Harman Unfit for Quasi-Judicial Privileges Committee Chairmanship

Guido’s already covered the irony-come-hypocrisy of Labour appointing Harriet Harman – a woman who herself received multiple Fixed Penalty Notices as a minister – to lead the investigation into whether Boris misled the house. Christopher Hope reckons she might be a poor pick for natural justice reasons. The chair vacancy originally arose when Chris Bryant acknowledged that, given he’d already made a number of anti-Boris statements in the media and the committee’s findings would have been completely compromised:

“However, it is also important that the House be seen to proceed fairly without any imputation of unfairness and that the whole House have confidence in the Committee of Privilege’s proceedings.”

It’s now emerged his replacement, Harman, has not been neutral on the question up until this point either. She has tweeted her views relating to allegations around the PM’s truthfulness, with one saying “If PM and CX admit guilt, accepting that police right that they breached regs, then they are also admitting that they misled the House of Commons”. You wouldn’t favour your chances going to trial if the judge was on the record with such levels of preconceived bias…

Yesterday in the Commons, Andrew Murrison asked Michael Ellis whether he agreed “that those placed in a position of judgment over others must not have a previously stated position on the matter in question”. The Cabinet Office minister replied:

“It is, of course, an age-old principle of natural justice that no person should be a judge in their own court.

Where an individual has given a view on the guilt or innocence of any person, they ought not to then sit in judgment on that person. I know that point he is referring to, and I have no doubt that the right honourable lady will consider that.”

It seems to be yet another own goal by Labour, mind-made-up Harman’s appointment totally undermines the impartiality of the privileges committee investigation…

mdi-timer 17 June 2022 @ 09:11 17 Jun 2022 @ 09:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour to Appoint FPN-Loving Harman to Lead Investigation into Boris

Labour is set to appoint ex-Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman to chair Parliament’s Privileges Committee investigation into whether the PM misled the Commons over Partygate. The vacancy was created when Chris Bryant stepped down because he didn’t want the investigation to look biased. Guido’s not sure whether any Tory in the country is going to accept Harman’s judgements as politically neutral…

If Labour goes ahead with the bizarre appointment, not only will the PM be judged by someone equally as biased as Bryant, having called for the PM to quit, it’ll be one of the few Labour MPs who’s racked up more Fixed Penalty Notices than Boris. As Guido pointed out when Harman accused the PM of breaking the laws he made, she was charged with three speeding offences during her time as a minister…

It may not matter either way: the Telegraph reports some believe even if found guilty the PM could avoid a by-election, given the 2015 legislation only applies to suspensions handed out by the Standards Committee – not the Privileges Committee. The greased piglet won’t stop wriggling…

mdi-timer 26 May 2022 @ 17:14 26 May 2022 @ 17:14 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Six Times Labour Lawmakers Were Law Breakers

Labour is making hay while the sun is shining over Boris and Rishi’s fixed penalty notice charges, as you would expect. Generally it is a good rule that lawmakers can’t be law breakers, though it is the case that ministers receiving fixed penalty notices is hardly anything new. Guido thought he’d wander down memory lane to help contextualise Labour’s performative outrage…

Starting off most recently, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford called for the PM to resign as “You can’t be a law-maker and a law-breaker.” This seems to be a new position from Drakeford given his own health minister Eluned Morgan received a speeding fine of £800 just last month as well as a six month driving ban. She remains in situ…

Then we get into the weeds of Blair and Brown’s ministers. Most prominently among whom must be Harriet Harman. While serving as a minister and deputy leader of the Labour Party, Harman was charged with not one, not two, but three speeding offences; in 2003, 2007 and 2010, wracking up a whopping £810-worth of fines and nine penalty points on her licence. Harman has accused Boris of not only breaking laws he made, he broke laws in place to keep people safe. Much like speed limits… 

Fixed Penalty Notice queen Harriet Harman then piroutted and defended Baroness Scotland, serving as Gordon Brown’s Attorney General at the time, when she received a £5,000 civil penalty notice for hiring an illegal worker. While this would have been bad enough, Scotland was a Home Office minister who helped introduce the very legislation under which she received the fine. Scotland said the penalty was caused by a technical error and compared it to a parking ticket, saying “it’s not a criminal offence”. Brown said “no further action was necessary”…

Lastly there’s Liam Byrne, who said yesterday “We cant have a rules based order with leaders who break the rules.” In 2007, Byrne was fined £100 after admitting to using his mobile while driving, as well as receiving three points on his licence. The fine was ironic as, at the time, Byrne had been a long-standing road safety campaigner, tabling a petition in 2005 from constituents calling for tougher penalties for dangerous drivers.

He once told a parliamentary committee that the most dangerous drivers were “serial potential killers” and said he was “shocked” at the leniency of sentences handed down to them.

mdi-timer 13 April 2022 @ 10:46 13 Apr 2022 @ 10:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Harriet Harman’s Commons Tribute to Jack Dromey
mdi-timer 2 February 2022 @ 14:15 2 Feb 2022 @ 14:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rayner Erases Harman & Beckett from Labour Herstory

After yet another leadership election in which every single male candidate ranked higher than the female candidates, Labour women may have been looking on the bright side that at least things can only get better. Feminists may not, however, have been too pleased to see Angela Rayner pat herself on the back during a Zoom conference last night for being elected Labour’s “first female deputy leader”. Margaret Beckett and Harriet Harman would like a word, Ange…

mdi-timer 16 April 2020 @ 10:34 16 Apr 2020 @ 10:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Harman: Parliament Should ‘Change With the Times’
mdi-timer 15 September 2019 @ 09:45 15 Sep 2019 @ 09:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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