Tag Archives: Morgan

#LiberalDemocrat wins #NorthShropshire by-election in hammer-blow to #BorisJohnson

Helen Morgan: the newly-elected Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire.

Liberal Democrat Helen Morgan has taken North Shropshire from the Conservatives in a shock by-election result that is a hammer-blow to Boris Johnson, asking serious questions about his right to continue as prime minister.

The Liberal Democrats turned a Conservative majority of almost 23,000 in the 2019 election into a majority for them of nearly 6,000.

That is a massive swing from the Tories to the Liberal Democrats – apparently the seventh-biggest in by-election history.

It was more than just another by-election – it was a referendum on the leadership of Boris Johnson, and the result was decisively against him.

Sure, turnout was down from the general election’s 67.9 per cent – but high for a by-election at 46.3 per cent.

Looking at both election results in terms of proportion of the electorate voting for the different parties – which is better when the number of people voting varies, in 2019 Conservative Owen Paterson won the support of 43 per cent of the electorate, while Labour had 15 per cent and Liberal Democrat Helen Morgan just 6.9 per cent.

Yesterday (December 16), the same Liberal Democrat candidate was supported by 22 per cent of the electorate, while the Tory candidate had 14.8 per cent. The Labour vote evaporated almost entirely, with that party’s candidate gaining just 4.5 per cent of the possible vote.

The Conservatives lost nearly 24,000 votes – 28.9 per cent of the possible electorate – in a stroke.

Ms Morgan gained many of those Tory voters, along with many Labour supporters who lent her their votes in order to send a clear message to Boris Johnson: “You are not wanted here.”

The winning candidate elaborated on this in her speech. She said Johnson was “no leader”, that his government is “run on lies and bluster” giving the UK a “nightly soap opera of calamity and chaos” and that, for him, “the party is over”.

But it seems clear that the party may also be over for Keir Starmer, over at Labour.

Starmer didn’t bother much with North Shropshire. He certainly didn’t put the campaigning effort into the constituency that the Lib Dems and the Tories did – possibly because he agreed that the Lib Dems stood a better chance of defeating the Tories (even though Labour came second in 2019).

He seems to agree with other parties an awful lot. This seems to be coming across to voters as a lack of confidence in his own party that is putting them off supporting it.

And the Liberal Democrats seem to have become the palatable alternative. They used to be considered the middle-of-the-road party for people who weren’t as right-wing as the Tories or as left-wing as Labour; now it seems they’re the opposition to two right-wing parties that are suddenly finding they can’t take their tribal voters for granted any more.

I don’t think the Liberal Democrats are going to jump to over-optimistic conclusions about this result; they know this was a protest vote that may not be replicated in a general election unless their new MP makes a big impact, standing up for her constituency in Parliament.

But both Labour and the Conservatives have to be scared by this result because it means the public don’t like the direction taken by either main party.

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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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‘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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Fury as Patel interferes with independence of report into private detective’s murder

Daniel Morgan: Priti Patel wants to interfere with a report into the murder of a man who had been investigating police corruption. Now, why would she want to do that?

Nothing screams “cover up” quite so loudly as a Home Secretary interfering in the publication of an independent report – especially when it is on the murder of a detective investigating police corruption.

This Writer has been reporting on the murder of Daniel Morgan, practically since I started working on newspapers, and the lack of progress in his case indicates either a monumental failure – or monumental obstruction.

His body was found in a south London car park with an axe embedded in its head in 1987.

The motive for the murder has not been established. Some believe it resulted from a business dispute but following a fresh investigation the Met announced in 2007 that the motive for the murder was probably that Morgan “was about to expose a south London drugs network possibly involving corrupt police officers”.

There are claims that corruption in Rupert Murdoch’s News International media empire is also linked to the case.

The independent Morgan panel was set up in 2013 to investigate “the incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the former News of the World and other parts of the media, and alleged corruption involved in the linkages between them.”

Its terms of reference included “police involvement in the murder; the role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder … and the failure to confront that corruption”.

And now Priti Patel, the government minister responsible for the police, is refusing to allow the report of an independent inquiry into his murder to be published until she has vetted it, despite not having the right to do so.

It seems she wants to black out any part of the report she says might affect national security or human rights obligations.

The Morgan panel, responsible for the report, has issued a statement attacking the intervention in the strongest possible terms.

It said it had been told the report would not be made public until it agreed to the pre-publication review by government, which breaches the understanding it has about its independence.

The panel claimed the Home Office wanted the right to black out any part of the report it considered may breach “national security” or human rights obligations.

“The Panel was informed yesterday (Monday 17 May) that a publication date will not be agreed until the home secretary and Home Office officials and lawyers have reviewed the contents of the Panel’s Report,” its statement said.

“A review of this nature has not been raised previously in the eight years since the panel was established in 2013.”

It added: “The panel believes that this last-minute requirement is unnecessary and is not consistent with the panel’s independence.”

It said: “The panel is disappointed with this position and hopes the matter can be resolved in adequate time for its report to still be published in May while parliament is sitting.”

And it said a senior team from the Metropolitan police had already checked to ensure there was nothing in the final report that jeopardised security.

The Home Office statement on the matter is contradictory.

It states: “The home secretary … has an obligation to make sure the report complies with human rights and national security considerations. This has nothing to do with the independence of the report and the Home Office is not seeking to make edits to it.”

But if Patel is planning to alter the report – in any way – before the public can see it, then she is seeking to edit it.

Daniel Morgan’s brother Alistair has said the panel should take a case to the High Court, to protect its independence.

Let’s hope it does. This case has been going on for long enough that another slight delay won’t make much difference – and resisting Patel’s interference could make the difference between finally having a conclusion and suffering another grubby cover-up.

Source: Anger as Patel delays publication of report into private detective’s murder | Police | The Guardian

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Piers Morgan nails Matt Hancock on live TV as government ends GMB boycott: ‘Why haven’t you resigned?’

Matt Hancock on GMB: when he wasn’t doing his nodding dog routine, he was avoiding answering questions about his many failures over the 200+ days since any government minister has been interviewed on that programme.

After the mauling he took, Matt Hancock probably wishes the boycott imposed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain by former Tory Comms boss Lee Cain was still in place.

It isn’t; Cain is history – and presenter Piers Morgan was determined to go over all the history he could not discuss with government ministers during the more-than-200-day boycott.

It wasn’t pretty. But it was very entertaining:

Hancock tried to defend himself by raising his record on testing for Covid-19:

“On testing, we’ve hit each of the targets that I set – half a million tests a day capacity now. And I’m here to tell you we’re going to double that over the next few months.

“That means we can use testing in order to find where the virus is and crucially we’ve got those turnaround times down and people can isolate if needed.”

So Morgan examined the government’s pitiful record:

By now, if you’ve watched both clips, you’ll have realised what Hancock was doing:

He was avoiding the questions.

If he thought we wouldn’t notice, he was wrong:

Hancock hadn’t done any better with the BBC, where he had been interviewed on Breakfast News. There, he had been asked to defend a photograph of prime muppet Boris Johnson ignoring social distancing with MP Lee Anderson, who then tested postive for Covid-19.

Johnson is now self-isolating in his Downing Street flat, during a week that is crucial for the UK’s trade negotiations with the EU.

Here’s what Hancock said:

It was just a lot more evasion.

The simple fact is that while we all have the same rules, Boris Johnson simply doesn’t think they apply to him. If Downing Street has Covid-secure rules, they don’t mean anything if Tories don’t follow them.

At one point, Hancock said Johnson followed them, which is a flat-out lie.

Source: Piers Morgan asks Matt Hancock why he hasn’t resigned as Tory admits ‘mistakes’ – Mirror Online

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‘Thicky’ Nicky Morgan spells it out: Tories denied poor children free school meals out of spite

‘We starve children’: Rishi Sunak’s slogan was a little different when he published it, but a member of the public has corrected it for him.

There’s a reason we call her “Thicky” Nicky. Tory High Command will be fuming this morning.

The reason? Former education secretary Nicky Morgan admitted on the BBC’s Question Time that she and her Conservative colleagues voted down a motion to give poverty-stricken children free school meals during the holidays – not for any practical reason, but because a Labour MP insulted one of them during the debate.

Angela Rayner has apologised for using that word during a speech by Christopher Clarkson. Considering the content of his speech, one is moved more to sympathy with her point of view than his.

So it is doubly hard to accept “Thicky” Nicky’s excuse as she peddled it out on Question Time – more so because she backpedalled in the face of criticism and tried to say the Labour Party was wrong to introduce the debate as an Opposition Day motion.

And she was still saying the Tories were reacting petulantly to the way the debate was being carried out, rather than to its content – the necessity of helping to feed children in England.

Those children are now set to starve, because Tories like Nicky Morgan made up excuses to be upset.

Here’s her outburst, as televised:

And here’s some of the outrage it sparked:

(There are more than 322 Tories but that’s the number of their MPs who voted down the motion to feed starving children.)

There are now moves to shame all the Tories who voted against this motion online, simply by pointing out what they did to their electorate.

This Writer notes that my own MP – Fay Jones – voted against it. She represents a Welsh constituency – and I don’t think it’s a good look for a Welsh Tory to be voting to starve English children.

Do you?

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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