Tag Archives: office

#ForeignOffice admits it was wrong to deny #BorisJohnson authorised Afghan animal evacuation

The Foreign Office has admitted misleading MPs over whether Boris Johnson authorised the evacuation of Pen Farthings dog rescue charity Nowzad from Afghanistan last year.

But you won’t realise that from looking at the BBC report!

Foreign Office boss admits error over Afghan animal evacuation reads as though Johnson had nothing to do with it.

And you have to read a long way into the story to discover that Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, was saying that he had not seen emails sent within his department, indicating that Boris Johnson did indeed authorise the evacuation.

If he did, then he lied about it to the media afterwards, when it was suggested that he had prioritised animals over human beings.

People the UK abandoned in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over have since tried to reach this country via the refugee route – crossing the Channel – and this has led to at least one death.

Appearing before the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday, the prime minister’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Nigel Casey was asked if he knew whether the PM had intervened “in the evacuation of Nowzad staff or animals” and replied: “Not to my knowledge.”

In  written evidence to the committee, published on Wednesday, Sir Philip denied that Mr Casey had received “any correspondence referring to the prime minister’s intervention in the Nowzad case”.

This was contradicted in leaked emails published by the committee subsequently.

And BBC Newsnight’s Sima Kotecha has seen two emails with the subject heading “Pen Farthing and dogs”, showing the Foreign Office and Mr Casey sought guidance from No 10 over the issue.

So now Sir Philip has had to write back to the committee, apologising for misleading its members.

But he stuck to the part of the story covering his involvement:

“As Nigel said to the committee on [Tuesday] he has no recollection of having seen emails in which staff attributed this decision to the prime minister. Nor do I.”

Downing Street is saying that the decision may have been interpreted as coming from Johnson when that was not the case – but it has provided no evidence to support this claim.

So Labour’s Chris Bryant, a member of the committee, is well within his rights to say (as he did on BBC Breakfast News): “All I want to know is who made the decision?”

We all want to know that, Chris. At the moment it seems clear that Johnson has lied again and our civil servants are disgracing themselves in their haste to cover up for him.

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Are the #MetPolice and #SueGray conspiring to keep #BorisJohnson in office?

Appropriate: this is an image from a while ago but it seems relevant, as Boris Johnson seems to be slithering out of the Partygate accusations with the aid of his college colleague Cressida Dick and his employee Sue Gray.

It’s a question that deserves to be asked.

First we thought Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray was going to publish her report into alleged Covid-19 lockdown-breaking parties at 10 Downing Street early this week – possibly even on Monday.

She didn’t.

Then the Metropolitan Police, under its Commissioner Cressida Dick (who went to the same university college as Boris Johnson), announced that after spending weeks saying it would not investigate the parties because they happened more than a year ago, it had now decided that it would.

Gray then hesitated, claiming she wanted to produce a report that could be published in full, as soon as Johnson received it.

And now the plods are saying they don’t want it to contain any information that could prejudice their inquiries.

The statement reads: “For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report.

“The Met did not ask for any limitations on other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed, but we have had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office, including on the content of the report, to avoid any prejudice to our investigation.”

We may be justified in asking, if there was no request to delay the report, then where is it?

But the devil’s in the detail, of course. The main objective of the report is to tell us whether the alleged parties actually happened, whether Boris Johnson attended any of them, and whether he lied about them.

We know the answer to all three questions is yes; we just need it in official form.

But (again) with a criminal investigation taking place, the Met might wish to charge Johnson with a crime if police find that he attended such parties and a statement that he had done so, from the Cabinet Office, may be seen as prejudicial to its investigation.

So Ms Gray, it seems, is hamstrung and the report is delayed.

She could have published her report on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, when the Met wasn’t putting any conditions on it, but didn’t, and now she has lost her chance because of an organisation that wouldn’t be bothered to do anything when it was first asked.

That’s why this seems to be a premeditated delaying tactic.

It isn’t good enough; we should expect better from our national institutions.

If the police had investigated when they were first told to, they would have been finished by now and there would be no obstacle to the report being published.

If Sue Gray had published her report during the window of opportunity that was wide open for her between (let’s be honest) January 20 and today (January 28) any stipulations the police had would have been academic.

They have let us down. And when I say “us”, I mean they have let down everybody in the United Kingdom.

Now we must wait, presumably while Ms Dick shifts through the overwhelmingly-damning evidence, looking for an excuse to let her college buddy Boris off the hook.

Tory MPs who know that their chances of being re-elected depend on Johnson’s near-magical abilities as a confidence trickster, hoodwinking voters into thinking he is worth electing, will be hoping that we all forget about his lies and the treachery of the parties he hosted while the rest of us sat in isolation, watching our relatives and loved ones die without even being able to sit in the same room with them.

They’ll get their wish if the media, also run by Tories, decide to ease the pressure.

So, the future of the United Kingdom – whether we continue to be run by a disreputable Tory liar – will be decided by disreputable Tory liars (remember, they all told us he would be a good prime minister, back in 2019).

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Patel plan to secretly strip people of UK citizenship is ‘offence to justice’ after court ruling

The Court of Appeal has struck down a Home Office decision to remove a British woman of her citizenship without telling her.

Home Secretary Priti Patel had tried to argue that notification had been given to D4, who has been detained in the Roj camp in Syria since January 2019, by simply placing a note on her Home Office file.

D4 was born in the UK in 1967 and had British nationality from birth, along with Pakistani nationality. The decision to strip her of British citizenship was made on December 27, 2019 but her solicitors were only informed when they wrote to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in September 2020, asking for help in repatriating her.

The Home Office’s claim relied on regulations that had been introduced by statutory instrument, without parliamentary approval.

But the court said the British Nationality Act 1981 required written notice to be given to someone of a decision to strip them of their citizenship and only parliament could decide to alter that requirement.

Lady Justice Whipple said: “The 1981 act does not confer powers of such breadth that the home secretary can deem notice to have been given where no step at all has been taken to communicate the notice to the person concerned and the order has simply been put on the person’s Home Office file. To permit that would be to permit the statute to be subverted by secondary legislation.”

Whipple said the purpose for requirement to give notice in the 1981 act was that “the person needs to know that a decision has been made; the person is entitled to know the reasons for that decision; and the person is put on notice of their appeal rights”.

This should have serious consequences for Patel’s current plan to remove the requirement to give notice – including retrospectively – as described in Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill.

The ruling states that British justice requires a person to be told their nationality has been removed, to be given the reason for that decision, and to be told how they may appeal.

Failure to provide that information is an offence to justice.

Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, the charity representing people who suffer extreme human rights abuses (and note that this means the Home Office subject D4 to extreme abuse) said the decision confirmed that stripping a UK national of their citizenship in secret is illegal.

“But the government is already cynically attempting to circumvent the courts by using Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill to render this ruling moot, making a mockery of the rule of law.

“Ministers should change course and recognise that depriving people of their citizenship without even telling them is an affront to British principles of justice and fairness.”

And what are ministers actually doing?

They are seeking permission from the Supreme Court to appeal against the ruling. The UK’s government has nothing but contempt for the rule of law.

Source: UK unlawfully stripped woman of citizenship without telling her – court | Home Office | The Guardian

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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

What a #stitchup! #Police watchdog whitewashes the #Met over #DowningStreetParty

Under suspicion again: Cressida Dick’s decision not to investigate an alleged Christmas party at 10 Downing Street on December 18, 2020 is being reviewed. But is the correct authority handling the case?

The Independent Office of Police Conduct has cleared the Metropolitan Police of misconduct over the alleged Christmas party at Downing Street on December 18 last year.

But the exoneration does not cover the Met’s failure to investigate an alleged breach of Covid-19 social distancing rules that were in force at the time.

No – it was cleared because the complainant, Baroness Jenny Jones, was not herself adversely affected by any such failure by the police.

Baroness Jones had stated that police working outside 10 Downing Street controlled “all access to and from Downing Street”.

“Put very simply, if there was an unlawful gathering taking place at No 10 Downing Street, then the police must have known and were highly likely to have played an active part in organising or facilitating the illegal gathering,” she said.

“I believe there is a case to answer for the police aiding and abetting a criminal offence or deliberately failing to enforce the law in favour of government politicians and their staff.”

She also argued that Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick’s decision not to investigate the reported party represented “a potential cover-up”.

Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Tony O’Sullivan of the Met Police responded that he had referred the complaint to the IOPC, “given that you effectively allege misconduct in public office by MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] police officers”.

But the watchdog said a “valid complaint” could only be made when “an individual, or someone acting on their behalf, has been adversely affected by the alleged conduct or its effects”.

And as there was no evidence Baroness Jones had been nearby when the event took place, “we have decided it is invalid”.

What a stitch-up!

It seems to This Writer that this superintendent only made the referral to the IOPC in the terms he did in order to secure a whitewash on specious grounds.

The issue isn’t whether Jenny Jones was personally affected by the alleged party, but whether it took place in defiance of then-enforced Covid-19 rules and police knew about it.

The grounds on which the IOPC looked into this are not valid at all because nobody is going to say they have been “adversely affected” by the conduct of police in failing to enforce those rules. They were having a party and the cops were (allegedly) turning a blind eye.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Acting Det Ch Supt O’Sullivan has referred the second part of Baroness Jones’s complaint – that Commissioner Dick had not investigated the allegation of a party at 10 Downing Street – for investigation.

But this will be carried out by the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC) which sets the direction and budget for the Met.

Is that the appropriate organisation to investigate such an allegation?

I don’t know.

But I fear another whitewash.

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Iain Duncan Smith tries to send us back to the office by talking about the Blitz. Blimey!

Iain Duncan Smith: on his way into the office? Or working from home?

If this is how Iain Duncan Smith hopes to break back into mainstream politics, he’s a worse idiot than we all thought he was.

He has joined the apparent Tory campaign that says it is unpatriotic to work from home because people still went into their offices “while Hitler’s bombs were raining down”.

So, inbred Tory idiot Iain Duncan Smith has declared that it’s unpatriotic to work from home because (and I quote) people still went into their offices “while Hitler’s bombs were raining down”.

His logic has it that this means office workers should go back, risking infection with Covid-19 and the possibility of death.

There are several problems with this:

Firstly, people didn’t stay in their offices while Hitler’s bombs were raining down. They went to air raid shelters.

Secondly, Hitler’s bombs weren’t contagious.

And thirdly, there was no Internet in 1940, so people had no choice but to work in the office when the bombs weren’t raining down.

Which, of course, blithely ignores the fact that:

This Writer is grateful to a good friend on Facebook who explained why it is “strangely appropriate” that Duncan Smith should attempt to invoke the Blitz Spirit, “but not in the way he thinks”.

It is a reminder that the Tory-led government of the day was just as happy to let the working class of London die as the Tory government of today – and for the same reason: to keep the economy going:

“Remember that the government of the day didn’t want to open ANY deep underground shelters precisely because they feared the shiftless working classes *wouldn’t* go back to work if they did.

“The East End was reportedly on the brink of ‘open revolt’ due to the lack of adequate shelter from those bombs, and the authorities put guards on the tube station entrances

“Eventually several stations were stormed and opened up, by a combination of communists and anarchists.

“The government didn’t give a sh*t — they were quite happy for the working class of London to die, as long as the wheels of the economy kept turning.”

And there’s another lesson to take from the war – one that is as relevant today as it was then:

Sadly, we did return to the inequalities of the past. And – worse – it seems our Tory-complicit media are successfully brainwashing the majority into thinking they’ve never had it so good.

Most people are happy to continue throwing away all the gains made with the welfare state and the NHS.

Still, plenty of people are putting out the right messages, if only everybody else could be bothered to pay attention:

The video in the article below is particularly good:

Of course the article by the man whose own military career resulted in a failure to win promotion and the nickname, on This Site, of ‘RTU’ (Return To Unit – the worst disgrace for an officer candidate), is just part of a “Get Back To The Office” campaign by the Daily Heil.

Other articles on the same line include the gem below, in which the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is blamed on home working, rather than the incompetence of the Conservative Cabinet Minister responsible for the mess.

I can only hope that those who are gullible enough to believe this tripe have strong enough bodies to recover from the Covid-19 doses they’ll undoubtedly catch – and to make up for the weakness of their minds.

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Racist Patel strikes again: Jamaicans are being targeted for deportation by Home Office

Patel: see the posters behind her? The only UK aid she likes is helping foreigners off British soil. Odd, considering she is herself the daughter of immigrants.

Priti Patel’s Home Office has been disproportionately targeting Jamaicans for deportation.

And it seems clear officials know their actions are racist. Otherwise why would they have spent a year trying to withhold the information after The Guardian made a simple Freedom of Information request?

Jamaicans are 10 per cent more likely to be deported than people from other countries, even though the same rule applies to all of them:

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, foreign nationals who are jailed for a single offence for at least 12 months will normally be considered for deportation on their release, with exceptions under human rights rules – for example, having children in the UK, and for people who have been trafficked.

A comparison of Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Home Office data between 2015 and 2020 showed that once people from European Economic Area countries were excluded, as they are not covered by the act, an average of 65% of overseas nationals jailed for at least 12 months were deported.

For Jamaican nationals, this proportion rose to 75%, however, despite the much greater likelihood of their having significant ties to the UK. For other former British colonies in the Caribbean, such as Trinidad and Tobago, and St Lucia, the rates were higher still.

The statistics also showed that 90% of Nigerian nationals were deported, and 76% of those from Ghana. For Albanians, the rate was 90%, and for Vietnamese nationals 84%.

Concern has also been registered about deportations to Albania and Vietnam, which have known issues with human trafficking connected to organised crime.

The Guardian reported that it had only been able to publish its findings after “a year-long freedom of information battle”:

While the MoJ supplied the information within weeks, the Home Office refused, saying that to do so would be “likely to prejudice diplomatic relations between the UK and a foreign government”, and could hamper the operation of immigration controls.

The Guardian appealed to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which ruled against the Home Office, calling the department’s arguments “vague” and “generic”, and noting that no attempt had been made to substantiate them. “The commissioner will not accept at face value assertions made by a public authority that, in her view, require a proper and fuller explanation,” the ruling stated.

Even now, the Home Office has tried to justify its disproportionate targeting of people from Jamaica: “We do not target specific countries.”

The record states otherwise – because the Windrush scandal showed how the Home Office deliberately destroyed records proving that people of Jamaican origin had the right to remain in the UK, and then pursued an aggressive policy of deportation against them.

It seems Priti Patel has kept up the deportations, despite protestations of fairness.

Source: Disproportionate targeting of Jamaicans for deportation from UK, data suggests | Immigration and asylum | The Guardian

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Excoriating report on Tory concentration camps is buried on last day of Parliament

Priti Patel doesn’t like answering hard questions: in this image she was defending Boris Johnson over ‘herd immunity’ so no wonder she has dodged interrogation over herding immigrants into overcrowded concentration camps to catch Covid-19 or get burnt when fires break out.

The Tories made sure a searing report on their failure to provide habitable accommodation for immigrants would not receive proper scrutiny – by releasing it the day after the relevant Parliamentary committee met for the last time before the summer recess.

The delay is all the more deplorable because Priti Patel has had the report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration for months – but sat on it because she doesn’t like to be criticised – poor widdle baby!

According to the Mirror, the report only came out now because Labour’s Yvette Cooper accused Patel of delaying its release “for many months” in a “Kafkaesque” situation.

(Has Patel read Kafka? She probably thought he was a grotty foreign Communist and stuck to Ayn Rand and Mein Kampf.)

Conditions in her camps at Penally, Pembrokeshire, and Napier Barracks in Kent, certainly reflect the philosophy of Nazism (such as it is).

The reports findings certainly suggest that Patel followed Hitlerian thinking. It said overcrowding meant a major Covid outbreak at Napier was “virtually inevitable” once just one person was infected.

There was no way to isolate anybody; the outbreak eventually infected hundreds of people. Did anybody die? This Writer hasn’t seen the statistics.

And the report said: “Despite a large fire at Napier, inadequate action had been taken to address ongoing serious fire safety concerns.”

Furthermore, it said: “Managers at both sites lacked the experience and skills to run large-scale communal accommodation.

“Home Office staff were rarely present at either site. There were fundamental failures of leadership and planning by the Home Office, which had led to dangerous shortcomings in the nature of the accommodation and poor experiences for the residents.”

Yes indeed – they were locked into the camp, packed together like sardines, and treated like criminals even though they had not committed any crime.

A Home Office spokesperson said the government department has made “significant improvements” since the report was put together – which itself indicates that Patel withheld its release for an unacceptably long time.

And there has been a strong effort to hide events at the camp from public view. I’m not just referring to the intimidation of a photographer who took images of protests outside, either.

Simply withholding the report while changes were made is dishonest. It should have been published on receipt, and independent reviewers invited to examine any changes, to ensure that they were fit for purpose.

That hasn’t happened.

It is easy to form your own conclusion about the reason: Patel is a racist and hates immigrants – especially because she is herself a daughter of immigrants.

Source: All the bad news the Tory government buried hours before MPs’ summer holiday – Mirror Online

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The sordid reason the PUBLIC has been made to pay for Priti Patel’s bullying

Yes, again: I know you’ve seen this image of Patel a lot over the last few days but it’s my favourite at the moment and it sums her up very well.

The Home Office has admitted that it used £370,000 of your money to pay off Sir Philip Rutnam after he took legal action over bullying by Priti Patel.

We know she did engage in bullying because we have Sir Alex Allan’s report to prove it. The now-former government adviser on ministerial standards stated clearly that Priti Patel was guilty of bullying civil servants while a minister in three government departments.

I state that he’s the “now-former” government advisor because – as we all know – prime minister Boris Johnson spat in Allan’s face by overruling his finding, lying that Patel had not broken ministerial standards, and saying she could continue in her job (she should have been sacked).

Meanwhile, Sir Philip had launched court proceedings for constructive dismissal – but against the Home Office rather than Patel.

Perhaps he thought he’d get more money that way. We’ve certainly paid £340,000 plus a £30,000 contribution to his costs.

Patel – the bully who caused all the trouble – has got off free as a bird.

Isn’t it time Tory ministers were made to pay for their own offences?

Source: Home Office spent £370,000 settling Patel bullying claim by top civil servant | The Independent

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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Starmer’s office staff are disintegrating – under pressure over Batley & Spen election?

I haven’t had a chance to go into this properly; fortunately, I don’t have to.

May I direct you to the Skwawkbox, which has been doing a fascinating job of dissecting the shenanigans at the office of the Leader Of The Opposition.

First we had this:

Keir Starmer has appointed a replacement for Ben Nunn – the private health lobbyist ousted on Friday as Starmer’s head of communications.

His new communications director is Steph Driver. Ms Driver makes an appearance in the notorious ‘Labour leaks’ report on the alleged misdeeds of right-wing former HQ staff – one in which she praises the infamous ‘Ergon House’ plan to divert funds, intended for the campaign to win the 2017 general election, into a secret pot to fund the protection of right-wing Labour MPs.

In WhatsApp messages among right-wing staff, Ms Driver – at the time a ‘Political Advisor – Press and Comms’, according to her Linkedin – is seen describing the plan as ‘brill’ and saying that she endorsed it – and promising to ‘very much’ keep it secret from anyone else.

Then came this:

Keir Starmer has removed right-winger Morgan McSweeney – previously of Labour Together and Liz Kendall’s disastrous 2015 leadership campaign – as his chief of staff, as panic sets in about next week’s likely defeat in the Batley and Spen by-election and Starmer’s record-breakingly bad leadership.

In what appears to be an attempt to save face, Starmer’s office is insisting that McSweeney remains his ‘number one adviser’ – but McSweeney has been moved into an ‘election strategy’ role, a laughable admission that Starmer is clinging to the illusion that the disasters in Hartlepool, national local elections, a worst-ever by-election result for the party in Chesham and Amersham this week and polling that isn’t even bothering to circle the plug-hole before diving in.

And now this:

Leading Labour left-winger has lobbed a metaphorical hand-grenade into the utter chaos and collapse of Keir Starmer’s dying ‘leadership’ of the Labour party – targeting Starmer’s craven and Tory-like habit of letting underlings take the blame for his disasters.

Trickett pulled the pin and tweeted:

What next?

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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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
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SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook