Sunday, November 19, 2006

Top Tory blogger defends Labour's Lord Levy over humilation of arrest...

Earlier this week I posted on the case of the former Tory MP David Prior who was arrested by police investigating fraud.

I made the point that we could not jump to any conclusions. Now Iain Dale, the Tory would-be MP who has done more to bring political blogging to public attention than anyone else, has gone even further.

Iain says these very public arrest of people who may in the end never face charges, causes public humiliation which should not be part of our legal process.

He's absolutely right.

Iain fought a Norfolk seat for the Tories at the last election where David Prior was MP from 1997-2001.

The arrest of David Prior has provoked Iain to defend both him and Labour peer Lord Levy who was publicly arrested in the current so called cash-for-honours police investigation.

Iain asks:
Whatever happened to the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’? It seems if you a public figure you have to put up with this sort of thing nowadays.
Iain has done as much as any other media outlet to hype up expectations of criminal charges in the cash-for-honours probe - in which police have interviewed senior Labour, Tory and LibDem officials and politicians.

However, it’s an excellent post: well worth a gleg.

16 comments:

Brynley said...

Well, Yates of the Yard is taking the investigation to the top.

I'm all for "innocent until proven guilty", but this goes for everyone, not just the powerful.

If I wanted to make such a point, I would think first about the proposed 90 day arrest without charge.

Three months! That's internment without trail in all but name.

Even the government's chief law officer has turned against this proposal.

Far more important, than any hurt feelings when Yates gets round to questioning Blair under caution, I think.

fairdealphil said...

brynley:

police should be given the time they need to properly investigate.

under the previous proposals as i understood them, the extra time would be used in exceptional circumstances and would be subject to hearings before a judge every seven days for police to justify further detention.

liz said...

I thought that Ian Dale's blog was very pertinent and I wholeheartedly agreed with him. He ususally does present a reasonable analysis of many issues even though I disagree with his politics! I can remember being horrified when the press were out in force when one of the Maxwell brothers was arrested at 5ish in the morning. There was no consideration for his wife and young children and he was subsequently found not guily by a jury. Whether individuals are found guilty or not, the police releasing their details tarnishes their reputation. I am most unhappy about this regardless of the politics or status of the person involved. I also believe that it can prejudice a fair trial in the event of prosecution. The police should be quietly undertaking their job - not briefing the media. I do have problems with the current investigation by Mr Yates as I believe his team have been leaking information to the press. It is an affront to justice.

Michael Oakeshott said...

Liz, I suspect the real problem you have with the Yates enquiry is that it is asking the right people the right questions, and getting just a bit close to number ten. Hence the effort across all the lefty blogs to tarnish the man before he has finished the job. Heads will roll and you are getting your retaliation in first...

liz said...

Michael - not at all. Can you give me an example in recent years of so much briefing during an ongoing police investigation? As far as I am concerned, if the law has been broken then individuals whatever their status should face a Court. However, it is a reflection on our society that justice is seen to be done. It is not justice when people being questioned by the police make the newspaper headlines - they have not been charged with an offence and I do not need to know. Nor is it justice that information obtained during an ongoing investigation be constantly in the public domain. I do not recall any police enquiry with so much briefing - hence I am unhappy with Mr Yates as he leads the enquiry.

Michael Oakeshott said...

The fuss is unprecidented, but not surprising given that the very executive is being accused on selling places in the legislature. Sorry if the media are interested, but that is democracy. And you don't think any of the people being questioned by police are briefing, or authorising briefing? You are very trusting aren't you?!

liz said...

No - do not trust anyone. Just years of experience working within the system.

Brynley said...

Yates of the Yard will be getting innundated with media interest and there is absolutely no evidence that he has been stirring it up.

True, the 5am call from the police will probably be unecessary in the case of Lord Levy and Tony Blair.

But the suggestion that donors were induced to make "loans" off the books is sufficiently serious and well documented to justify Yates feeling a few collars.

For goodness sake, Liz. Even the Labour Party's own Treasurer, Mr Dromey, was not let in on the workings of this little earner.

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

For goodness sake people - this is in the public interest as the letter from Yates of the Yard to Dr Tony Wright proves.

You can find it at:

http://5thnovember.blogspot.com/2006/11/you-read-it-here-first-yates-letter.html

AND IF ANYONE KNOWS ANYTHING ELSE I URGE THEM TO COME FORWARD TO E MAIL: guido.fawkes@Order-Order.com

Guido Fawkes' blog relies on your for information.

You can also voicemail Guido Fawkes on 0709 284 0531 or Fax the legend on 0709 201 2337.

fairdealphil said...

geoffrey:

if anyone knows "anything else" as you put it, the best advice is to contact Supt. Yates of Scotland Yard.

After all, he's supposed to be in charge of the investigation, not Guido Fawkes.

enigman said...

I had a cup of tea the other night, my wife Morag made it for me. She remarked that Fair Deal Phil was "a bloody good chap" (sorry for swearing!) and I agreed. A cup of tea for you Phil. Maybe you could rename yourself "Fair Tea Phil"? Just a suggestion

Michael Oakeshott said...

No tell Guido, he'll get the job done. There are to be two outcomes of this investigation. Firstly Levy and, God willing, Blair, will serve time at Her Majesty's pleasure. The second outcome will be that Labour will lose the election. The public will excuse the incompetence we have seen, but the corruption will be the end of them. REJOICE!!

fairdealphil said...

enigman:

NATO standard please...that's milk, one sugar.

regards to morag.

fairdealphil said...

michael:

You have so much clearly well informed knowledge about this, that perhaps Supt Yates ought to pay you a visit...

My advice when the knock comes is to hand over all your copies of the Daily Mail.

Liz said...

Brynley, You are right that Jack Droney was not kept informed and he is the treasurer. I understand that under the Party constitution there was no requirement for him to be informed. I think he was right to be angry and in my opinion he should have been informed on moral grounds. I personally cannot recall any other enquiry where the police disclosed the number of individuals interviewed and whether they were under caution or not. There have also been leaks about E Mails etc. All of this is unprecedented and for me it is not at all about party politics but justice. Matthew Parris has written an excellent article in the Time on this issue and Iain Dales contibution on his blog sums up my feelings better than I am able to articulate. I do not agree politically with either person. I acknowledge that the public are very interested in this case but that indicates to me the necessity of the enquiry being beyond reproach.

Geoffrey,

I would prefer to contribute to Iain Dales Blog. Guido is wonderful for tittle tattle comparable to the red top press I suppose. I am afraid I am not a tabloid person. I think Iain Dale is more reflective and discusses issues as well as gossip. It is rather nice to have a genuine, thoughfful debate about issues as no one political party has all the answers and we do learn from others perspectives or expertise. Hopefully this blog encourages all of us to try and achieve repect for alternate views.

Geoffrey Brooking said...

Guido is getting the job done properly as michael states.

REST IN PEACE NEW LABOUR