2 April 2012

Leveson Inquiry: Module 2 - Press/Police - Day 19

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."

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
Guardian Live Neil Wallis Blog HERE

Module 2 

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

 Links to today's articles, information and comment relevant to the Leveson Inquiry
Twitter 9:59 a.m.:
@Tom_Morgs :
Rebekah Brooks’ former PA Cheryl Carter and sports journalist Raoul Simons rebailed by Weeting detectives
Twitter 10:06 a.m. :

@nataliepeck :
We're off at . Chairman says directions hearing for module 3 will include discussion of mod 3+4, outstanding issues and timetable.

 Monday 2nd April 2012
Link to Day 18 HERE
Today's Witnesses:
Mark Burns -Williamson ( Chairman, Association of Police Authorities )
Stewart Gull ( Jersey States Police and Former ACC Suffolk Constabulary )
Paul McKeever ( Chairman, Police Federation )
Nathan Oley ( Head of Press and Public Affairs, Association of Police Authorities )
Neil Wallis ( Formerly of News of the World )

To be Read:
T/AC Russell Middleton ( Operation Reproof, Devon and Cornwall Police )
DCI Brendan Gilmour ( Operation Glade, MPS )

'IndexLeveson :
Jay: I think it was 12 Dec that we met last, Mr Wallis. Wallis: How could I forget?
Wallis on relationship with Lord Condon: grew out of what I would be talking to DPA about, was suggested we meet
Wallis: I had an opinion how he (Lord Condon) could make something important to him accessible to the great British public

@skymarkwhite :
3 senior Met Police figures resigned over links to Neil Wallis. Now the former #NOTW Deputy Editor is back at #Leveson to testify again
@nataliepeck :
Wallis: Met Lord Condon in office and over dinner, relationship grew at functions and what I was talking to DPA about
Wallis on Condon: I'd give him my views and if he found them interesting or useful then I was glad. Tallked on a number of issues.
Neil Wallis - 12:11 p.m. Leveson Inquiry
@newman_andrea :
Wallis says The Sun were trying to reach out to all of the police establishment - on police bravery awards

@rosschawkins :
Wallis on Condon : this was a corporate / strategic relationship, wasn't about getting a quick hit of a story

@adavies4 :
Wallis statement: News Intl titles 'were always pro-police, pro-army, and pro-law and order'.
Wallis describes frequent tel contact with Lord Stevens (when Met boss): 'every week, every month, twice a day, varied...'
Mr Jay questions Neil Wallis - 12:36 p.m.
@nataliepeck :
Wallis: Probably met Lord Stevens over a meal, introduced by Dick Fedorcio. Talked over meals, phone calls, occasional drink.
Wallis: "I did as best I could" to advance Lord Stevens' application for commissioner.
Wallis: What I knew about John Stevens was that he had a view about how the police and press should interact, I agreed
Wallis: Terribly flattering that you think I could appoint the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and so it should be.
Wallis: Whoever's feeding Nick Davies stories on phone hacking is not someone he met last week - way successful journalism works.
Wallis: Blair in NoW office said, "I don’t know how you can call [Stevens} The Chief, he’s not the chief anymore, I am".
Wallis: Panton and Kuttner went to interview Blair, said 'Houston, we have a problem' in relation to de Menenzes. Put in headline.
Wallis: Ian Blair couldn’t have rescued himself with the press simply by buying us drinks and being friendly.
Wallis: What I’ve put in my statement was my memory of [meetings with Stephenson], if his memory different that’s unfortunate.
Wallis on Yates: If he sought my advice I would willingly have given it, he didn’t need to because he was the Met’s high flyer.
Wallis statement: My involvement in advising senior officers was [not] entirely altruistic - something in it for me and my paper.
Wallis statement: Had the mobile nos of Stevens, Stephenson, Yates, Hayman + Fedorcio + home nos of Stevens, Yates + Fedorcio.
@rosschawkins :
Owner of health resort where Stephenson stayed, Champneys, says Wallis' performance as PR was "inept and contact with me irregular
Wallis inept allegation here :
Yates denies telling Bob Quick : "I am very well connected" Says not true he (Yates) obstructed enquiries  
Stephenson on Quick inquiry that saw Tory MP arrested : wd have benefited from a little less haste & further reflection by him
Wallis on whether Lord Stevens was partic friendly to him - "Lord Steves wasn't mean in his charms" got on well with Paul Dacre
Wallis on Lord Blair - he decided he wasn't interested in views of tabloid or mid market press 
Wallis on Lord Blair - he was a very very bad communicator; no surprise when his career ended as it did
Wallis : mischief is a significant component of newspapers, particularly tabloid newspapers
Wallis says the Met used him for crisis management advice
Wallis on crises : if you can get to weekend and it's not in Sunday papers then it's over
Wallis on Yates : found him an immensely impressive bloke, very clever; those around him regarded him v highly
Wallis: I certainly found Yates an immensely impressive bloke. Very clever.
Wallis w/s "I advised Lord John Stevens throughout the (Commissioner) application and interview process"
Wallis advised Stevens during Commission application process to present himself as a "coppers copper" or "thief taker"
@Indexleveson :
Wallis: Macpherson report was catastrophic for Met, whoever succeeded Lord Condon was an important appointment for the force
Wallis: because of my relations with senior Met officers, I could alert the force to a situation, I was taken seriously
Wallis on Lord Blair: was a very cerebral man, decided he wasn't interested in views of tabloid or mid-market press
Wallis: Blair described learning Jean Charles de Menezes was innocent as a "Houston we've got a problem" moment.
Wallis says his value to Met was crisis management operation. Says there was an element of presentation 
Wallis: I've been at deputy editor level since mid-90s. This is what I do. I understand mass market newspapers
Wallis w/s: When running highly public campaign, senior officers would write articles or give quotes which would go into paper
@martin_hickman :
NoW deputy editor Neil Wallis on Met Commissioner Sir John Stevens: 'As time developed it became a more active relationship...' 
John Yates denies ex-police chief Bob Quick's evidence to #Leveson, saying: "I would never use a phrase such as: "I am very well connected'"

@adavies4 :
Wallis portraying Lord (Ian) Blair as gaffe-prone, elitist Met commissioner
Wallis doesn't give met Commissioners 'advice', just 'opinions'
Wallis relationship with Stephenson: 'followed same blueprint as my relationship with John Stevens'
@skymarkwhite :
Wallis: "You'd have to be a blind man living on an island not to know Ian Blair's relationship with the media had been a disaster"
Wallis: "I'm not backward about coming forward with my opinions." We had noticed!

From Guardian Live Blog:
Jay moves on to former assistant commissioner John Yates.
Wallis says he thought Yates was "an immensely impressive bloke" and that it was clear that more senior police thought the same.
Jay asks if he gave Yates advice in the hope of getting the top job.
Wallis says he could not have done; it was an incredibly political business getting to the top. Support from a journalist or advice from a reporter would not have been useful.
Yates never needed his advice, Wallis observes, as he was simply "the Met's high flyer".
Nice aside from Wallis as Jay tries and fails to suggest that Wallis was the man behind Yates's rise. "I certainly know about the greasy pole of newspapers," he says.
Guardian Live Blog:

Here's a quick analysis of Wallis's witness statement, which reveals the extent of his "PR advice" to the Met while working as a journalist:
• Wallis says he "advised John Stevens throughout his application [to be met comissioner] and interview process … a number of discussions on the subject of his candidature" while editor of the People.
• Says "The thrust of my contact with Stevens was in providing PR advice to him both in his personal capacity as Metropolitan police commissioner - ie with the emphasis on his personal reputation in this role and also for the Metropolitan Police Service as a whole."
• Adds that in mid-2005 he was the ghost writer for Lord Stevens in the column titled "The Chief" in the News of the World.
• Says "Of course all the advices which I tendered at Lord John Stevens were provided on an unpaid basis."
• Says he and Stevens "dined or met over a drink with him on a number of occasions - probably on average about six times a year. 1 would pay the bill on each occasion."
• Never met Blair for dinner.
• "I met Sir Paul [Stephenson] approximately six times a year while he was the commissioner; these occasions would be for dinner and also for the odd glass of wine."
• Says he provided John Yates with "PR advice to a certain extent".
• Met Andy Hayman "for a drink about six times a year and spoke to him on the telephone on a sporadic basis".
• Says he met Met PR chef Dick Fedorcio "for dinner or a drink about six times every year".
Resumes after lunch:
Wallis 2:04 p.m.
@nataliepeck :
Wallis: Reporters including Mazher Mahmood effectively worked for the Met throughout certain investigations.
Wallis: Shared keen interest in sport with Yates, went to two or three football matches together.
Wallis: Dinners with Nick Candy and Yates – think Nick paid for the dinners mentioned at inquiry. It was just chit-chat.
Wallis: Andy [Hayman] was particular interested in police/press relationships. He had very strong views on it. 
Mr Jay asks Wallis about his relationship with Andy Hayman - 2:04 p.m.
@nataliepeck :
Wallis: Hayman interested in how national media reacted to and the effect of the levels of info that would come out [on terrorism].
Wallis: Persisant in my advice to Hayman that footage on shoe-bomb would have a profound effect, he released to NoW.
Wallis: Hayman interested in how national media reacted to and the effect of the levels of info that would come out [on terrorism].
Jay: Did you buy champagne for Hayman or Yates? Wallis: I don't like champagne…I prefer a dry white wine.
Wallis: It wouldn’t have been published in any way if it hadn’t have been my newspaper’s idea.
Wallis: Upshot of us publishing it was video appeared in other newspapers and went around the world. It was a rather good idea.

@IndexLeveson :
Wallis w/s: Andy Hayman was anxious to improve relations between the police and the press beyond simply the Metropolitan Police
Wallis: I'm a journalist, journalists live or die by their contacts. I nurtured those contacts b/c that's what journalists do
Jay asks if there is a possibility of a perception of "over-cosiness" 
LJ Leveson asks Wallis about being given exclusivity of a video of effects of a shoe-bomb by Hayman - 2:21 p.m.
@nataliepeck :
Wallis: I had a good working relationship with Dick Fedorcio that has lasted for 15 years.
Wallis: News desk, Lucy Panton, they all had his phone number. They all knew Dick. He wasn’t some shrinking violet.
Wallis on Met and PR: I contributed where I felt that it was worth contributing to and it was up to them what they took out of it.

Guardian Live Blog:
Wallis says he offered PR advice to Fedorcio, and the Met PR chief would listen to him. He says he didn't always deal with Fedorcio, as News of the World crime correspondent Lucy Panton or other members of the Crime Reporters' Association had the Met man's mobile number and were more than capable of contacting him directly
Leveson asks if Wallis felt the Met's DPA and senior officers were not terribly good at PR and he "filled the gap".
Wallis says he "did what he could".

Asked if he thought Met was a particularly leaky organisation, Wallis said sadly not leaky enough, wish it had been leakier

@rosschawkins :
Wallis : I have built relationships with police, politicians & judges, haven't put an arm lock on these people
Wallis : would like public officials to talk more to journalists than they do
 (Key #leveson debate here, when informed public officials talk to journos is that very wrong or good for society)
(Wallis taking on #leveson on this point; ie what's wrong with relationship building? One policeman called leaks "treachery" last week.)
Wallis - is me lunching contact worse than businessman doing it? I may be wrong : not sure you are wrong
@IndexLeveson :
Wallis says he thinks public officials should talk more to the public rather than less.
Wallis: have you ever had a working lunch with somebody more than once? It is the way of the world
Wallis: me going for dinner with a police officer is no different from a civil servant going for dinner with a businessman
Wallis: as a general rule of life, I think people try to use whatever way they can to get their views across
Wallis: people who work in the MPS have a devotion and passion for the service that is incredibly impressive
@nataliepeck :
Wallis: Journalists live or die by their contacts. I had good relationships with people that enabled us both to benefit out of it.
Wallis: I have a very eclectic interest in politics, home affairs, current affairs, etc.
Wallis: I think the use of the word grooming is inappropriate, working lunches a successful way of doing business.
Jay moves on to Lord Stevens's NoW column, The Chief, ghostwritten by Wallis.
Wallis: Stevens's column it is an example of how journalism worked well to our mutual benefit.
#Leveson: We know a lot more about your friendship with some senior police officers than transpired in the hospitality register, don't we?

Wallis now discussing `The Chief' column which he ghosted for John Stevens

@lisaocarroll :
You made that joke last time jay tells wallis when he talks about guardian, times and independent as not being well read.
'Not everything is transparent with the police, Mr Wallis!'
@rosschawkins :
Wallis makes important point he was working for Sun, then People, then Notw in this period

Sparky exchange. #leveson asking - we know much more about yr relationship with police than shown in registers, don't we? Wallis : Do we?
Wallis : I've even given work experience to children of people who work at the Guardian 

@skymarkwhite :
Very testy last few minutes between Wallis and #Leveson clashing over whether hospitality with cops should be more transparent
@adavies4 :
Was there a journalist better connected than Neil Wallis to Met hierarchy over last decade?

#Leveson asks Wallis whether he believes greater openness should be transparent to all (incl other journos)
Jay says Wallis made himself "tantalising" to Met w/ PR contract, Walllis sighs, says was continuing what he'd done for years
Wallis on his daughter: she's trying to build a career and her name is constanlty being put in the public domain

@nataliepeck :
Wallis says "raw" over issue of his daughter's hiring by the Met, says Crawford and Godwin did exactly the same.
Wallis: I assumed Jefferies stories came from a police briefings. I know CC has denied but that's what I assumed given experience. 
Wallis answering LJ's question re journalism and invasion of privacy by press.

@rosschawkins :
#Leveson - I quite understand your concern about your daughter & I sympathise with you v much, regret upset it may have caused to her
#leveson - but do you think we may be paying more attention to privacy rights to individuals than once we did?
Wallis : UK national newspapers far tamer than they were 10 years ago, and nothing like they were 20 years ago
@nataliepeck :
Wallis: In my time in papers. I believe that the protection of privacy has leapt on.
Wallis: In Mosley case, have clear court decision and clear repercussions for the newspapers. Don’t believe that will happen again.
Wallis: Sometimes storms happen and they shouldn’t but they do. With McCanns there was a feeding frenzy.
@IndexLeveson :
Wallis: challenge for Inquiry is recognising where movement has happened rather than dwelling on smth that happened 10-15 years ago
Wallis: sometimes storms happen. They shouldn't but they do...McCann situation wouldn't have happened in same way if occurred in UK
Wallis: a scandal that has involved one newspaper has brought all of this to a head
Wallis: the idea that we're going to have a no-contact zone or official contact zone breeds a black market 
@lisaocarroll :
Wallis: British national newspaper far tamer than they were 10 years ago

Mark Burns - Williamson  Witness Statement in Full
Profile - National Policing Improvement Agency Website 
Interview with Cllr Mark Burns - Williamson on subject of elected Police Commissioners - YouTube
Mark Burns-Williamson:Politicians Must Not Distract Our Police From the Job in Hand - Yorkshire Post

    Nathan Oley and Mark Burns-Williamson interviewed together

    @nataliepeck :
    McKeever over. Next up Mark Burns-Williamson (chairman) and Nathan Oley (head of press) from the Association of Police Authorities
      BW: The Home Office have asked APA to form interim body for policing governance which could potentially represent PCCs from Nov.
    BW: APA or successor body should assist police authorities to implement recommendations which come out of inquiry.
    BW: APA staff aware that they shouldn't enter into hospitality arrangements with media, contact through formal events.
    BW: Meet with Sir Denis O'Connor and Roger Baker (HMIC) to update them on APA's position.
    Oley: Record shows media enquiries from BBC, ITV, Western Mail and Radio 4 among others last month.
    Oley: Only official spokesperson is the chair. Occasionally cleared to give comment and do provide background briefings to media.
    BW: In general terms, if someone is professional, should be allowed to move from APA to role in the media.
    Oley: Access to sensitive info by APA staff is limited, so hard to see example of where taking media job would be restricted.
    Oley: In dealing with policy issues, only appropriate for press team or CC to deal with the media.
    Oley: Entering unchartered territory, guidance on appropriate contact with media is necessary. Now higher media interest in police.
    Oley: The importance of inquiry's outcomes and other investigations is crucuial so there's not a shut down of information.

    @IndexLeveson :
    Burns-Williamson: don't have off the record conversations w/ media as chair of APA, haven't provided hospitality or accepted gifts
    Burns-Williamson: we conduct our business through formal events.
    Burns-Williamson says he has never experienced a case of bribery during his time at APA
    Oley says all contact with the media directed through APA press office
    Oley: we're entering new territory here for police contact with media and interest in policing
    Oley: we're entering unchartered territory so guidelines (e.g. Filkin) would be helpful 

    @lisaocarroll :
    Burns Williamson. The A word has arisen. Alcoholic drinks are not acceptable in expenses at Ass of Police Authoriea
    Nathan Oley is head of press and public affairs for ass of police authorities. Staff of one.

    @nataliepeck :
    Back with Stewart Gull (Jersey States Police and former ACC Suffolk Police).
    Gull was involved in Operation Sumac (Ipswich murders) in 2006.
    Robert Jay QC, inquiry counsel, taking Gull through comms strategy for Op Sumac.
    Gull: Force found itself in a place it never expected to be, had never faced events of this nature previously.
    Gull: Media very important in reassuring public. Held a press conference every day which would last 4-5 hours.
    Gull: Dealing with the media can be demanding and a real time-stealer, but it is necessary and SIOs recognise that.
    Gull: I can say in 31 years police service, I never felt the need to deal with so-called off-the-record brieigings.
    Gull: Suspect Tom Stephens put himself on offer to the media. BBC recorded conversation with him and then passed it on to police.
    Gull: As I understand it, journalists from the Sunday Mirror picked up Stephens and interviewed him in hotel.
    Gull: No knowledge of the NoW surveillance team described in Dave Harrison's evidence.
    Gull: I found some of the reporting headlines, particularly in the print media, what I'd describe as sensationalist.
    Gull: Defence tried to challenge pre-trial, said Wright's fair trial rights undermined by reporting.
    Gull has finished giving evidence. The next witness is Neil Wallis, former deputy ed of NoW, who appeared in Dec 2011.

    @lisaocarroll :
    Stewart gull ex suffolk police spent 4 to 5 hours a day dealing with press during Suffolk strangler case
    @IndexLeveson :
    Gull: deep dealing with the media can be demanding and time consuming, but is an important relationship
    Gull says he has no knowledge of the NoW surveillance team as described in Dave Harrison's testimony 
    @newman_andrea :
    BBC handed over recording of interview with 2nd suspect recognising the significance of content, altho not knowing he was a suspect
    Gull - Daily Mirror expose could hve been problematic if Tom Stephens had turned out to be the murderer
    Mr Jay- the Attorney General had to issue warnings to the national media
    @skymarkwhite :
    Gull says there were many sensationalist and unhelpful headlines during Ipswich murders probe, including "Ripper Is Bondage Beast"

    Paul McKeever   Witness Statement in Full

      @IndexLeveson :
      McKeever has been chairman of Police Federation (staff association for all police constables, sergeants and inspectors) since 2008
      McKeever: we should have national standards on training across forces (media and more generally)
      McKeever: there are a whole range of sanctions that can be imposed on officers. Discipline code wide-ranging
      McKeever: leaking and bribery are an absolute no-no, anathema to vast majority of police officers. 
      @nataliepeck :
      PF covers all forces in the England and Wales, including Met, bar BTP and one or two smaller forces.
      McKeever: Strong on national standards across range of training within the police service, including media training.
      McKeever: Officers do report upwards on wrongdoing.
      McKeever: We need to have clear guidance here for officers, exactly what is acceptable and what is not.

      @skymarkwhite :
      McKeever says Police Fed would represent officers who're facing action for leaking to press, but says this is not common
      McKeever evidence over very quickly. Get the feeling #Leveson felt a little short changed! But McKeever didn't feel he had much more to add!