Operation Elveden and Piers Morgan – My attempt to enlist the help of Leo McKinstry

Robert Henderson

After I met him at  the Campaign for an Independent Britain meeting of 26 April  I tried to enlist Leo McKinstry’s help to make public Piers Morgan illegal receipt of information from a Met Police officer    He refused. A copy of what I sent McKinstry and his replies to my emails are below.

Because I needed to explain the background to Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC in which he admits receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal, I also presented McKinstry with the details of the Blairs’ attempt to have me prosecuted, Blair’s use of the state security apparatus to harass me throughout Blair’s premiership and the persistent refusal of the police to investigate Morgan and others. I also offered him the story of the refusal of Leveson to use the story despite the fact that Morgan was questioned under oath at the Leveson Inquiry about receiving information illegally from the police.

McKinstry represents himself as someone who is willing to challenge the abuses of authority and political correctness. I offered him at least  four major political scandals. What does he do? He refuses to take them any of the  up because of the length of time which has passed and the  large number of people in positions of power and influence are involved.  A disinterested observer might think those are reasons  to become involved.

The age of the general story is of no account because (1)  serious crimes are should be and frequently are prosecuted are far longer periods have passed than those relating to the Morgan  (2) crimes involving the powerful and famous have a considerable attraction for the general public and  (3) part of the scandal is the determination of everyone who could and should have made the matter public to have censored it over such a period.

His  second reason for not taking up the story, that his not an investigative  reporter, is ridiculous because he is a political commentator. That inevitably means he will routinely have to do some fact checking and digging. Moreover, he does not need to do any investigation because I can supply him with the  objective evidence he needs. Yes, that’s right, every single part of this story is substantiated by documents or recordings. Suppose he wanted to run just the Morgan story. All he needed was Morgan’s letter to the PCC and the written refusals of the police to investigate, both of which I had supplied to him.

McKinstry gave  the game away after I suggested he pass the story to an investigative reporter. He came up with the pathetically weak excuse that he does not have the time, viz:

 I’m afraid I can’t spend time on chasing up this story or liaising with any colleagues over it, especially as it has been already investigated in such detail – though not to your satisfaction – over a long per

Not have the time to write a short note along the lines of “these stories requires investigation  which is not my cup of tea, but it looks to be right  up your street”  and forward my email to him to  a colleague  Ten minutes work.    As for his claim that the story ha s been investigated in great detail, this completely ignores the fact that my general complaint is that it has never been meaningfully investigated,.

Apart from the inadequacy of his reasons for refusing to take up the story, there is another pointer to something going on beyond what is overt. There is nothing in the information I sent him to suggest that there were “a huge number of people involved”. That means he was  either well aware of the story from the Blairs onwards before I sent him the material or  he has learnt about the story since receiving the material, either from my Living in a madhouse blog or from his journalist colleagues.  The living in a madhouse blog can be ruled out because there has been no wide-ranging traffic on the Blair and Morgan stories in the day it took him to reply.

Ever since the Blairs tried to have me prosecuted I have made a conscious effort to avoid paranoia driving me to believe every person in  the media is intimately aware of my story. However,  I have encountered a surprising number of people in the media who initially claim they have never heard my story,  but who in the course of conversation make it very clear they are well acquainted with it by revealing familiarity with details of the story which I have not supplied to them.  I suspect that is the case with McKinstry.

 

Robert Henderson  1 May 2014

 

—– Forwarded Message —–

From: leo mckinstry <mckinstryleo@hotmail.com>

To: robert henderson <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>

Sent: Tuesday, 29 April 2014, 11:30

Subject: RE: The political scandal I promised you at the CIB meeting

 

Dear Mr Henderson

I’m afraid I can’t spend time on chasing up this story or liaising with any colleagues over it, especially as it has been already investigated in such detail – though not to your satisfaction – over a long period.

Yours sincerely

 

Leo McKinstry

 

Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2014 08:59:14 +0100

From: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Subject: Re: The political scandal I promised you at the CIB meeting

To: mckinstryleo@hotmail.com

Dear Mr Mckinstry,

How about passing the story on to one of your investigatory reporter colleagues?

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

 

———————————————————————————————–

 

From: leo mckinstry <mckinstryleo@hotmail.com>

To: robert henderson <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>

Sent: Monday, 28 April 2014, 16:52

Subject: RE: The political scandal I promised you at the CIB meeting

 

Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for your message and for sending me all the detailed documents and correspondence about the story you mentioned.

However, I am afraid that I cannot pursue the matter, for two reasons.

– Firstly, this case is not a new story but has been going on for years.   A huge number of people have been involved, including the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, other members of the press and a large phalanx of MPs.      I don’t think any purpose would be served by adding my membership to this substantial cast.

– Secondly, as you are no doubt aware, I am a columnist and commentator, rather than a reporter.  I therefore rarely carry out individual investigations.

So I am sorry but I will have to leave it there.

 

Yours sincerely

Leo McKinstry

 

———————————————————————————————–

Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2014 17:21:16 +0100

From: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Subject: The political scandal I promised you at the CIB meeting

To: mckinstryleo@hotmail.com

 

Tel: 0207 387 5018

 

27 4 2014

Dear Mr Mckinstry,

As promised at the CIB meeting yesterday, I attach a facsimile copy of a letter from a Fleet Street editor to the PCC in which the editor admits receiving information from the Met Police in circumstances which can only have been illegal. The man in  question is Piers Morgan when he edited the Daily Mirror – you will see on the second page Morgan writes “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) ” .

In January 2013 I supplied Operation Elveden with a copy of this letter and other evidence incriminating Morgan and his one-time chief crime reporter Jeff Edwards together with evidence against a senior  (now retired) Scotland Yard detective superintendent Jeff Curtis showing he failed to investigate Morgan when I first submitted the complaint.

Elveden refused to investigate and the matter has now worked its way to the top of the Met’s complaints system, the Directorate of Professional Standards. They are currently attempting to stop an investigation being made.

Since I referred the matter to Elveden in 2013 I have made persistent attempts to meet with the police face to face and give a formal statement. These requests have been ignored.

I have two problems in presenting this story to you.  The first is the volume of correspondence which has been generated by the failure of Elveden to act. That I shall attempt to deal with by giving you just a few sample pieces of correspondence to let you get a feel of the complaint. The documents are my original submission to Elveden, the refusal of my complaint by Elevden and my latter correspondence with the Directorate of Professional Standards. You will find them below.

The second problem is more difficult. When you read Morgan’s letter you will see it tries to paint me as a racist. As you know anyone who makes the slightest stand against the politically correct view of race and immigration gains that epithet. In my case it came in the unlikely form of an article I wrote for Wisden Cricket Monthly pointing out that an England cricket team stuffed with South Africans and West Indians made a mockery of the idea of national sides. I think you follow cricket so you may well remember the stink it caused. As you can imagine, no article which was in any meaningful sense racist would get into a mainstream publication  like WCM.

As for the Blairs I wrote to them asking for their help after I had been refused any opportunity to reply by the media to the torrent of abuse which occurred after the publication of the WCM article and the PCC had utterly failed me. This resulted in a highly libellous piece about me in the Daily Mirror claiming I was a dangerous racist threatening the Blairs. (this was the cause of the  Morgan letter).  This was utterly false.

 

The Blairs went to the police to try to get me prosecuted for sending malicious communications. The police immediately  sent the letters to the CPS who in a matter of hours  sent them back to the police marked NO CRIME. This was unsurprising because (1) I had never made any threats against the Blairs  and (2) the Blairs did not go to the police when I sent them the letters, but only later after I sent copies of my letters and the non-replies I was getting from the Blairs’ offices to the mainstream media during the first week of the 1997 Election campaign.

Despite all that Special Branch were set on me (the Mirror story blithely reported this) and I spent Blair’s entire premiership being harassed  by what were almost certainly state agencies, everything from death threats to the ostentatious opening of my post.

Sir Richard Body put down this EDM in 1999 on my behalf after my own MP Frank Dobson refused to help me:

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

 

I think the best thing I can do to place the Morgan letter in context is to reproduce the letter with my comments interposed in brackets with RH at the beginning. Here it is :

 

FROM THE EDITOR

Piers Morgan’s letter with Robert Henderson’s comments interpolated

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]. 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. [RH I sent each an initial letter detailing the problem and then follow ups along the lines of “I have  yet to receive a meaningful answer to my letter of ….” ] 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 to 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 referred to 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) [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, 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 [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 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. [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] .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 an unequivocal offence because the photographer took the photograph within my property].

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

Finally, Leveson refused to use any of the material relating to Morgan and the Mirror, this despite the fact that Morgan was asked under oath whether he had received information illegally from the police. Leveson was so desperate to write me out  of the story that he arranged for my name to be omitted from his report as one of those who had made submissions to the Inquiry.

I would dearly like to meet you to take you through the detail of the case.

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

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