan Powell has separately suggested to the S of S [secretary of state, Mr Hoon] that we should simply name our man [Kelly], but left the decision to Mr Hoon who has not yet reached a final view.” This document showed again Hoon’s lack of candour to the enquiry. Note: Powell cropping up yet again.

Andrew Caldecott

1. Caldecott said that the BBC admitted mistakes had been made in the reporting but stood by the essential truth of the report.

2. Caldecott said that the public had the right to know about Kelly’s concern about the dossier. Caldecott said the BBC

defended its right to broadcast Kelly’s concerns absolutely,

3. Caldecott pointed out that concerns about the dossier had been justified by the evidence given to the inquiry.

4. Caldecott stressed that only the MI6 head, Richard Dearlove, had expressed concern about the way the public were mislead over the nature of the 45-minute claim, ie that it referred to battlefield weapons: “The reaction of Mr Hoon and Mr Scarlett borders on cynical indifference. The Government’s failure to correct is wholly indefensible.”

Heather Rogers

1. Rogers said that Campbell and Geoff Hoon behaved like “playground bullies” in their pursuit of Andrew Gilligan.

2. Rogers said the extracts from Campbell’s diaries showed a desire to “get even” with Gilligan.

3. Rogers pointed out that Gilligan had admitted errors in his initial reporting, but the story was true in its main substance, ie that serious unrest amongst intelligence bods existed: Andrew Gilligan will ask this inquiry to consider that he was right to talk to Dr Kelly, he was right to ask about the dossier, right to regard what Dr Kelly said was worth reporting and right to report it.”

4. Rogers said the concentration on Gilligan’s initial reporting was distracting form the main issue, the nature of the dossier.

Jonathan Sumption

1. Sumption said that Kelly had no right to anonymity because he was a civil servant. This is pedantically true, but it is a convention that civil servants are not put in the public fold except in exceptional circumstances such as permanent secretaries reporting to Commons committees. I think it would  be impossible to find a precedent for Kelly’s treatment. Normally politicians are only too glad to “protect” their civil servants because they are afraid of what the civil servants may reveal about politicians’ bad behaviour.

2. Sumption claimed that Kelly had known since 4 July that his name would probably be made public.

Note: This clashes with evidence given by Brian Wells, Kelly’s MoD line manager, yesterday, that the matter was not discussed with Kelly until his second interview of 7 July.

3. Sumption claimed that Blair, Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell had every reason to comment on the dossier for reasons of “basic constitutional principle.”

Note: Oh yeah?

4. Sumption defended Alastair Campbell’s memo suggesting 16 changes to the dossier as points amounting to “proof reading”.

5. Sumption dismissed the dissent of the likes of Brian Jones, a senior analyst, and Kelly as unimportant because they did not have access to the underlying intelligence material.

Note: As Jones and Kelly were the technical experts, one might think they had a better understanding of the weapons than any ordinary intelligence officer.

Note:

1. No calling of the women who converted Kelly to the Baha’i faith.

2. No recalling of Jonathan Powell.

3. No recalling of Blair.

Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from the police, his perjury and Operation Elveden part III

ELVEDENFriday, 22 March, 2013 10:51

From: “Paulette.Rooke@met.pnn.police.uk” <paulette.rooke@met.pnn.police.uk>Add sender to ContactsTo: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Mr Henderson

I have been asked by my Inspector to ascertain if you have any new evidence with regard to your allegations against those mentioned in your correspondence.

Yours sincerely

Paulette Rooke

ADS PAULETTE ROOKE

JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD

Internal  58526  External  020 8785 8526

————————————————————————————————————–

To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

CC

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Gerald Howarth MP

Keir Starmer (DPP)

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

24 March  2013

Dear DC Rooke,

You ask in your email of 22 March whether I have any new information relating to the accusations I have made.  The short answer is no. However, having listened  again to the tape recording I made of my interview with Det Supt Jeff Curtis I shall be sending you a copy of that for the reasons given below in paragraph 4.

Happily  you do not need any further information to begin investigations into Piers  Morgan, Jeff Edwards and Det Supt Jeff Curtis. In fact, I think any disinterested third party would be rather surprised that the investigations  have not  already begun, bearing in mind that you have a letter sent to Morgan to the PCC in which he admitted that the Mirror had received information from a police officer in circumstances which can only have been illegal.

The reason the crimes  (apart from the accusations of perjury before Leveson) were not meaningfully investigated when I made my original complaints is beautifully  simple: corrupt practice by the police prompted either by the Blairs’ involvement in the story and/or a known or suspected corrupt relationship between Metropolitan Police officers and the Mirror (and other press and broadcasters).

The corrupt nature of the way my complaints were handled is exemplified  by Jeff Curtis’ failure to interview anyone at the Mirror even though he had the letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC.   Curtis told me this in a phone call and you can verify that this is the truth by looking at the original case notes. The tape recording of my meeting with Jeff Curtis is important because in it he says he will  be going to the Mirror, says the case revolves around Morgan’s admission and says it is a straightforward case.  The recording was made with Curtis’  knowledge and agreement.  The fact that he knew he was being recorded is significant because it removed the possibility from his mind of saying something to me thinking he could deny it later. Clearly something  irregular  happened between him leaving me and starting the investigation. It is reasonable to suspect he was leant on by someone even more senior not to investigate the Mirror.  That the police never interviewed anyone at the Mirror also means that the Mirror accounts and the journalistic records kept by Edwards  and Morgan (and perhaps others) were never scrutinised for evidence of payments to the police.  All in all, this is   a very obvious perversion of the course of justice.

The events to which the these crimes relate are 15 years old,   but that is irrelevant to whether they should be investigated now, both because of the serious nature  of the crimes and the fact that those I allege against Morgan and Edwards  were not investigated meaningfully when they were first reported. Nor is there any problem with a lack of compelling  evidence  because of the time which has elapsed. In the case of Morgan and Edwards you have  Morgan’s letter to the PCC and the Mirror story, while  Curtis’ perversion of the course of justice speaks for itself. Moreover, although it is 15 years since the events, the age of fully computerised accounts had arrived  before 1997 and   it is probable that a copy of the Mirror accounts  for the period is still held in digital form. The same could  apply to journalistic records held by Morgan and Edwards or other Mirror employees or freelances.  I know from my use of the  Data Protection Act soon after the Mirror published the story that the paper was holding information about me  which they refused to release under the journalistic purposes provision of the DPA. They may well be still holding it.

As for the perjury accusations against Morgan and Edwards, these are very recent complaints about crimes recently committed which have never been previously investigated.   You have the information you need to investigate the perjury because I have supplied you with the Morgan letter to the PCC, the Mirror story about me and the transcripts of the relevant passages in the evidence given by Morgan and Edwards before Leveson.

Apart from the killer fact of Curtis’ failure  to interview anyone at the Mirror and a consequent failure to investigate the Mirror’s records, the circumstances of that failed investigation and of other complaints I made at the same time provide very  strong circumstantial evidence that my original complaints against Morgan and Edwards were not  treated  normally.  For example, why was a Det Supt from Scotland Yard  investigating crimes  which would normally be investigated by a Det Sergeant or just possibly a Det Inspector?  To that you can add the array of senior police officers  (the details of which I  sent to you in my email of 29th January) who became involved in my various complaints at one time or another,  despite the crimes being of a nature which would normally have been investigated by  policemen of lesser rank.   The only reasonable explanation for their involvement is the political circumstances surrounding my complaints.

There are two scenarios which fit the receipt of information by the Mirror from the police.  The first is straightforward: a police officer, possibly of senior rank because of the Blairs’ involvement, has sold the information to the Mirror for mere personal gain.

The second scenario is more complex. It involves  a senior police officer engaging in a conspiracy with Tony and Cherry Blair  assisted by Alastair Campbell to feed misinformation to the Mirror.   This is more than a little plausible because the Mirror story was a farrago of grotesque  lies such as the claim that I had bombarded the Blairs with letters  or that the letters were “full of graphic racist filth”. There was also  a completely fabricated  quote “if he gets elected he’ll let in all the blacks and Asians”.  Ask yourself why the Mirror would have printed such things if they had read my letters after   they were given them by a police officer simply out to make money with no political axe to grind. It would not make sense. If, on the other hand, this was all part of a conspiracy between the Blairs, a senior police officer and Alastair Campbell  it would make perfect sense,  because then it transmutes from a political story  into an exercise in political propaganda to nullify me by smearing.  The story would then be whatever they wanted it to be with the content of the letters an irrelevance.

It is noteworthy that Morgan in his  letter to the PCC admits that the Mirror did not have copies of my letters and that he had not seen them.  That could mean one of four things: the Mirror did not have copies, the Mirror had copies but did not wish to admit it because they knew the letters would not substantiate their printed story about me, Edwards had seen the letters but  realised they were innocuous and not the basis for a smear story  or  no one at the Mirror had ever seen my  letters but had written their story simply from false information given to them by the police informant. The last possibility fits in most neatly with the conspiracy theory.

Why would the Blairs wish to engage in such a conspiracy?  The most plausible answer lies in the fact that they did not go to the police when I wrote to them, but only later after I had sent copies of my letters to the Blairs and the non-replies I was receiving from their offices to every mainstream media outlet at the beginning of the 1997 General Election campaign.  That can only mean the Blairs  wanted to  silence me during the election campaign.   Why? Only they can tell you that for sure. What is certain is that the Blairs  must have been very seriously worried about the media taking up the story told in my letters and their non-replies to get involved with a criminal investigation during the most important weeks of Blair’s life, namely, the General Election campaign.  Having miserably failed in the attempt to have me prosecuted it would have made perfect sense from their point of view to try to neutralise me by getting a friendly media outlet to print a false and hideously libellous story about me to dissuade anyone in the media from taking up the story told in my letters to the Blairs and their non-replies to me.

Here is something for you and your superiors to think upon. If the Met refuses to  properly  investigate my complaints (including questioning Morgan and Edwards) it will look  like yet another cover-up to go along with the persistent failure  by the Met to investigate phone-hacking until political pressure forced them  to  re-investigate cases which had previously been deemed to provide insufficient evidence for a prosecution or even a sustained investigation. The re-investigation of these supposedly hopeless cases has  resulted in dozens of arrests and quite a few charges, a fact which tells its own tale.

I repeat my previous requests for an interview with you and a senior officer within  Operation Elveden, preferably Steve Kavanagh . Apart from anything else you should be taking a formal statement from me based on the very strong evidence I have provided.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

See also

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

http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/piers-morgans-illegal-receipt-of-information-from-the-police-his-perjury-and-operation-elveden-part-ii/

————————————————————————————————

Tape recording of my interview with Jeff Curtis has been sent to you

Tuesday, 26 March, 2013 7:05
From:
“robert henderson” <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>

View contact details

To:
“Paulette Rooke” <Paulette.Rooke@met.pnn.police.uk>
                                      To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG 

26 3 2013

Dear DC Rooke,

I have posted a copy of the tape recording of my interview on 8 April 1999 with Det Supt Jeff Curtis to you by recorded delivery. I have sent the tape to JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD which is where you appear to be physically stationed.

Only one side of the tape has been used. You will need to listen to the entire tape, but Jeff Cutris’ comments about going to the Mirror, it being a straightforward case and so on are towards the end of the meeting with around 5/6ths of the tape played.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

The Financial Times goes after The Daily Mirror

Dear Robert

I hope you don’t mind me emailing you directly.
I am writing about phone hacking on behalf of the FT and investigating wider incidences of press abuse at other newspapers such as Trinity Mirror.
I would be keen to meet with you as I understand from one of my contacts that you may have evidence of wider press abuse.
Do let me know if you would be happy to meet. I am happy to discuss matters on background only.
All best
Rob

– Rob Budden Chief Media Correspondent Financial Times +44 (0) 207 775 6839 +44 (0) 7785 952 688 www.ft.com
Follow me on Twitter: @RobertoBud

————————————————————————————————————-

Rob Budden

Chief Media Correspondent

Financial Times 

1 Southwark Bridge,

 London SE1 9HL

Tel: 0207 775 6839

Email: rob.budden@ft.com

9 March 2013

Dear Rob,

As promised at our  meeting of 8th March, I send you additional information relating to Piers Morgan, the Blairs, the police, the Leveson Inquiry and myself. The details of the new material and the material I supplied to you when we met are listed below.

If you want to expose Trinity Mirror I have provided you with all the evidence you need to demonstrate their abuse of members of the public,  the committing of criminal acts through the receipt of information from the police illegally by the Mirror, probable perjury before Leveson by Morgan and Jeff Edwards and the wilful suppression of evidence by the police of police supplying information illegally to the Mirror. In addition, you have the wider story of the Blairs attempting to prosecute me for crimes they must have known were bogus and their subsequently use of the security services and Special Branch to harass me.

Please keep these facts firmly in front of you:

1. There was so little substance to the Blairs’ complaints against me that the police never contacted me about them, while the CPS rejected the complaint within hours of receiving it with a firm “No Crime”.

2. The Blairs did not go to the police when I sent them the letters, but only after I had circulated copies of my letters to them and the replies I received at the beginning of the 1997 General Election Campaign.

3. The Blairs failed to take any civil law action against me even though that has only the balance of probability evidential test.

4. At no time did I threaten directly or by implication either of the Blairs, nor did I ever attempt to physically approach them.

5. Despite being deemed innocent of any crime and despite never having threatened either of the Blairs, Special Branch and MI5 were set upon me.

6. I made various complaints to the police relating to the Mirror and the Blairs. None were meaningfully investigated.  The most blatant example was the failure of Det Supt Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard to claim that he had investigated my complaint relating to the Piers Morgan admission of receiving information from the police without interviewing anyone at the Mirror or looking at their accounts for evidence of payments to the police.

7. The harassment I suffered after the Blairs failed to have me investigated in March 1997 lasted for the entire Blair premiership and ended once he was out of office.

If you want me to write an article for the FT on any aspect of the business I shall be happy to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

—————————————————————————————————

Schedule of documents supplied to Rob  Budden

At our meeting on 8th March I supplied you with the following in paper form:

1. A copy of Is it in the blood? as it was printed.

2. Copies of the Mirror and Daily Herald stories relating to the Blairs and me dated  25 3 1997.

3. A copy of Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC dated 16 October 1997  in which he admits to receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.

4. Copies of the correspondence between the PCC and Mike Jempson of Presswise on my behalf relating to my complaints against the Mirror  and Daily Herald  following the stories of 25 3 1997.

5. A copy of Sir Richard Body’s EDM of  detailing the harassment I was subject to after the Blairs’ attempt to have me prosecuted during the 1997 General Election  campaign failed.

Copies of documents supplied 9 3 2013 via email in digital form (Wordfile)

1. The version of  the Wisden Cricket Monthly article  Is it in the blood? as I sent it to David Frith with supporting documents – see wordfile IsitinthebloodFT.docx

2. My initial submission to the Leveson Inquiry including original attachments (sent by separate email).

3. Details of Piers Morgan’s   perjury before Leveson  -  see wordfile  piersmorganperjury.docx

4.  Details of Jeff Edwards  perjury before Leveson  – see wordfile  jeffedwardsperjury.docx

5.  File relating to Robert Jay’s inept questioning  – see wordfile  LevesonRobertJay.docx

6.  My complaints  to Operation Elveden  regarding Morgan and Edwards’  receipt of information  about me illicitly supplied by the police to the Mirror and Morgan and Edwards – see wordfile  OperationElvedensubmissionFT.docx

The Letwin Plan – Freedom of the Press in a post-Leveson UK

The Letwin Plan – Freedom of the Press in a post-Leveson UK

Freedom Association meeting  25 February

Speakers

John Whittingdale MP (Chairman of the DCMS select committee).

George Eustice MP

Harry Cole Blogger

Depressingly John Whittingdale and George Eustice are both wholeheartedly in favour of the Letwin Plan which is the Government’s response to Leveson’s proposals.   I say depressingly because the Plan is dishonest in overt intent because it produces a system of regulation which pretends to be independent but is in reality authoritarian.

The proposed structure of the new system of regulation consists of a  Recognition Panel (RP) which licences a Regulator, the relationship between the two being broadly akin to that of  Ofcom licensing broadcasters, although here there will be three tiers of interested parties  -  the RP, the regulator and the press – rather than two.

The RP will carry out an assessment of the work of the Regulator  every three year. However, in exceptional circumstances an inspection can be made when deemed necessary.  The Regulator will have the power to levy substantial fines , viz:

15. 19. The Board should have the power to impose appropriate and proportionate sanctions(including but not limited to financial sanctions up to 1% of turnover of the publication concerned with a maximum of £1,000,000) on any subscriber found to be responsible for serious or systemic breaches of the standards code or governance requirements of the body.

The possible size of fines could have an excessive  intimidatory effect, especially on publications which have relatively small publications.

The regulatory structure is to derive its legitimacy from a Royal Charter rather than a statute  (The full draft Charter can be found at http://tinyurl.com/Draft-Royal-Charter-for-Press).  This supposedly gives it independence from politician. Apart from being the thin end of the wedge to more extreme regulation, the personnel of the RP  will be drawn from the usual cast list of the Great and the Good and,  in the cases of both the RP and the Regulator,  there will not be an outright  ban on people with a media background , merely restrictions on serving   mediafolk or their numbers.  The funding  of  the RP will come from the fees charged to those applying to be Regulators  with top ups from the taxpayer if required (the taxpayer will fund the first three years). The Regulator’s income  will come from subscriptions and fines levied from subscribers found to be misbehaving.

The dishonesty  continues with the claim that signing up to  the new regulator will be a voluntary choice for the press.  It will give a very strange meaning to the word voluntary,  because those who choose not to sign up will  leave themselves open to punitive damages in the courts whereas those who do sign up will be legally protected against such  damages.  This legal protection will require legislation.

During questions I pointed out the dishonesty and said that if the government was going to be authoritarian it was better if it was honest about what it was doing,  because this type of pretence was precisely what was disillusioning the general public when it came to politics.  Another questioner made the pertinent point that two classes of plaintiffs  would exist. There would be those suing subscribers to the Regulator (who would be protected against punitive damages)  and those  suing newspapers who had not signed up with the regulator who would be liable for punitive damages.  This could have the perverse consequence of allowing two plaintiffs with equal cases being awarded substantially different amounts in damages , or  even worse, a less serious instance of press misbehaviour resulting in higher damages than a more serious instance.   It could also  have a seriously  intimidatory effect on  the smaller publishers.

The  general problem with the Letwin Plan as outlined in the draft Royal Charter is the structural complexity of the system. The RP  will have an appointments committee which creates an executive  board  licenses the Regulator which also has an appointment panel to create an executive board for the regulator. The Regulator then has to set up a Code committee to develop the Code of Conduct.  This type of diffuse relationship is a recipe for buck passing.

Harry Cole was against the plan because the use of a Royal Charter brought with it difficulties of its own, most notably the fact that an amendment to a Charter required a two thirds majority of the Commons,  as opposed to a simple majority to repeal or amend a statute.  The draft Charter does indeed state this, viz:

9. CHARTER AMENDMENT

9.1. The Recognition Panel may add to, vary or omit (in whole or in part) any of the provisions of this Charter if, and only if:

a) a resolution has been passed unanimously by all of the Members of the Recognition Panel, who shall determine the matter at a meeting duly convened for that purpose;

and

b) the requirements of Article 9.2 are met.

 9.2. Before any proposal to add to, vary or omit (in whole or in part) a provision of this Charter (“proposed change”) can take effect:

a) the leaders of the three main political parties in the House of Commons (being the parties with the first, second and third greatest numbers of Members of Parliament at the relevant time) must each confirm in writing to the Chair of the Board that he agrees to the proposed change;

and

b) a draft of the proposed change must have been laid before Parliament, and approved by a resolution of each House. For this purpose “approved” means  that at least two-thirds of the members of the House in question who vote on the motion do so in support of it. (http://tinyurl.com/Draft-Royal-Charter-for-Press)

Similar qualifications apply to the dissolution of the Charter – see 10. DISSOLUTION10.1

These  Charter provisions would, if valid, make the alteration or the dissolution of the Charter very difficult – the procedures have to be initiated by a unanimous resolution of the Recognition Panel and before any change can be put to Parliament (both houses) the leaders of the three largest parties in the Commons have to each agree to either a Charter change or dissolution of the Charter.   However, there is a rather large question mark over whether they are valid.  Here are the general rules governing amendments to Royal Charters:

…once incorporated by Royal Charter a body surrenders significant aspects of the control of its internal affairs to the Privy Council. Amendments to Charters can be made only with the agreement of The Queen in Council, and amendments to the body’s by-laws require the approval of the Council (though not normally of Her Majesty). This effectively means a significant degree of Government regulation of the affairs of the body, and the Privy Council will therefore wish to be satisfied that such regulation accords with public policy. (http://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/royal-charters/chartered-bodies/).

And

(d) incorporation by Charter is a form of Government regulation as future amendments to the Charter and by-laws of the body require Privy Council (ie Government) approval. There therefore needs to be a convincing case that it would be in the public interest to regulate the body in this way; (http://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/royal-charters/applying-for-a-royal-charter/)

The Privy Council practices appear to come into direct opposition with the draft Royal Charter  where it touches on amendments  to or dissolution of the  Charter.  It is important to understand that  if granted the Royal Charter will not be an artefact of Parliament.  Technically it will be a Royal artefact, although in reality a government artefact.   It might be thought that Parliament being sovereign could override the Privy Council procedures, but it is not as simple as that. The Privy Council procedures are separate from Parliament.  If Parliament wanted them to be subordinate to Parliament that would mean a redrawing of the Constitution, something which has can have wide ramifications, as was show all to starkly by the last Labour government’s botched attempt at ending of the post of Lord Chancellor.

The problems do no end there. Reading through the  draft Royal Charter  there is a distinct whiff of the PCC about the set up. For example, take the parameters of the Code of Conduct:

15  7. The standards code must ultimately be adopted by the Board, and be written by a Code Committee which is comprised of both independent members and servingeditors.8. The code must take into account the importance of freedom of speech, the interests of the public (including but not limited to the public interest in detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety, protecting public health and safety and preventing the public from being seriously misled), the need for journalists to protect confidential sources of information, and the rights of individuals. Specifically, it must cover standards of:

a) conduct, especially in relation to the treatment of other people in the process of obtaining material;

b) appropriate respect for privacy where there is no sufficient public interest justification for breach; and

c) accuracy, and the need to avoid misrepresentation.

The likely code of Conduct will be one close that of the PCC Code , which apart from being frequently not applied by the PCC also gave plenty of wriggle room, especially when the question of the public interest was raised.

None of the panellists suggested that rather than having this great regulatory edifice  a statutory right of reply (RoR) would do what was required without any chance of political interference. This is because it is a self-organising process which would involve only the newspaper and the complainant or, where an RoR was refused, the courts.   Consequently I did.  John Whittingdale tried to dismiss the idea by saying it would be unworkable because of the number of people asking to reply would be vast.  I pointed out that this would not be a problem if the RoR was restricted to a reasonable length.

I also suggested that claims for  financial redress by  those abused by the press should be dealt with through the Small Claims courts with no right of appeal from the Small Court’s verdict and no lawyers allowed, that is, just the lay plaintiff confronting the lay representative of the newspaper involved.  Again this met with a blank lack of interest by the two MPs.    The Small Claims court could also deal with refusals of a newspaper to publish an RoR.

Had I been given the time I would also have raised the problem of how the Regulator would possibly be able to handle the likely number of complainants. In this context the Information Commissioner’s office  (ICO) can give some idea of the difficulties which are likely to arise. A complaint under either the Freedom of Information or the Data Protection Acts to the ICO is likely to take a year or more to gain an adjudication despite the fact that the IFO employs several hundred people.   You can bet your life that the proposed Regulator will not employ hundreds of people because the funding of the Regulator will come from the subscribing newspapers .  The difficulty of the numbers  complaining vastly exceeding the resources available is exacerbated by the allowing of third party complaints:

15.11. The Board should have the power to hear and decide on complaints about breach of the standards code by those who subscribe. The Board should have the power (but not necessarily the duty) to hear complaints: a) from anyone personally and directly affected by the alleged breach of the standards code, or b) where an alleged breach of the code is significant and there is substantial public interest in the Board giving formal consideration to the complaint, from are presentative  group affected by the alleged breach, or c) from a third party seeking to ensure accuracy of published information.

Third party complaints also raise the problem of subjectivity by the Regulator, whose board members, being human, are likely to favour complaints which fit with their political sympathies whilst discriminating against those of which they disapprove.

In short, the proposed regulatory regime is, apart from being the thin end of the wedge for state control of the press, dishonest in intent, constitutionally unsound and administratively impractical .

During the course of the meeting I  raised  (1)  the failure of  Leveson to use the letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC in which he admitted receiving  information from the police in circumstances which  could only have been illegal  and (2) Morgan’s subsequent perjury  when giving evidence before Leveson under oath. I offered these as  examples  of the failure of Leveson to pursue cast iron evidence of serious media misbehaviour.    Harry Cole expressed an interest and asked for a copy of the letter which I subsequently supplied.

After the meeting I spoke with John Whittingdale  about Leveson  and he was very loth indeed to discuss the matter. I eventually persuaded him to  take a copy of the Morgan letter from me, although it was with the look of a man picking up a live grenade with the pin pulled out. When he had read the letter  he  said, believe or not, that he did not think it worth pursuing because it was 15 years old. I pointed out that crimes were frequently pursued after such a time, for example, the Savile investigations ,  while some of the phone hacking accusations were over ten years old.  I also pointed out that the only reason my complaints were not investigated at the time  was the police  failure  to meaningfully investigate.   Mr Whittingdale left taking a copy of the Morgan letter with him.

Robert Henderson 2 March 2013

Curing media abuse – A statutory right to reply is needed

Robert Henderson

A statutory right of reply (RoR) is the thing of media nightmares. That alone tells you it is the best remedy for the general public. But the media is looking a gift horse in the mouth because an RoR would provide the strongest bulwark against any government desire to regulate the media. If there is a truly effective means of rapid redress available to everyone, including incidentally politicians, the prime argument for outside regulation is removed.

An RoR is also the perfect practical solution to the problem of media abuse because it is a self-regulating mechanism, able to develop organically and requiring no great bureaucracy to administer it or vast amounts of money to fuel it.

The only expenditure would be that incurred where an individual challenged the denial of an RoR by a newspaper or broadcaster. That cost could be kept to a minimum in two ways. First, by making libel the only reason for refusing an RoR and then only for that part of a proposed reply which was libellous. Second, by empowering Small Claims Courts to decide whether a claimed libel exists and, if the court does not agree that it does, to order the newspaper or broadcaster to publish the disputed reply. To keep things simple, there should be no appeal against the Small Claims Court’s decision.

The other mechanism which would provide redress with little cost would be to extend the powers of the Small Claims Courts to hear complaints against the media for libel and slander and other torts such as trespass. These two measures would ensure that money did not prove a barrier or determinant of ultimate legal success.

How would it work?

I would restrict the right to individuals because corporate bodies should be able to look after themselves through normal legal action.

The qualification for a right to reply would be simple and objective: the media outlet has printed or broadcast material about an individual. Hence, no prior legal decision, other than on possible libel, would be needed before an RoR was enforced.

What should the RoR entail in terms of opportunity? In the case of newspapers I would give a respondent 300 words as an automatic right and another 500 words for every 1000 words published about him or her over 1500 words. The respondent’s reply should be printed on the same page as the story to which they are responding. If the newspaper responds to a reply then the person responded to would get another RoR.

Broadcasting is more problematical, but at the least a written reply by the person criticised could be read out on air. Where the person has the confidence to speak for themselves, they should be allowed to broadcast their reply.

Practical fears

The objections to an RoR are heavy in the imagination but in all probability slight in practice. It is a case for suck-it-and see.

The media will say that it is completely impractical, that their papers and broadcasts would be full of nothing but replies. In fact, we can say with a very high degree of probability that they would not be.

The general experience of the introduction of any new opportunities for the public at large to act upon is that there is an initial burst of activity which soon settles down to a hard core of those willing to make the effort. If by any chance the introduction of a right to reply proved the odd sociological man out and the media was overwhelmed, the system could be reviewed .

A narrow RoR would be worthless

The media will doubtless throw up their hands in horror at the idea of a RoR which is anything other than a narrow one based on correcting inaccuracy. There are two solid reasons why it should not be limited to inaccuracy. The first is that there is often no easy way of proving the truth or otherwise of ostensible “facts” nor any clear distinction between what constitutes accuracy and inaccuracy or a certain definition of what is an objective fact. For example, what is the objective truth of this statement: “Harold was killed by an arrow through his eye at the battle of Hastings” in 1066? We can be more or less certain that the battle took place in 1066, assuming that we do not have a general scepticism about that which we have not personally witnessed, but the nature of Harold’s death is much more uncertain and problematical. If the RoR were restricted to inaccuracy, the media would assuredly use the lack of objective truth and falsity to undermine the RoR by arguing interminably.

The second objection concerns opinion. This is often more damaging than inaccuracy and there is no clear distinction between fact and opinion. Suppose I write of an actress that “she is a whore”. That is a statement of fact which in principle could be tested objectively, that is, does she take money or other material rewards for providing sexual favours? But what if I write “she has the morals of a whore”? Is that fact or opinion? If it is to be treated as fact how could it be tested? Again, the opportunities for argument are limitless.

The effect on the media

The effect of an RoR and small claims court libel access would be profound. Faced with an immediate published response to any inaccuracy or abusive opinion and the possibility of having to submit themselves to public examination in a small claims court, journalists and broadcasters would cease to be cavalier in what they write. An analogy would be with the recording of conversations where everyone in the conversation knows they are being recorded. Where that occurs people generally cease to lie about what was said and are careful about what they say.

The present remedies

Compare an regime such as I have proposed with the present supposed remedies for those criticised or represented by the media. These are both cumbersome and the success of a complaint is dependent upon the judgement of others. In the case of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), the judgement is made by people drawn from the media or from those associated in some way with the media, and the organisation is funded by the press. Unsurprisingly, a non-celebrity complainant to the PCC rarely succeeds – in its entire history the PCC has never found for a complainant where to do so would be to tacitly accept that a serious libel had been committed.

But to complain that the PCC is no remedy is to miss a larger point. No matter how formally honest the PCC or any other media regulating body was, it could no more serve the public generally than the legal profession can serve the general public in actions for libel where there is no legal aid. The question is one of practicality.

The numbers of complaints actually considered formally by the PCC and the Broadcasting authorities is minute, running into a few hundred a year – most complaints never get to a full hearing or investigation. If the public began to use these bodies enthusiastically they would be overwhelmed. Short of the Government devoting a large segment of the national budget to funding vast public bodies capable of dealing with tens of thousands of complaints a year, the redress for the public will remain notional and the existence of bodies such as the PCC worse than useless. I say worse than useless because their existence gives a spurious appearance of media misbehaviour being subject to sanctions.

All that adds up to a further powerful argument for an effective RoR. Those within the media who oppose such a thing should consider whether it a lesser evil (from their point of view) than the likely eventual alternative of state-control, either openly or through quasi-independent bodies.

I will leave you with this thought. At present the relationship between someone in the media and anyone they choose to criticise is analogous to someone who binds a man and then punches him. It is not a contest, but an act of cowardice. It is essentially what anyone in the media does when they attack someone outside the media in the certain knowledge that the person will be denied an uncensored opportunity to reply.

 

Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from the police, his perjury and Operation Elveden part II

To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

(Tel: 0208  )

29 January 2013

CC Gerald Howarth MP

Keir Starmer (DPP)

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

Dear DC Rooke,

As we have not been able speak as yet I will try to expedite matters by ensuring that you have the basic details and by describing what I would like to happen.

The crimes committed

The evidence I have supplied leaves  Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards  with no wriggle room. There is the letter from  Morgan to the PCC admitting that he received information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal;  Edwards as the writer of the Mirror article must have been the recipient of the information and both Morgan and Edwards objectively committed perjury by denying receiving information from the police illegally whilst under oath before the Leveson Inquiry. Det Supt Curtis is condemned by his wilful refusal to interview Morgan, Edwards or anyone else at the Mirror after my initial complaint.  (I have him on tape promising to interview Morgan et al during my initial meeting with him).

The political dimension

The complaints I have submitted to Elveden are part of a larger scandal which has deep political ramifications. The general scope of these can be seen from  the Early Day Motion put down on my behalf by Sir Richard Body on 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

I bring this to your attention because it was the political dimension which prevented me from  getting any redress for complaints I made to the police  following the publication of the Mirror story. My experience from 1997 to 2007 when Blair retired was of being in  a Kafkaesque world in which,  despite being subjected to harassment which ranged from death threats and an internet campaign which incited violence against me by posting my address on social media sites  to regular interference with my post, I was unable to get the police to investigate meaningfully any of the complaints which arose from the Mirror’s involvement and the  harassment which followed.  You have a classic example in the failure of Jeff Curtis to investigate the Mirror despite having Morgan’s letter admitting to receiving police information.

That my complaints caused  considerable concern to the police because of their political nature can be seen from the number of senior officers who got involved in complaints of crimes,  most of which  would normally be investigated by a Det Sergeant or a Detective Inspector at most.   At various times I dealt with the following:

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

Despite their involvement no one was ever  charged, unsurprising as no complaint was meaningfully investigated.  I also met with the same obstruction from the CPS.

Documents passed to Holborn police

The documents I  passed to PC G James 423EK and PC L Scully 471EK  from Holborn police station were:

1.Piers Morgan’s Letter to the PCC date 16 October 1997  in which he admits receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.

2. A copy of the Daily Mirror  story about me dated 25 March 1997 which produced the complaint to the PCC  which caused  Morgan to write the letter in which he admitted receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.

3. Copies of the then director of Presswise Mike Jempson’s correspondence on my behalf with the PCC relating to the Mirror story dated 23 December 1997, 9 January 1998, 20 January 1998, 18 February 1998, 2 March 1998.

4. My evidence to the Leveson Inquiry of  Morgan ’s perjury dated 23 December 2011

5. My evidence to  the Leveson Inquiry of Edwards’ perjury dated 25 March 2012

6. My original submission to the Leveson Inquiry dated 25 November  2011

7. Sir Richard Body’s Early Day Motion 10th November 1999 which dealt with the general context of the events surrounding the Mirror story  with the role of the Blairs at its heart.

8. A copy of my Wisden Cricket Article Is it in the Blood? (from the July 1995 edition). It was my gross mistreatment by the mainstream British media after the publication of the article that led me ultimately to write to the Blairs asking for their assistance after all other available avenues of redress had failed me .

9. A copy of my final letter to  Det Supt Curtis dated 2 December 1999, Det Supt A Bamber’s reply to that letter 13 December 1999 and the PCA’s letter dated November 1999  refusing  to investigate further

10. A letter addressed to the new head of Operation Elveden Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh dated 21 January 2013.  A copy of this is below.

I attach copies of 1,4,5,6 and my final letter to Jeff Curtis (see 9)  in digital form.

What I would like to happen

The first step would be for the two of us to have a long talk about this. Because of the political ramifications I would also  like to meet DAC Steve Kavanagh .

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————————————

Flag this messageOPERATION ELVEDENMonday, 25 February, 2013 11:10

From: “Paulette.Rooke@met.police.uk” <paulette.rooke@met.police.uk>View contact detailsTo: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Mr Henderson

I write out of courtesy just to let you know that I am still looking into your recent correspondence with this office.

I hope that you will receive a reply in the next couple of weeks.

Yours sincerely

Paulette Rooke

DC PAULETTE ROOKE

JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD

Internal  58526  External  020 8785 8526

Mobile 07771 553043 (office hours)

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

To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

CC

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Gerald Howarth MP

Keir Starmer (DPP)

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

26 February 2013

Dear DC Rooke,

Thank you for your email of 25 February. It is now a month since I passed  my complaints  to Operation Eleveden.  I really do think an early meeting between you,  me and a senior officer from Operation Elveden (preferably Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh)  would be fruitful.

I have provided Operation Eleveden with conclusive evidence of  Piers Morgan and  Jeff Edwards’  receipt of information illegally from the police and of their perjury before Leveson.     Consequently, most of the investigatory work needed to bring charges has been completed.  Apart from the admin involved in  getting the cases to court, all that remains to be done is to interview Morgan and Edwards and to inspect the Mirror’s  records and  Morgan and Edwards’ private papers to see if information relating to payments for the information exist.  I really cannot see what obstacle there is to proceeding with an investigation.

Morgan will not be able to deny the offence because to do so would put him in the absurd position of saying he had not written the letter, that he had no knowledge of it being sent and that the whole thing was done by someone else.  That would be ridiculous if it was just a letter sent without any outside stimulation, but this letter is sent in response to a letter from the PCC.  Morgan would have to argue that a correspondence initiated by  the PCC had proceeded without his knowledge even though the Mirror side was made in his name.

Even without the letter it would be clear that the police had illegally  passed information to the Mirror.  Information in the story could only have come from the police. In addition  Jeff Edwards’ story contains this:   ‘A Scotland Yard  source  said: “By sending letters in a very unpleasant tone the writer has committed an assault. ’ Special Branch, who organise protection for MPs have been informed of the situation”.   Just for the record my letters were deemed entirely legal by the CPS within hours of their receipt.  It was a try-on by the Blairs.

I have spoken to Edwards once. That  was on the morning of the publication of the Mirror story. When he discovered who he was speaking to he panicked immediately.  I think there is a good chance that when confronted with the evidence of Morgan’s letter  he will simply come clean.  I have never spoken to Morgan,  but I would draw your attention to the fact that he has behaved recklessly and dishonestly in the past, most notably in his fabrication of a photos of soldiers  when Mirror editor , something which caused his sacking. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/may/14/pressandpublishing.iraqandthemedia). Reckless people tend to be careless and impulsive. Always a plus when an investigation is under way.

My complaint against Det Supt Jeff Curtis is also straightforward. The fact that he did  not interview anyone at the Mirror despite having Morgan’s letter to the PCC can be verified by checking the Met’s case notes.

If the Mirror received  information from the police illegally in my case, it is not unreasonable to suspect that this was a widespread  practice within the Mirror group. Investigate my complaints and you will almost certainly find evidence of other instances.  There is also the advantage for the Met in investigating the Mirror because it shows they are not merely concentrating on the Murdoch papers.

I would greatly welcome a meeting in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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