29 March 2012

Leveson Inquiry: Module 2 - Press/Police - Day 18

Lord Justice Leveson
  "The focus of the Inquiry is ‘the culture, practices and ethics of the press’ in the context of the latter’s relationship with the public, the police and politicians. All of these matters overlap, and my goal must be to consider what lessons, if any, may be learned from past events and what recommendations, if any, should be made for the future, in particular as regards press regulation, governance and other systems of oversight."

Module 2 

"The relationship between the press and the police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest."

Useful Links:
Leveson Inquiry Witness Statements HERE 
Leveson Inquiry Witness Lists HERE
Video Recordings of each day's proceedings HERE
Live Feed From Leveson Inquiry Site HERE
BBC Democracy Live Feed HERE 
Telegraph Live Blog HERE (last Wednesday)
Guardian Live Blog HERE(Last Wednesday)

 Links to today's articles, Blogs, comment and information relevant to the Leveson Inquiry:

ITV News -  Operation Motorman investigation:-
Leveson Inquiry - 10: 12 a.m.-  Lord Justice Leveson commenting on ITN's Operation Motorman investigation and News item last night: 
We're off at #Leveson. The chairman is addressing the private hearing on Operation Motorman files.
Further information in the public domain through ITN. Could have come from a no of source so little value in seeking to find out.

#leveson starts on last night's ITN Motorman report, says his orders remain in place but info cd have come from number of sources

Twitter -  10:14 a.m.:

@TimesCrime - Sean O'Neill
  chief spin doctor Dick Fedorcio has resigned from Scotland Yard

Twitter - 2:19 p.m.:-
#leveson breaking - Fmr Mirror group political ed says "killer email" shows Mirror ed knew about share ramping; Mirror says he's wrong
Fmr political ed "a "killer" email showed "conclusively" Piers Morgan knew what was go; TM existence of email an ’urban myth’
Documents behind that @piersmorgan #leveson claim & denial
Trinity Mirror (via Herbert Smith lawyers letter): critical sment "not credible", "very little weight" shd be placed on its contents
Seymour also describe's @piersmorgan 's mouth as "a notoriously unreliable and boastful source"
 Thursday, 29th March 2012
Link to Day 17 HERE

Today's Witnesses:
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham ( Staffordshire Police )
Ian Fegan ( Head of Corporate Communications, Staffs Police )
Catherine Crawford ( Chief Executive of the Metropolitan Police Authority )
Kit Malthouse ( Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime )
Julie Norgrove ( Director of Audit Risk and Assurance, MPA )
Ben Priestley ( Unison )

CC Mike Cunningham  Witness Statement in Full
Profile - Staffordshire Police 
Chief Constable Probed Over Nepotism Allegations - Mail Online 
Police Sacked for Facebook Posts - Guardian 

Ian Fegan Witness Statement in Full

50 000 Follow Staffordshire Police
BBC News - Staffordshire Police Increases Social Media Presence

Ian Fegan and CC Mike Cunninham interviewed together

Cunningham also responsible for leading ACPO's professional standards portfolio.
 Cunningham: Strategic assesment 2010 showed family, friends and former colleagues higher risk than journos in unlawful disclosure.
Cunningham: Three sets of ACPO guidance on press, hospitality and business interests, in draft form next month.
Cunningham: Staff can be afraid of speaking to the press and we have responsibility to give them the training to do that properly.
Cunningham: Endeavouring to encourage staff of Staffordshire to have an open and professional relationship with local press.
Fegan: Less than five percent of press enquiries are from the national media. 39 percent from three local dailies.
Fegan: Have relationship of trust, confidence and mutual understanding with local media.
Cunningham: Seeking an organic relationship with the press which allows officers to speak about issues close to them.
Cunningham: Accepted lunch of approx £20 during meeting at hotel with editor of the Staffordshire Newsletter in 2010.
Cunningham: "Bad Apple" electronic whisteblowing system allows officers to report wrongdoing by colleagues anonymously.

Cunningham: ACPO to recommend that NO gift ever be sought by a police officer.Hospitality only acceptable at meetings and functions
Cunningham: Corruption and malpractice not endemic or systemic, however action of individuals has been and can be highly damaging
Cunnunigham: I would be very disappointed if all press inquiries were funnelled through the press office

Catherine Crawford   Witness Statement in Full

        Catherine Crawford, CEX MPA, 1st CEX of @AssocPoliceAuth and now CEX of MPOC now being questioned at #Leveson
        operational independence and non involvement 'does not mean (police authority) can't ask questions' of the police.MPA CEX at #leveson
        MPA CEX 'never had any serious doubts about the integrity of Commissioner of Met'
        Met Cmssnr &team 'very uncomfortable' when challenged by MPA over extent of alcoholic hospitality they accepted. MPA CEX at #leveson
        Crawford is former chief exec of the MPA, and remains chief exec of replacement body MOPC. 
        Crawford: Issues arising from inquiry will be taken into account in new governance structures.
        Crawford: Issues arising from inquiry will be taken into account in new governance structures.
        Crawford: MPA protocol was for chair or deputy to respond to media requests. Not to strangle members' criticism.
        Crawford: Occasional inappropriate gossip but never aware of serious leaks.
        Crawford: Never felt any improper pressure put on police by commissioners or chairs to follow a particular line.
        Crawford: Report into leaks from MPA after confidential Hayman briefing found no evidence.
        Crawford: More regular regime for reviewing hospitality registers came in 2007. Didn't notice any patterns or trends.
        Crawford: The ideal combination is tight, simple, easily understood policies that are regularly supervised and reenforced.

        Crawford: Was made clear to Met that publishing gifts and hospitality register online was good practice and should be done
        Crawford: Putting register online raised on more than one occasion at meetings with senior colleagues in Met. Asked where was it
        Crawford: We were quite clear when we set up MOPC that we were not just morphing from one organisation to another
        Crawford: Cannot expect juniors at the Met to behave at a set of agreed standards if you don’t set an example right at the top
        Crawford: Met hadn't been subject demanding oversight for 150 years. When MPA arrived some difficult exchanges
        Crawford: majority of MPA thought criticising Stephenson for accepting bottle champagne upon knighthood was not proportionate

        Crawford says she never felt any improper pressure put on police by commissioners/chairs to follow particular line 

        Catherine Crawford former chief executive MPA : Sir Paul Stephenson thought concern about him getting champagne on getting knighthood petty

         Kit Malthouse   Witness Statement in Full
                Now up London deputy mayor Kit Malthouse - issue being what he said to Met officers about Weeting resources
                London deputy mayor Kit Malthouse : attempt to be deliberately boring in engagement with the press
                Malthouse : journalists are often amusing company; but conscious as guardian of lots of sensitive info I need to take care
                Malthouse : apologised to Sir Paul Stephenson after Guardian interview "inflamed things unnecessarily"
                This is interview at issue : . Malthouse objects to headline
                Malthouse : John Yates would normally throw in a ref to hacking investigation at end of terror briefings
                Malthouse : I was dealing with most & 3rd most important police in land, they were saying there was no evidence needing new investigation
                Malthouse : when Sir Paul Stephenson was questioned in public & private about NI / Met meetings he put up robust defence
                Malthouse : I was unsure about the modus operandi of meetings, but that was a matter for his judgement
                Malthouse : MPA questioned acting commissioner Godwin about other senior officers' meetings with News Int
                Malthouse : for me to indicate some doubt about trust in Stephenson would have been a major problem
                Malthouse : I did express concern about level of resources for Op Weeting (ie that it could be too high)
                Malthouse : was keen to ensure they were not undertaking Op Weeting to the detriment of rape victims
                Malthouse reveals forecast cost for Weeting and related investigations is £40m
                Malthouse : surprised at controversy this caused, policing is a zero sum game
                Barrister : Did you seek to persuade Yates not to resign? Malthouse : Don't think I did, no. 
                Malthouse : staffing on hacking investigations will rise to nearly 200 people, equivalent to eight murder squads

                Malthouse was chair of the MPA from Jan 2010-Jan 2012.
                [Cressida Dick recently told inquiry Malthouse repeatedly questioned resources devoted to the 2011 phone hacking investigation.] 
                Malthouse: MPA not a regulator in the traditional sense, responsible for governance and setting strategic direction of the Met.
                Malthouse evidence moves on to relationship between MPA and the press. Members had own contacts in the media.
                Malthouse: Strategy was to accept, be boring, or largely talk about them and not give impression I was a useful source of info.
                Malthouse: Don't see why noting conversations with journalists will have chilling effect. But can see why might seem bureaucratic.
                Malthouse: Had particular contact at Times, they took my articles when unknown and continued after I was elected.
                Malthouse on Sir Paul Stephenson: We had our moments, but professional, cordial and supportive relationship.
                Guardian 2009 article on Malthouse, now under discussion at #Leveson, on phrase "have our hands on the tiller":
                Malthouse: References to phone hacking, in briefings with Yates, thrown in at end of meetings when something mentioned in press.
                Malthouse: As Yates indicated in letter to me, reassured us no new evidence.
                Malthouse: To summarize the converations it would be "there's been something in the newspaper but satifised no new evidence.
                Malthouse on Yates and hacking inv: Whole thing snapped into place, if you like, in the public perception, and the rest is history.
                Malthouse: Deference to the commissioner + AC over phone hacking, they were reassuring us no new evidence to reopen investigation
                Jay asks Malthouse about Sep 2010 MPA meeting, commissioner indicated potential hacking victims should be informed.
                Malthouse: I accepted Sir Paul's defence that he needed to engage across the media to put context of policing.
                Malthouse: Concern was fine to meet in the office over coffee, but whether dinner appropriate matter of Sir Paul's judgement. 
                Malthouse: My judgment was while it wasn’t necessarily the way I would have operated, Sir Paul was a man of great integrity.
                Malthouse: Concern over resources devoted to Op Weeting came from backlog of rape cases and approach to gangs.
                Malthouse: The forecast cost for Weeting and related is £40 million.
                Malthouse: I don’t think at any stage I indicated I thought they shouldn’t be investigating. Was a matter of speed and resources.
                Malthouse: Perception created by "Champneys coincidence" was something Sir Paul obviously didn't feel he could live with.
                Malthouse: If you repeatedly turn down civic engagements it can cause offence.
                Malthouse: If Commissioner seen as judge, jury and executioner, that wasn't good for the force.
                Malthouse: Weeting is investigation that has to happen. It's a question of balancing resources. Staff will rise to 200 next year.
                Malthouse: Most interaction between press, police and politicians relies on high degree of trust - can't legislate in many ways.

                Kit Malthouse's strategy for dealing with the media was to be "deliberately boring" so as not to be seen as a source for stories 
                Kit Malthouse doesnt agree noting all police contact with media "might have a chilling effect" though maybe unduly bureacratic
                Malthouse sees his role as being 'an interlocuter betw the public and the police'
                kit malthouse apologised to sir Paul re: his claim 2have had 'hand on the tiller' of the met-comment 'taken out of context'
                Op weeting (hacking) forecast 2cost Met £40m (chid abuse budget only £36m) - Malthouse at #leveson
                'journalism played fine role in changing policing 2public benefit bt police interaction w media mst b different 2 public.Malthouse@ #leveson
                Resolving many of qstions raised by #leveson 'relies on personal probity and trust-things u cannot legislate for'. kit malthouse

                Julie Norgrove   Witness Statement in Full

                The next witness is Julie Norgrove, director of audit risk and assurance for the MOPC.
                Norgrove: As head of audit detirmine strategic approach to inform Commissioner and MOPC around how well managing their risks.
                Norgrove: MPS gifts and hospitality register has been subject to audit review five times in the past 11 years. 
                Jay QC takes Norgrove through the reports on MPS audit reviews, on hospitality. 
                Norgrove: Revisions took effect in 2009, included introduction of electronic system.
                Norgrove: MPA members felt hospitality for their body "in the public domain", not same concerns as with Met.
                Norgrove: Hospitality not being managed as effectively as we wanted it to be.
                Norgrove: Staff - officers and board members - not always providing proper justification for gifts and hospitality despite system.
                Norgrove: Three key findings from Filkin in line with audit reports.

                Ben Priestley   Witness Statement in Full

                Priestley is National Officer covering police for UNISON. Have about fifty percent of working population in each force.
                [Seymour: Standards have to be maintained and enforced by editors and sen execs, with strengthened regulatory body as a backstop.
                Priestley: Want rules to cover all eventualities - both on-the-record conversations and more informal briefings
                Priestley: Our members feel it is hard to rock the boat. Police service is hierarchical and authoritatrian.
                Priestley: Work being done to review the effectiveness of whistle-blowing mechanisms within the police service.
                Priestley: Private dinners and private hospitality – union can see no place for such activities. 

                Priestley: Do not represent police staff from the Met or City of London Police.
                Priestley: Colleagues feel inquiry is dealing with issues relevant to the Met and maybe not provincial forces.