Tag Archives: Leveson Inquiry

The Financial Times goes after The Daily Mirror

Dear Robert

I hope you don’t mind me emailing you directly.
I am writing about phone hacking on behalf of the FT and investigating wider incidences of press abuse at other newspapers such as Trinity Mirror.
I would be keen to meet with you as I understand from one of my contacts that you may have evidence of wider press abuse.
Do let me know if you would be happy to meet. I am happy to discuss matters on background only.
All best
Rob

— Rob Budden Chief Media Correspondent Financial Times +44 (0) 207 775 6839 +44 (0) 7785 952 688 www.ft.com
Follow me on Twitter: @RobertoBud

————————————————————————————————————-

Rob Budden

Chief Media Correspondent

Financial Times 

1 Southwark Bridge,

 London SE1 9HL

Tel: 0207 775 6839

Email: rob.budden@ft.com

9 March 2013

Dear Rob,

As promised at our  meeting of 8th March, I send you additional information relating to Piers Morgan, the Blairs, the police, the Leveson Inquiry and myself. The details of the new material and the material I supplied to you when we met are listed below.

If you want to expose Trinity Mirror I have provided you with all the evidence you need to demonstrate their abuse of members of the public,  the committing of criminal acts through the receipt of information from the police illegally by the Mirror, probable perjury before Leveson by Morgan and Jeff Edwards and the wilful suppression of evidence by the police of police supplying information illegally to the Mirror. In addition, you have the wider story of the Blairs attempting to prosecute me for crimes they must have known were bogus and their subsequently use of the security services and Special Branch to harass me.

Please keep these facts firmly in front of you:

1. There was so little substance to the Blairs’ complaints against me that the police never contacted me about them, while the CPS rejected the complaint within hours of receiving it with a firm “No Crime”.

2. The Blairs did not go to the police when I sent them the letters, but only after I had circulated copies of my letters to them and the replies I received at the beginning of the 1997 General Election Campaign.

3. The Blairs failed to take any civil law action against me even though that has only the balance of probability evidential test.

4. At no time did I threaten directly or by implication either of the Blairs, nor did I ever attempt to physically approach them.

5. Despite being deemed innocent of any crime and despite never having threatened either of the Blairs, Special Branch and MI5 were set upon me.

6. I made various complaints to the police relating to the Mirror and the Blairs. None were meaningfully investigated.  The most blatant example was the failure of Det Supt Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard to claim that he had investigated my complaint relating to the Piers Morgan admission of receiving information from the police without interviewing anyone at the Mirror or looking at their accounts for evidence of payments to the police.

7. The harassment I suffered after the Blairs failed to have me investigated in March 1997 lasted for the entire Blair premiership and ended once he was out of office.

If you want me to write an article for the FT on any aspect of the business I shall be happy to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

—————————————————————————————————

Schedule of documents supplied to Rob  Budden

At our meeting on 8th March I supplied you with the following in paper form:

1. A copy of Is it in the blood? as it was printed.

2. Copies of the Mirror and Daily Herald stories relating to the Blairs and me dated  25 3 1997.

3. A copy of Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC dated 16 October 1997  in which he admits to receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.

4. Copies of the correspondence between the PCC and Mike Jempson of Presswise on my behalf relating to my complaints against the Mirror  and Daily Herald  following the stories of 25 3 1997.

5. A copy of Sir Richard Body’s EDM of  detailing the harassment I was subject to after the Blairs’ attempt to have me prosecuted during the 1997 General Election  campaign failed.

Copies of documents supplied 9 3 2013 via email in digital form (Wordfile)

1. The version of  the Wisden Cricket Monthly article  Is it in the blood? as I sent it to David Frith with supporting documents – see wordfile IsitinthebloodFT.docx

2. My initial submission to the Leveson Inquiry including original attachments (sent by separate email).

3. Details of Piers Morgan’s   perjury before Leveson  –  see wordfile  piersmorganperjury.docx

4.  Details of Jeff Edwards  perjury before Leveson  – see wordfile  jeffedwardsperjury.docx

5.  File relating to Robert Jay’s inept questioning  – see wordfile  LevesonRobertJay.docx

6.  My complaints  to Operation Elveden  regarding Morgan and Edwards’  receipt of information  about me illicitly supplied by the police to the Mirror and Morgan and Edwards – see wordfile  OperationElvedensubmissionFT.docx

Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from the police, his perjury and Operation Elveden part II

To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

(Tel: 0208  )

29 January 2013

CC Gerald Howarth MP

Keir Starmer (DPP)

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

Dear DC Rooke,

As we have not been able speak as yet I will try to expedite matters by ensuring that you have the basic details and by describing what I would like to happen.

The crimes committed

The evidence I have supplied leaves  Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards  with no wriggle room. There is the letter from  Morgan to the PCC admitting that he received information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal;  Edwards as the writer of the Mirror article must have been the recipient of the information and both Morgan and Edwards objectively committed perjury by denying receiving information from the police illegally whilst under oath before the Leveson Inquiry. Det Supt Curtis is condemned by his wilful refusal to interview Morgan, Edwards or anyone else at the Mirror after my initial complaint.  (I have him on tape promising to interview Morgan et al during my initial meeting with him).

The political dimension

The complaints I have submitted to Elveden are part of a larger scandal which has deep political ramifications. The general scope of these can be seen from  the 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

I bring this to your attention because it was the political dimension which prevented me from  getting any redress for complaints I made to the police  following the publication of the Mirror story. My experience from 1997 to 2007 when Blair retired was of being in  a Kafkaesque world in which,  despite being subjected to harassment which ranged from death threats and an internet campaign which incited violence against me by posting my address on social media sites  to regular interference with my post, I was unable to get the police to investigate meaningfully any of the complaints which arose from the Mirror’s involvement and the  harassment which followed.  You have a classic example in the failure of Jeff Curtis to investigate the Mirror despite having Morgan’s letter admitting to receiving police information.

That my complaints caused  considerable concern to the police because of their political nature can be seen from the number of senior officers who got involved in complaints of crimes,  most of which  would normally be investigated by a Det Sergeant or a Detective Inspector at most.   At various times I dealt with the following:

Det Chief Supt Tony Dawson – The Met’s Internal Investigations Command

Dept Supt Jeff Curtis

Chief Supt John Yates

Chief Supt Eric Brown

Supt Cliff Hughes

Supt Alex Fish

Chief Inspector Julia Wortley

Chief Inspector Ian West

Det Chief Inspector Stephen Kershaw

Despite their involvement no one was ever  charged, unsurprising as no complaint was meaningfully investigated.  I also met with the same obstruction from the CPS.

Documents passed 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.  A copy of this is below.

I attach copies of 1,4,5,6 and my final letter to Jeff Curtis (see 9)  in digital form.

What I would like to happen

The first step would be for the two of us to have a long talk about this. Because of the political ramifications I would also  like to meet DAC Steve Kavanagh .

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————————————

Flag this messageOPERATION ELVEDENMonday, 25 February, 2013 11:10

From: “Paulette.Rooke@met.police.uk” <paulette.rooke@met.police.uk>View contact detailsTo: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Mr Henderson

I write out of courtesy just to let you know that I am still looking into your recent correspondence with this office.

I hope that you will receive a reply in the next couple of weeks.

Yours sincerely

Paulette Rooke

DC PAULETTE ROOKE

JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD

Internal  58526  External  020 8785 8526

Mobile 07771 553043 (office hours)

————————————————————————————————————————————–

To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

CC

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Gerald Howarth MP

Keir Starmer (DPP)

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

26 February 2013

Dear DC Rooke,

Thank you for your email of 25 February. It is now a month since I passed  my complaints  to Operation Eleveden.  I really do think an early meeting between you,  me and a senior officer from Operation Elveden (preferably Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh)  would be fruitful.

I have provided Operation Eleveden with conclusive evidence of  Piers Morgan and  Jeff Edwards’  receipt of information illegally from the police and of their perjury before Leveson.     Consequently, most of the investigatory work needed to bring charges has been completed.  Apart from the admin involved in  getting the cases to court, all that remains to be done is to interview Morgan and Edwards and to inspect the Mirror’s  records and  Morgan and Edwards’ private papers to see if information relating to payments for the information exist.  I really cannot see what obstacle there is to proceeding with an investigation.

Morgan will not be able to deny the offence because to do so would put him in the absurd position of saying he had not written the letter, that he had no knowledge of it being sent and that the whole thing was done by someone else.  That would be ridiculous if it was just a letter sent without any outside stimulation, but this letter is sent in response to a letter from the PCC.  Morgan would have to argue that a correspondence initiated by  the PCC had proceeded without his knowledge even though the Mirror side was made in his name.

Even without the letter it would be clear that the police had illegally  passed information to the Mirror.  Information in the story could only have come from the police. In addition  Jeff Edwards’ story contains this:   ‘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”.   Just for the record my letters were deemed entirely legal by the CPS within hours of their receipt.  It was a try-on by the Blairs.

I have spoken to Edwards once. That  was on the morning of the publication of the Mirror story. When he discovered who he was speaking to he panicked immediately.  I think there is a good chance that when confronted with the evidence of Morgan’s letter  he will simply come clean.  I have never spoken to Morgan,  but I would draw your attention to the fact that he has behaved recklessly and dishonestly in the past, most notably in his fabrication of a photos of soldiers  when Mirror editor , something which caused his sacking. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/may/14/pressandpublishing.iraqandthemedia). Reckless people tend to be careless and impulsive. Always a plus when an investigation is under way.

My complaint against Det Supt Jeff Curtis is also straightforward. The fact that he did  not interview anyone at the Mirror despite having Morgan’s letter to the PCC can be verified by checking the Met’s case notes.

If the Mirror received  information from the police illegally in my case, it is not unreasonable to suspect that this was a widespread  practice within the Mirror group. Investigate my complaints and you will almost certainly find evidence of other instances.  There is also the advantage for the Met in investigating the Mirror because it shows they are not merely concentrating on the Murdoch papers.

I would greatly welcome a meeting in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

Leveson Inquiry – Leveson makes me (and possibly others) a non-person

Robert Henderson

The Leveson Inquiry report was published on 29th November. The  executive summary   is at  http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0779/0779.asp

The full Report is at http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0780/0780.asp

I have only been able to have a quick glance at the 2000 odd page document but I have found something very strange. I have become a non-person in Leveson World. There is a long list of those making submissions to the Inquiry . I made very substantial submissions to Leveson – my initial submission can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/ .

Leveson’s report contains a long list of the names of those who made submissions – see – http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0780/0780_iv.pdf  page 1839 volume IV.    My name is not in the list.

Not content with refusing to allow me to appear as a core participant or an ordinary witness,  Leveson has deliberately excluded any evidence  that I made  submissions.  It would be interesting to know if any other people who made submissions  have had their names omitted.

Such an omission  is most irregular. Where submissions are solicited by an official inquiry,  the submissions,  or at least a note of who has made submissions,  are routinely included in an appendix to the report.

Why is Leveson so determined not to have my submission to his Inquiry suppressed? Amongst other things   I provided him with

1. A  letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC when he was Daily Mirror editor admitting that he had received in formation from the police in circumstances which can only have been have been illegal.

2. Evidence that Morgan and his one-time Mirror chief crime reporter Jeff Edwards had committed perjury under oath before the Inquiry .

3. Evidence that the police conducted an “ investigation” in the Morgan letter   to the PCC without questioning Morgan or anyone else at the Mirror.

4. The abject failure of the PCC to address  my complaints of the most serious libels against me.

5. Huge evidence of press abuse of me.

Details of these issues and my  extended correspondence with the Inquiry can be found at:

The Leveson Inquiry report was published on 29th November. The  executive summary   is at  http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0779/0779.asp

The full Report is at http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0780/0780.asp

I have only been able to have a quick glance at the 2000 odd page document but I have found something very strange. I have become a non-person in Leveson World. There is a long list of those making submissions to the Inquiry . I made very substantial submissions to Leveson – my initial submission can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/ .

Leveson’s report contains a long list of the names of those who made submissions – see – http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0780/0780_iv.pdf  page 1839 volume IV.    My name is not in the list.

Not content with refusing to allow me to appear as a core participant or an ordinary witness,  Leveson has deliberately excluded any evidence  that I made  submissions.  It would be interesting to know if any other people who made submissions  have had their names omitted.

Such an omissions  is most irregular. Where submissions are solicited by an official inquiry,  the submissions,  or at least a note of who has made submissions,  are routinely included in an appendix to the report.

Why is Leveson so determined not to have my submission to his Inquiry suppressed? Amongst other things   I provided him with

1. A  letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC when he was Daily Mirror editor admitting that he had received in formation from the police in circumstances which can only have been have been illegal.

2. Evidence that Morgan and his one-time Mirror chief crime reporter Jeff Edwards had committed perjury under oath before the Inquiry .

3. Evidence that the police conducted an “ investigation” in the Morgan letter   to the PCC without questioning Morgan or anyone else at the Mirror.

4. The abject failure of the PCC to address  my complaints of the most serious libels against me.

5. Huge evidence of press abuse of me.

Details of these issues and my  extended correspondence with the Inquiry can be found at:

Tag Archives: Leveson Inquiry

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 […]

Leveson Inquiry – My Subject Access  request: the Inquiry withhold data

My Subject Access request to Leveson has resulted in virtually no material being released and an admission that they are withholding information on the grounds of legal privilege. I am challenging this with the Information Commissioner – details below. The course of my  request  can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/leveson-inquiry-data-protection-act-request-for-information/. In addition to my submission to the […]

Is there a deliberate attempt to sabotage the trial of Rebekah Brooks and co?

Robert Henderson At first glance it beggars belief  that Alison Levitt QC,  the principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ,  took the decision to prosecute the one time chief executive of News International and erstwhile editor of the News of the World (NoW) Rebekah Brooks  and others associated with her  beggars […]

Leveson Inquiry – Lord  Leveson prepares the way for the cancellation of part 2

Robert Henderson Leveson hints at an early end to the Inquiry On 2  May the London paper the Evening Standard let a rather large cat out of the bag. It reported that Lord Leveson,  in a ruling made very quietly on 1 May,  had  hinted strongly that he wanted to cut short his eponymous Inquiry. […]

Leveson Inquiry –    Politicians and the Press

Miss Kim Brudenell Solicitor to the Inquiry Leveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand, London WC1 2 May 2012 Cc All barristers employed by the Inquiry Dear  Ms Brudenell, Politicians and the Press I enclose three  examples of  collusion between politicians and the press.    All cases demonstrate the willingness of the British mainstream media to […]

Leveson Inquiry – Jeff Edwards and another prima facie case of perjury

Miss Kim Brudenell Solicitor to the Inquiry Leveson 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 […]

Leveson Inquiry –  Harriet Harman has her deniability removed

Note: I attended a conference entitled Taking on the Media Barons on Saturday 17 March. Its subject was media abuse including the issues under consideration by the Leveson Inquiry.  Harriet Harman was the first speaker.  In the course of her talk she spoke enthusiastically about the fearless way the Leveson Inquiry was going about its work. The […]

Leveson Inquiry – Data Protection Act request for information

RE: Urgent – For Kim BrudenellFriday, 24 February, 2012 12:57 From: “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team”Add sender to ContactsTo: “‘robert henderson’”, “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team”Dear Mr Henderson Thank you for your email the contents of which are noted. I appreciate that you have long standing concerns regarding Mr Morgan. The Inquiry’s position was made clear in our emails […]

Leveson Inquiry – the killer question Robert Jay QC is not asking

The leading counsel to the Leveson Inquiry  Robert  Jay  QC and his fellow barristers are being surprisingly inept in their questioning when it comes to the question of the police illicitly supplying information to the press.  It is noticeable that although some very damaging revelations have come out during the course of the Inquiry, to […]

The Leveson Inquiry and the suppression of evidence

NB This article is also  on the Libertarian Alliance website http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/the-leveson-inquiry-and-the-suppression-of-evidence/  Robert Henderson The remit of the Leveson Inquiry into the British Press is clear: Module 1: The relationship between the press and the public and looks at phone-hacking and other potentially illegal behaviour. Module 2: The relationships between the press and police and the extent […]

Leveson Inquiry: sabotaging deniability

Robert Henderson To remove the defence of “I did not know”from those running the Inquiry, I have sent a fascimile copy of Morgan letter to the PCC to every barrister employed by the Inquiry via their chambers and to Leveson at the House of Lords —————————————– To:  Counsel to the Leveson Inquiry Robert Jay QC, […]

Leveson Inquiry –  Wanted- people who have had their evidence ignored

The Leveson Inquiry are refusing to use my evidence of press, PCC and police misdoing. They will not even take up the matter of Piers Morgan’s perjury before them despite the fact that I have given them a letter from Morgan to the PCC  in which he writes “ The   police  source of our article […]

The Leveson Inquiry – Robert Henderson’s evidence still being considered

Miss Kim Brudenell Solicitor to the Inquiry Leveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC1 14 February  2012 Dear Miss Brudenell, Confirming our telephone conversation of 14 February, you stated: 1. That my email to you of 27 January was received despite no acknowledgement being sent . 2.  That my various submissions to the […]

Leveson Inquiry: Robert Henderson’s application for core participant status

The Leveson Inquiry- Note on the Directions Hearing 25 1 2012 in Court 73 of the Royal Courts of Justice Robert Henderson I attended a directions hearing  for the decision on whether I would be designated  a Core Participant.  I shall not be Core Participant (unless I can somehow persuade Lord Leveson  otherwise), but I could […]

Leveson Inquiry – the response to Robert Henderson’s application to be a Core Participant

Leveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC1 22 12  2011 Dear Lord Leveson, Piers Morgan indubitably lied to the Inquiry (20 December) when he claimed that he had never illicitly received information from the police.   On 25 November I submitted a series of complaints backed by documentation to the Inquiry.  These were definitely […]

Referral of Piers Morgan’s perjury to the Leveson Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC1 22 12  2011 Dear Lord Leveson, Piers Morgan indubitably lied to the Inquiry (20 December) when he claimed that he had never illicitly received information from the police.   On 25 November I submitted a series of complaints backed by documentation to the Inquiry.  These were definitely […]

Piers Morgan lied to the Leveson Inquiry

Piers Morgan lied to the Leveson Inquiry  (20 12 2011) when he claimed he had never illicitly received  information from the police when Mirror editor.   I can say this categorically because he admitted doing so in a letter to the PCC in 1997 when he wrote “”The  police source of our article (whose identity we […]

The Leveson Inquiry: a shameless attempt to censor my evidence

RE: Submission to the Inquiry involving media abuse and the buying of police info Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 13:26 From: “Leveson Inquiry General Enquiries”View contact detailsTo: “robert henderson”Dear Mr Henderson, Thank you for your submission which has been received by the Inquiry Team.  You will appreciate that we have received a large amount of evidence […]

The Leveson Inquiry: the Blairs, the Mirror, the police and me

generalenquiries@levesoninquiry.org.uk 25 November 2011 Dear Lord Leveson, I submit examples of misbehaviour  by  the media and  the  PCC plus collusion between the police and the media .   In every case I was the person who was directly affected by the behaviour.   For each case I enclose supporting documents which strongly support my accusation. I wish […]

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

Leveson Inquiry – My Subject Access request: the Inquiry withhold data

My Subject Access request to Leveson has resulted in virtually no material being released and an admission that they are withholding information on the grounds of legal privilege. I am challenging this with the Information Commissioner – details below. The course of my  request  can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/leveson-inquiry-data-protection-act-request-for-information/.

In addition to my submission to the Information Commissioner,  I include in this post (1) the substantive reply to my Subject Access request and (2) the only information released other than copies of my correspondence with the Inquiry.

Robert Henderson

Mr Christopher Graham

Information Commissioner

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK95AF

25 5 2012

————————————————————————————————-

Dear Mr Graham,

                                                                                                       The Leveson Inquiry          

I made a subject access request to the Leveson Inquiry on 29 2 2012.  The Inquiry has refused to release all the information they hold on me citing legal privilege – see email dated 23/4/2012 sent under the aegis of The Leveson Inquiry Team. 

As you will see from my unanswered emails of 30th April and 13th May, I have asked the Inquiry legal team to spell out exactly what legal privilege arises,  bearing in mind that I am not a lawyer, a client, a witness, a defendant or a party to a civil law suit. The fact that the Inquiry has failed to answer such a simple question after a month suggests strongly that no legal privilege exists in this instance.

The information the Inquiry has released is slight, merely my own submissions, there responses to me and one email which was sent to them, unbeknown to me,  by a third party Roger Dewhurst.  I will not supply you every email or letter the Inquiry and I have exchanged because it is a voluminous correspondence and I do not think it would add anything to my complaint. Should you feel it necessary, I shall of course be happy to supply all the documents. For the present I enclose copies of my subject access request, my subsequent correspondence with the Inquiry relating to the subject access request and the information the Inquiry initially released, which is the Dewhurst’s email and a list of my correspondence with the Inquiry. 

There are extremely strong reasons to suspect that the Inquiry holds information on me which is being withheld simply because it would be at best very embarrassing for them to release and at worst something far more damaging, for example, a conspiracy to protect the powerful and influential. I have supplied the Inquiry  with  a great deal of important material including a letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC when he was editor of the Mirror in which he admits to receiving information from the police about me in circumstances which can only be illegal. (I enclose a  facsimile copy of the letter). From it you will also see that the story in the Mirror of which I complained to the PCC concerned the failed attempt by Tony and Cherie Blair to have me prosecuted during the General Election campaign of 1997. The final document I send you is a copy of my original submission to appear as a witness before the Inquiry. This provides you with a brief summary of the  dangerous (for them) territory I have asked the Inquiry to tread  upon.

Leveson has refused to use any of my evidence including the letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC or to investigate the prima facie perjury Morgan committed regarding the illicit receipt of information of information from the police whilst under oath before the tribunal.

I ask you to rule on whether Leveson can claim legal privilege and if they cannot make such a claim, to instruct them to release the withheld material. If you find that legal privilege does  apply, please let me have your detailed reasons for judging that it does apply.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

————————————————————————————————-

The Inquiry’s  substantive reply to my Subject Access  request

The Leveson Inquiry

culture, practices and ethics of the press

R Henderson Esq

3 April 2012

Dear Mr Henderson,

Subject Access Request

Thank you for your email of 29 February 2O12, in which you made a Subject Access Request (SAR) asking for all information on you held by the Leveson inquiry. Your request has been handled under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

We have now completed a search of our records and can confirm that the inquiry Team does hold personal data within the scope of your request. That personal data is being processed for the purposes of the requests and enquiries you had made of the Leveson inquiry.

The attached schedule shows the personal data that you are entitled to under section 7 of the DPA; as you are a recipient or the originator of each of these emails or communications, I do not propose to send you a further copy. However, if you would like to see any particular documents then I will arrange for copies to be sent to you.

You can find out more about the right of access to personal data under section 7, by reading the extract from the Act attached at the end of this letter.

You can also find more information by reading the full text of the Act, (available at http://www.lesislation.gov.uk/ukpsa/1998/29lsection/7) and further guidance http://www.ico.gov.uk/for organisations/data protection/subject access requests.

You have the right to appeal our decision if you think it is incorrect. Details of how to appeal are annexed to this letter.

Request for Further information

You have also requested certain other information from the Inquiry. As you are aware, the Inquiry is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, but Lord Justice Leveson has indicated that the Inquiry will be conducted in an open and transparent manner. With that in mind I can answer your questions as follows:

1. The number of people who have submitted evidence to the Inquiry: we do not have an absolute number of submissions that we have received, as the inquiry is still inviting and accepting submissions to the Inquiry and so the number is constantly changing. I can tell you, however, that the Inquiry has heard oral evidence from 258 witnesses, and has published their witness statements on the inquiry website. The evidence of a number of other people has also been read into the inquiry and, again, their submissions have all been published on our website. Finally, we publish monthly updates of the number of emails, submissions and other enquiries that have come in; you will find this information in the “About the Inquiry” section of the website.

2. The number of people who have been or will be called to give oral evidence: by close of play on Wednesday 4th April, the Inquiry will have taken oral evidence from 258 witnesses. It is not possible for us, at this point, to know how many witnesses will be asked to give evidence during the remainder of the inquiry.

3. The number of people who have supplied the Inquiry with a letter from a Fleet Street editor in which the editor admits to receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only be illegal: the inquiry does not specifically record information in this way. It is, of course, open to you to review the statements that have been published on our website.

4. The number of people who supplied the inquiry with evidence of the police failing to investigate complaints of police officers supplying information illegally to the press: the inquiry does not specifically record information in this way.

5.The number of people who have supplied the inquiry with evidence of the PCC failing to adjudicate on complaints: again, the inquiry does not specifically record information in this way.

Amanda Jeffrey

(PP by N Mossally)

From:

Josephine Norris [Josephine.Norris@39essex.com]

Sent: 29 February 2012 20:37

To:

Leveson inquiry Solicitors Team

Subject: Fw: Smelling like a dead mullet.

Follow Up Flag: Follow up

Flag Status: Yellow

Fyi

—-Original Message -.

From: Roger Dewhurst

To: Robert Jay; Josephine Norris; wirwin@tgchambers.com <wirwin@tgcha m bers.com>;

DavidBarr@tgchambers.com <DavidBarr@tgchambers.com>;

clerks@tgchambers.com <clerks@tgchambers.com>;

clerks@landmarkchambers’co.uk <clerks@landmarkchambers.co.uk>; tfisher@landmarkchambers.co.uk <tfisher@landmarkchambers.co.uk>; clerksd@4-5.co.uk <clerksd@4-5.co.uk>;

hemmerson@4-5.co.uk

<hemmerson @4-5.co.uk>

Sent: Wed Feb 29 20:30:30 2Ot2

Subject: Smelling like a dead mullet.

This is looking more and more like a whitewash to which you are a party.

Roger Dewhurst

Robert Jay QC

Lead Counsel to the Leveson inquiry

Leveson inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WCL

29 2 2012

Dear Mr Jay,

When questioning press witnesses about payments to the police for information you and your fellow counsel are consistently asking the wrong initial question.

The question you and your colleagues are putting is along these very bald lines: “Did you pay policemen for information?” what you should asking as your initial question is something like this “Did you or your staff ever receive information from the police.” which only you or your paper received?”

If they have that is almost certainly a breach of the law. You can then move to a line of questioning which further  illustrates the illicit nature of the receipt of the information to which the person has admitted receiving or knowing has been received. The question about payment should come later.

The reason you should proceed in this manner is simple. By limiting the question to payment you allow the  witness to escape questioning about other offences. Whether or not payment or other material reward is  given to the police for information , the passing of information illicitly by the police to the press necessarily breaches the Official Secrets Act and most probably the Data Protection Act. In those instances both giver and receiver commit corresponding offences. Conspiracy charges could also arise.  In addition,  the police officer would be guilty of misconduct in a public office.

I find it difficult to believe that a barrister of your experience will not realise all that. So why are you and your colleagues not pressing the matter of the receipt of information illicitly regardless of whether money or payment in kind has occurred?

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

Is there a deliberate attempt to sabotage the trial of Rebekah Brooks and co?

Robert Henderson

At first glance it beggars belief  that Alison Levitt QC,  the principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ,  took the decision to prosecute the one time chief executive of News International and erstwhile editor of the News of the World (NoW) Rebekah Brooks  and others associated with her  beggars belief.  Levitt was the subject of  tabloid stories, including coverage by the NoW , relating to her affair with a high profile  peer , Lord Carlile, the Liberal Democrat who is in charge of reviewing  Britain’s anti-terror laws. (Levitt and Carlile are now married).   The affair was very messy and its exposure in sensationalist fashion must have been a very unpleasant experience for  Levitt, something  which  cannot have disposed her to view the tabloids with equanimity (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-431884/Anti-terror-peer-dumps-boring-wife-glamorous-barrister.html#ixzz1vL8lAqTi ).

Unsurprisingly,  Levitt denies that she was in any way influenced by her treatment and maintains that she was not even  aware that the NoW  had run any stories about her affair when she made her decision to prosecute, a claim which may raise a few eyebrows because it was given considerable tabloid exposure and  a  common behaviour of  people caught in a media storm is to obsessively read everything printed about them.  It is also worth bearing in mind that those abused by the media tend to blame the media generally rather than just a particular newspaper or broadcaster (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2146209/Rebekah-Brooks-preposterous-claim-tabloid-expose-prosecutors-affair-peer-undermine-charges-her.html#ixzz1vL9BWHCg).   But whatever the truth of her feelings towards the NoW – and she could have been biased without recognising she was being biased – she should have stood down. Natural justice requires that those making decisions  within the justice system should not only be disinterested but be seen to be disinterested. Unsurprisingly, Brooks is now  considering whether to launch a judicial review on  the decision to prosecute on the grounds of potential bias on the part of Levitt.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/9273276/Phone-hacking-Rebekah-Brooks-could-challenge-charging-decision-because-prosecutor-was-victim-of-tabloid-sting.html).

It is noteworthy that Starmer’s predecessor as DPP,  Ken Macdonald,  had no hesitation is standing down from a another politically  sensitive case  simply because of his association with people could be taken as evidence of partiality.  MacDonald was the  co-founder of  Matrix Chambers which he established with Cherie Blair whilst Tony Blair was Prime Minister. Because of this relationship,  he excused himself from involvement in deciding what should be done in the “cash for honours” investigations (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4812822.stm), although the Mail reported that “The DPP excluded himself from the decision on whether to prosecute to avoid claims of a potential conflict of interests but has been regularly briefed by Miss Dowd on the investigation.” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-469857/The-woman-called-halt-cash-honours-case.html).

Whether the case came to her in the normal course of her duties or whether she was  allocated it  by her boss, the present DPP Keir Starmer,  Levitt  should have refused to take it on the ground that she could not be seen as disinterested.   Starmer, who cannot  have been ignorant of Levitt’s history with the tabloids because of the high-profile nature of the story and the fact that  it involved a senior member of the legal profession , Lord Carlile – the legal world is a very small one. Consequently,  he   should have given the case to someone else  if he was responsible for allocating it or,  if Levitt  received the case in the normal course of her duties,  he should taken the case from her when he became aware that she was or would be  handling it.    However, it is wildly improbable that such a high-profile case as that against Rebekah Brooks  would  not have involved the DPP  as soon as it was submitted  to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), at least in the sense that he would have taken an interest in who was dealing with it and  how the CPS assessment was proceeding.  The idea that it would simply have come to the CPS and been allocated to a junior CPS lawyer until working its way up to Levitt   seems most  unlikely.  It is also improbable  that Levitt as the principal legal adviser to the DPP would not have discussed the case with Starmer . Whatever happened, the bottom line is that the DPP is ultimately responsible for any decision to prosecute and has the final say in whether a prosecution will occur.

The fact that Starmer did not do remove Levitt from the case  argues  for one of three things: an alarming naivety on his part; a stupidly  arrogant belief that the CPS could get away with ignoring the dictates of natural justice  because they are part of the UK power elite or the   deliberate choice of someone (Levitt)  who would not seem disinterested to make the decision in order to contaminate the prosecution.

There are not enough facts in the public fold to be certain of why Levitt’s very obvious disqualification for taking the case was not acted upon by Starmer, but I can paint a plausible scenario to explain why  he did not act.   Brooks  (and her fellow accused her husband Charlie) is not merely someone who has connections with leading politicians through her employment with News International.  She  certainly had a more than a  business relationship with David Cameron and met Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister frequently enough to suggest that there was a social element to their relationship). There has also been considerable interaction  between   leading  Labour and Tory politicians   and News International  and the Murdochs as a family, for example, Tony Blair is  godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s children by his present wife (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14785501)

To any feelings of personal friendship or obligation felt by Labour and Tory politicians must be added the  likelihood of News International having a good deal of dirt on the politicians which even if it did not point to criminal activity could be hideously embarrassing for the likes of  still active politicians such  Cameron and retired ones like Blair, who if they have no formal power still have influence.   The politicians the Murdochs have seduced are in a Mexican stand-off with News International.

Then there is the position of the DPP.  There is no proper separation of powers between the executive and the justice system in the UK. Three members of the government – the Secretary of State for Justice/Lord Chancellor, the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General –  have oversight of the justice system.  The DPP is appointed by the Attorney-General and is ultimately responsible to him.   As already mentioned, Starmer’s predecessor Ken Macdonald was appointed to the position by the Blair government despite having very intimate connections with the Blairs. It stretches credulity to believe that  any DPP is actually untouched by political considerations and sympathies or does  not make decisions which are influenced, one way or another,  by those considerations and sympathies. .

Given the choice the Government and the Opposition, at least at the level of the front benches,  would  fervently wish that no court cases involving the likes of Brooks were taking place. The problem is that having set up the Leveson Inquiry and pressed the police to investigate,   the Government  cannot crudely fix matters by ensuring that either the police investigations come to nothing or the CPS says that  a conviction is improbable  or that prosecution would not be in the public interest. That would cause to big a stink.  Instead they  need police to go through the motions of a serious investigation and for the CPS to be seen to acting impartially,  whilst at the same time taking action to ensure that no one of importance is actually found guilty or even better manufacture a reason to drop the prosecution .

There are various ways a prosecution can be fixed to fail. A favourite is “over charging”. This means  bringing charges which are too serious for the evidence to support. A classic example is the Jeremy Thorpe case in the 1970s when the leader of the Liberals  was charged with and acquitted of a charge of  conspiracy to murder  Norman Scott who claimed to have had a homosexual relationship with Thorpe.  What Thorpe should have been charged with was conspiracy to commit a lesser form of assault such as GBH.   Other favourite  ways of ensuring a verdict of innocent are losing evidence or simply conducting a case incompetently, for example, by making a Horlicks of cross examinations.

What may have happened in the case of Rebekah Brooks et al is this: the CPS decision to prosecute has been deliberately tainted by the employment of Levitt.  The tainting opens up a number of possibilities to get rid of prosecution altogether.  Brooks  might obtain a judicial review which finds that the decision to prosecute is tainted  and  the prosecution cannot proceed unless the case is reviewed by someone else at the  CPS. Alternatively, the mere threat of such action may persuade Starmer that he cannot let the original decision stand.  In either case that raises a problem. If Levitt’s decision is set aside, who in the CPS could examine the case anew and be considered truly impartial? Not  Starmer and that would raise a further problem because anyone else a new review of the case would have it in mind that the head of the CPS had agreed with Levitt’s decision to prosecute. Human nature being what it is, subordinates are normally reluctant to go against what the boss has agreed.

All of that would give Rebekah’s Brooks’ lawyers ample  opportunity to claim that no prosecution should go ahead because no impartial judgement of the merits of the case could take place.   If Levitt did not seek legal advice  from outside the CPS this argument would be strengthened.    Her lawyers could also argue that because of the publicity generated by and around   Levitt’s prima facie partiality,  it would   be impossible for Brooks and her fellow accused to get a fair trial.  Faced with all that there is a fair chance the prosecution would be dropped for one reason or another.  If that happened it would provide the best outcome for politicians and News International because the politicians could claim that a proper investigation had occurred and that a prosecution failed to take place simply because of the unfortunate behaviour of the CPS and there would be no embarrassing convictions of News International one-time employees.

It will be interesting to see whether this case ever gets to court. If it does,  watch out for  the quality of the evidence, evidence going missing, which witnesses are and are not called  and the performance of the prosecutor, especially in cross-examination.

Leveson Inquiry – Lord Leveson prepares the way for the cancellation of part 2

Robert Henderson

Leveson hints at an early end to the Inquiry

On 2  May the London paper the Evening Standard let a rather large cat out of the bag. It reported that Lord Leveson,  in a ruling made very quietly on 1 May,  had  hinted strongly that he wanted to cut short his eponymous Inquiry.  (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/uk/leveson-phone-hacking-inquiry-could-be-cut-short-7706894.html).  The  relevant passage on the Leveson Inquiry website is this:

Para 65  “The public concern which led to the setting up of this Inquiry is beyond argument or debate. I do not know whether there will be prosecutions but, having regard to the number of arrests and the quantity of material seized (including the 300 m. e-mails which it is said have had to be analysed), if there are, it is likely that the process of pre-trial disclosure and trial will be lengthy so that Part 2 of this Inquiry will be delayed for very many months if not longer. In those circumstances, it seems to me that it is in everyone’s interests that Part 1 goes as far as it possibly can. If the transparent way in which the Inquiry has been conducted, the Report and the response by government and the press (along with a new acceptable regulatory regime) addresses the public concern, at the conclusion of any trial or trials, consideration can be given by everyone to the value to be gained from a further inquiry into Part 2. That inquiry will involve yet more enormous cost (both to the public purse and the participants); it will trawl over material then more years out of date and is likely to take longer than the present Inquiry which has not over focussed on individual conduct. Obviously, the more restrictive in its analysis that Part 1 has been, the greater will be the legitimate public demand for Part 2. I repeat that this possibility has not affected my approach to what I perceive to be appropriate in law and, when necessary, in the exercise of my discretion but it is undeniably a sensible strategic consideration for those who have participated in this Inquiry.” (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Application-of-Rule-13-of-the-Inquiry-Rules-2006.pdf)

Leveson’s sudden found concern for the public purse is more than a little strange because it has been apparent from early in the Inquiry that it was going to be a lengthy and expensive process .  Nor is there any plausible  ground  for his concern about cost. To justify his new found desire to be a guardian of the public purse Leveson cited the Inquiries Act 2005, viz:

s. 17(3) :

Para 8 “In making any decision as to the procedure or conduct of an inquiry, the chairman must act with fairness and with regard to the need to avoid any unnecessary cost (whether to public funds or to witnesses or others).” (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Application-of-Rule-13-of-the-Inquiry-Rules-2006.pdf)

The cost of carrying the Inquiry through may be considerable (although it would be minute in the context of overall public spending),  but it would be fanciful  to describe the uncovering of serious criminal offences involving corruption or other misconduct such as a wilful failure to investigate complaints of crimes as an “unnecessary cost”.  So why has Leveson flown this kite? It looks as though he has either  been told by his political masters to cut  the Inquiry  short because he is losing control of the official narrative, namely, the scandal is about News Corp and there is  nothing else of consequence, or  has decided to do so without being told because he understands he cannot control the Inquiry in the way he knows the Government would wish.

What would be lost if the Inquiry is shortened? 

If  Part 2 is  either dropped or seriously curtailed it would not only prevent further public questioning under oath of those suspected of having information about the various criminal behaviours,  but would also mean that evidence already submitted about such criminality would never see the light of official day, viz:

‘Lord Justice Leveson’s finding has disappointed Ian Hurst, a former British Army intelligence officer, whose computer was allegedly hacked by the News of the World. In March, Lord Justice Leveson rejected evidence provided by the former spy which claimed to have uncovered “intelligence of police corruption, including that at the very highest level”.

He told Mr Hurst the subject matter would be suited to Part Two as it would entail “lengthy and time-consuming analysis of the very considerable detail”.

However, the evidence will never be publicly-disclosed if, as expected, the inquiry wraps up early in July.”’ (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/uk/leveson-phone-hacking-inquiry-could-be-cut-short-7706894.html).

What has prompted Leveson to act now?

Why has  Leveson acted in this manner now? The most likely explanation is that Inquiry has been creeping ever closer to seriously damaging evidence which could lead to senior politicians,  leading Tory politicians up to and including  Cameron himself.   In addition,  just by its terms of reference  Part 2 of the Inquiry has the potential to be much more damaging than Part 1. Here is its remit:

“3. To inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International, other newspaper organisations and, as appropriate, other organisations within the media, and by those responsible for holding personal data.

4. To inquire into the way in which any relevant police force investigated allegations or evidence of unlawful conduct by persons within or connected with News International, the review by the Metropolitan Police of their initial investigation, and the conduct of the prosecuting authorities.

5. To inquire into the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or other inducements, or were otherwise complicit in such misconduct or in suppressing its proper investigation, and how this was allowed to happen.

6. To inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures at News International and other newspaper organisations, and the role, if any, of politicians, public servants and others in relation to any failure to investigate wrongdoing at News International

7. In the light of these inquiries, to consider the implications for the relationships between newspaper organisations and the police, prosecuting authorities, and relevant regulatory bodies – and to recommend what actions, if any, should be taken.”  (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/about/terms-of-reference/).

Apart from the potential danger to politicians and  police officers contained in the remit,  the concentration on News  International stands out.   They might be the obvious target in the case of phone hacking because of the evidence which came out before the Inquiry began, but there is no reason to believe they would be any more likely than any other press publisher engaged in similar journalism to have bribed police, politicians or public servants  or corrupted them in other ways. It is clear that the narrative  the Inquiry is meant to portray the  News International and Murdochs are the font of all serious press evil  with no other press group being put in a position of serious difficulty.  

Politicians and Judges

A senior judge is above political direction or collusion you say?  Sadly no. To begin with there is no proper separation of powers in Britain between the executive and the judiciary. British politicians have their hands on the justice system in a very intimate way. Three members of the government act as law officers – the Secretary of State for Justice now (combined with the office of  Lord Chancellor) who sits in the cabinet;  the Attorney-General (who on occasion attends cabinet meetings) and  the Solicitor-General have considerable influence on the operation of the  justice system in England and Wales, including  in the case of the Lord Chancellor,  the oversight of judges’  behaviour and roles in the appointment of judges and the dismissal of all but the most senior judges, despite   these powers being reduced substantially by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/briefings/snpc-03792.pdf).

To these very direct hands on the justice tiller is added the fact that Parliament – both Lords and Commons – is heavily littered with lawyers, most  of them barristers with a good sprinkling of  QCs.    This is important because the  legal world from which judges are drawn is a very small one. The vast majority of judges were barristers before their elevation  (the most senior judges are all barristers) and they are in practice drawn from a pool of just a few thousand .  There are around  15,000 barristers working in the UK, but  only a thousand or two at any one time would possess  the experience  to have even a theoretical chance of being appointed  to the bench at any level (http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/Articles/197) .  The  upshot  is that judges, and especially senior judges, will almost certainly know  socially many of the barristers in Parliament and will quite probably have  had a social relationship with one or more of the Government’s law officers.   The re is a fair chance they will have  also  have socialised  with politicians who are not lawyers.  Moreover, a senior judge  will almost certainly  have  a sense of unconscious class solidarity with Government ministers because judges and politicians often  share a broadly similar social background.  This social familiarity provides any government  with ample  opportunity to  appoint someone who is judged to be  well enough  known to members of the Government  for them to be sure in their own minds that  someone appointed to an official Inquiry will  not do anything to rock the establishment boat .

There is also the normal human response to the powerful in play.  Powerful men do not have to spell out what they want done. Often  circumstances can be relied on to suggest what behaviour is required of those subordinate to him. Where the circumstantial prod is deemed insufficient by the powerful, they will let their views be known either by stating them publicly or through intermediaries.

All these forces acting on a  judge appointed to a public inquiry will almost invariably ensure that whatever evidence comes out the conclusions drawn by the Inquiry it will be favourable to the Government’s position –  provided the government which commissioned it is still in power  when the Inquiry  report  is published. The Hutton Inquiry into Dr David Kelly’s death  is a prime example of how an Inquiry can come to conclusions which are utterly at odds with the available evidence.   The Inquiry  unearthed much which  suggested an unnatural death,  but produced a report which concluded exactly what the Blair Government wanted it to conclude, namely, that Kelly had committed suicide.

Why has Leveson failed to do what Cameron expected him to do?

If Leveson was committed to controlling the Inquiry to protect politicians (and possibly senior police officers) why has he failed to be successful to the extent that the Inquiry itself is in danger of  being closed down early?  The answer is simple: the Inquiry became impossible to control because  Cameron  and  those  politically close to him were too closely wound into the News International story.  Because of that the remit of Part 2  of the Inquiry holds  considerable dangers for senior Tory politicians. Suppose, for example, Ian Hurst’s evidence showed senior police officers engaged in not only run-of-the-mill corruption but also political interference in police investigations of  News International.

Leveson and his lawyers have certainly done their level best  to ensure that they have created no  really serious trouble for national politicians,  press owners  and their senior employees, not even for News International and the Murdochs.    The questioning has been  so feeble  and generally incompetent that it is difficult to believe that it has not been so on purpose – see (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/leveson-inquiry-the-killer-question-robert-jay-qc-is-not-asking/). There has been sleaze unearthed and embarrassment  generated for politicians and journalists,  but to date nothing which might lead to criminal charges has emerged during the Inquiry. (Mediafolk have been arrested during the Inquiry’s existence  but not as a consequence  evidence unearthed by the Inquiry).  To this general ineptitude can be added the  blatant concentration on News International and the Murdochs to the virtual exclusion of the rest of the British national press.

To what is publicly obvious I can add my own experience of  just how determined Leveson is to not go  beyond News International  when it comes to revealing serious press abuse.   I supplied  the Inquiry with  evidence of  serious misbehaviour by  politicians, the press and the Metropolitan Police. (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/). All of  this  falls objectively within the remit of the Inquiry.

The misbehaviour included at hate campaign against me by the media generally in 1995;  a severe libelling of me  by the Mirror in 1997 in a story linking me with the Blairs to which I was given no chance to answer (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/);    plentiful evidence of the wilful refusal of the PCC to investigate cast-iron and most serious complaints and collusion between the press and politicians to suppress stories (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/leveson-inquiry-politicians-and-the-press/).

Amongst the evidence  I sent to the  Inquiry was a letter sent  by Piers Morgan to the PCC when he was Mirror editor (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/piers-morgan-lied-to-the-leveson-inquiry/).  In the letter he admitted receiving information (about me) from a police officer in circumstances which can only have been illegal, viz: “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect…”.

Leveson both  failed to question Morgan about the letter when he gave  evidence  and refused  to investigate the matter when I pressed the Inquiry to do so after the failure to put the letter to Morgan (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/leveson-inquiry-wanted-people-who-have-had-their-evidence-ignored/).

Despite the general strength of the evidence I supplied,  Leveson refused  not only my application to be a Core Participant, but has also failed to  use me as a witness or utilise in any way  the evidence I have supplied .

Leveson’s   utter determination not to let the Inquiry stray from the narrow  narrative concentrating on  News International  to the exclusion of other parts of the press  is shown by his cavalier  behaviour when I applied to be a Core Participant  – this would have allowed me not only to give evidence but, amongst other things,  become involved in what questions were asked of witnesses under oath.

I was asked to provide details reasons why I should be a Core Participant (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/leveson-inquiry-robert-hendersons-application-for-core-participant-status/).    At the Directions Hearing  which dealt with my application Leveson announced that he had not read my submission and would not be doing so, but, rather, he  would make his decision based on what I could say in  five minutes. I did this and my application was  turned down in the most peremptory fashion at the end of the Directions Hearing.  I never received any  written reasons for the refusal. (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/leveson-inquiry-the-response-to-robert-hendersons-application-to-be-a-core-participant-2/)

Why did Cameron set up the Inquiry?

Bearing in mind the close relationship Cameron and other  Tory politicians had with News International it might be thought more than  a little strange that Cameron set up the Inquiry.  He could have  quite legitimately refused an inquiry on the grounds that there was a massive and ever growing police investigation into the relationship between the police, politicians and the press and a public inquiry would jeopardise this.

As with every other government instituted inquiry, Cameron probably  imagined he could control the outcome by choosing a judge who could replied on not to come to any disagreeable (for the government or any member of it) conclusions and  by designing the remit of the Inquiry to steer it away  from anything which might embarrass (or worse) himself ,  his ministers or his party.  But even if Cameron thought he could control the Inquiry this could be post facto wishful thing because there  is good circumstantial evidence that he was panicked into setting up the Inquiry.

On  5 July 2011 the police released details of those whose phones may have been hacked, including  9/11 victims and relatives and the murdered teenager Millie Dowler  after she had been reported missing and before her body was found.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/8619373/News-of-the-World-bereaved-relatives-of-77-victims-had-phones-hacked.html).   The general public had not been tremendously exercised by the phone-hacking up to that point, seeing it  as a parade of celebrities  whose lives were normally on public view.  Come the revelation that the practice had extended to “ordinary people” – and in particular to the Millie Dowler case – public outrage was created.

This alone might not have  panicked Cameron into setting up an Inquiry, but his  reckless employment of a one-time News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his  director of communications brought the question of press misbehaviour and phone-hacking in particular uncomfortably close . Coulson  was arrested in connection with phone-hacking  in July  2011. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11195407).  He was not  charged (and has  not been charged)  in relation to any  phone-hacking,  but his arrest  was enough to persuade Cameron to set up the  Inquiry.  Coulson was arrested on 8 July (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2012540/ANDY-COULSON-ARRESTED-Camerons-ex-aide-quizzed-phone-hacking.html ) and the Inquiry announced on  13 July http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/).

As the extract  from the Inquiry’s remit quoted above shows,  the Inquiry was clearly intended to be directed at  News International and nothing else.  This was a colossal   blunder from Cameron’s point of view. He did not take properly into account the extent to which he and other senior Tories had been compromising themselves by their closeness to Murdoch and other senior News International and News Corps figures. This may have been to some extent through ignorance of what his fellow  Tory politicians had been up to on Cameron’s part, but his own  very close relations with News International should have been enough to set the alarm bells ringing in his head.

The problem for  Cameron is that he , along with the rest of the Tory hierarchy, were and are in a Mexican stand-off  with News Corp generally  and the Murdochs in particular. The latter have presided over newspapers which have  engaged in highly  immoral and,  in some instances ,  serious criminal behaviour.  Against this News  Corp and the Murdochs in particular will have a good deal of information about Cameron and other leading Tories which at best could be very embarrassing and at worse point to criminal collusion.

That Cameron (and those close to him) could not see the dangers suggests either a disconcerting  obtuseness on his part  or a monumental arrogance which persuaded him that , regardless of any  unpalatable facts  which might come out, the Inquiry could be controlled by the Government.  He may have been misled by the experience of the Hutton Inquiry, but if so he was remarkably naïve.   There is a great deal of difference between his and his government’s position and that of  Blair at the time of David Kelly’s death.  Cameron does not have a healthy Commons majority;   he is hamstrung by being in coalition which makes him look weak and hypocritical; the economic times are radically worse now and the country is already weary and increasingly contemptuous  of him after two short years.

Even if Part 2 of the Inquiry does not take place it will not get solve  Cameron problems.  Part 1 still has the capacity to bring a good deal of damaging material into the public fold, not only from the Inquiry but generally as the Inquiry and the response to what it uncovers prompts other information to be given public prominence  .  Yesterday (9 May) an updated biography  of Cameron  revealed that he had sent one time NoW editor and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks a supportive text two days before she resigned from News International (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9253633/David-Cameron-sent-supportive-text-to-Rebekah-Brooks-biography-reveals.html).  This morning (10 May)  stories  appeared showing that Andy Coulson  attended meetings which required high security vetting which Coulson did not possess. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/leveson-inquiry/9256111/Government-admits-Andy-Coulson-attended-high-level-security-briefings.html)  and the failure of Cameron to declare  two meetings with Rebekah Brooks days after Andy Coulson quit his No 10 post (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/9255030/David-Cameron-failed-to-declare-meeting-with-Rebekah-Brooks-two-days-after-Andy-Coulson-quit.html)

The cancelling of Part 2 would of itself create a scandal in the public mind because the natural conclusion for any disinterested party to draw would be that it has been done simply to protect Cameron and other senior Tories.  That would increase the  already considerable contempt in which politicians are generally held and the dislike and  anger at the performance of the Coalition. However, that would not mean either a change of Prime Minister or an early election.

The only things going for Cameron  are the fact that the LibDems are largely silenced on the matter by their  position in the Coalition and their dire position in the polls; Labour’s own considerable involvement with News International  makes attack by them on the Tories on the subject of Murdoch  very difficult and the general reluctance of by  Labour and LibDems to go into another election soon because of the poor state of their party finances.  Because of these considerations it is likely that if  nothing  utterly damning about the relationship between News International,  the police and  Cameron and other senior Tories comes out the Coalition will stagger on for a year or two even if the Inquiry is cut off at the knees.

Leveson Inquiry – Politicians and the Press

Miss Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London WC1

2 May 2012

Cc All barristers employed by the Inquiry

Dear  Ms Brudenell,

Politicians and the Press

I enclose three  examples of  collusion between politicians and the press.    All cases demonstrate the willingness of the British mainstream media to act in concert to suppress  stories of great public interest as a result of either direct  political interference or  a shared interest between politicians and the media in suppressing a story.

Case 1 Tony  and Cherie Blair

During the General Election campaign of 1997 Tony and Cherie Blair attempted without success to have me prosecuted for offences under the Malicious Communications Act and for common assault after I sent letters to them (the attempted charge of assault by writing was and is a crime unknown to English law).

The Blairs made the complaint to Belgravia Police who  immediately  referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS refused the complaint on the same day they received it,  ruling that my letters constituted NO CRIME.

The fact that the CPS made such a  rapid and unambiguous decision tells its own story:  they had the tremendous pressure  on them of having the man who was almost certainly about to become the prime minister making the complaint yet threw it out within a matter of hours.  There was a  very simple reason for that:  my letters  contained no obscenity, crude abuse or threats.

Ironically, I wrote to the Blairs  asking for their help after I had been the subject of a media storm in 1995 after Wisden Cricket Monthly published an article of mine “Is it in the blood?”  I contacted them after I was refused any opportunity to reply by the media and the PCC refused to adjudicate on my complaints.  I asked Blair  what he would do to stop such abuse if he formed a government and sought the assistance of his wife in her role as a prominent human rights lawyer.

Tellingly, the Blairs did not go to the police when I sent the letters but only after I had circulated copies of my letters and the non- replies I received from the Blairs’ respective offices  at the beginning of the General Election campaign.

The Blairs were advised by the police that if they wanted to take the matter further all they could do was start a civil action against me. They  failed to do so despite the fact that the evidential test in a civil case is much lower than it is in a criminal case.  That failure, together with the facts that (1) the Blairs did not go to the police when I sent the letters  and  (2) they  are both lawyers  with ready access  to legal advice from their friends and colleagues make it  reasonable to assume that they realised no crime had been committed and pressed the case simply as a device to silence me during the election campaign.

After the Blairs failed to have me made the subject of a criminal investigation the Daily Mirror and its sister paper in Scotland  the Daily Record  published stories  on 25 March 1997 revealing that the Blairs had been to the police to try to have me prosecuted.  The Inquiry already have copies of  both stories, including facsimiles of the original pages,  but I attach copies for your convenience (Daily Mirror and Daily Herald  stories.docx https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/the-failure-to-charge-piers-morgan-with-illicitly-receiving-information-from-the-police/  ).

The Mirror story in particular was dramatic, involving a large front page flier for the story and almost a full page for a photograph of me  (taken without my permission while I inside my flat) and story  which was both highly sensational and very libellous,  with  false claims such as “Police are probing a string of race hate  letters  to Tony and Cherie Blair” (there were no such letters and the police never began an investigation),  “The  letters,  which are said to  contain  racist   filth”  (ditto) and absurd (and false) claims that I bombarded the Blairs with letters.

What happened next will be of  interest to the Inquiry as it conducts module 3 dealing with the relationship between the press and politicians.  Despite the sensational nature of the Mirrors’  coverage  and the facts that it was (1)  published during a General Election campaign and   (2) it concerned the leader of the Party  who would in all probability be prime minister within six weeks, not a single  mainstream newspaper (or broadcaster)  took up the story of their own volition.   Nor could I get any newspaper (or broadcaster)  to  take it up, either immediately after the publication of the Mirror story or afterwards.

That the Mirror and Herald were the only papers to publish the story is easily explained: they were absolutely committed to Blair and the Labour Party’s election in May 1997. It would not be too much to say that the Mirror was at that point effectively the Labour Party’s house journal.

As for the failure of the rest of the media to take up the story, that demonstrates  the general  collusion of the UK media and politicians.  There is a constantly flow of personnel between politics and the media, not merely  politicians going to the media but also all the hangers on such as personal advisors.   In addition to that personal vested interest, there is a general vested interest with politicians begging for favourable media coverage and mediafolk desperate not to be  frozen out from government briefings, official or otherwise.

Case 2 Gordon Brown and the Francis Crick Institute

A very large research laboratory, The Francis Crick Institute,  is being built on land behind the British Library in Kings Cross, London –  http://ukcmri.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/objection-to-ukcmri-planning-application-for-a-research-centre-in-brill-place-london-nw1/.

The land on which it being built was publicly owned. It was sold by ostensibly  public tender  by the Department of  Culture, Median and Sport (DCMS) in 2007 to  a consortium the United Kingdom Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCRMI).

Just as the decision on the Murdoch bid to buy all the shares in BSkyB that News  Corps did not own was supposed to be decided impartially by a minister (Jeremy Hunt),  so was the sale of the land by the  Secretary of State for the DCMS . The reality was that there was no impartiality exercised. As is clear from the documents below which I obtained using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Gordon Brown persistently interfered with the sale by putting his weight behind one of a number of bidders. This invalidated the bidding process.

I made great efforts to get the story into the mainstream media and politics  – see http://ukcmri.wordpress.com/. These were unsuccessful which says a great deal about both our politicians and political  journalists. Nonetheless, it does stand as evidence of the persistent willingness of politicians to misuse their power  and of the British media to suppress political stories when it suits them.

There is another strong public interest in this story because the Francis Crick Institute will by dealing with highly toxic viruses and bacteria in its research. This makes it a serious and potentially catastrophic danger to London, both from lapses in bio-security and terrorist action.  The full story can be found at http://ukcmri.wordpress.com/.

The emails and letters showing Gordon Brown’s interference in the bidding process are contained in the attached file UKCRMIGordon Brown.docx (http://ukcmri.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/gordon-browns-involvement-in-the-sale-of-the-land-to-ukcrmi/)

Case 3 The attempted suicide of Tony Blair’s daughter

In May 2004 Kathryn Blair attempted to commit (reports on the web by non-mainstream media  suggest she was taken to hospital on Thursday 13th May 2004, for example, http://www.public-interest.co.uk/aseye/index.htm# ). Every single national  newspaper and broadcaster (including the BBC) refused to use the story.  The BBC’s failure is especially reprehensible because  a public service broadcaster has a special obligation to put anything of political importance  before the public.

How do we know the story is true?  Well, Martin Bright when political editor of the New Statesman confirmed the story verbally to me at a meeting of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and Tom Leonard when he was with the Daily Telegraph sent this email when I raised the matter with him:

“ In message <011401c5913d$53a14e40$171b1…@tgl.telegraph.co.uk>, Tom Leonard <tom.leon…@telegraph.co.uk> writes

Dear Mr Henderson, thanks for your email. The problem with the story about the Blairs’ daughter is that the BBC was far from alone in ignoring it. I think the whole of Fleet Street ignored it too on the grounds of sensitivity and intrusion into privacy (she is a minor of course).

However, you are completely right about the BBC’s vested interest and well done for pointing it out to Mr Grade. The BBC is too used to never being properly grilled by >the public.

Regards, Tom Leonard”

Then there is the behaviour of  the BBC.  I twice confronted  Michael Grade when he was  BBC chairman with the failure of the BBC to run the story.

The first occasion was at the Viewers and Listeners Spring Conference in April 2005. Grade claimed not to know the story, but refused to discuss the matter. Later I wrote to him asking him to justify his failure to make the story public. Grade did not reply but I received a letter from the BBC’s Head of communications Tina Stowell which ran “The question you raised at the VLV Seminar on 25 April relating to the Prime Minister’s daughter is not one which the BBC Chairman will respond to in public or via correspondence.”

The second occasion was at the Governors “AGM” at Television Centre on 19 July 2005. After the programme, The Governors rashly mingled with the audience. I managed to corner Grade for about five minutes and ask him in front of plenty of witnesses why he had censored the story of the Blair daughter’s attempted suicide, especially after I had raised the matter with him in April 2005 at the Voice of the Viewer and Listeners Spring Conference. He tried to make a joke of it, but before he escaped I asked him the following question: Do you believe the story is true? He refused to answer. ’nuff said.

At the same meeting I lobbied four other Governors: Deborah Bull, Merfyn Jones, Fabian Monds, Ranjit Sondhi and Angela Sarkis. Without exception they all seemed painfully startled by the news. I got a promise from each to look into the matter if I sent them the full details. I wrote to them and the other Governors on 20 July 2005. None have replied. Instead, I again received a letter from Tina Stowell (22 July 2005). This ran “Thank you for your letter to the Board of Governors. The BBC’s position remains the same as in my previous letter.” I then submitted a formal complaint through the governors’ website of 28 July 2005. This elicited no reply.

I raised the failure of the  BBC to act on BBC phone-in programmes and was always cut off immediately I had raised the subject.   I wrote to Feedback, the programme which supposedly deals with listeners concerns with the BBC, asking them to investigate the censorship. They failed to do so.

In addition to this evidence, there were  also references in the mainstream media  in 2004 of a family matter which could persuade Blair to resign.  It is reasonable to conclude that the ‘family matter’ was Kathryn Blair’s attempted suicide.  Interestingly, Cherie Blair said this in an interview in 2009:

“  Mrs Blair has also told Italian paper La Repubblica that Nicky and Kathryn were taunted at school over their father’s decision to send troops into Iraq in 2003 to stop Saddam developing weapons of mass destruction.

‘They had some really difficult moments at school. Everybody called their father a liar,’ she said.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211450/The-young-OBlairs–Former-Prime-Ministers-children-Irish-passports-thanks-grandmother.html

There is the strongest public interest in the media running stories such as Kathryn Blair’s suicide.  Politicians are by definition professional moralists because they tell  everyone how to live through the laws they pass and the moral judgements they publicly make. For that reason alone, in a democracy the electorate need to know how their private lives match up to that which they ordain for others.

But there are other good reasons. Blackmail is one and the effect on a politician’s mind and behaviour of traumatic events another. Clearly, this event was such as to potentially seriously  destabilise Blair’s mental balance. As he was PM  the public had a right to know what he was undergoing.

To argue that a child must be given anonymity at all costs is nonsensical. It would, for example, prevent the release of names and details for a child who has gone missing.

Nor is there any reluctance on the part of the media to constantly name children who have done something wrong which stops short of an appearance in a criminal court. In addition, in some criminal cases, the ban on identifying children is lifted and the media again is only too happy to identify them, often in ways which may incite attacks on the child or parents.

It is also true that children generally have to bear the humiliation and shock of seeing their parents and other adult relatives named in the media when they have committed a crime or behaved immorally. That is at least as traumatic as the child being named.

Tellingly, the media have no difficulty with reporting failed teenage generally can be seen from the vivid example of Rebecca Ling, the survivor of a suicide pact viz:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/3651008.stm

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/tragedy-of-the-suicidepact-teenage-girls-who-met-in-internet-chatroom-551402.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-316749/Suicide-pact-girl-bullied.html#ixzz11P5vVRDz

Both at the time of the suicide pact and during the inquest into the girl who died the BBC and every other mainstream media outlet reported the story with her name, in depth and sensationally. What is sauce for the Man on the Clapham omnibus gander should be sauce for the PM goose. It should not be for the media to decide what they will and will not put before the public when there is a matter of great public interest at issue. Clearly, the Blair child’s case was  suppressed because of political pressure and/or bias on the part of the media.   (It is worth adding that the children of the elite gain great privileges simply by virtue of their accident of birth. The downside is that they may be under greater scrutiny than the ordinary child in the street.)

Why was the story so completely suppressed? I would suggest this. In modern Britain it is next to impossible to force a Prime Minister out of office for political reasons. Where a Government has a massive majority it is impossible. The only thing which could bring Blair down was personal scandal. No media outlet was willing to risk being  the one which broke the silence and being shut out from the political inside stories.  There is also the fact that Murdoch was supporting Blair  and much of the rest of the media wanted Labour to remain in power.   That is probably why the story of his daughter’s attempted suicide was  so ruthlessly censored.

Conclusion

I am, as ever, willing to appear as a witness at the Inquiry and to offer any other help to the Inquiry.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

Leveson Inquiry – Jeff Edwards and another prima facie case of perjury

Miss Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson 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)

And

 “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.)

And

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

information.”

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

me again.

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)

And

“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

                                            33

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

                                           34

(http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Transcript-of-Afternoon-Hearing-14-March-2012.txt)

And

            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,

                                            19

             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.”

                                             20 

(http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Transcript-of-Afternoon-Hearing-14-March-2012.txt)

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.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

——————————————————–

    

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.

 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 Daily  Herald’s report   published on the  same day as  the   Mirror story:
This story contained these objective provable libels:  (1) that  I sent “hate letters”  to Cherie Blair,  (2)  that  the letters were “sick”,  (3) that I bombarded Cherie Blair  with letters, 4) that I sent letters to Cherie Blair in  1996, (5)  that the letters contained “racist filth”,     (6)  that the police were shown 100 letters,  (7) that the letters were   “deeply offensive” and (8) that Cherie Blair declined to have  me   prosecuted  (That  decision  was  made  by   the   Crown       Prosecution Service who declared that “NO CRIME” had been committed).

   CHERIE BLAIR RECEIVES HATE LETTERS

             Sicko letters sent to Cherie

Tony Blair’s Wife Cherie has been bombarded  with    hate mail.

Police were called in after Mrs Blair feared  the   writer showed classic signs of being a stalker.
The  letters,  which are said to  contain  racist   filth  and  are described  as  “deeply  offensive”,    began last year.
  They  are  said to have been  written  by  Robert   Henderson,  who  two  years  ago  penned  a  racist   article criticising the selection of black  players   for the English cricket team.

Detectives were shown a bundle of 100 letters  at   a two hour meeting with the Blairs.

The  letters,  all posted in  London,  have  been   taken away for forensic examination.  But Mrs Blair  is thought to have declined to turn the matter into  a criminal case.

Leveson Inquiry – Harriet Harman has her deniability removed

Note: I attended a conference entitled Taking on the Media Barons on Saturday 17 March. Its subject was media abuse including the issues under consideration by the Leveson Inquiry.  Harriet Harman was the first speaker.  In the course of her talk she spoke enthusiastically about the fearless way the Leveson Inquiry was going about its work. The  Q and A session which followed her speech allowed me to allowed me to both put her right about the reality of  what the Inquiry was doing – suppressing evidence and deliberately ignoring questions which begged to be asked  – and run briefly over my own evidence to the Inquiry  during which I helpfully explained that my  evidence arose  the failed  attempt by Tony and Cherie Blair to have me prosecuted on charges of Malicious Communications in the first week of the General Election campaign of 1997.  I then asked her what she and her party would do to publicise the shortcomings of Leveson and got a non-committal reply.

Harman left immediately after the questions and, as luck would have it, I was sitting close to where she had to come to leave the auditorium.  I stopped her and she asked me to send her what evidence I had, which I promised to do. I also got her to depart with a copy in her hot little hand of  Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC in which he admits to receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been  illegal .  The email below details the information I have sent Ms Harman and what I have asked  her   to do.  Robert Henderson 18 3 2012

Harriet Harman MP

Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture, Media and Sport

House of Commons

London

SW1A 0AA

Fax: 0207 219 4877

Email: harmanh@parliament.uk

Tel: 0207 219 4218

18 March 2012

Dear Ms Harman,

As you requested at the Taking on the Media Barons conference yesterday, I send you  details of  the information which Leveson is suppressing to add to the copy of Piers Morgan letter I gave you in which he admits to  receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only be illegal.

To give you a flavour of  the other evidence I have submitted to the Inquiry I enclose below  my submission to the Inquiry.  I also send as attachments the supporting documents referred to in the submission.  They are there simply  for you to use if you want verification of what I claim in the submission.

To avoid swamping you with material at this stage, the only other documents I send are my email to the Inquiry alerting  them to  the possibility of Piers Morgan perjuring himself under oath before the Inquiry and the final email exchanges  between myself and the Inquiry leading up to the their refusal to either call me as a witness or pursue the question of the possibility of Morgan’s perjury.  I am willing to make my full documentation available to you if you wish and answer any questions you may  have, either in person or in writing.

Core Participant status

If anyone was qualified  for the role it is me. I can cover every aspect of the remit of the Inquiry bar phone hacking.  I have given the Inquiry irrefutable evidence of the grossest abuse by the Press in the shape of the Daily Mirror’s  treatment of me; the complete absence of any attempt by the PCC to address my complaint;  the Piers Morgan letter admitting that he had received information from the police in what could only have been illicit circumstances, my MP Frank Dobson’s bald refusal to assist me in gaining redress and, of course, Tony and Cherie Blair’s attempt to have me prosecuted on Malicious Communications charges which as lawyers they must have known were bogus – embarrassingly for the Blairs, the CPS ruled that my letters to them were entirely legal  within hours of receiving the papers from the police.  I would add that the Blairs did not go to the police when I sent the letters but only later when I circulated to the media  copies of the letters with the non-replies I had received at the beginning of the 1997 General Election campaign.

The consequences of the Blairs’ sinister attempt to have me prosecuted and the Mirror article were a decade of harassment – the harassment only ended when Blair left office – which included death threats and an Internet campaign inciting violence against me by publishing  my address and phone number with false claims such as  I was a paedophile.  The Mirror article itself was effectively also an incitement to attack me because it was a  grotesquely libellous story about me which falsely labelled me as a crude and dangerous racist, a story which  included my photograph  and the area in which I lived.   When I reported threats against me to the police they did nothing meaningful. They would register my complaints but do little actual investigating. It is worth noting that although the CPS ruled that there was no crime committed by me and I had never attempted to approach the Blairs physically or threatened to do so,  Special Branch were set to spy on me – see  the Mirror story.

Despite those impressive qualifications I was refused not only Core Participant status but even the status of an ordinary witness. When I made an application for  Core Participant status I was asked to make a detailed submission  about why I thought I qualified for the role. This I did.  At the directions hearing to decide whether I would be a Core Participant, the first thing Lord Leveson said was “I have not read the submissions and shall not be doing so.” He then gave me just  five minutes  to make oral submission.  It was simply impossible for me to cover all the arguments made in my submission in that time.  After the oral submission was  made, all the application was curtly dismissed with next to no reason given. The supposed impartial hearing was a joke in very bad taste.

The general conduct of the Inquiry

Apart from the evidence which I have submitted,  there is also the general manner in which the Inquiry is proceeding which point to the true intent of the Inquiry. Although there is a good deal of scandalous evidence being heard, it is noteworthy that no new evidence of criminal behaviour has been uncovered to date. The revelations of such behaviour  have either come from police witness or have been from journalists who have admitted they knew of misbehaviour  but have refused to name names or have failed to  give any names. When this happens they have  not been pressed to give names.  A prime example of the latter behaviour is the evidence of the Mirror’s one-time chief crime reporter Jeff Edwards who claimed that he had been directly instructed by his superior to bribe police officers, viz:  “You’re not invoicing me for money to be splashed about.  You should be essentially bribing more police officers.” (pp 105/6 http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Transcript-of-Morning-Hearing-14-March-2012.txt)  Strangely, you may think, Edwards was  not  asked to name the person who told him to bribe the police.  Edwards, incidentally, is the  person who wrote the  Mirror story about me to which Morgan refers in his letter to the PCC.   That must mean he   was the recipient of the information about me from the police and consequently he is at least guilty of breaching the Official Secrets and Data Protection Acts.

There are other oddities about the taking of evidence.  When it comes to the question of the police  illegally supplying the Press with information, counsel to the Inquiry are  behaving in an  astonishingly naïve manner. Instead of building up to the question of whether the Press witness knows of bribes being paid to the  police for information by establishing the social relations between the witness and the police, counsel are simply plunging in with a bald “Have you  ever paid the police for information?”   A witness tempted to lie under oath will weigh up the chances of being found out and probably come to the conclusion that to deny paying the police  would  be a pretty safe lie to tell because probably only the police officer and themselves will know for sure whether a payment was made. On the other hand, if  they had to face a question such as “Have you ever illegally received information from the police ?” the witness might well find that a much riskier lie because more people would know about it.

It is telling that the question “Have you ever illegally received information from the police ?” has not been put to any witness.  There is every reason to put the question  because, even if no bribe has been given,  the police officer and the journalist will have committed offences under the Official Secrets Act and almost certainly the Data Protection Act.  The police officer could also be prosecuted for misconduct in a public office.  It is difficult to believe a barrister of Robert Jay’s experience does not realise that the questioning on this point is embarrassingly incompetent.  If that is correct, why is he persistently letting the fish off the hook?

As things stand it is simple for evidence to the Inquiry  to be suppressed. Your belief that Leveson will publish all the evidence submitted to him is mistaken. He is free to  publish only what he chooses to publish.  Indeed,  because the Inquiry is taking evidence under oath and in other aspects has the aspect of a formal legal process not dissimilar to court proceedings, it could be argued with some force that as a  matter of principle nothing which has not been introduced formally into evidence during the Inquiry  should be included in the Lord Leveson’s report.

The other issue I would ask you to keep in mind is the possibility that the conclusions of Lord Leveson’s  report will not reflect the evidence  given to the Inquiry. A prime example of this happening  after a public inquiry is the Hutton Report on the death of David Kelly which unambiguously supported the government’s contention that Kelly had committed suicide despite the considerable forensic and circumstantial  evidence that was uncovered during the Inquiry which suggested otherwise.

All the evidence to date  points to the Inquiry’s real purpose being to restrict  serious damage to News International. Other national newspapers are simply not being brought into the frame fro criminal behaviour.  I have no time for Murdoch, but  it is impossible clean out these modern  Augean Stables  by attending to only part of the stinking refuse.  To believe that criminal  press misbehaviour does not extend to other mainstream titles is either terminally naïve or disingenuous. Nor should there be an obsession with phone hacking. Highly objectionable as that is,   corrupt relationships between the police and the press are far more important because they affect the population generally because they corrupt law enforcement and the administration of justice.  Ditto collusive relationships between politicians and the media which both undermine democratic accountability and the Press’ claim to be a  public watchdog barking when corrupt or otherwise immoral practices exist. As for the  effects of libellous Press stories, these  can be catastrophically damaging to victims.

What do I want you to do?  (1) Expose Leveson’s censorship of evidence using the example of my evidence. (2) Ask why I was neither granted Core Participant status or called as a witness. (3) Question why the Piers Morgan letter to the PCC was not acted upon. (4) Call for Piers Morgan to be  investigated by the police on the basis of his admission and for a general investigation of the Mirror for corrupt relationships between the police and paper.  (5) Ask why the questioning  about the supply of illegal information to the police is so inept.  (6) Question the useful purpose of the Inquiry when it has shown itself to be so willing to suppress evidence and to ignore questions which could lead to criminal prosecutions.  (7) Call for papers other than the Murdoch press and the Mirror to have the spotlight shone on their misbehaviour.

I am going to start from  the assumption that you sincerely want to clean up the mess which politicians, the police and the Press have wrought.  However,   whatever you intend you need to do it in the context that I have removed the possibility of deniability  from you. You have  this email,  the  attached documentation  and  my comments – before an audience of over 100 –  during the question and answer session at the Taking on the Media Barons conference to inform you of what Leveson is really up to.  You are consequently no longer in a position to say you didn’t know.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

——————————————

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WC1

25 November 2011

Dear Lord Leveson,

I submit examples of misbehaviour  by  the media and  the  PCC plus collusion between the police and the media .   In every case I was the person who was directly affected by the behaviour.   For each case I enclose  documents which strongly support my accusation.

I wish to give testimony in person before your inquiry.

The  examples  of misbehaviour are:

1. The illicit receipt of information supplied by the police to the Daily Mirror

On 15 March 1997 the Daily Mirror ran a hideously  libellous story about me  which contained numerous serious  inaccuracies. I made a complaint to the PCC. As part of their investigation the PCC sent me a copy of a letter sent to them by the then Mirror editor Piers Morgan.

In it he admits receiving information from the police , viz.: “ The   police  source of our article (whose  identity  we have  a  moral obligation to protect) gave  us  the  detail of the  letters  that  we  then published.” This can only have been illegal because  there would be no need to protect the police source  if the information had been given legitimately.

A copy of Morgan’s letter is in the attached Word file PCC Piers  Morgan letter.docx . I have also placed a second copy beneath it with my remarks  on Morgan’s comments  interpolated within his text –  see the  square bracket contained  text marked RH.  A hard copy of Morgan’s letter will be sent to you.

2. The failure of Scotland Yard to meaningfully investigate the supply of illicit information to the Mirror

I referred Morgan’s letter to Kentish Town police  with a request that they investigate  the selling of information to the Mirror. A copy of the letter is contained within the Word file Mirror Police source complaint.docx  The case was referred to Scotland Yard. There it was supposedly investigated by Det Supt Ian Curtis. In fact, no meaningful investigation was undertaken because Curtis admitted to me in a telephone conversation that no one at the Mirror was interviewed, not Morgan, not the author of the piece  Jeff Edwards, the Mirror’s chief crime reporter.

3.  The failure of the PCC

I made complaints to the PCC about the Mirror’s libel of me and their refusal to either make a retraction or allow me any opportunity to reply.   The PCC refused to come to a determination citing article   53.5 of the PCC’s  MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION which states  “The Commission shall not consider a complaint which it believes to be frivolous or which it believes to be inappropriate to entertain or proceed with for any other reason”.  In other words, they can get rid of any complaint simply by saying they do not like it.

Mike Jempson, the director of what was then Presswise (now Mediawise] a charity set up to help victims of the press, sent them several   stinging letters  about their refusal .

Copies of the correspondence between Mike Jempson and the PCC  are contained in the attached Word file PCC Mike Jempson.docx.  Hard copies of the letters will be sent to you.

4 The Mirror’s Behaviour

Copies of the Mirror story and that of its sister paper  the Daily Herald are contained within the attached Word file  Daily Mirror and Daily Record stories.docx. Hard copies of the stories  will be sent to you.

Both stories had a series of  grotesque libels of me.  As you will see from Morgan’s letter to the PCC,   the Mirror admit they do not have letters from me to the Blairs.   Hence, they had no ground whatsoever for believing the libels to be true.

My unpublished response to the Mirror story “Moral Simpletons target innocent man” was written soon after the story’s publication and covers in depth the libels and inaccuracies contained within the story.  A copy is contained within Word file Moral Simpletons.docx.

Mike Jempson saw my letters to the Blairs  and concluded that although robust there was absolutely nothing to support the Mirror’s description of me as a crude, foulmouthed and dangerous racist . In addition, the Conservative MP  Sir Richard Body had sight of the letters and afterwards put down this Early Day Motion in the Commons, viz.:

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

The effect of the Mirror story

I was unable to gain any redress from the Mirror, the PCC or the  police.   Following the publication of the Mirror story I became the subject to harassment which included people posting my name, address and phone number on social websites  and inciting people to attack me.

This was on top of the unrequited media abuse I received after the publication of my  article in Wisden Cricket Monthly  “Is it in the blood?” in  July 1995. This  resulted in dozens of stories in the press totalling thousands of words to which I was denied any reply whatsoever, including by WCM who failed in the first obligation of as publisher to defend that which they publish.

In short, I was both grotesquely abused by the press and failed by every  body which supposedly exists to give redress for press misbehaviour.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

————————————————————————-

Your email has been receivedSunday, 18 March, 2012 20:43

From: “HARMAN, Harriet”Add sender to ContactsTo: “robert henderson”

Thank you for emailing Harriet Harman, Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham.

%d bloggers like this: