Tag Archives: investigation

Labour demands investigation into legality of pound-shorting hedge fund profiteering

Tulip Siddiq: investigate possible insider trading that caused the Pound to collapse, she says.

Labour are urging the Financial Conduct Authority to investigate whether leaks of the mini-Budget allowed hedge fund managers to make huge profits by shorting the pound.

Shadow City minister Tulip Siddiq told the Evening Standard the FCA should examine reports that some hedge fund bosses had made “small fortunes” by betting against sterling.

She said:

“The Financial Conduct Authority should investigate any potential wrongdoing, to determine whether it is possible that any leaks or information provided by this Conservative Government to their wealthy friends contributed to the collapse of the Pound.

“A weaker Pound means that imports such as food and energy will become even more expensive, at time when inflation and the cost-of-living crisis is already spiralling out of control.”

Well, it’s good that someone in politics is picking up on what’s being said by commentators like This Site.

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What was wrong with Kwasi Kwarteng at the Queen’s funeral?

It’s a valid question.

In case you haven’t seen what Kwasi Kwarteng was doing, it looks like this:

I reckon this could be the answer-

– don’t you?

Even if it’s not true, the BBC will be prey to such accusations as long as it has a Tory on its board, responsible for “impartiality” (a euphemism if ever there was one).

So how about it, BBC? Why not kick Robbie Gibb off your board and run a proper investigation into Kwasi Kwarteng?

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Tory MPs try to condemn Partygate investigation as a witch hunt

Boris Johnson: regarding his honesty, public opinion tends to go against him, as this graphic shows.

Isn’t it scandalous that some Conservative MPs are trying to use their position and influence to pre-judge an investigation into whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament?

According to the BBC,

allies of the outgoing PM dismissed the investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee as a “witch hunt” and “rigged”.

The inquiry will examine whether he obstructed Parliament by telling it that pandemic rules had been followed [when in fact more than a dozen rule-breaking parties are known to have happened, with many more suspected].

The probe could lead to Mr Johnson facing a by-election to remain an MP, if it leads to his suspension from the Commons for more than 10 days.

Apparently the comments started flying after the committee said it would not have to prove that Johnson deliberately misled MPs to show he committed a “contempt of Parliament” by obstructing its work.

Johnson loyalist and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the “Machiavellian” inquiry was “the means to a by-election” and called on Tory MPs to “have no part in it”.

Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith, whom Mr Johnson made a peer in December 2019, said the inquiry was “clearly rigged” and an “obscene abuse of power”.

Backbench Tory MP Michael Fabricant also accused the committee of wanting to “get rid of Boris Johnson” and “changing the rules”.

In response,

one of the Tory MPs on the committee, Sir Bernard Jenkin, said the committee had a “duty” to carry out the inquiry and accused Ms Dorries of waging a “terrorist campaign to try and discredit the committee”.

So now, in a move to halt this internecine fighting within the Tory Party, chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris has demanded decorum:

“May I urge caution against any further comments in the media about the Privileges Committee and especially its Clerk and Members,” wrote Mr Heaton-Harris, who is in charge of party discipline.

“Invariably these comments will be misinterpreted by those who do not wish to help us.”

Johnson has denied deliberately misleading MPs. The committee – with a majority of Conservative MPs – has said it has not “prejudged” any aspect of its inquiry, and the parliamentary officials advising it are politically impartial.

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Investigation launched against four Met Police officers who strip-searched black schoolgirl

All four Metropolitan Police officers who strip-searched a 15-year-old black schoolgirl while she was on her period are now being investigated for gross misconduct, it has been revealed.

It had been claimed that the girl, known as Child Q, smelled strongly of cannabis and may have been in possession of drugs.

So police were called to her school and subjected her to an intimate body search without any other adults present.

The incident took place almost two years ago but only came to light in March this year after a safeguarding report was published. This Site has previously reported on the incident here.

The Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review found that the strip search should never have happened, was unjustified, and racism “was likely to have been an influencing factor”.

“Four constables have now been advised that they are being investigated for potential breaches of the police standards of professional behaviour at the level of gross misconduct,” the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

However, it added that this “does not necessarily mean that disciplinary proceedings will follow”.

“We are looking at complaints that her mother was not given the opportunity to be present during the strip search, and that there was no other appropriate adult present,” it added.

“We are also considering whether the child’s ethnicity played a part in the officers’ decision to strip search her.”

If the officers are found to have breached policing standards, they could be dismissed from their jobs.

Source: Investigation launched against four Met Police officers who strip-searched black schoolgirl

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Partygate: Boris Johnson may be getting no more fines, but he’s a long way from getting away with it

Boris Johnson at a party: this one was in Christmas 2020, apparently, but the police aren’t fining him for it. Hmm…

Never mind the rumours that Boris Johnson met Sue Gray to discuss how to “manage” her report on the Covid-19 lockdown-busting Downing Street parties; he’s not likely to affect her verdict.

Apparently they only met to talk about whether she should publish images in her report – and he said it was a matter for her to decide on her own.

At the moment, it seems she is pushing for clearance to name the so-called ringleaders of the Partygate scandal, discussing with Civil Service human resources and legal teams, as well as trade unions, how explicitly she can point the finger.

That’s not the behaviour of someone who has taken orders not to rock the boat.

Indeed, avid scandal-watchers are bulk-buying popcorn in time for next week’s publication of her report, which promises to issue scathing criticism of senior political and Civil Service figures, calling into question why illegal social gatherings were allowed to take place.

But the real scandal appears to be the possibility that the Commons Privileges Committee is unlikely to report on whether Johnson intentionally misled Parliament over these parties until September.

The Committee has not yet met to decide who will chair the inquiry, after Labour’s Chris Bryant recused himself over [an] accusation of bias.

It is also unlikely to conclude its investigation before Parliament breaks up for summer recess in July, raising the prospect of Mr Johnson waiting until September at the earliest until the final verdict is delivered on Partygate.

The net result of all this delay has been to diffuse the strength of the scandal.

Ms Gray was originally set to publish her expected-to-be-damning report in January, less than two months after claims came to light that Tory ministers and civil servants took part in illegal parties over a period of more than a year.

But she was delayed after Johnson’s fellow Balliol College, Oxford, alumnus Cressida Dick commissioned a Metropolitan Police inquiry into the allegations that has delayed matters for four months.

And in the meantime, MPs decided to hold their own inquiry into whether Johnson had broken the Ministerial Code. It is known that he repeatedly provided false information to the Commons about whether parties took place but the important question is whether he did so, knowing that his words were not true.

It is this inquiry that may push Johnson out of Downing Street, because knowingly misleading Parliament is a breach of the Ministerial Code for which the penalties go as far as expulsion from that assembly.

But if the verdict won’t be known until September, who will care?

Source: Boris Johnson to wait months for final ‘Partygate’ verdict on whether he misled Parliament

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No more Partygate fines for Johnson – if we trust Downing Street – but what will Sue Gray say?

Sue Gray: all eyes are turning to her, now she is at liberty to publish her full – and probably damning – report on Boris Johnson and the illegal Downing Street parties he allowed to happen under his nose.

The prime minister’s office at Downing Street has said that Boris Johnson will not receive a second fine for taking part in illegal parties there during the Covid-19 lockdowns that he himself had imposed.

With the police refusing to name anybody they have fined, we are being asked to take the word of people who are themselves likely to have been fined for taking part in the parties (126 people have) and who may have been told to protect their boss.

But whether or not you believe the people who initially spent more than a year hiding the fact that these parties took place at all, the closure of the Metropolitan Police inquiry means that Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray may at last release her own full report on the scandal.

This could be far more damning to Johnson than the police investigation because it may include her verdict on whether he lied to his fellow MPs about whether the parties took place and about his own participation in them.

Lying to Parliament is a grave offence under the Ministerial Code, for which it is entirely possible that Johnson may not only lose his job as prime minister but be expelled from the House of Commons altogether.

Of course, ultimate authority for punishing offences against the Code lies with – guess who? – the prime minister but in a situation in which the PM himself is accused, it seems logical that alternative arrangements will be made to judge the matter.

And MPs have already arranged their own inquiry. A motion for the Commons Privileges Committee to do so was passed “on the nod” after attempts by the Tory leadership to prevent their backbenchers from voting for it were defeated.

We have already been told that the Gray report is so excoriating of Johnson that it may end his premiership:

The Times, citing an official it described as being familiar with the contents of the complete report, said Ms Gray’s full findings were even more personally critical of the Prime Minister and could end his premiership.

According to the paper, the official said: “Sue’s report is excoriating. It will make things incredibly difficult for the Prime Minister. There’s an immense amount of pressure on her – her report could be enough to end him.” No 10 declined to comment.

According to the i newspaper, in a report last month, Tory rebels have been organising to oust Johnson and the now-four-month reprieve Johnson enjoyed as a result of the police investigation merely allowed them to organise themselves.

Even though we have been told he has not received any more fines, these backbenchers were also watching the results of the local elections at the beginning of the month – in which the Conservatives took a drubbing.

Remember: these were council seats and devolved Parliament places where the Labour Party had enjoyed the so-called “Corbyn bounce” in 2018, and where the Tories may have reasonably expected to make gains this time. Instead both they and Labour lost out to the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

Ms Gray is expected to release her report next week – and then the sparks may really fly.

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Is Sue Gray’s Covid parties review so damning it could finish Boris Johnson as PM?

Boris Johnson and Cressida Dick: her decision to investigate the so-called Partygate scandal bought him a three-month reprieve from the “excoriating” contents of Sue Gray’s report – but now seems likely to add fuel to incendiary criticisms it contains.

This casts the Metropolitan Police’s decision to investigate the alleged lockdown-busting Downing Street parties – after initially refusing – in a very poor light indeed.

The Met, under then-Commissioner Cressida Dick, decided to launch an investigation after all, shortly before Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray was due to publish her review into the events underlying the so-called Partygate scandal.

Ms Gray had been expected to publish her report around January 24 this year, but it didn’t appear on that day – and on the very next day, Dick announced that the Met was launching an investigation of its own.

This Writer said at the time that the announcement seemed an obvious delaying tactic and today’s (April 25) revelation suggests that I was right.

Ms Gray was forced to amend her report because the plods said they didn’t want it to contain any information that could prejudice their inquiries.

And now we hear claims that the full report is so “excoriating” of Johnson that it could end his term as prime minister:

The Times, citing an official it described as being familiar with the contents of the complete report, said Ms Gray’s full findings were even more personally critical of the Prime Minister and could end his premiership.

According to the paper, the official said: “Sue’s report is excoriating. It will make things incredibly difficult for the Prime Minister. There’s an immense amount of pressure on her – her report could be enough to end him.” No 10 declined to comment.

Ironically, it seems the Met’s delaying tactic is likely to have made matters worse for Johnson in the long term.

Already he has received one fixed-term penalty – a fine – for attending a party held to celebrate his own birthday in 2020. It seems likely he will receive another for a “bring your own booze” event in the garden of 10 Downing Street on May 20 that year.

And there are four other events that he allegedly attended being investigated by the police as well.

Ms Gray can’t release her full report until after the police investigation has ended but, by then, any criticism of Johnson may be superceded by the consequences of the fines.

According to the i newspaper, Tory rebels are organising to oust him if their party fares poorly in next month’s local elections – or if he receives further fines.

The three-month reprieve Johnson has enjoyed as a result of the police investigation has merely allowed them to organise themselves, it seems.

The paper says Johnson’s critics are currently “holding back” to await the local election results or further fines – but have prepared ‘no confidence’ letters to be submitted en masse to the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs should the party take a battering at the polls on May 5.

It seems Johnson’s chickens are coming home to roost and any plan to fend off his critics with an early general election is likely to fail. How will he try to save his bacon now?

Source: Sue Gray’s Covid parties review could spell ‘end’ of Boris Johnson premiership, says report

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Johnson’s future in the balance: he WILL face inquiry over deliberately misleading MPs

Boris Johnson (right) preparing to ask questions at a quiz during one of the many lockdown-busting Downing Street Christmas parties. He has said he was not aware that these events broke the rules he laid down for the rest of us.

Boris Johnson’s continued tenure as prime minister may be in danger after MPs voted to launch an inquiry into whether he deliberately misled them about his attendance at lockdown-busting Downing Street parties.

No actual vote was taken because – after all the bluster that the Conservatives would not allow an investigation to take place, in the end, no objection was voiced to the motion and it went through “on the nod”.

This signifies a huge about-turn in the attitude of Conservative MPs.

Johnson’s Tory government had indicated that it would submit an amendment to Labour’s motion for an inquiry, seeking to delay the vote.

But this was withdrawn. Perhaps ministers had realised that backbenchers were being influenced by the public mood against their prime minister, and thought it would be better to let them express their feelings in a single vote, rather than two.

Conservatives certainly showed no reticence about expressing themselves during the debate.

It seems they were not prepared to defend Johnson, believing that it would reflect badly on them, allowing voters to accuse them of covering up their prime minister’s criminality and dishonesty.

William Wragg, Conservative MP and Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said few Conservatives can “truly enjoy” being an MP at the moment, and it is “utterly depressing” to be asked to “defend the indefensible”. He would vote for an investigation into Johnson’s behaviour.

Former Brexit Minister Steve Baker said he had wanted to forgive Johnson after the prime minister made an apology to MPs on Tuesday – but “that spirit of earnest willingness to forgive lasted about 90 seconds” into a meeting Boris Johnson held with his backbenchers later the same day.

“[It was] an orgy of adulation, a great festival of bombast, and I cannot bear these things… This level of transgression, this level of demand for forgiveness requires more than an apology drawing a line under it and moving on in the way the prime minister sought to do in his interviews.”

He said both Johnson and his advisers “need to understand this is a permanent stone in his shoe” and those who want to forgive him “want to see permanent contrition”.

Baker went on to tell the story of a constituent who didn’t get to see his wife of 50 years in a care home before she died, because of lockdown rules. “What am I to say to that man? I could say… you and I are Christian men and forgiveness is hard. [But] I don’t want to forgive him. I do not want to forgive our prime minister.”

He added that, if he was in any other job, Johnson would be “long gone”.

“Having watched the contrition… it only lasted as long as it took to get out of the headmaster’s study, and that’s not good enough for me, and that’s not good enough for my voters. I have to say now the possibility [of forgiveness] has gone… and for not obeying the letter and the spirit, the prime minister now should be long gone.

“The prime minister should just know the gig’s up.”

Conservative MP Peter Aldous said “this situation is completely unprecedented” – and the Privileges Committee should be invited to investigate.

Conservative Andrew Mangnall, MP for Totnes, said he still has a letter of no confidence in the prime minister with Sir Graham Brady of the 1922 Committee: “Every day that I see issues and rules broken in this place only reaffirms my belief that we have to stand up in this place and make it clear that dishonesty, inaction and misleading of the house cannot be tolerated, from anyone.”

He said he forgave Johnson for making mistakes – “but not for misleading the house as I see it”. He welcomed the motion and said he looked forward to the findings pf the Privileges Committee.

The investigation, by the Commons Privileges Committee, will not take place until the last fixed penalty notices are delivered by the Metropolitan Police and Sue Gray, who ran a Cabinet Office inquiry into the matter, is allowed to deliver her own final report.

Once all the information from the police and Ms Gray has become public knowledge, the committee of MPs – most of them Conservative – will decide Johnson’s fate.

If today’s performance is any yardstick, it isn’t looking good.

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Partygate: Of course Simon Case has been questioned by police – there was a party in the Cabinet Office

A suitable Case for investigation: Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.

The big question here isn’t why Cabinet Secretary Simon Case has been questioned by police about lockdown-busting Downing Street parties – it’s why anyone would think he would not be.

Case was originally chosen by Boris Johnson to investigate the events, of which 12 out of an alleged 16 are now the subjects of criminal inquiries by the Metropolitan Police.

But after it was revealed that one such party took place in his office, Case stepped down to be replaced by his colleague Sue Gray – raising the obvious question: why didn’t he refuse the job in the first place, if he was implicated?

Following on from this, we may also ask whether Johnson appointed him in the knowledge that he had attended a party himself and it was therefore in Case’s interest to whitewash the whole scandal.

It all stinks to high heaven and low hell.

Sadly, the police inquiry is unlikely to erase much of the stench of corruption from Downing Street and the Cabinet Office.

Their remit is simply to find out who attended these parties and issue penalty notices in accordance with the law that was in force at the time.

They won’t look at any corruption in the corridors of power.

But then, they never do.

Source: Civil service chief Simon Case ‘receives partygate questionnaire from police’

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Police start interviewing witnesses about Downing Street parties

Boris Johnson: he has good reason to look worried.

Metropolitan Police officers have started interviewing witnesses about the alleged lockdown-breaking Downing Street parties.

After sending questionnaires to more than 100 people, officers have begun to sift through the information about participation in the alleged gatherings:

In a statement on Monday, the Met said detectives from the Operation Hillman investigation team had started interviewing “key witnesses”.

The force added: “To date, over 100 questionnaires have been sent out asking the recipients about their participation in alleged gatherings.

“The questionnaires provide recipients with the opportunity to give an account of their involvement and the responses form part of the investigative material for the operation.”

All recipients – including both the prime minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak – were given seven days to respond.

The statement said: “As a result of responses so far, further individuals have been identified and questionnaires sent to them.

“As the investigation continues, we may need to contact more people as further information comes to light.”

The announcement means any hope Downing Street had that the investigation would end quickly, with a minimum of fuss, is likely to be dashed.

Instead, inquiries appear to be expanding, with suggestions that the size of the police inquiry team is to be increased to deal with the volume of work.

This suggests that, rather than providing a minimum of information (as some of us expected after it was revealed that they had received advice on what to say), some Downing Street employees have been accusing others.

What does this mean for Boris Johnson, though?

Well, we know that some Tory MPs have withdrawn their call for a vote of “no confidence” in Johnson’s leadership, because they don’t think one should take place during a crisis like the current war between Russia and Ukraine.

But with the investigation continuing indefinitely, it is now possible that they will have a chance to reconsider their decision a second time.

And with more mistakes and corruptions by the UK’s worst-ever prime minister coming to light all the time, this can only be heartening for those of us who believe the UK needs better.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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