Leveson Inquiry – Jeff Edwards and another prima facie case of perjury

Miss Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London WC1

25 March 2012

Dear Miss Brudenell,

The evidence given by Jeff Edwards before the Inquiry on 17 March 2012 provides another prima facie instance of perjury.

Mr Edwards was the reporter who wrote the hideously libellous story about me in the Mirror on 25 3 1997.  The Inquiry already has a photostat of this story and the front page flier in the Mirror advertising it, but I reproduce the story below for your immediate reference.

This is the story which eventually prompted Piers Morgan’s  letter to the PCC (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/piers-morgan-lied-to-the-leveson-inquiry/), the letter in which he admits the Mirror received the information on which Edwards’ story was based from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal because (1) Morgan writes “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect)” – there would be no need to protect a source if the transaction were legal – and (2) the nature of the material released to the Mirror and the circumstances in which it was released.  By the time the story was passed to the Mirror the CPS had already ruled that no crime had been committed – they made the ruling within a few hours of receiving the papers from the police. Hence, there  could by definition have been no legitimate reason for the police to release any information about me, whether that was to a single newspaper or the entire media.   The Inquiry has a copy of the letter but I attach it in facsimile for your immediate reference.

Morgan claims in the letter  to the PCC that he had never seen the my letters to the Blairs: viz” I have no way of directly knowing of the content of those letters because I have not had sight of them.”  Therefore,  Edwards was almost certainly  the recipient of the information which was illegally handed over by the police. The only possible alternative would have been for another  Mirror employee to have been given the information who then passed it to Edwards. However, this is wildly improbable because Edwards would have had to write,  without having seen any  evidence – we may conclude from the fact that Morgan never saw the letters  that Edwards did not have copies of them –  a story which if untrue was, by definition, dangerously libellous. Regardless of these considerations, Edwards would have been the most likely recipient of the information because of his long standing and exceptionally close relationship with the Metropolitan Police as revealed in his evidence to the Inquiry.

The illegal passing of  information to the Mirror means that the police officer and the Mirror recipient of the information committed  criminal offences under the Official Secrets and Data Protection Acts.  In addition, the police officer would have  been guilty of Misconduct in a Public Office. Even if by some miracle there was a third party between Edwards  and the police source, Edwards  would still  have committed  crimes under the Official Secrets  and Data Protection Acts by receiving the information because he would have known their source and consequently would have known the information was illegally received by him.

In his written and oral evidence to the Inquiry  Edwards  paints himself as whiter than white,  viz:

Q37 I have no experience of anyone wanting other than an understanding professional relationship, that often becomes genuine  friendship.” ( http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Witness-Statement-of-Jeff-Edwards.pdf)


 “Q75 I never asked police officers in any way to disclose things they were not allowed to do or tried to push them to give me information they were uncomfortable disclosing.” (ibid)

(Note that Edwards does not say he never received information which it was illegal for the police to give or even offer. This strikes me as a deliberate attempt to avoid the question of whether he received information illegally. Incredibly, Robert Jay did not follow up this point in his questioning.)


The paper [NoW] had recently appointed a new editor, Nicholas Lloyd, and I think my boss was coming under pressure to get results.

I explained to him the job was difficult and his response was something to the effect that “we have

plenty of money available, let your contacts in the police know that we will reward them for good


I do not remember what I said in return but I remember being worried about both my job and what

my boss was suggesting as I had never paid police officers before, and was worried about the legal

and ethical issues involved.

No more was said for about three or four weeks, but I did not offer bribes or rewards to any police

contacts and clearly my performance was still not good enough because the News Editor confronted

me again.

He was angry and again said words to the effect that I should be paying police officers to induce

them to pass on information.

I do remember that I became upset and said to him that I disapproved strongly of such methods and

said something on the lines that I thought we were about exposing hypocrisy and corruption and yet

here we were with him instructing me to bribe police officers.

I think this was probably the final nail in my coffin because I remember him becoming angry and

saying words to the effect that “If you will not do my bidding I will find someone who will.”

The following week I was telephoned at home by my boss who told me the editor had decided to

remove me from the role of Crime Correspondent. I was not being sacked from the paper, but I was

to return to the main news room as a general reporter.

I learned that a colleague was being appointed to my job. I do not know if this reporter bribed or

rewarded police officers with money or any other inducements.” (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Second-Witness-Statement-of-Jeff-Edwards.pdf)


“Apart from the period Circa 1981 to 1985 when I was a staff reporter at the News of the World, I have no knowledge and no evidence of payments made to police personnel by journalists.”

“I can state that throughout my time at the Daily Mirror I was not encouraged in any way to offer rewards or bribes to police and have never indulged in that practice, which I think is wrong.

“I can also state that I never heard of any instance of another journalist at the Daily Mirror being involved in any business where money or other rewards were offered or given to police officers. (ibid)

20      ….there have been times in my life where I have —

21       I mean, I — because I was a senior staff reporter at

22       the Mirror, I was expected to mentor to some extent some

23       other reporters on occasions, or reporters would

24       frequently come to me for advice.  You know, younger

25       members of staff.  And on occasions I had to draw to


1       their attention the dangers of going down perhaps

 2       certain roads of where they could be compromised or even

 3       be in danger of more serious consequences in

 4       a particular relationship




            17 I was probably with a police team on ten to a dozen

            18       different occasions near Heathrow, and I had made a

            19       point, incidentally, of saying to them, “I do not want

            20       to know the details of this job until it is completed”;

            21       in other words I was very conscious of the fact I did

            22       not want at any point to be — if anything went wrong,

            23       anybody to say, “You were the leak on this”, or “The

            24       problem was caused by you”.  All I said, in the most

            25       general terms, “I don’t need to know the who, the what,


             1       the why.  If things unfold in front of me, that will be

             2       fine, but I don’t want to know in advance exactly what’s

             3       going on.”



The putative perjury

How can this portrait of Edwards  as  a veritable saint amongst sinners  be squared with the fact that he was willing to accept information about me from the police when the CPS had ruled that I had committed no crime and in  circumstances where the receiving of the information can only have been illegal?

In particular, how can  Edwards write in his first witness statement “Q37 I have no experience of anyone wanting other than an understanding professional relationship, that often becomes genuine  friendship” when at least in the instance involving me his relationship with the police was illegal?

There is also no reason to take at face value Edwards claim that “Apart from the period Circa 1981 to 1985 when I was a staff reporter at the News of the World, I have no knowledge and no evidence of payments made to police personnel by journalists.”  The passing of information about me to the Mirror  could not possibly have been to settle a grudge by the police against me and it would be most unlikely that a police officer would be willing to risk his or her career by passing on such inflammatory  information without reward, the two reasons other than payment Edwards gave in his evidence.

There is also the circumstantial evidence of the failure of the Scotland Yard to interview  Edwards, Morgan or anyone else at the Mirror when they eventually were forced to go through the motions of investigating  Morgan’s admission of receiving information from the police (I have already supplied the Inquiry with the details of this).   That looks very like deliberate collusion between the Met and the Mirror to ensure the story never made it into the public fold.

In view of the Blairs’ involvement, the very senior police officers who dealt with my complaints – these included the head of the Met’s internal investigations unit – and the fact that the newspaper involved was the Mirror – at that time the house journal of New Labour –  and Edwards’  close relationships with the Met generally and  senior Met Officers in particular,  it is reasonable to suspect  that police officer who provided the Mirror with the information was of senior rank.

I ask you to (1) investigate the question of Edwards’ perjury; (2) recall Edwards for questioning about the police source who supplied him with the information about me; (3)  recall Piers Morgan for questioning about his involvement with the story; (4) call the police officers involved with supposedly investigating  Morgan’s admission  receiving information from the police to explain why they did not interview anyone at the Mirror  and (5) call me to give evidence on my dealings with the Mirror and the police.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson



The Daily Mirror and Daily Herald stories with Robert Henderson’s commentary on them

The Mirror  article was accompanied by a large photograph of  me, printed  after I had specifically withheld my permission  for its use,  and was flagged on the front page with the charming  headline “COPS PROBE BLAIR PEST – EXCLUSIVE:  Fears over race hate mail.”

The  Mirror story contained  these  objectively  provable libels:  (1)  the  false accusation of  sending  ‘Race  hate’ letters  to Tony and Cherie Blair,  (2) the false  accusation that I sent  dozens of letters to the Blairs,  (3) the  false  accusation of assault,  (4) The false accusation  of  sending letters  containing  ‘graphic racist filth’,  (5)  the  false accusation of sending letters containing ‘racial insult’, (6)      the  false  accusation of sending letters  containing  ‘sewer  language’,  (7) the false accusation that I have  ‘tendencies associated  with  stalkers’,  (8) the  completely  fabricated quote  ‘If  he [Blair] gets elected,  he’ll let  in  all  the blacks and Asians’ and (9) the false statement that I refused to comment on the letters when approached by the Mirror.

 Daily Mirror 25 March 1997
                  Jeff Edwards Chief Crime Correspondent                                     
                  Police called in over string of hate letters

Police are probing a string of race hate  letters  to Tony and Cherie Blair.

The deluge of sinister messages sent to the  couple through the Labour Leader’s office at the House  of  Commons began last year.
Insiders   described   them  as   “personal   and   offensive”.
And  they  feared the letter  writer  could  even  become a stalker.
The  man behind the hate mail has been  described   as 51-year-old Robert Henderson.
He sparked a huge row two years ago when he wrote    an article criticising black players in the England   Cricket  Team  for  the  Magazine  Wisden’s   [sic]   Cricket Monthly


The  magazine was successfully sued for libel  by  England fast bowler Devon Malcolm.

At  first  staff at Labour’s HQ in  Walworth  Road,    South East London,  ignored the letters sent to the    Blairs.

But  they decided to call in the police when  the  TYPED messages became a rant against the couple and   started  arriving  at the rate of three or  four  a  week.
Insiders  say  the  letters  –  with Henderson’s   signature  and north London address – are  full  of   graphic racist filth implying Mr Blair would  relax  immigration laws once he gets to No 10.
A  Labour  insider said last night:  “The  writer    said  things  like  ‘why are you  married  to  that  idiot?  If  he gets elected he’ll let  in  all  the  blacks and Asians.’”
Detectives  visited the Blairs at Labour HQ  last  week.

They  were  shown dozens of  letters  which  were   taken away for forensic tests.

The letters – posted in London –  have also  been   studied by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Police said sending such material could result in  an assault charge.

  The  insider added:  “MPs often  get  threatening   mail which would go in the bin.

“But this is different. It has become a campaign, a  bombardment.   The  writer  displays  tendencies  associated with stalkers.
This writer is unusually persistent. The tone of   the letters has become increasingly nasty.  “He uses sewer language. The letters are racially insulting.

 When  the Mirror approached  ex-public  schoolboy  Henderson yesterday at his council flat, he refused to discuss the letters.

Last  night  a  Labour  spokesman  said:  “Public    figures getting offensive material in the post  are advised to refer them to police.
   “We now consider this man is not worth giving any   more publicity to.”
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.

The Daily  Herald’s report   published on the  same day as  the   Mirror story:
This story contained these objective provable libels:  (1) that  I sent “hate letters”  to Cherie Blair,  (2)  that  the letters were “sick”,  (3) that I bombarded Cherie Blair  with letters, 4) that I sent letters to Cherie Blair in  1996, (5)  that the letters contained “racist filth”,     (6)  that the police were shown 100 letters,  (7) that the letters were   “deeply offensive” and (8) that Cherie Blair declined to have  me   prosecuted  (That  decision  was  made  by   the   Crown       Prosecution Service who declared that “NO CRIME” had been committed).


             Sicko letters sent to Cherie

Tony Blair’s Wife Cherie has been bombarded  with    hate mail.

Police were called in after Mrs Blair feared  the   writer showed classic signs of being a stalker.
The  letters,  which are said to  contain  racist   filth  and  are described  as  “deeply  offensive”,    began last year.
  They  are  said to have been  written  by  Robert   Henderson,  who  two  years  ago  penned  a  racist   article criticising the selection of black  players   for the English cricket team.

Detectives were shown a bundle of 100 letters  at   a two hour meeting with the Blairs.

The  letters,  all posted in  London,  have  been   taken away for forensic examination.  But Mrs Blair  is thought to have declined to turn the matter into  a criminal case.
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