Labour demands clarity over the Patrick Rock allegations

A Rock in a hard place: Patrick Rock, formerly a senior civil servant and policy advisor, who now faces allegations that he possessed indecent images of child abuse.

A Rock in a hard place: Patrick Rock, formerly a senior civil servant and policy advisor, who now faces allegations that he possessed indecent images of child abuse.

Credit where it’s due: Whatever you think of the Labour Party, its leaders deserve praise for asking the right questions about the Patrick Rock affair.

Mr Rock was arrested on February 13, suspected of possessing child abuse imagery – shortly after he resigned his position working on policies that we all thought were intended to make it harder to find such images on the Internet.

Details of his resignation and arrest were not released to the public, but the media sprang into action and in a matter of days, the Daily Mail ran a major story accusing three leading members of the Labour Party of sympathising with paedophile groups.

It was only after this story had run its course that the major news media made the public aware of Mr Rock’s arrest – and Vox Political was not the only blog that voiced suspicions about the sequence of events.

It seems somebody at Labour was paying attention. Shadow minister Jon Ashworth has asked, in the public interest:

  • When were 10 Downing Street and David Cameron first made aware that Mr Rock may have been involved in an offence?
  • How much time passed until Mr Rock was questioned about the matter and the police alerted?
  • What contact have officials had with Mr Rock since his resignation?
  • What was Mr Rock’s level of security clearance?

And, most importantly:

  • Why were details of Mr Rock’s resignation not made public immediately?

The last question should also refer to Mr Rock’s arrest – but it could be suggested that this is implicit as the details would include the reason for the resignation.

Mr Ashworth’s letter was sent to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood. He is Britain’s top civil servant and not a Tory politician; as such he is duty-bound to provide answers that serve the interests of the nation, rather than the Conservative Party.

He’d better get it right, too – as this story unfolds and more information is revealed, we will be able to judge the validity of Mr Heywood’s response.

It would be unfortunate for his career if it became clear at a later time that he had tried to protect anybody. Closing ranks to look after your own people is a human response – but inappropriate at high levels of government.

When senior government advisors come under suspicion, it is right that everyone connected with them should be investigated as well.

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12 thoughts on “Labour demands clarity over the Patrick Rock allegations

  1. holmey

    I suspect we will see Rock being the token political class that gets dragged through the courts and he will end up like William Roach and the few other celebs getting a not guilty verdict, there will be a claim that it was part of his duties in drawing up legislation to censor porn from the internet, that he had to see what hardcore and child porn coud be accessed.

    When are we going to see some high ranking Tories dragged through the courts, there is enough stories/evidence & suspicion out there to launch hundreds of police raids against senior Tories, the question is, when are they going to happen?

  2. Smiling Carcass

    I hazard a guess that old Rocky will claim, successfully that any incriminating evidence found is purely a result of ’research’ into the accessibility of digital child porn to better understand how to prevent it.

    The truth will not be known, a la Savile until it’s too late for him, but not for the kids.

  3. Pendantic Geek

    Keep your mouth shut Mr Rock and take a couple of years in Bognor Regis! If you even threaten to name names, it’s the old sports bag in the bath for you.

  4. Jonathan Wilson

    More to the point, why was he informed of police interest prior to arrest/interview/evidence collection… forgive me if i’m wrong but the fact that he resigned prior to police investigation/official arrest could mean he had sufficient time to hide/destroy potential evidence.

    That said, the details/time line have been so sparse of information my prior paragraph might not be “the facts” and as such no “forewarning” happened… but if it did there are further questions that need to be answered by the gov/police to find out if they colluded to protect one of their own.

  5. HomerJS

    Did you notice that the Daily Mail ran a front page story on the alleged cover up of this story? I guess they must have become aware of the allegations that they had run the NCCL story as a distraction.

  6. Pingback: Heywood on Rock: Announcement ‘inappropriate’ while investigations were ongoing | Vox Political

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