Heywood on Rock: Announcement ‘inappropriate’ while investigations were ongoing

Sir Jeremy Heywood. [Image: PA]

Sir Jeremy Heywood. [Image: PA]

The cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, has answered queries from the Labour Party over the way the arrest of Patrick Rock was handled by 10 Downing Street.

Labour’s shadow minister Jon Ashworth had raised questions about the arrest of Mr Rock, formerly a senior advisor in Downing Street, on suspicion of an offence relating to images of child abuse.

Principal among these was the following: “Why were details of his resignation [which would have included the allegation of possessing child abuse imagery] not made public immediately?”

This is important as the Daily Mail revived ancient allegations that members of the Labour Party had been connected with a paedophile group, in the period between Mr Rock’s resignation/arrest and the revelation that this had taken place.

Sir Jeremy’s response: “Our … actions were driven by the overriding importance of not jeopardising either [the National Crime Agency’s] investigation or the possibility of a prosecution.

“We judged it was inappropriate to make an announcement while the NCA investigations were continuing.”

Do you think that’s good enough?

In any other recent situation involving allegations relating to child abuse connected to a public figure, the arrests have been publicised immediately. Look at Dave Lee Travis and William Roache (both of whom were acquitted, although the former must go back for a retrial).

Look at Freddie Starr – TV cameras were outside his home when the police went to talk to him (before any arrests were made).

These are people with a far higher public profile than some Downing Street advisor – yet he got special treatment, with a delay of publicity, and the Mail slid a ‘dead cat’ attack on Labour into the gap.

Remember when I last wrote about this, two days ago? I made it clear that Heywood needed to make his answer good, as “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.”

Isn’t that exactly what has happened?

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  1. Big Bill March 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Didn’t they keep quiet about Rolf Harris for a while?

    • Mike Sivier March 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm - Reply

      I thought not, but I could be wrong.
      Can anyone shine a light on this?

  2. Hans Fried March 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    This has been shoved under the carpet behind the door.. The media need to do hatchet job on Rock. Cameron should resign not just about this but on general incompetance.

  3. simonkirk March 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on simonkirkfineart.

  4. Paul Smyth March 7, 2014 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on The Greater Fool and commented:
    Once again Mike hits the nail on the head. Who knew, when did they know, why was it not announced immediately when other cases have been announced immediately?

  5. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady March 7, 2014 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on glynismillward189.

  6. jaypot2012 March 7, 2014 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    It’s been hidden from the public whilst they thought up the lies for when it became public. I do believe that Heywood has covered it up and has is lying now to protect Rock – it’s wrong and he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this…

  7. jaypot2012 March 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    Another cover up?

  8. […] The cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, has answered queries from the Labour Party over the way the arrest of Patrick Rock was handled by 10 Downing Street. Labour's shadow minister Jon Ashworth…  […]

  9. beastrabban March 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

  10. pippakin March 7, 2014 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Thinking Out Loud and commented:
    Careers have been put at risk, one man has been bankrupted and faces another trial, but a govt employee is protected for three weeks, what was that for wriggle room?

  11. Cj aka Elderofzyklons Blog March 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on ElderofZyklon's Blog!.

  12. […] The cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, has answered queries from the Labour Party over the way the arrest of Patrick …Continue reading →  […]

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