Piers Morgan, perjury, the police, the Leveson Inquiry and Denis MacShane

Note: I attended an Orwell Prize meeting on 24 October at the Frontline Club in Paddington.   The erstwhile Labour Cabinet Minister Denis MacShane  was one of the speakers.  The subject was the misbehaviour of the police and their relations with the media.

When questions from the audience were called for I  told the meeting about Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC in which he admitted receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal and the subsequent failure of the police to question Morgan. I then asked MacShane whether he would take up the matter. Amazingly, you may think, the chair of the meeting Jean Seaton (the director of the Orwell Prize) intervened and said he did not have to answer because that was not what the meeting was about This was  a rather strange claim because  not only was it speaking to the subject of the meeting,  but MacShane during his talk particularly emphasised how it was necessary to  stop the police from colluding with the media by selling stories to them.

After the meeting I spoke with MacShane briefly and gave him a copy of the Morgan letter.  I followed up with the email below. Watch this space for further developments on the Piers Morgan front.  Robert Henderson

Update 2/11/2012 : The Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons  recommended  on 2 November that McShane be suspended for a year from the Commons after they found that McShane had ‘submitted 19 false invoices “plainly intended to deceive”’ and the  ‘The Chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee said it was the “gravest case” to come before MPs. ‘   (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/9651100/MPs-expenses-scandal-Denis-MacShane-to-be-suspended-as-an-MP-for-twelve-months.html). McShane’s  expenses  claims were referred to the police in 2010 who closed the investigation without  charges  being brought  in July 2012, although no  clear reason  was given for the absence of charges.  The Labour Party have disowned  him following the Standards and Privileges Committee’s report.

McShane loves to engage in moral posturing  of the politically correct kind, whilst at the same time behaving immorally. This is one of the classic traits of the psychopath which is given literary from in Emmerson’s  “The more he talked of his honour/The faster we counted our  spoons.”

Mr Denis MacShane MP (Rotherham)

House of Commons

London WC1

25 10 2012

Dear Mr MacShane,

I will amplify the details I gave last night during the Orwell Prize meeting at the Frontline Club and to you personally after the meeting about collusion between politicians, the police and the media.

I gave you of a copy of the letter sent by Piers Morgan to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) in October 1997. This was sent to me after I made a complaint to the PCC following a highly libellous story about me published by the Mirror on 25 March 1997 at the beginning of the General Election Campaign.

As you will have seen from Morgan’s letter, the Mirror story involved Tony and Cherie Blair. They tried and miserably failed to have me prosecuted for a crime which, as lawyers, they must have known I had not committed. The non-existent crime was a claim that I had breached the Malicious Communications Act in my letters to them. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) thought so little of the attempt to have me prosecuted that they rejected the case on the same day it was sent to them, an extraordinary thing when the pressure to proceed against me must have been immense because of the identity of the complainants. Nor was I at any time contacted by the police about the Blairs’ complaint.

The Mirror story (copy below) falsely accused me of being a dangerous racist who had bombarded the Blairs with hundreds of letters full of crude racist language. As you will see from Morgan’s letter he had never seen any such letters. There was the simplest of reasons for this: they were never written. Fuller details of this episode can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/.

After the publication of the Mirror story Piers Morgan refused to make any retraction or correction. I consequently made a complaint to the PCC. The PCC released a copy of his incriminating letter to them to me. This shows unambiguously that Morgan had received information in circumstances which can only have been illegal, viz: “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) ….” If the information had been passed legitimately, for example, in a press conference, there would be no need to refuse to name him. Neither was the information given to any other media outlet. Nor was the information of a nature which could have been given to the media legitimately.

I referred the letter with its admission to the police. It was sent from my local station to Scotland Yard. An “investigation” was supposedly carried out by Detective Chief Superintendent Jeff Curtis. It was a most remarkable “investigation” because when it was concluded Curtis admitted to me that no one at the Mirror – not Morgan, the reporter who wrote the story (Jeff Edwards) or anyone else – had been interviewed. For the full story see https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/the-failure-to-charge-piers-morgan-with-illicitly-receiving-information-from-the-police/

The PCC refused to adjudicate on my original complaint or my subsequent complaint about Morgan’s admission of having received information illicitly from the police. Mr MP Frank Dobson, who was member of Blair’s cabinet at the time, refused to take up the case. Eventually on 10 November 1999 Sir Richard Body MP put down this Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons :

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.

Until Blair left No 10 (a period of ten years) I was subject of continual harassment – my post opened ostentatiously, threats by phone, a hate campaign on social networking sites such as newsgroups inciting violence against me and for all I know my phone was tapped. I suspect this was either Special Branch or MI15, both of which I discovered through the use of the Data Protection Act (DPA), hold files on me, although the information held by them was almost entirely withheld in answer to my Subject Access Requests under the DPA.

This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record.

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

Leveson Inquiry

I initially submitted to the Leveson Inquiry information about my mistreatment by the Mirror (and other media outlets), the PCC’s refusal to adjudicate on my complaints and the failure of the police to investigate Morgan’s admission that the Mirror had accepted information from the police illicitly. Leveson refused to call me as a witness or accept my information into evidence.

When Morgan gave evidence he perjured himself by claiming that he had never received information illicitly from the police (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/piers-morgan-lied-to-the-leveson-inquiry/). The writer of the Mirror story about me, the Mirror’s erstwhile chief crime reporter also committed perjury before the Inquiry, viz: ““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.” . As he was the one who claimed to have received the information about me he caught himself in a very stupid lie.

I madea further submissions to Leveson drawing their attention to Morgan’s and Edward’s perjury:

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/referral-of-piers-morgans-perjury-to-the-leveson-inquiry/

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/leveson-inquiry-jeff-edwards-and-another-prima-facie-case-of-perjury/

Leveson refused to act on these stone-certain cases of perjury to his Inquiry which took information under oath from both Morgan and Edwards.

Conclusions

My experience shows graphically how there is collusion between politicians, the police, the media and, in Leveson’s case, the judiciary to suppress and fail to act on information which will damage those with power, wealth or influence. You put yourself forward as someone who wishes to expose misbehaviour by such people, especially by the police and the media. You could not have a better story to use for that purpose than the one I have to tell. I hope you live up to your words and use it.

This is an especially good time to put the tale before the public because it looks as though Morgan is going to be pulled into the phone-hacking scandal. If he is, that will mean he also perjured himself before Leveson on that score.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————-

Daily Mirror 25 March 1997
‘PEST TARGETS BLAIRS’
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
GRAPHIC
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 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.
——————————————————–
FROM THE EDITOR

By fax (0171-353 8355) & by post
16 October 1997
Your ref: 970738
Christopher Hayes Esq
Press Complaints Commission
I Salisbury Square
London
EC4Y 8AE
Dear Mr Hayes
Mr Robert Henderson
I refer to Mr Henderson’s complaint as outlined in his letter of 23 September.
As you are aware, we have been in contact with Mr Henderson for some time due to his propensity to bombard individuals and this office with correspondence. [RH: Translation: Mr Henderson sent more than one letter because the Mirror refused to reply].
There are certain irrefutable facts that escape emphasis in Mr Henderson’s correspondence.
Far from ignoring any of his correspondence we have written to him on the 20 May, 22 July and 6 August. [RH: The letter of 20 May merely said he was not going to enter into correspondence. The other two letters were from his legal department in response to Subject Access Requests I made under the data Protection Act. These were legally required]. We have consistently made it clear that we have no intention of entering into any further correspondence with him.
Be that as it may I will address his concerns:-
In essence, the basic “sting” of the article, of which he complains, was that he had been sending numerous insulting letters, some with racist undertones, to Mr and Mrs Blair which had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.
Mr Henderson himself admits that he sent Mr and Mrs Blair at least thirteen letters. I have no way of directly knowing of the content of those letters because I have not had sight of them. However, clearly they sufficiently concerned Mr Blair’s office to be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service [RH: The CPS said as soon as they saw the letters that they were entirely legal] and I think the Commission is perfectly entitled to draw an adverse inference on the contents of those letters as a result of that referral.
I cannot accept Mr Henderson’s explanation for writing {o Cherie Blair. To do so was clearly designed to intimidate. In Mr Henderson’s draft article “Moral Simpletons Target Innocent Man” the bile that he shows on the second page of that article clearly illustrates his capacity to insult in his letters to Mr and Mrs Blair[RH: an absurd deduction. What I wrote to the Mirror says nothing about what I wrote to the Blairs] (to the extent that they be referredto the Crown Prosecution Service). I would also refer the Commission to Mr Henderson’s gratuitous reference to a “Blaireich”.
He also admits to expressing his disgust (we can only guess in what terms) of the decision of Mr and Mrs Blair not to send their son to a school whereby a white schoolboy was, apparently, murdered by five other boys (and that that murder was racially motivated). [RH: This was the Richard Everitt murder].
The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) [RH: thus the police informant behaved illegally by supplying the information] gave us the detail of the letters that we then published. Nothing that Mr Henderson writes has convinced me that the article was anything other than accurate.
Perhaps one can get a flavour of his correspondence with Mr and Mrs Blair by examining the final sentence of his draft article in which he states “It was a cargo of ancient male gonads”.
The Commission may be aware (I am attempting to get hold of the article) that the article of Mr Henderson’s that appeared in Wisden’s Cricket Monthly in 1995 gave rise to an extraordinary amount of controversy and resulted in Wisden paying substantial libel damages to the Cricketer, Devon Malcolm,[RH: Malcolm refused to sue me after I made it clear I would take the case to the floor of a court] whom the Commission will be aware is a coloured fast bowler for England. As I understand the matter, and Mr Henderson will correct me if I am wrong, the article implied that coloured players will not try as hard when playing for England as white players. [RH: The article put it forward as a possibility, no more].
I have discussed the legal position with the newspaper’s solicitor, Martin Cruddace [RH: Cruddace is a proven liar. He made a declaration to my Subject Access Request under the Data protection Action to the effect that the Mirror held no qualifying documents. Eventually after I had done some detective work, he had to admit that the Mirror had a small matter of 118 pages of documents relating to me], and he has assured me that the law has recently developed whereby words (be they written or spoken) can constitute assault [RH: No person in the UK has been convicted of such a crime. The definition of GBH has been extended to non-physical abuse such as abusive phone calls but it requires a psychiatric illness to be proved to be caused by the alleged abusive behaviour. Mere emotions such as fear do not qualify. The failure of the police to consider such a course and the CPS’ immediate definition of the case as “NO CRIME” shows that my letters were entirely lawful] if the pattern of those words is such as to make the recipient of them either anxious or ill. It has developed as a reaction to the former impotence of the law on stalking.
The law has therefore developed since the publication of the dictionary reference on which Mr Henderson relies.
I cannot accept that the taking of the photographs of Mr Henderson, given the clear public interest concerning the subject matter of The Mirror article, could possibly constitute harassment under the Code. [RH: It was a clear breach both because I had advised them of my eye trouble and because they took photographs having come over my threshold.]
I am most concerned not to waste any further time in dealing with Mr Henderson’s complaint but, naturally, if the Commission wishes me to address any further matters then I will endeavour to do so.
However, I hope that the above is sufficient to convince the Commission that the basic “sting” of the article is accurate and that Mr Henderson’s complaint ought to be dismissed.
Yours sincerely
Piers Morgan
Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: