Tag Archives: commissioner

Partygate: Met Police Acting Commissioner pathetically tries to whitewash Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson: the prime minister is pictured participating in a party to mark the departure of Lee Cain from his Downing Street communications job – but according to Acting Met Police Commissioner Sir Stephen House, there is “no clear evidence” that he took part in the rampant Covid-19 rule-breaking there.

A police officer who witnessed “a large number of people” at a “crowded and noisy” party, where “some members of staff drank excessively” did not immediately take action over Covid-19 rule breaches because he was there for security and not to “police what goes on inside the building”, according to Met Police Acting Commissioner Sir Stephen House.

Have you ever read such nonsense? Police officers are sworn to uphold the law at all times, no matter what their stated duties are said to be. Would he have turned a blind eye to burglary, or rape, because he was assigned to “security”?

Apparently the same officer did not feel that a large number of drunken people in a crowded and noisy room breached Covid-19 regulations that strictly prohibited such social gatherings.

It’s no wonder this “acting” Commissioner’s other comments are also shockingly inadequate in the light of this.

House told the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee there was “no clear evidence” that Johnson had breached Covid-19 rules many times in Downing Street, despite the very clear photographic evidence of him participating in a party to mark the departure of Lee Cain from Downing Street on November 13, 2020.

This was not a “works gathering”. Far too many people were present and they were socialising and drinking alcohol – as was the prime minister, who gave a speech. The amount of time he spent there was immaterial because the rules in place at the time prohibited all such social events from taking place at all.

At least one attendee was fined for being at this event but there was “no clear evidence” that Boris Johnson was there or took part, according to House.

House also suggested that it was difficult for his officers to work out which gatherings were work-related and which were not. How daft! If alcoholic drinks were visible in the room, then they weren’t work-related. And in any case, if the room was packed with people, meaning they were not at least 2m away from each other in accordance with social distancing rules, they were breaking the law.

House said he was personally involved in the decision-making and was confident in the outcome of the police investigation. That should be enough for us to demand that he surrender his badge.

Is he selling us down the river so he can gain the favour of the top Tories?

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Priti Patel is refusing to pay police enough to do their job & then demanding power to criticise them for it

Here’s the contradictory nature of Tory policy exposed in all its grubby grimness:

Priti Patel has been challenged to explain whether she could “survive” on the salaries she pays to local police officers – and ran away from answering.

Meanwhile, she is demanding the right to interfere in local policing matters – possibly criticising officers for failing to do work she does not pay them enough to manage.

According to Nation.Cymru,

Detective Constable Vicky Knight, a single mother who had worked in policing for more than two decades, asked Priti Patel if she would be able to “survive” on £1,200 or £1,400 a month.

Describing how she is paid “a couple of hundred pounds a month more than the workers in McDonald’s flipping burgers” and less than her “local manager at Lidl”, Ms Knight told how ahead of her most recent pay day she had to borrow £40 from her mother so she could put fuel in her car and buy food for her son’s school lunches “because I had no money left at the end of the month”.

“I went to see an accountant and the advice was leave the police, work for 22 hours a week and claim benefits and you will be better off. How can that be right?”

Patel did not answer the question; we don’t know whether she thinks she could survive on the pay she tells police officers to accept.

But we do know delegates at the annual conference of the Police Federation of England and Wales groaned when she whined that their organisation had not been “at the table” for pay negotiations; it is currently in dispute with her because she has imposed a pay freeze for officers and there were, therefore, no negotiations to be done.

While she is depriving police of the salaries they need in order to be able to do their jobs, it seems Patel is demanding the right to criticise them for any failures.

In a row with Police and Crime Commissioners, she is planning a unilateral revision of rules that define where policing responsibilities lie, in order to grant herself more power to interfere in local services.

She wants to take back power to demand answers from chief constables on local policing matters – and ability that was given to commissioners a decade ago when their role was created.

Obviously the ability to demand answers also provides an implied ability to criticise police services for failings – even though any failures may be because she has not provided the resources to do the job.

According to The Guardian,

The proposed protocol says: “We propose to lower the threshold for home secretary intervention in appropriate circumstances. This would equip the home secretary to intervene earlier as required, thus reducing the risk of failing to deliver effective policing.”

Apparently this is a reflection of a policy adopted by Patel since she became Home Secretary, called “lean in”. Perhaps it would more accurately be phrased as “lean on“.

Another example of this policy would appear to be her demand that chief constables act “in a politically neutral manner”, which has been added to the previous stricture that they must be impartial.

This would restrict them from commenting on public policy that they believe may affect crime fighting – such as the effects of austerity. Nor would they be allowed to speak out publicly on issues of political dispute like tougher sentences or opposing the decriminalisation of cannabis, which is supported by some frontline politicians.

In their response to Patel’s proposals, commissioners said she would need to seek an Act of Parliament to impose them as they are beyond her statutory powers at the moment – “ultra vires”:

“Creation of new powers of strategic oversight can only be achieved through primary legislation and must be subject to the full scrutiny that is required of primary legislation.”

So we see a hardline Home Secretary, attempting to dictate the behaviour of local police forces while denying them the resources to their job.

How ironic that she is currently being restricted with rules imposed by her own Tory forerunners.

Source: Home Secretary confronted by ‘desperately struggling’ North Wales Constable over low pay

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Dick is out – but she took the easy way to avoid the wrath of Khan

Cressida Dick: #DickOut campaign for her removal followed claims that she had not ended “institutional racism” by the Met Police. But worse allegations have ended her tenure at the top of the UK’s flagship police service.

Cressida Dick has resigned from her role as Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

But she took the easy way out. London Mayor Sadiq Khan had challenged her to clean up the police service she headed and instead she took the option where she got to relax with a fat pension.

Khan had reached the limit of his endurance after a series of scandals involving the police service for London.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct had found “disgraceful” misogyny, discrimination and sex harassment among officers at Charing Cross police station.

Previously Dick had been heavily criticised for the conduct of the Sarah Everard case, in which a woman was raped, murdered and her body burned by a Met Police officer.

He wasn’t the only one to (allegedly) victimise women – several other officers have been charged with offences against women since that time.

Dick’s own conduct was referenced in an independent report that accused the force of institutional corruption over the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan, and before she became Commissioner she was in charge of the operation that led to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

When her fellow Balliol College, Oxford, alumnus Boris Johnson was accused of having taken part in Covid-19 lockdown-busting parties in 2020, the Metropolitan Police unaccountably decided not to investigate the apparent crimes.

Instead, officers waited until Cabinet Office Secretary Sue Gray delivered evidence of the events – including 300 images – before investigating the allegations of crimes behind the doors their colleagues guard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks per year and through which they appear to have watched civil servants carting suitcases – suitcases – full of booze.

Now, with increasingly damning evidence becoming available, Dick has decided to take the option presented to her by Sadiq Khan, and get out while the getting’s good.

And we’re all fine with that – are we?

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Have you experienced – and reported – #onlineabuse? If so, the #VictimsCommissioner wants your views

Online abuse: have you been a victim? If so, take part in the survey before the Online Harms Bill is passed into law.

The Victims Commissioner for England and Wales has launched a survey of online abuse, in advance of the Tory government’s new Online Safety legislation.

The Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird, acts independently of the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts to champion the rights of victims (as a group; she is not able to represent individuals) and make sure they are treated fairly and correctly by the criminal justice system.

She has issued the following appeal for information:

“You may be aware that the government is currently introducing a bill before parliament on online harms; the Online Safety Bill.

“The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales would like to hear about your experience of online abuse and, if relevant, your experience of reporting this abuse.

“We would also like to hear from you if you did not report the abuse, and the reasons for this decision.

“We will analyse the information you provide and publish a report on it, which we hope will add victims’ voices to the debate.

“We would like to hear from anyone who has experienced the following types of abuse, in particular: intimate image abuse, online harassment and stalking, coercive behaviour, cyberbullying and trolling and any form of online hate.

“You will be anonymous (not able to be identified) in our reporting, whether or not you choose to give us your contact details at the end of this set of questions.

“We are keen to hear from everyone who wants to complete this survey, including parents or carers of children who have been a victim.

“If you support someone who has been a victim who would like to respond but can’t do so because of language, age, lack of internet access or other barrier, you are welcome to fill in the survey with them (or in the case of children, for them). Alternatively, you can contact us at [email protected] if you would like to request the survey in a different format. At the end of the survey we ask a question about these barriers. Your answers will help us improve future surveys.

“We will be publishing the findings. The survey is anonymous, but at the end we ask if you would be willing to give an email address to be contacted for future research by the Victims’ Commissioner e.g. an interview.

“If you have any questions, please get in touch: [email protected]

This Writer will be getting in touch as I’ve had a huge amount of abuse and the response when I’ve reported it has been rubbish. How about you?

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Data watchdog warns government staff against clearing phones of #DowningStreetParties information

Who has been using digital information systems like the internet or the phone lines to order the deletion of messages referring to the alleged lockdow-busting Downing Street parties? Here’s an artist’s impression of one possible suspect.

After This Site and others raised concerns that Downing Street staff were being ordered to remove information they had received about lockdown-breaking parties, the information watchdog has barked.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has warned staff that removing such messages could be a criminal offence:

“Relevant information that exists in the private correspondence channels of public authorities should be available and included in responses to information requests received.

“Erasing, destroying or concealing information within scope of a Freedom of Information request, with the intention of preventing its disclosure is a criminal offence under section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act.”

As it is, it seems an investigation may be launched into who gave the order to erase the information.

In fact, it seems likely that any removal of the information from individual phones will not wipe it out of existence but will merely criminalise the owner of the phone for trying to do so.

Messages sent using services such as WhatsApp are stored on a cloud server – not the recipient’s device(s) – and may be recovered by the authorities under circumstances including a legal investigation.

This Writer is not sure whether the same is true of SMS messaging, although I am sure that experts are able to recover information that has been removed by users who pressed the “delete” button but have not deep-cleaned the storage system on which the message had been placed.

I shall be keen to hear if anybody has received the alleged order to erase data, if they acted on it, and if they will be prosecuted for it. I also want to know who send this alleged order and what will happen to them.

Ultimately, we need to know who authorised this alleged message in the first place. And what penalty will they face?

Source: No. 10 Staff Clearing Phones Before Party Inquiry May Be Crime: ICO

#ReesMogg is facing #sleaze #investigation by watchdog he tried to scrap

Shifty: Jacob Rees-Mogg is facing an investigation into his business practices outside Parliament – by a Standards Commissioner he tried to have abolished. Now, why would he have wanted to do that?

Karma comes around quickly these days, doesn’t it?

Remember how Jacob Rees-Mogg tried to shut down Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone after she found Owen Paterson guilty of corruption?

Now Ms Stone is investigating claims that he took £6 million of loans from his company, Saliston Ltd, between 2018 and 2020 – and failed to make an “open and frank” disclosure of them in the register of members’ interests.

The details are here:

It’s highly suspicious, isn’t it?

Rees-Mogg tried to have the Standards Commissioner’s role abolished, and is now being investigated by the Standards Commissioner.

Was he corruptly acting on his own behalf, rather than (as he undoubtedly claimed) in the interests of justice?

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Downing Street tries to pressurise INDEPENDENT standards watchdog not to investigate Johnson’s flat redecoration

What would these freebies have cost? Boris Johnson doesn’t want you to know but it isn’t up to him or his Downing Street toadies – and they don’t like it one bit.

How can these Tories rise so high and still not understand the meaning of the word “independent”?

Officials working for Boris Johnson have claimed that there is no need for the independent Parliamentary commissioner for standards, Kathryn Stone, to investigate who paid for the redecoration of the prime minister’s Downing Street flat.

They also reckon she shouldn’t look into the monetary value of the villa in Marbella that Zac Goldsmith loaned to him while he pretended he was Van Gogh for a week last month.

They gave reasons which seem like nonsense to This Writer.

And the fact is that, only last week, Tory MPs were trying to bully Ms Stone into resigning from her role, after she found Owen Paterson guilty of corruption. She didn’t; she’s unlikely to cave in to this kind of weak argument either.

It is not for Downing Street yes-people to tell the standards commissioner what she can and cannot investigate; it is for her to tell them.

And if she finds against Johnson, it’s for him to take his punishment like a man, for a change.

Source: No 10 says watchdog should not look into PM’s flat renovation | Boris Johnson | The Guardian

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Did Boris Johnson attack Parliament’s standards commissioner to help HIMSELF?

Oops: Not only has Boris Johnson opened the floodgates to dump sewage all over the UK, but it seems his pantomime over Owen Paterson has dumped him IN the sewage.

It seems likely, doesn’t it?

After obviously-guilty Owen Paterson was threatened with 30 days’ suspension from Parliament for paid lobbying (firms employed him to get government contracts for them), Boris Johnson intervened to have the suspension overturned and called the work of Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone into doubt.

He wanted to push Ms Stone into resigning her position, making it easier for him to end the current Parliamentary standards system – that has been running since 1695 – and replace it with a new regime in which Tory MPs get to mark their own homework (so to speak).

It didn’t work. She didn’t resign and none of the other political parties in Parliament supported his plan to change the system. Now questions are being asked about Johnson’s reasons for attacking the Standards Commissioner, and the system:

I’m not sure what breaches Ms Ribeiro-Addy is referencing. Is it the funding required to redecorate Johnson’s Downing Street flat? Dominic Cummings seems to think so:

Well, it may not matter too much as Johnson may soon face investigation over his latest holiday:

The allegation is explored in detail here:

It seems that, after Zac Goldsmith failed in his attempt to become London Mayor (partially because it was spectacularly Islamophobic, if I’m not mistaken), Johnson had him ennobled (made him a Lord).

Then, Goldsmith offered Johnson the use of his villa in Marbella, just after this year’s Budget speech – a donation to the prime minister worth (allegedly) around £25,000.

And Johnson hasn’t declared it.

That’s what Angela Rayner’s letter (above) says and she has asked Ms Stone to investigate.

The allegation here is that Johnson wanted to end Ms Stone’s job so she would not be able to.

Obviously with the failure of the bid to oust her (if there really was one), she will be able to investigate this alleged breach of Parliamentary rules by the prime minister. I hope she does.

The real question is, what will the prime minister do about it?

Is he really to suggest that she has already made up her mind, again?

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‘Culture of incompetence & cover-up’ to stay at Met to 2024 as Dick to stay on as Commissioner

Cressida Dick: I know this is the same image as has been on This Site many times – there aren’t many Dick pics available.

The rest of us might think she’s rubbish but Priti Patel is apparently satisfied with Dame Cressida Dick’s leadership of the Metropolitan Police.

The Home Secretary has given Dick an extension to her term in charge, so her fixed-term appointment which was due to end in April 2022 will now end in 2024.

So, what do you think clinched the extra term for her?

Was it her dishonest withholding of documents from the investigation into police corruption related to the murder of Daniel Morgan, and the “institutionally corrupt” behaviour of the Met?

Was it her failure to investigate criminal allegations against Wayne Couzens, making it possible for the now-former Met police officer to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard?

Was it the inherent racism in a police force that stopped and searched drivers on London’s streets because they were black?

Or the sexism in the (mis)treatment of women at a vigil for the previously-mentioned Ms Everard?

Or was it the cumulative conclusion we may draw from all the above – that Dame Dick has no regard for the due process of the law and is happy for her officers to use their uniforms as authority to commit acts of violence and repression against the public?

That may be the reason a group of high-profile victims of police corruption, malpractice and incompetence petitioned Boris Johnson to veto the lengthening of Dick’s contract.

Signatories included Baroness Lawrence (an investigation into her son Stephen’s death was shelved by Dick last year); and Lady Brittan (whose home was raided when her husband Lord Leon Brittan was falsely accused of child abuse).

Others included Alastair Morgan, the brother of Daniel, and four others affected by abuse claims: radio presenter Paul Gambaccini, former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, Edward Heath’s biographer Michael McManus and Nick Bramall, the son of Lord Bramall.

Their appeal was ignored.

Dick’s officers gave her their full support. Well they would, wouldn’t they?

Source: Cressida Dick to stay on as Met Police Commissioner for extra two years, despite calls for her to resign

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After Lord Geidt’s whitewash, Labour wants INDEPENDENT probe on Downing Street flat redecoration

Good advice: Boris Johnson can say what he likes about his alleged breaches of the ministerial code, but nobody in their right mind would take only his word for it.

Labour will be like a dog with a bone over Tory corruption.

You know why?

The party can’t attack the Tory government over its incompetent handling of Covid-19 because Keir Starmer supported every duff decision Boris Johnson made (until the evidence revealed those choices to have been homicidal).

And Starmer can’t criticise the Tories over Brexit because his choice of policy contributed to Labour’s spectacular loss of the 2019 general election. He would just be inviting ridicule.

But Tory corruption is a different matter.

And the controversy over the redecoration of the Downing Street Flat occupied by Boris (and Mrs) Johnson, dubbed “Wallpapergate” due to the enormous cost of the wallpaper they chose – more than £800 per roll – was only ever likely to get worse after the prime minister was cleared of wrongdoing by a man who is his employee.

And Labour has found a way to make this an actual Double Whammy.

Not only has Labour reported Johnson to the independent Parliamentary standards commissioner, but it has pointed out that he was warned to face stronger sanctions after a previous transgression.

He had failed to declare shares in a property by the deadline required for it to appear in the relevant register of MPs’ interests.

At the time, standards commissioner Kathryn Stone had reprimanded Johnson. She also warned that any further breaches may warrant “more serious sanction”.

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, reminded Ms Stone of this in her letter requesting an independent investigation into Johnson’s failure to register a donation by Tory donor Lord Brownlow to pay for the flat redecoration.

She wrote: “Far from learning the lessons of his previous transgressions, the prime minister has continued with his attitude of treating basic standards of integrity, openness and transparency with contempt, and behaving as though there is one rule for him and another for everyone else.”

And she said the fact that Mr Johnson told Lord Geidt he became aware of the donations for the works on the flat in February this year but did not settle the invoices personally until March 8 suggests he is in breach of parliamentary rules on declaring donations that all MPs must follow.

Ms Stone is already investigating whether Mr Johnson properly declared a £15,000 holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique with his now-wife Carrie.

Johnson is also facing two other inquiries into the flat refurbishment.

The Electoral Commission is investigating whether the Conservative Party broke the rules on declaring donations over the Downing Street flat and has the power to issue a fine of up to £20,000.

And Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, the UK’s top civil servant, is also examining whether donations were properly declared.

And it will only get worse for Johnson because he won’t stop breaking the rules. It seems he genuinely thinks he’s above the law.

Still, it’s great for political commentators like This Writer. It guarantees me stories for years to come.

As for you… if you like that sort of thing, I recommend you buy popcorn – in a regular supply.

Source: Labour demands further probe into Boris Johnson’s flat revamp – BBC News

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