Operation Elveden and Piers Morgan – The Metropolitan Police Commissioner brought into play

To:

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

Commissioner

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

(Tel: 0207 230 1212)

CC Alison Saunders (DPP)

G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)

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

5 December 2013

Dear Sir Bernard,

In January 2013 I submitted to Operation Eleveden a complaint against Piers Morgan and others regarding the illegal receipt of information from a Met police officer by  Morgan when he was editor of the Daily Mirror.  The evidence against Morgan could not have been stronger, because I supplied Elveden with a letter sent by Morgan to the PCC in which he admitted receiving information in circumstances which could only have been illegal. I attach a copy of the Morgan’s letter in facsimile.

Despite my requests that I be interviewed by Elevden  and make a formal statement,  Elveden denied  my requests and eventually after six months of prevarication refused to investigate my complaints without giving any meaningful reason. This refusal was clearly absurd because they had a letter from Morgan admitting his guilt.

At that point I wrote to the DPP to complain about the failure to investigate a cast-iron complaint. . This prompted a referral of my complaint to the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards, where it was dealt with by the head of that unit, Det Chief Superintendant Alaric Bonthron .

Mr Bonthron has had the complaint for  more than three months. I have received nothing more than holding emails from him, the last of which was sent on 2 October. He has ignored my requests to meet him and has failed to answer my last email to him dated 8 October.

It is now more than ten months since I made the original complaint to Elveden and Morgan and the others mentioned in my complaint have still to be investigated. The evidence I have provided is unreservedly conclusive of the crimes alleged  and the bald failure to investigate constitutes prima facie both misconduct in a public office and a perversion of the course of justice.  The way to judge what has been going on is simple: just ask yourself what the general public would make of the Met’s behaviour in this matter.

Because I cannot get any meaningful response from anyone I have dealt with within the Met, I ask you, as the head of the force, to intervene and ensure an investigation into my complaints is begun immediately.   I also seek a meeting with you to discuss the matter.

I include in this email my complete correspondence directly with Elveden and the other correspondence arising from Eleveden’s behaviour.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————————————-

My last email to the Met Police Commissioner elicited these replies and my responses:
From: “Bernard.Hogan-Howe@met.pnn.police.uk” <Bernard.Hogan-Howe@met.pnn.police.uk>
To: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk
Sent: Friday, 6 December 2013, 12:18
Subject: RE: The Met’s Directorate of Professional standards still refuses to meet me
Mr Henderson
Thank you for your e mail.I am sorry to read of the frustration you have encountered.
Unfortunately it is not possible for the Commissioner to become involved in individual allegations, however I asked that you receive a response from those dealing with this matter.
Best Regards
Neil
Neil Williams
Detective Chief Inspector
Commissioner’s Private Office
 ——————————————————————————————————————–
To:
Neil Williams
Detective Chief Inspector
Commissioner’s Private Office
Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8/10 The Broadway
London  SW1H OBG
(Tel: 0207 230 1212
CC Alison Saunders (DPP)
G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)
Det Chief Superintendent Alaric Bonthron
(Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards)
Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)
Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
Sir Gerald Howarth MP
9 December 2013
Dear Mr Williams, I have your email of 6 December. You say the Commissioner cannot become involved  in individual allegations,. Please answer these two questions:
1. What legal bar is there to prevent him doing so?
2. Are you claiming that in the entire history of the Metropolitan Police has (1829 to date) has there never been a case where a  Commissioner has intervened?
Bear in mind when answering that unless there is a legal bar to him acting in this capacity, I would need to find only example where a Commissioner has intervened to knock the legs from under your claim.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
    
 ——————————————————————————————————————————–
 From: “Andy.J.Dunn@met.pnn.police.uk” <Andy.J.Dunn@met.pnn.police.uk>
To: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk
Sent: Friday, 6 December 2013, 11:54
Subject: Your Correspondence with the Commissioner Concerning Operation Elveden.

Dear Mr. Henderson,
I am sorry for the delay in replying to your messages. As you are aware this is a complex matter with a considerable history and it is taking us some time to gather together all the relevant information so that we can provide you with a proper reply. I am afraid that we are still having trouble getting together some of the older material so I thought I would take this opportunity to thank you for your patience, to let you know what is happening and to clarify a few issues with you.
I am the Chief Inspector in charge of complaint support within the Directorate of Professional Standards in the MPS. This means I have responsibility for the way that complaints about officers are dealt with. As such, DCS Bonthron has asked me to review the issues you have raised. In order to assess them properly could I just check my understanding with you? Following the Leveson Enquiry, you asked Operation Elveden to investigate criminal allegations you are making against Piers Morgan and the way that he obtained information for an article about you that appeared in the Mirror in 1997. The background to this is an article you wrote for Wisden Magazine and the subsequent correspondence you entered into with Mr. and Mrs. Blair, the then Prime Minister and his wife. You allege that information about this was supplied to the Mirror by the police. You now wish to complain about the fact that Operation Elveden have refused to investigate that criminal allegation. I appreciate that this is a very brief summary but is it basically accurate?
I am less clear about the following: I also understand that you may have made similar criminal allegations previously in around 2002? These were referred to DCS Simon Foy and you then made a complaint about the way he dealt with them, which in turn was dealt with by DCS Tony Dawson of DPS? This is the older material I referred to above and our files seem to be incomplete. Can you confirm whether the matters that you raised at this time were the same criminal allegations you are now making about Piers Morgan, or is this a different issue?
Once again, thank you for your patience.
Yours sincerely,
Andy Dunn.
Total Policing is the Met’s commitment to be on the streets and in your communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.
—————————————————————————————————————
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
9 December 2013
Dear Mr Dunn,
I have your email of 6 December.  This is not a hideously complicated matter either in its detail or in the way I have presented it to Operation Elveden. In fact, I would go as far as to say I have done most of the spadework for the bringing of charges because the evidence I have provided is so compelling.  The only reason it seems complicated is the large amount of correspondence it has generated, a fact which is down to the failure of the Met Police to do their duty and investigate cast-iron evidence of wrongdoing.
Having explained the position concisely but fully in my correspondence with Elveden, I really should not need to go over the matter yet again. However, your email suggests you do not possess the full papers relating to the case, which if I am correct is rather disturbing because you are meant to be reviewing the case. It also suggests that Alaric Bonthron has not been working from the full papers because  presumably you are working from what he gave you..   Consequently,  I will write yet another summary to ensure there is absolutely no room or opportunity for a claim of misunderstanding on your office’s part.
The whole business did start with the publication of an article of mine in Wisden Cricket Monthly (WCM) entitled “Is it in the blood?” This created a storm of media protest which severely libelled me. To this I was allowed no opportunity to reply.  I  could not afford to sue   so I went through all the possible channels – the PCC, my MP, the BBC complaints system and so on  – without any success.  I then wrote to the Blairs for help: Blair because he was odds on to become the next PM; his wife because she was a noted human rights lawyer as well as being Blair’s wife.  All I got was non-replies  from their offices.
At the beginning of the 1997 general election campaign I sent copies of my letters to the Blairs together with the non-replies from their offices  to every mainstream media outlet in the country. It was then that the Blairs went to the police and tried to have me prosecuted under the Malicious Communications Act.   They obviously had not been worried by the letters  as letters  because they only went to the police after I had supplied copies to the media not when they received the letters. Presumably their motivation was a  concern their non-replies showed them in a bad light. The police referred the matter to the CPS immediately and the CPS sent the papers  back to the police on the day they received them marked NO CRIME. (I obtained all this data using the DPA).
Blair then set Special Branch  on to me – you will find that mentioned in the Mirror story –  and I also used the DPA to prove that both Special  Branch and MI5 had opened files on me. I then endured the ten years of Blair’s premiership being harassed by one or more of  Special Branch, MI5 or some other  agency  with everything from the ostentatious opening of my post to incitements to attack me posted on various social media which included my name, address and phone number.   The harassment stopped as soon as Blair was out of office. The general circumstances of the affair are summarised in an Early Day Motion put down by Sir Richard Body MP, viz:
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
My complaints to Eleveden are these:
1. That Piers Morgan when editor of the Mirror obtained information from a Met Officer(s) in circumstances which can only have been illegal. The letter from Morgan to the PCC which I have supplied to Elveden and which you have a copy of in facsimile conclusively proves this.
2. That Jeff Edwards when chief crime reporter for the Daily Mirror illegally received information from Met Officer(s).  Morgan’s letter plus the story printed by the Daily Mirror about me conclusively prove Edwards received such information.
3. That both Morgan and Edwards  committed perjury when questioned under oath about receiving information illegally from the police. I provided Operation Elveden with the relevant Leveson transcripts.
4. That Det Supt Jeff Curtis committed misconduct in a public office and perverted the course of justice by claiming he had investigated my complaints against Morgan and Edwards when the reality was that he failed to conduct any investigation at all, and that  despite having Morgan’s letter to the PCC and the Mirror article about me.  Curtis eventually shamefacedly admitted to me in a phone call that he had  not spoken to anyone at the Mirror including Morgan and Edwards and consequently there had been no  investigation of the Mirror’s accounts  and other records to see whether any money had been paid. Curtis failed to investigate Morgan and Edwards despite his promise to do so in an interview with me which I recorded. I have supplied Eleveden with a copy of that recording so you can hear  him making the promise on which he reneged.
That I could not get any redress when I made my original complaint against Morgan and Edwards was simply a consequence of the powerful people involved in the affair, most notably the Blairs.    My complaints to the police were deliberately not acted upon because they involved the Blairs, either directly or indirectly. There was no way I could do anything at the time because I had no money to employ lawyers nor any access to the media.  This was a very clear who shall guard the guards? territory. In short, it was a perversion of the course of justice.
Those were my complaints to Elveden. It would already be perfectly reasonable for me to make complaints of misconduct in a public office and a perversion of the  course of justice against  those in Eleveden who refused to investigate the clearest evidence of criminality (criminality which definitely falls within its remit). Whether I proceed with such complaints will  depend on whether an investigation is made.  In view of the strength of evidence I have provided, it is extremely difficult to see how such an investigation  could not result in charges being brought against, Morgan, Edwards and Curtis.
You will find below your email to me the complete correspondence arising from my complaint to Eleveden.  As your department is reviewing the case you should already have this, plus the tape recording of my interview with Jeff Curtis which I supplied the Elveden.  The correspondences is grouped so that emails to each person or office appear in a block. In addition to the correspondence and the tape I passed these documents 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.
To date, despite my repeated requests, I have yet to meet  anyone from Elveden or your office to give a formal statement and interview. That in itself says a great deal. Why not break this dismal pattern Mr Dunn by meeting me?
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
    
       Click on the tag Operation Elveden for the full story
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