Operation Elveden, Piers Morgan and the Crown Prosecution Service

Note: The CPS are getting nervous, hence the fact that they are responding with more than an anodyne non -reply. Robert Henderson

Mr Robert Henderson

16 August 2013

Dear Mr Henderson,

Your email of 25 July 2013 addressed to Keir Starmer Q.C., the Director of Public Prosecutions has been passed to me for a reply. I am the head of the Organised Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). My division has responsibility for the prosecutions arising out of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

It may assist you if I explain the role of the CPS and that of the Police. The CPS is responsible for reviewing, and where appropriate, prosecuting the majority of criminal cases in England and Wales following investigation by the police. The CPS does not conduct investigations into alleged criminal offences and in the vast majority of criminal cases; this responsibility is borne solely by the police. The CPS has no power to instruct the police to carry out an investigation. That is a decision entirely within the discretion of the police.

I understand, however, that the MPS are currently considering the matters raised by you. If you are dissatisfied with the way the matter is dealt with by the MPS, any complaint  should be directed to the MPS itself and dealt with through its Complaints Policy rather than forwarded to the CPS.

Yours sincerely,

Gregor McGill

Head of Organised Crime Division


Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

London SE1 9HS


Gregor McGill

Head of Organised Crime Division

Crown Prosecution Service

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

London SE1 9HS


19 August

Dear Mr McGill,

I have your letter of 16 August. I can assure you that I was very well aware of the relationship between the police and the CPS before I wrote to Mr Starmer.   I have been copying in the CPS and then eventually writing to the DPP only because these are wholly exceptional circumstances.  If the police were behaving honestly there would be no need for me to do so.

The exceptional circumstances are that we are in who shall guard the guards territory.  I have provided Operation Elveden with  categorical proof that Piers Morgan when editor of the Daily Mirror received information in circumstances which were illegal. That  proof is a letter from Morgan to the PCC in which he writes “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect…”.  You will find attached a facsimile of the letter showing the Mirror letter head  and the PCC date stamp on receiving it.  Have a look at that and then tell me with a straight face that there are no compelling grounds to investigate Morgan, the reporter who received the information (Jeff Edwards) and the police officer ( Det Supt Jeff Curtis)  who risibly failed to investigate my original complaint after promising he would do so.

Despite that exceptionally  strong  evidence Elveden have, as yet,  refused  to act.  In fact, until I wrote to Mr Starmer they were trying to fob my  complaint off in the crudest bureaucratic manner – see DI Daniel Smith’s letter to me of 13 June which is included below.  Only by copying in the DPP did I provoke any action by the police.

As for the MPS,  it is now almost a month since I was informed that they were investigating my complaint about Operation Elveden’s  refusal to investigate. I have not been contacted by those supposedly investigating the matter.   This suggests they will not be contacting me. That in  turn points to another whitewash.  A  failure to contact me  is, incidentally,  par for the course.  Despite my repeated requests to Operation Elveden  to be interviewed and to give a formal statement I have been granted the opportunity of neither.  That behaviour may be reasonably interpreted as guilty policemen not wanting to have to meet me and tell me to my face that a letter  from a Fleet Street editor in which he admits receiving information from the police in illicit circumstances is not grounds to investigate that editor.

Where the police are failing to do their duty there has to be a mechanism by which the they  can be brought to book for their misbehaviour.  It is no good telling me to make another complaint to the police because the police have shown themselves to be corrupt in this matter.  The DPP may not be able to order an investigation but he could certainly make representations to Operation Elveden  that my complaints should be investigated or have a word with the Met Commissioner.  The Attorney-General might also be brought into play in terms of applying pressure.

A failure to investigate serious crimes where there is such strong evidence must constitute both misconduct in a public office and an attempt to pervert the course of justice.  Because  Operation Elveden have refused to act on the evidence I have provided   the senior officers involved are also  guilty of these crimes.  Consequently, the police have a very strong vested interest in suppressing my complaint because it shows the Metropolitan Police is a shocking light and could (and should)  result in the prosecution of senior serving police officers.

There could also be a further reason for  not acting on my complaints. It is possible that either a senior police officer was  involved in the passing of the information to the Mirror or that the  officer was junior then but senior now.

The fact that this matter has not been investigated is a genuine scandal because it shows clearly that the Metropolitan  police cannot be trusted to act honestly when a complaint is made about someone who has genuine power and influence.

I ask you to meet me as soon as possible to discuss the matter.  If the DPP and his nominated  successor are willing to join the meeting so much the better.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson


20 August 2013 [I only received this letter  on 9 Sept because the CPS failed to pay the postage on the letter].

Dear Mr Henderson,

Thank you for your email in response to Mr McGill’s letter of 16 August 2013.

As you acknowledge in your correspondence and indeed as referred to by Mr McGill in his letter to you, this matter is being dealt with by the MPS’ Department for Professional Standards.

Accordingly, I would invite you to direct any further correspondence regarding the handling of that complaint to the relevant contact at the MPS or DPS as appropriate,. Subsequent correspondence with the CPS concerning this matter will be filed without response.

Yours sincerely,

Emma- Jane Charles

Organised Crime Division

VRR Feedback and complaints

Crown Prosecution Service

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

London SE1 9HS



Keir Starmer (DPP)

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge



Tel: 020 3357 0000


Alison Saunders Chief Crown Prosecutor (London – CPS)

Gregor McGill (Head of Organised Crime Division CPS)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Met Police Commissioner)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP


19 September 2013

Dear Mr Starmer,

As you will see from Emma-Jane Charles letter of 16 August  (copy  directly below) , the CPS is taking the position that no further correspondence will be entered into on this matter.  Most people would find that attitude extraordinary because I have brought to your attention the clearest possible case of an attempt to pervert the course of justice by the police by refusing to investigate serious crimes for which I have supplied the clearest and categorical evidence possible.

Ms James refers me to the “relevant contact at the MPS or DPS as appropriate”.  The problem with that is twofold: those at Operation Elveden have refused to meet me despite my repeated requests to do so.   Nor have I been contacted by the Department for Professional Standards (DRS).  I have requested the names, ranks  and contact details of those dealing with my case at the DRS from DI Daniel  Smith but he has failed to answer my request.

I cannot force you to act but you do need to ask yourself how your failure will appear if I manage to get the story up and running in the national media.

My reply has been delayed  because Ms James’ letter was sent without the postage being paid and consequently  I did not receive it until 9 Sept,  when I had to pay a postage due.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson


From: Enquiries <enquiries@cps.gsi.gov.uk>
To: “‘anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk'” <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 9:15
Subject: FW: Operation Elveden – The remit of Operation Elveden and DCS Gordon Briggs

Dear Mr Henderson


Thank you for your email.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the police are separate authorities.  The CPS is responsible for reviewing and, where appropriate, prosecuting most criminal cases in England and Wales following an investigation by the police.  The CPS is also responsible for providing legal advice to the police about cases, although we cannot provide legal advice to members of the public. 

The CPS is not an investigative body and has no power to investigate allegations of crime.  Therefore, when a criminal offence has been committed, it should be reported to the police so that an appropriate course of action can be taken.

I note your concerns about the police, although I cannot comment on them.  If you wish to complain about the police you should contact the complaints and discipline department of the police force concerned.  You can also write to the Independent Police Complaints Commission at 90 High Holborn, London , WC1V 6BH .  Their telephone number is 08453 002 002.

I hope that this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely,


Parliamentary and Complaints Unit (PCU)

Public Accountability and Inclusion Division

Crown Prosecution Service

Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS




From: Magness Samantha
Sent: 30 September 2013 08:50
To: Enquiries
Subject: FW: Operation Elveden – The remit of Operation Elveden and DCS Gordon Briggs

 Dear enquiries, 

Please see the email below and attached from Mr Henderson. I have not acknowledged.

 Kind regards,


Samantha Magness

Private Secretary | Director of Public Prosecutions

Private Office | Crown Prosecution Service HQ

Rose Court | 2 Southwark Bridge | London | SE1 9HS

t: 020 3357 0884 | f: 020 3357 0902

e: www.cps.gov.uk 

See also https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/operation-elveden-piers-morgan-et-al-the-dpp-advised-of-elvedens-refusal-to-investigate/

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  • Roger Gough  On August 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Congratulations Robert – keep hammering on their door, regards, Roger


  • Robert Henderson  On August 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Thanks. The fact that someone so senior answered tells you that they are worried.

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