MPs Debate Recall

recall

The recall debate is bringing forth the most self-serving blatantly anti-democratic arguments. Liberal Democrat David Heath being one of those arguing that voters should not be able to sack MPs. Sitting next to him (still on the LibDem benches) is Mike Hancock, thrown out of his party as an embarrassment after admitting sexual impropriety with a vulnerable constituent who has mental health issues. Yet the voters can’t throw him out even if his party can expel him. He just shamelessly sits there counting the money until election day…

Mike Hancock opposes real recall for MPs. Of course he does… 

Judge Bins Much Mitchell Evidence

plebgate-mitchell-sun

Over at the Royal Courts of Justice the judge – Mr Justice Warby – ruled that 9 of Mitchell’s 16 previous incidents with police officers were admissible as evidence. A blow to Mitchell who tried to block the evidence being put before the Court. It got worse for Mitchell, he also banned the former Chief Whip from discussing “reputational damage, hurt feelings and the effect generally on Mr Mitchell of the Plebgate affair” at the upcoming trial.

Mr Justice Warby said evidence from Mitchell’s chums; Lord Coe, Sir Richard Ottaway MP and others expressing doubt Mr Mitchell would ever use the word ’pleb’, would be permitted. Submissions about Metropolitan Police officers creating fake witnesses were refused.

Mitchell will give evidence first, and the trial of the preliminary issues in the case is set for 17 November. Having switched lawyers word has it that Mitchell is directing his new lawyers closely…

Meanwhile Over in High Court 24

plebgate-mitchell-sun

COURT 24

Before MR JUSTICE MITTING

Thursday, 16th October 2014

At half past 10 Jury List

APPLICATION NOTICE

TLJ/14/0554 Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd

TLJ/14/0554 Rowland v Mitchell

Another round in the £1 million Plebgate legal skirmishes which are making the lawyers rich.

The latter application is a damages claim by Police Federation backed police officer Toby Rowland against former chief whip Andrew Mitchell…

MailOnline Breaks Judge’s Libor Gagging Order

“Banker admits rate rigging – but you can’t know where he works” reports MailOnline this morning, explaining that the identity of a top City employee facing ten years behind bars “is protected by a court order”. The story is accompanied by a blurred photo of the banker in question. Right click on the image and look at its properties, however, and the world’s most read newspaper website has inadvertently named the Libor rigger. Guido has blurred the name out:

Judge Leonard QC will not be amused…

Loverson Lawyer Sherborne Off Mitchell Case

Andrew Mitchell is no longer employing the services of his celebrity barrister David Sherborne. Sherborne, who hit the headlines over his romantic Greek holiday with a fellow Leveson lawyer, had previously been punished by High Court judge Master Victoria McCloud for a bizarre legal screw up in which he failed to submit paperwork for the Mitchell case on time. Now his services are no longer required…

Met Hack Phone of Sun Journalist

The Operation Alice report revealed that The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn refused to co-operate with officers, even though he was himself threatened with arrest for aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office. Journalists are protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights from having to reveal their sources and Tom Newton Dunn knew his rights. So the Met legally hacked his phones. The Met report into Plebgate states:

“On Thursday, 31 January 2013, PC James Glanville was arrested on suspicion of committing the offences of misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice. His arrest came about as the result of the initial analysis of the mobile telephone records from the Sun political editor, Mr Tom Newton Dunn, which showed a series of contacts by text and voice calls between the two over several days.”

Welcome to Britain in 2014, where the coppers access journalists phones to sniff out leaks from within their own ranks.

According to the Guardian:

“If police are seeking journalistic material, including information about confidential sources, they should use the procedures laid down by Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) which provide article 10 compliant safeguards to ensure that sources are properly protected. It is alarming that in this case the police appear to have used other powers which do not have those safeguards and are not intended for use in these circumstances,” said Keith Mathieson, partner at law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain. Under PACE, police are required to go to court to ask a judge’s permission to get records belonging to a journalist. Journalists are then notified to enable them to attend court to formally resist disclosure to a third party. On this occasion this did not happen.”

Guido’s learned lunch partner spots a hole: By making Tom Newton Dunn a suspect, which the Met’s report into Operation Alice admits they did, the coppers could bypass having to alert him. Sun sources tell the Guardian they are consulting lawyers. A fight between Murdoch and the Met over accessing phones? Play it again, Sam.

Meanwhile Over at the High Court

COURT 12

MR JUSTICE WARBY

Wednesday, 20th August 2014

At 2 o’clock

FOR JUDGMENT

TLJ14/0733 Tim Yeo MP v Times Newspapers Ltd

UPDATE:

If Guido understands the ruling correctly, Tim Yeo has won the right to not have his libel claim held before a jury. Has Magna Carta not suffered enough?

EHRC: All Women Shortlists Are Unlawful

The Equalities and Human Right’s Commission has ruled that All Women Shortlists are illegal. To very little attention, the EHRC today published guidance on the equalities legislation around which appointments to boards must be made. It says very clearly on page 10:

“We do not believe that it is lawful to address under-representation by longlisting or shortlisting only female candidates to the detriment of male candidates” 

Though the context was the private sector, it could not be clearer about the legality of the issue.

One rule for us, another for…

UPDATE: People who seem to know what they are talking about say there are special provisions for political parties (until 2030) which permit the use of all-women shortlists by registered political parties in relation to elections to government (see sections 104 and 105 of the Equality Act 2010).

Starmer to Miliband: I Like You, Just As You AreFormer CPS Boss Favourite for Holborn Safe Seat

The former CPS Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer – said to be the inspiration for Bridget Jones’ lover Mark Darcy – has been glued to Miliband’s side of late. Not only is he undertaking a  legal review for the party for free, he was on the leader’s table at Labour’s recent gala fundraiser.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Their Friendship Aside, Sadiq Khan Still Has Ahmad Questions

From tomorrow Babar Ahmad can add convicted terrorist to his CV, along with Guardian contributor. At the district court in Connecticut the extradited Brit will plead guilty to running websites that allegedly sought to raise money, recruit fighters and seek equipment for terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya.[…]

+ READ MORE +

More Bad News for Mitchell

The Court of Appeal has ruled that even if Mitchell wins any legal action against the Sun, the former Chief Whip will not be able to recover any of his costs.

As Guido reported at the time, High Court judge Master Victoria McCloud punished Mitchell’s lawyers, including celeb barrister David Sherborne, for failing to submit paperwork on time and his appeal failed this morning.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Brooks 'Discussed Phone Hacking' at Chequers

The Old Bailey have been hearing from Dom Loehnis, a former Telegraph journo turned head-hunter and close old friend of the Prime Minister. Called by the prosecution, Loehnis has told the court that he sat next to Rebekah Brooks at David Cameron’s fortieth Birthday party hosted at the PM’s grace and favour country pad Chequers in 2010.[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Laws an Ass

https://twitter.com/TomHarrisMP/status/402446611244384256

Whatever could he mean. That’s the £40,000 question…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Top Hacking Lawyer Relocating to LA

Mark Lewis, the phone hacking lawyer leading the fight against the Mirror, is off to sunny LA:

Dear All

In perhaps one of the worst kept secrets, I will be leaving the UK on Friday to take up permanent residence in Los Angeles.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Quote of the Day

Remember Piers Morgan once lied

“I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone.”[…]

+ READ MORE +

Briscoe and Clifford Plead Not Guilty

A busy morning in court today for defendants that regular Guido readers will be familiar with. The barrister and part-time judge Constance Briscoe has pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice over the Huhne case and Max Clifford has denied 11 sex related charges dating from 1965-85.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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George Osborne paraphrases Boris, telling the FT:

“If the ball came loose at the back of the scrum, I wouldn’t fumble it”

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