Miss Kim Brudenell
Solicitor to the 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
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.
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.
Police are probing a string of race hate letters to Tony and Cherie Blair.
At first staff at Labour’s HQ in Walworth Road, South East London, ignored the letters sent to the Blairs.
They were shown dozens of letters which were taken away for forensic tests.
The insider added: “MPs often get threatening mail which would go in the bin.
When the Mirror approached ex-public schoolboy Henderson yesterday at his council flat, he refused to discuss the letters.
Special Branch, who organise protection for MPs, have been informed of the situation.
CHERIE BLAIR RECEIVES HATE LETTERS
Tony Blair’s Wife Cherie has been bombarded with hate mail.
Detectives were shown a bundle of 100 letters at a two hour meeting with the Blairs.