Tag Archives: inquiry

Is IPSO incapable of investigating standards at the Jewish Chronicle? Or UNWILLING?

Jo Bird: her complaint against the Jewish Chronicle over inaccuracies in its report about her was upheld; now she, I, and seven other victims of its falsehoods are demanding an investigation into whether the paper’s editorial standards have fallen to an unacceptable level. And guess what? We’re not the only ones.

Remember the letter to newspaper regulator IPSO that This Writer co-signed, requesting a Standards Investigation into the Jewish Chronicle after it notched up 28 recorded breaches of the Editors’ Code and four libel defeats in just three years?

It seems IPSO would rather forget about it.

Tasked with providing a respond by August 12, the organisation’s first reaction was to send a ‘holding’ letter, to which one of my co-signatories, Jo Bird, replied with a list of seven questions.

She then received another holding letter from IPSO’s head of standards, saying she was going on holiday but would get on the case when she got back, and that Lord Faulks, the IPSO chair, would respond on his own account ‘in due course’.

Ms Bird chased this – only to receive yet another ‘holding’ letter saying the head of standards was now sick, and she has written again to say that the questions she asked (When will Faulks write? How many JC breaches has IPSO counted? And others) don’t need the head of standards to answer them.

We expect to receive another ‘holding’ letter.

Meanwhile, there has been another ruling against the JC, involving two code breaches: https://www.ipso.co.uk/rulings-and-resolution-statements/ruling/?id=29092-20 – that makes 37 breaches of the law or the code in 37 months, including seven code breaches and one libel settlement in 2021 alone.

Some of us want to know what’s going on at the so-called press regulator. It should not take more than a month to work out whether there are grounds to investigate the standard of reporting at a newspaper that, over the last three years, has broken the rules – and the law – an average of once a month.

IPSO is itself owned and run by newspaper bosses and owners. Are they concerned that an investigation may create a precedent, setting a bar for investigations that their own newspapers could pass? Are they opposed to an investigation because they like what the JC has been doing? And are they embarrassed by the fact that the JC has put them in an impossible predicament?

Well, their problem is about to get worse.

Hacked Off – the campaign for a national press that is accountable and free of political and commercial influence – is launching a campaign demanding an IPSO standards investigation into the JC, and pointing out at the same time that there are very strong grounds for IPSO to investigate The Times over Islamophobia, The Telegraph on bad science and The Mail on a whole range of subjects – today, September 20, 2021.

Suppose IPSO has been gearing itself up to reject an investigation – or to run a token inquiry and whitewash the JC.

It seems to This Writer that such a course of action is about to become much, much more difficult to justify.

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Inquiry: Police breached ‘fundamental rights’ at Sarah Everard and Kill the Bill protests

Clapham Common: police ‘failed to understand their legal duties in respect of protest’. That seems accurate – don’t you think?

Has the UK’s principle news outlet – the BBC – reported this in any way at all?

The report speaks for itself:

Police breached “fundamental rights” in their handling of the Sarah Everard vigil in London and Kill the Bill protests in Bristol, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

The Metropolitan Police and the Avon and Somerset force committed “multiple failings” in their response to the two events, according to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy and the Constitution (APPGDC).

Their report claims that both forces wrongly applied coronavirus lockdown laws and “failed to understand their legal duties in respect of protest”.

It also suggested that officers taking action against protesters – as opposed to engaging with them before the event – “may have increased the risk of COVID-19 transmission” at the Sarah Everard Vigil in Clapham, southwest London.

Officers in Bristol “failed to distinguish between those protesting peacefully and those engaging in acts of violence”, which resulted in “excessive force” being used, it added.

Both police forces mentioned in the report have rejected its findings, meaning nothing will be done to improve policing.

It comes just days before Boris Johnson and Priti Patel’s draconian Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill returns to the Commons with its proposals to make protest events like those on Clapham Common and in Bristol almost entirely illegal.

The findings have led to proposed amendments to the Bill, including abandoning some of the new proposed powers – as they are “unnecessary” and have placed police in an “unfair position” – and suggesting a special code on how to police protests.

The inquiry’s chairman, Labour MP Geraint Davies, said: “The police must not become the enforcement agency of the state against those who choose to publicly and collectively call for change – political, economic, social or environmental.

“Parliament must protect our freedoms and reject attempts to increase police power and restrict our right to peaceful protest.”

And yet the news media are strangely unwilling to report on this.

If the public don’t know about it, they can’t support the proposed changes, or the criticism of the police forces, meaning they can carrying on doing exactly whatever they want, and Johnson will be able to curtail our freedoms in any way he pleases.

Are you happy for that to happen?

If so, then you don’t have to do anything. Just sit back and let him strip you of your rights and freedoms. It will hurt – but not until you have a reason to complain and then find out that you aren’t allowed to.

If not, then it’s time to stand up for yourself. You can start by simply making sure all your friends see this article. Or is even that too much because you’re worried about what they’ll say?

Source: Police breached ‘fundamental rights’ at Sarah Everard and Kill the Bill protests, parliamentary inquiry finds | UK News | Sky News

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Daniel Morgan report prompts fresh demand for Leveson Two – inquiry into corrupt connections between police and media

Daniel Morgan: remember that Priti Patel wanted to interfere with the independent inquiry’s report. Won’t it be interesting to see what she does with this latest demand?

The pressure group Hacked Off is saying the report of the Daniel Morgan inquiry shows corrupt collusion between the police and the press.

This has prompted the group to renew its demand for the government to act on the second recommendation of the Leveson Report (remember Leveson?) and start a public inquiry into unlawful and improper conduct between the police and the media.

The Tory government under David Cameron shelved this part of Leveson, years ago – raising suggestions that Cameron was afraid it would reveal unpleasant information about himself and his cronies.

Will this new initiative nudge Boris Johnson’s Tory government – which, if anything, is considered to be much worse even than Cameron’s – into doing the right thing?

Doubtful.

But nothing will happen if nobody does anything.

You can add your voice to the call by signing Hacked Off’s letter to the Home Secretary. The link is at the bottom of this article.

The Daniel Morgan Independent Panel report confirmed that at the heart of the failed police investigations into Daniel’s death was a network of corrupt police officers, newspaper reporters and private investigators.

The Panel found that:

“The circumstantial evidence suggests very strongly that intrusive activity suffered by DCS Cook, his wife Jacqui Hames and their family was arranged by former DS Fillery and Alex Marunchak with a view to discrediting DCS Cook and/or to intimidate him and thus disrupt the Abelard One/ Morgan Two Investigation”

DS Fillery was, at one stage, a suspect in the case.  Alex Marunchak was a reporter at the News of the World.  The Panel confirmed that another former suspect, Jonathan Rees, was making regular payments to Mr Marunchak at this time.

In other words, the Panel considered that the evidence “strongly” supported the allegation that employees of News UK, one of the largest newspaper publishers in the UK, deliberately sought to interfere with a murder investigation on behalf of an individual who later became a suspect in that case.

There is no evidence that News UK carried out a satisfactory internal investigation into these matters.  Indeed, the journalist Mr Marunchak was subsequently promoted.  The editor of the News of the World at that time, Rebekah Brooks, has also since been promoted within News UK.

There has been no proper independent investigation into these matters or into the nature and extent of corrupt relationships between the police and the press.  No-one has been held to account.

To promote public confidence in the police and to uphold the rule of law, we urge you to immediately re-establish Leveson Part Two: the Public Inquiry into unlawful and improper conduct involving the police and national newspapers, including that alleged in the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel Report.

Source: The Daniel Morgan Report | Hacked Off

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Why is police officer part responsible for corruption in Daniel Morgan inquiry being trusted to clean it up?

Cressida Dick: This Writer is cursing the fact that this image isn’t a post-arrest mugshot.

We should be furious about this. It is an invitation to allow the corruption to continue until all the UK’s police forces are poisoned.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has insulted the nation with her response to the findings of the Daniel Morgan inquiry.

She said it was a “matter of great regret that no one has been brought to justice” – but failed to say anything about the fact that she shares responsibility for that failure.

Dick started her statement by saying she wanted to acknowledge the “resilience” and “determination” of the Morgan family, but that’s not what they wanted; they wanted her to acknowledge the failings the inquiry discovered – including those in her own behaviour.

Then how about this for cheek:

“I have been personally determined that the Met provided the Panel with the fullest level of co-operation in an open and transparent manner, with complete integrity at all times.”

As far as I can tell, that is a direct lie – Dick herself was singled out for criticism in the inquiry report for obstructing the investigation by denying the inquiry panel access to vital information.

So: no co-operation; no openness; no transparency – and absolutely no integrity at all.

Referring to the report, she stated: “We will take the necessary time to consider it and the associated recommendations in their entirety.”

I can only conclude that she will take as much time as it takes to find a way of dismissing the report’s accusations of “institutional corruption”, to avoid bringing in any of the changes the inquiry panel demanded, and to deflect the criticisms that related directly to her.

In other words, This Writer is willing to bet that, having been found to have betrayed her duty to the public in order to protect the Met’s reputation, Dick will again betray her duty to the public in order to protect the Met’s – and her own – reputation.

It should also be noted that Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave’s comment that he does not accept that the Met is “institutionally corrupt” – as the inquiry found – is cause for deep concern.

He was saying that he will attempt to obstruct plans to root out the corruption that the inquiry found.

I said it in a previous article and I’ll say it again here:

If Priti Patel could be trusted to do her job properly, she would have already demanded the suspension of Dick and every other police officer involved in this 34-years-long corrupt cover-up – all of them.

She would then invite law enforcement officers from a completely different place – possibly even from a different country, because I don’t think anybody here can be trusted to be honest (think Hillsborough) – to investigate their roles and determine whether and what criminal charges should be levelled against them.

But she isn’t doing any of that.

She’s trusting one of the people responsible for the corruption to clean it up. She’s making this worse.

Source: Daniel Morgan report: Cressida Dick apologises for failings in case | Metro News

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Cressida Dick and Met police ‘institutionally corrupt’ in hindering Daniel Morgan murder inquiry

Cressida Dick: next time I publish an image of her I want it to be the mugshot taken after she is arrested.

How will the police be reformed after the damning report on the murder of a private detective – who had been investigating police corruption?

And how can we trust any measures when the current Metropolitan Police Commissioner actively participated in the corrupt cover-up of what happened to Daniel Morgan – and the current Home Secretary wanted to edit the independent report on this fiasco before the public could see it?

Do we all know the story? Morgan’s body was found in a south London car park in 1987, an axe buried in his head. He had been investigating police corruption.

To date, no fewer than five investigations have been conducted into the murder. Nobody has been convicted.

In 2013, then-Home Secretary Theresa May launched an independent inquiry to examine “police involvement in Daniel Morgan’s murder, the role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder from being brought to justice, and the failure to confront that corruption”.

It also looked into “the incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World and other parts of the media, and alleged corruption involved in the linkages between them”.

When the inquiry panel tried to publish its report in May, current Home Secretary Priti Patel tried to interfere, saying she needed to see it and may need to censor any part of it that she could claim might affect national security or human rights obligations.

She had no right to do so. The panel objected in the strongest possible terms and Patel had to back down. The report has been published in full today (June 15).

It reveals that the Metropolitan Police is “institutionally corrupt” and singles out Met Commissioner Cressida Dick for personal censure.

Panel chairman Baroness Nuala O’Loan said the Met’s first objective in its approach to the inquiry was to “protect itself” for failing to acknowledge its many failings since Daniel Morgan’s murder in 1987.

Its handling of the investigation into Morgan’s death was “institutionally corrupt” and placed concerns about its reputation above its duty to investigate the murder properly.

The Met deliberately misled the public and Morgan’s grieving family.

It delayed handing over vital documents to the inquiry panel, thereby hindering its own work. An investigation that was not expected to take long ended up being stretched out over eight years.

Then-Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick – along with her successors after she was promoted – was responsible for refusing to provide access to this information and never provided a reasonable explanation.

The inquiry panel’s report states [boldings mine]:

“The family of Daniel Morgan suffered grievously as a consequence of the failure to bring his [killer] to justice, the unwarranted assurances which they were given, the misinformation which was put into the public domain, and the denial of failings in investigation, including failing to acknowledge professional [in]competence, individuals’ venal* behaviour, and managerial and organisational failures.

“The Metropolitan Police also repeatedly failed to take a fresh, thorough and critical look at past failings.

“Concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image, is dishonesty on the part of the organisation for reputational benefit and constitutes a form of institutional corruption.”

“The Metropolitan Police were not honest in their dealings with Daniel Morgan’s family, or the public. The family and the public are owed an apology.”

A statement by Morgan’s family condemned “a culture of corruption and cover up in the Metropolitan Police, an institutionalised corruption that has permeated successive regimes in the Metropolitan Police and beyond to this day.

The independent panel made a number of recommendations which include:

  • Law enforcement agencies should be subjected to a newly created “statutory duty of candour”.
  • Metropolitan Police should properly vet employees and have “adequate and effective processes” to establish whether any officers and staff are “currently engaged in crime.”
  • The force should make sure it has the necessary resources to tackle corrupt behaviour among its officers and to ensure police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct is also sufficiently resourced to investigate such matters.
  • An investigation should be carried out by another police watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), looking at police practices and procedures to determine whether “sufficient resources” are available to protect police whistleblowers.

I have absolutely no confidence that any of these recommendations will be honoured by those concerned.

Patel has made a statement in Parliament, saying she has demanded a full response to the report from Dick. I have no confidence that anything these two cook up between them will bear any relationship to the facts; they will try to mislead us again.

If Patel could be trusted to do her job properly, she would have already demanded the suspension of Dick and every other police officer involved in this 34-years-long corrupt cover-up – all of them.

She would then invite law enforcement officers from a completely different place – possibly even from a different country, because I don’t think anybody here can be trusted to be honest – to investigate their roles and determine whether and what criminal charges should be levelled against them.

This is a most serious matter; we are seeing corruption at the heart of the police and government – of an ingrained, institutional nature.

And the Tories – themselves proven to be institutionally corrupt over the last two years of Boris Johnson’s government – are entirely unfit to tackle it.

*Showing or motivated by an inclination towards being bribed; corrupt.

Source: Daniel Morgan murder: Met chief censured for hampering corruption inquiry | Daniel Morgan | The Guardian

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Hillsborough trial collapses as judge rules there’s no case to answer

Betrayed again: it seems early inquiries into the Hillsborough tragedy were organised in order to deflect criticism of the police while having no legal weight at all.

It seems to me that somebody has been dancing around the law in a very clever way.

Three people accused of perverting the course of justice, with regard to the Hillsborough disaster that killed 96, have been acquitted.

The reason? The statements they prepared – which have been called into question – were provided to a public inquiry chaired by Lord Taylor in 1990 – but it was not a statutory inquiry, therefore not “a court of law”, so there was no “course of public justice” which could be perverted.

In that case, what was the point of having such an inquiry?

Nothing it found can be considered safe.

We have no information on whether the statements by retired Ch Supt Donald Denton, retired Det Ch Insp Alan Foster and former solicitor Peter Metcalf were slanted to minimise blame on South Yorkshire Police.

Without knowing that, we cannot know whether the conclusion of the inquiry – the inquiry, mark you – was accurate or not.

The question therefore arises: why was this not a statutory inquiry? Was a political decision made to run it as it was, in order to avoid possible legal repercussions in the future – like the accusation of perverting justice now?

Some might be hoping that this judgement will close the book on Hillsborough – but it has only given us more reason to demand justice for the 96.

Source: Hillsborough trial: Men acquitted as judge rules no case to answer – BBC News

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‘National embarrassment issues’ as Daniel Morgan panel refuses to hand report to Priti Patel

Daniel Morgan: Priti Patel, who is in charge of the police, still wants to interfere with a report into the murder of a man who had been investigating police corruption.

What a principled, positive stand by the panel responsible for the Daniel Morgan murder inquiry.

According to The Guardian,

The independent panel investigating the Daniel Morgan scandal is refusing the home secretary’s demands to hand over its report before it can be published, as senior police sources say nothing in the case affects national security.

Patel cited the need to consider national security and human rights obligations before making the report public.

But one source with close knowledge of the five Metropolitan police inquiries into the case and the documents involved, said: “There are no national security issues involved. There are national embarrassment issues.”

The grounds on which Patel is justifying her demand to review the report are very shaky indeed:

The Home Office pointed to one part of the panel’s terms of reference which, it said, allows it to see the report before agreeing to its publication, and make changes as it sees fit.

The relevant section says: “The independent panel will present its final Report to the home secretary, who will make arrangements for its publication to parliament.”

A government source said: “Before the home secretary lays it before parliament she has to satisfy herself as to her statutory duties.

“Those relate to national security considerations and that it complies with human rights obligations such as the right to life (article 2) and the right to privacy (article 8).”

This is an attempt to shoe-horn new requirements into rules that were written six years before Patel got anywhere near the Home Office. And it shouldn’t work.

There is nothing in that section of the terms of reference that says the Home Secretary may do anything other than arrange for the report to be published.

In fact, it could be argued that the omission specifically prohibits her from trying; if she was to be allowed such leeway, it would have been written into the terms.

I reckon this will go to the High Court.

Source: Daniel Morgan murder: panel refuses to hand over report | Police | The Guardian

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Inquest hears nursing home resident died ‘dehydrated and malnourished’

Inquest: Dorothea Hale.

This not only raises questions about social care in the UK, but also about the deaths of others for whom the authorities have a duty of care.

Dorothea Hale, it is alleged, suffered neglect at a Welsh nursing home where she had been admitted after suffering two strokes that left her entirely paralysed down one side of her body.

In a stay of around four months, she developed dehydration, malnourishment and pressure sores before being transferred to hospital due to fast-declining health, where she died, aged 75.

The inquest is ongoing so we have yet to hear the coroner’s verdict on the cause of her death.

It featured in Operation Jasmine, a police investigation into the neglect of elderly residents at several care homes in south Wales.

That inquiry lasted nearly a decade and cost £11.6 million, with detectives examining 63 deaths potentially caused or abetted by inadequate healthcare treatment.

The suggestion of failures in social care indicate that reform is desperately needed – and has indeed been promised by successive Tory governments for many years, although we have yet to hear a single policy proposal.

Here’s my question:

If 63 deaths in social care can lead to a lengthy – and costly – inquiry, why do 150 deaths in the benefit system not merit the same treatment?

Source: Welsh nursing home resident ‘died after becoming dehydrated and malnourished’ | The Independent

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Tory contracts whitewash: the government has cleared itself of favouritism. So what?

Two-fingered response: your family members died because the Tories didn’t get vital supplies for tackling Covid-19 out in time? Too bad! They were handing the money to their mates and that is all that mattered to them.

Politics has suddenly become so busy that a lot of Tory corruption might get swept under the carpet if we’re not careful – like this example of a person appointed by Boris Johnson to probe David Cameron’s lobbying finding the government innocent of favouritism in awarding Covid contracts to Tory cronies:

The report states:

The man appointed by Boris Johnson to probe David Cameron’s lobbying has cleared the government of “favouritism” in the award of £17bn in Covid contracts.

City lawyer Nigel Boardman admitted that some government practices, such as a fast-track “VIP” priority system for firms known to MPs and ministers, gave rise to the “suspicion” of bias.

What do you do if there’s a suspicion of wrong doing? You investigate it.

Did he? Doubtful.

The report said he found no evidence of favouritism. But this is a discussion of cases in which Tory cronies with absolutely no experience of providing the relevant services were offered contracts instead of long-established firms that had been doing just that for years.

It is easy to find no evidence if you’re looking the other way.

Rachel Reeves, who is now Shadow Chancellor, had predicted that the report by Boardman – another Tory crony – would be a whitewash. She responded:

“This barely scratches the surface of the conflicts of interest in government procurement, and the deep and troubling pattern of taxpayers’ money being sunk into crony contracts.

“We need a complete overhaul to tackle cronyism, and an urgent end to emergency procurement measures.”

If such measures are still being employed, then yes – they need to stop. Even Boris Johnson is signalling (for all he’s worth, which is not much if you believe the reports) that any emergency is now over.

And we need to be sure that the money-grubbing that led to 150,000 deaths while Tories handed out useless contracts to their useless friends never happens again.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Johnson under investigation AGAIN – this time over funding for his Caribbean holiday in 2019

Boris Johnson: he spends lots of money, but he doesn’t seem to spend any of his own.

Has Boris Johnson paid for anything himself since he became prime minister?

How many more investigations into alleged financial improprieties by him are we going to see?

And how much public money are they going to cost?

This is ridiculous.

As UK citizens, we expect our representatives to behave with exemplary dignity, propriety and honesty – at all times.

If Johnson is found wanting, in any of the investigations currently racking themselves up around him, then we must demand his resignation – or removal – in disgrace.

And let’s not have the usual Tory whitewash because we will know if it’s a stitch-up.

We’re all watching very carefully now.

Boris Johnson is being investigated by the MPs’ standards watchdog over the funding of a Caribbean holiday [on Mustique, an island playground for the incredibly rich] in 2019.

Commons standards commissioner Kathryn Stone has confirmed she is looking into whether the prime minister correctly declared how the trip was paid for.

Mr Johnson has previously declared he received accommodation worth £15,000, covered by Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross.

Source: Boris Johnson facing probe over funding of 2019 holiday – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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