- 1. The Letter written by DPO David Warcup on the 10th November 2008 to Chief executive Bill Ogley
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis 1
So its time to have a look at Andrew Lewis the ex Home Affairs Minister
The reason for looking at his role is because he had 'Political Oversight' of the Child Abuse Investigation and also as Home Affairs Minister had ultimate power over the Chief of Police,only the Minister can suspend.
We must find out what the hell happened between the 10th and 12th of November 2008
Only two things matter concerning the original suspension of Graham Power
2. The Metropolitan Police 'Interim' report sent to DPO David Warcup on the 10th November 2008 via an email attachment
Without those two documents being fully explained I just cant see how David Warcup can be promoted to the top job.
So back to then Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis
Andrew Lewis was given 'Political Oversight' of the Child Abuse Investigation on the 29th May 2008 this was because Home Affairs Minister Wendy Kinnard was conflicted as reported in the JEP
HOME Affairs Minister Wendy Kinnard has been interviewed by her own officers as a potential witness in the historical child abuse inquiry
Senator Kinnard released a brief statement this morning saying that she had been interviewed, and saying that she had handed over responsibility for the inquiry to her deputy.
Senator Kinnard’s statement says that she has passed over ‘political oversight’ for the investigation to Assistant Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis, with the backing of the Chief Minister, to avoid ‘any perceived conflict of interest’.
It is not clear in what context or capacity she was interviewed, but the statement says that she retains all her other ministerial responsibilities and will make no further comment on her interview.
On the 23rd September 2008 Wendy Kinnard announces she is to step down from the states. Andrew Lewis becomes Home Affairs Minister after being put forward by Chief Minister Frank Walker, on the 12th November 2008 he makes a decision that will follow him forever.
Before we look at this more closely its important we read the press release from Graham Power where he responds to Andrew Lewis who was saying he followed proper procedure ( AFTER GETTING ADVICE) and had concerns about the management of the Abuse Investigation and this is where he contradicts himself.
The more I look at the whole sorry mess I come to the opinion that Graham Power was totally and utterly shafted by the higher reaches of the Jersey Government
The question the people of Jersey have got to as is 'WHY'
The following statement has been issued by Graham Power QPM. Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police. 22nd February 2010.
Since my suspension in November 2008 I have complied with the confidentiality requirements of the disciplinary code. I have however always made it clear that if the code is breached by Ministers, or those acting on their behalf, I would not hesitate to respond.
I have tonight seen the statement issued by the former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis. In my view his statement constitutes a clear breach of the code and one to which I am entitled to respond. Accordingly I do so in the comments set out below. It may be noted that my comments relate entirely to the statements of Andrew Lewis. I have attempted not to stray into other areas in order to stay within the spirit of the code. I offer this compliance in spite of the totally unfair, unjust and disproportionate manner of my treatment. Andrew Lewis and his associates are assisted by the full wealth and power of the state. I have been refused legal assistance and in consequence I am required to defend myself with only the resources of myself, family and supporters. I do my own research and I type my own letters. I do not have expensive staff, civil servants, or legal advisors supporting my work. I have only the resources of a private individual. Nevertheless, I hope that the following comments will assist in the growing debate relating to the actions of Ministers and others in November 2008.
I do not have the technical capability to insert my comments alongside those of Andrew Lewis. It may therefore be necessary for the reader to be in possession of the comments of the former Minister while reading my comments. If this causes difficulty I apologise. It is the best I can do with the resources available.
In the introduction to his recent statement Mr Lewis says “at all times I sought legal advice and that of HR professionals and took this advice into account.” In his statement to the disciplinary investigation by Wiltshire Police he says “Up until I received the letter from David WARCUP, I had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well.” (Statement to Wiltshire Police paragraph 3.) In his statement to the disciplinary enquiry, the Chief Executive to the Council of Ministers, Bill Ogley states “On 11th November I received a letter from David WARCUP .......... I then wrote to Andrew Lewis that day.” (Statement to Wiltshire Police page 7.) It follows therefore that the evidential statements made by Mr Lewis and Mr Ogley claim that the letter which led to the suspension was received on 11th November 2008, and Mr Lewis states that until he received that letter “I had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well.” On the evening of 11th November Andrew Lewis asked me to attend a meeting the following morning, and I was suspended on the morning of 12th November 2008. It follows therefore that if the statements of both Mr Lewis and Mr Ogley are true the “legal advice and that of HR professionals” must have taken place between 11th and 12th November 2008 which is a tight time frame and hard to reconcile with the claim that this advice was taken “at all times.” What we now know, from separate disclosures obtained in the face of strong opposition from the current Chief Minister, is that the suspension documents were in fact prepared early in the morning of Saturday 8th November 2008, a fact which is hard to reconcile with the previous statements made by Andrew Lewis, presumably with the advice and support of the legal and HR professional experts upon whom he relies. If such experts have in fact assisted Mr Lewis in preparing his statement, then they are inevitably associated with what he has said and done and they may therefore be compromised. This would appear to re-enforce the need for any review of these issues to be fully independent.
The dates on which the suspension documents were created is referred to by Mr Lewis in his recent statement when he says “the earlier dates of creation simply reflect the preliminary work by the legal and HR advisors.” Given that under the Police Law and the Disciplinary Code it is the Minister for Home Affairs and nobody, literally nobody else, who has any jurisdiction whatsoever in relation to the Chief Officer of Police, we are entitled to ask on whose authority the Law Officers Department and “HR advisors” determined that on a Saturday morning in November 2008 it would be appropriate to draft suspension notices for the Chief Officer of the Islands Police Force. In his statement to Wiltshire Police the timeframe given by Mr Lewis indicates that it could not have been him. So who was it? Or is it possible that the truth is not being told?
On a relatively minor point in the preamble Mr Lewis states “Until 11th February (2010) I was not aware of Mr Power’s affidavit despite his claim that he had sent it to me.” Just for the record, no such claim was made. It has been truthfully stated that the affidavit, sworn in January 2009, was sent to the Minister for Home Affairs. This was of course another person by that time. It rather appears that the legal and HR professionals who have apparently assisted Mr Lewis in preparing his release have let him down on this point of detail.
I now turn to the numbered paragraphs in the recent release by Andrew Lewis:
In this paragraph Mr Lewis attempts to blame me for the publicity regarding the suspension. During the suspension interview he made it clear that it had already been decided that he and the then Chief Minister (who had no lawful role in the matter whatsoever) would shortly be giving a press conference, the arrangements for which had been put in place the previous day, presumably in anticipation of the outcome of the suspension meeting on 12th. It is natural and understandable that in light of this information I should decide to ensure that my side of the story was given comparable coverage.
Mr Lewis claims that any consultation with the previous Minister would have been a conflict of interest. He misses the point. The relevant period of the historic abuse enquiry was undertaken under the political oversight of another person who is not recorded as having expressed any formal concerns. In his actions of 12th November 2008 Mr Lewis was applying retrospective judgement in respect of actions which occurred prior to him assuming office. He was, in common parlance, moving the goalposts after the event. His failure to consult with the person who was actually in political office at the relevant time is a breach of the basic principles of fairness.
Mr Lewis claims that the process he applied was in accordance with the disciplinary code and he appears to imply that it was in some way fair and “neutral.” This claim is made in spite of the strong criticism of his actions by the Royal Court. He does not address this criticism and appears to prefer to pretend that it does not exist. Contrary to his claim, the disciplinary code provides for no appeal against suspension. There is a right of appeal against the findings of a disciplinary hearing. No such hearing has yet occurred and none has been arranged.
Lewis says “Mr Power also claims that the code was rewritten hours before it was invoked, this is quite misleading.” If this is genuinely misleading then I am quite happy to be led towards the truth. If it was re-written at an earlier time, who did this and who asked for it to be done? Could it by any chance be the same as yet unidentified person or persons who decided, apparently without any Ministerial authority, to spend a Saturday morning drafting suspension notices for the Chief Officer of Police on the off-chance that the Minister, who according to his statement to Wiltshire Police, “had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well” might suddenly change his mind? Or was it intended that the Minister would have his mind changed for him? Without a proper enquiry we will never know.
In his recent statement Mr Lewis says “I had been aware for some time of concerns about the command and control of the Child Abuse Enquiry.” In his formal statement to Wiltshire Police he states “Until I received the letter from David WARCUP, (on 11th November 2008 – the day before the suspension) I had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well.” (Paragraph 3.) Is Mr Lewis now admitting that his statement to Wiltshire Police is not true? If it helps, it appears that prior to signing his statement to Wiltshire Police, Mr Lewis signed a declaration which among other things (such as page numbers and the like) states “This statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it is tendered in evidence, I shall be liable to prosecution if I have wilfully stated anything in it which I know to be false or do not believe to be true.” If the signed statement to Wiltshire Police is not true then it is a serious matter. On the face of it, his recent public statement, and the statement to Wiltshire cannot both be true. This is something which may require a more formal investigation. I will return to this issue later.
Mr Lewis states that I was aware of the planned briefing to Ministers on 11th November 2008. This is just plain untrue. Pure and simple. This was planned and executed without my knowledge. If he claims that I was aware it might be useful for him to state who told me, and when. He then states “Despite this Mr Power chose to go on holiday.” This is almost a total reversal of the truth. Mr Lewis knows, or at least he should know, that my absence was not a “holiday.” I was attending to family welfare issues in the UK which had by that time been postponed for too long due to work commitments. The evidence indicates that far from my absence being some form of abdication of responsibility on my part, it was seized upon in a series of events which bear all of the characteristics of a planned coup d’ état. The first day of my leave was 7th November 2008. By the following morning persons unknown were preparing suspension notices and, on the evening of my return to the island I was told to attend a meeting the following morning.
Lewis states that I was not “asked to resign.” All parties agree on at least one thing. That is that at the start of the meeting I was asked to “consider my position.” I leave it to others to decide what is commonly understood to be meant by this statement. Interestingly Mr Lewis states “I am not at liberty to disclose the contents of the Met Report.” According to his statement to Wiltshire Police he could hardly do so given that he claims “I never saw the Metropolitan Review Document.” (Paragraph 14.) Again, it is hard to reconcile these two statements.
In his recent statement Lewis refers to the typed notes which are alleged to be a true record of the disciplinary meeting and says “Mr Power has never corresponded with me to the effect that they did not reflect the meeting.” In a letter addressed to the Minister dated 1st December 2008 I begin “Dear Minister.” I then go on to list a number of issues. In paragraph 5 and 6 I refer to the alleged typed notes of the meeting and list areas of the notes which I consider to be untrue. On 5th December 2008 I received a reply which had been sent on the Ministers behalf. I have copies of both letters. The recent claim by Lewis that “Mr Power has never corresponded with me to the effect that they (the notes) did not reflect the meeting” is a further transparent falsehood and can be shown to be so.
I am grateful for the comments of Andrew Lewis in this paragraph. He confirms that he and others were apparently misled as to the duration of the disciplinary enquiry, stating that he was told that it would be concluded by March 2009. It is now of course almost March 2010 and the matter is still outstanding. He does not say who misled him or speculate as to their motives. He says that he is “deeply concerned” about this issue. His concerns, if authentic, are appreciated. During this time he has of course been getting on with his life. I am the one who has been suspended until such time as there is no possibility of a return to work, and I have therefore effectively been dismissed.
In this paragraph Mr Lewis praises my professional virtues. He then says that he was shocked by the revelations presented by “competent independent policing authorities.” He does not say who these authorities were. Whoever they were they could not have been the Metropolitan Police whose report he “never saw.” (Witness statement paragraph 14.)
Mr Lewis states that he will now “look forward to the publication of the Wiltshire Constabulary’s report.” In that respect he may be disappointed, given that Wiltshire have ruled their report to be confidential and stated that their report is exempt from any Freedom of Information laws on a number or grounds, including the claim that any disclosure would be “likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and Jersey.” (Confidentiality rules. Wiltshire report.) I will of course abide by the confidentiality rules imposed by Wiltshire. Andrew Lewis apparently intends otherwise. In this paragraph Mr Lewis goes on to state that he would fully co-operate with any further enquiries which may be necessary. I am pleased to hear this in view of what I have to say below with regard to this issue.
Having concluded my comments on the recent release by Andrew Lewis, I now offer the following thoughts:
Among all of the conflicting accounts and confusion a number of things appear to be evident.
Nobody appears to dispute that important evidence, in the form of the original record of the suspension meeting was wilfully destroyed.
There is evidence that suspension documents which bore the date 12th November 2008 and which claimed to be in response to information received the previous day, were, shall we say, deficient in authenticity.
There is an apparent conflict between things said in the legally admissible statement made by Andrew Lewis and the things which he is saying now. There might be an explanation for this, although none is immediately apparent.
In these circumstances I believe that there is a compelling case for a full independent investigation with intrusive legal powers, into the actions of Andrew Lewis and others on and around 12th November 2008 and that given the circumstances, a full criminal investigation, by an independent police force, may be appropriate. This is of course a matter for others to decide. Nevertheless, notwithstanding my effective dismissal from the police service, I remain fully committed to support any enquiry, criminal or otherwise, into the events of November 2008
We must find the truth concerning the original suspension and we will
The Letter from David Warcup and the Interim Met Report
This is Lenny Harpers take on his dealings with former Home Affairs Mnister Andrew Lewis
At the beginning Lewis kept a really low profile as evidenced at the start of May 2008 when I was trying to get hold of him to speak urgently with him regarding an article in the Guardian the day before which had claimed that the AG was wilfully obstructing the abuse enquiry and there was other political interference. I also needed to update him about the Jersey odentologist's view that a tooth he had examined that day could not have come out naturally before death. Despite leaving messages at his offices in Jersey and Guernsey and his mobile over a period of 24 hours, he did not surface until he telephoned Graham Power to register Frand Walker's concern over my alleged comments to the Guardian.
In June, shortly after I enraged the AG with my report giving the true facts of his lawyers u turn on charging the couple who were arrested for beating children with cricket bats Lewis rang to tell us that the Council of Ministers were already whispering about another "police cock-up and another mess". Lewis said this was totally unfair and ill-informed and he would brief Frank Walker. (Its amazing how people forgot that calls to police HQ were recorded on a number of lines!!) Later that day he rang again to tell us that the AG was "beside himself" with the events over the cricket bat couple.
In the middle of July Lewis phoned me and told me that he and the AG were in agreement on two points. 1. My circulation list for media releases was too wide and that from then on I should leave out the national and international media. 2. Any work on a second site should be kept secret from public and media.
A couple of days later he rang to tell us that the Bailiff was writing to complain that someone at PHQ was too close to Stuart Syvret. This followed Stuart getting to learn of the fact that we had been refused a warrant to search the Sea Cadet offices for evidence and had to resort to a subterfuge with the aid of the UK Chiefs in the Cadets.
At the end of July Graham Power confirmed to me that the AG had leant on him, in the presence of Andrew Lewis, to force me to restrict media releases. Graham said he was fairly sure that the AG had given incorrect information to the BBC about this. Indeed, he was correct, as Louise Hubble the BBC reporter had confirmed to me the day before that the AG had totally denied putting any such pressure on.
And then of course there was the touching scene at Government House a day or two before I left the island when Andrew Lewis stood side by side with me and told my wife how he and I had stood together and fought for the victims, and that sometimes talking to Frank (Walker) was like talking to a brick wall. Walker, he said, just didn't want to listen to the stories of the victims.
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