Priti Patel Signs Order to Extradite Julian Assange to US over Espionage Charges

The Home Office has this morning confirmed Priti has ordered Julian Assange’s extradition to the US to face espionage charges. A Home Office spokesperson said:

“Under the Extradition Act 2003, the Secretary of State must sign an extradition order if there are no grounds to prohibit the order being made. Extradition requests are only sent to the Home Secretary once a judge decides it can proceed after considering various aspects of the case. On 17 June, following consideration by both the Magistrates Court and High Court, the extradition of Mr Julian Assange to the US was ordered. Mr Assange retains the normal 14-day right to appeal. In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

Expect this to go to appeal…

mdi-timer 17 June 2022 @ 10:17 17 Jun 2022 @ 10:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Priti Patel Shouldn’t Extradite Assange

Guido had some dealings with Julian Assange many years back. He’s difficult, prickly and perhaps not the most balanced individual. It would be fair to say he has some pretty bad character flaws. All that aside he has brought into the public domain a lot that governments did not want disclosed. Some of it recklessly endangered the lives of good people – and that should rest on his conscience. Wikileaks also revealed truths that needed to be told.

Assange’s Wikileaks exposed truths that needed to be exposed in the public interest, for that the Pentagon and the US intelligence establishment is unforgiving. Even if you believe, as Guido does, that the US is generally a force for good in the world, it does not mean that it is in the public interest that all their secrets should stay secret. After exhausting all legal avenues, Assange’s case is now before the Home Secretary and Priti Patel has to make one of the most difficult decisions of her career; accede to heavy pressure from the United States and send him to die in a US jail, or stand up for freedom of the press and free speech, even when it makes allies uncomfortable. Priti should choose to support freedom of the press and not extradite Assange. Even if he is an arsehole.

mdi-timer 13 May 2022 @ 16:34 13 May 2022 @ 16:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Home Office Denies ‘Excluding’ Left Wing Hacks from Rwanda Trip

Guardian, Mirror and Financial Times hacks are complaining in Press Gazette that they were “blocked” from attending Priti’s Rwanda trip this month, with the Guardian going as far as to accuse the Home Office of trying to “avoid public scrutiny“:

“We are concerned that Home Office officials are deliberately excluding specific journalists from key briefings and engagements. [This] sends a worrying signal about the state of press freedom in the UK.”

Strangely, however, Guardian hacks were actually invited on the trip… their reporter just happened to fall ill right before leaving.

Even so, the Guardian is now donning tinfoil hats and claiming the Home Office rejected replacement hack, home affairs editor Rajeev Sal, because he might ask tough questions. They also claim the Home Office have deliberately rejected Sal from briefings before, something the Home Office tells Guido is “rubbish“. If Sal is such a tough interviewer, it does beg the question of why they didn’t submit him for the trip in the first place…

Guido’s departmental co-conspirator says the whole row is “silly“, as they can’t offer tickets to everyone, everywhere, at all times. They also point out how both the BBC and PA were on-hand throughout the entire trip – so those that couldn’t attend could get straight wire copy. In fact, even the picture used in the Press Gazette report came from PA…

mdi-timer 25 April 2022 @ 16:00 25 Apr 2022 @ 16:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
EXCLUSIVE: Home Office Civil Service Enemies Within Propose Strikes in Rwandan Rebellion

Home Office civil servants used an officially organised online consultation this afternoon to discuss the recently-announced Rwanda policy, asking how to potentially block the move, comparing themselves to Nazis “only obeying orders”, proposed going on strike and questioned how to deal with their mental health in light of the policy. It shows conclusive evidence of the scale of left-wing opposition facing Patel and the government from within the civil service. It follows news from the weekend that Patel had to issue a ministerial direction to force the policy through.

The comments unearthed by Guido, from the departmental forum, came despite an official warning to participants to abide by their commitment to civil service neutrality. On this point one mandarin said “being impartial is one thing, however should we not be afforded the opportunity to challenge policies we can clearly see are a disaster waiting to happen?” Multiple comments bemoaned the effect the Home Office’s latest policy directive was having on their mental health, as well as the problem of saying what their job is around fellow liberal metropolitan friends…

This is the scale of opposition Priti Patel is facing at the moment from the enemies within, despite her and her fellow ministers being the only people in the department with democratic mandates. While Jacob Rees-Mogg and Simon Clarke are publicly promising to cull the number of civil servants, Guido can see a very obvious place the start…

mdi-timer 20 April 2022 @ 22:15 20 Apr 2022 @ 22:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris Bashes the Bishop

A split appeared to open up in government last night over whether or not to wage war against the Archbishop of Canterbury. After party management left it to their 2019ers to wage war against the church following Justin Welby’s condemnation of Priti’s Rwanda plan, at 7pm last night Michael Gove used a speech at a Tories in Comms drinks reception to try calming the storm:

“As the example of Henry II shows, it’s never a good idea to go to war with Archbishops.”

Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest…

Unfortunately for Gove, no sooner had he suggested avoiding a bloody conflict with the Church, Boris got up at the 1922 committee an hour later and, according to Newsnight, slammed God’s representative on earth over his condemnation of Rwanda:

“These senior members of the clergy have not been as critical of Vladamir Putin as they have been of Priti Patel’s plan”

Presumably Tory MPs will be hoping the Archbishop will soon kick the Beckett…

mdi-timer 20 April 2022 @ 08:59 20 Apr 2022 @ 08:59 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Theresa May Refuses to Back Priti’s Rwanda Policy

Blue on blue scenes in the Commons this afternoon between the Home Secretary and Theresa May, as the latter claimed she doesn’t support Priti’s Rwanda immigration policy “on the grounds of legality, practicality, and efficacy”:

“…From what I have heard and seen so far of this policy, I do not support the removal to Rwanda policy on the grounds of legality, practicality, and efficacy […] If it is the case that families will not be broken up, does she not believe, and where is her [Priti Patel’s] evidence, that this will not lead to an increase in the trafficking of women and children?”

Patel didn’t back down, although a few heckles from the opposition benches clearly irritated her…

“The policy is legal […] there is an MOU which spells out in full detail the legalities, but also the nature of the agreement… I think the right honourable lady will respect the fact that I’m not going to come to the floor of the house and speak about the eligibility criteria.”

Patel then invited May to discuss the matter privately, away from the noise of the Commons. No doubt that’ll settle things…

mdi-timer 19 April 2022 @ 16:25 19 Apr 2022 @ 16:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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