Bercow refuses to release Vaz information

Under the Freedom of Information Act I applied to the House of Commons, for the letter, redacted if necessary, that Andrew Bridgen MP sent to speaker John Bercow [1]

The letter applied for is thought to have been sent to warn the House of Commons of possible vile criminal activities involving Keith Vaz and that they were being investigated by the police.

These allegations and the conflict of interest by Vaz (being investigated for criminal activities whilst on a powerful Justice Committee) it seems were not passed on by Bercow to anyone. This enabled Vaz, having resigned, from the Home Office Public Affairs Committee to swiftly join the Justice Committee. (To be clear, this is fact not irony).

The person who eventually refused to provide that information under the FOI Act, was none other than …….John Bercow!

The circling of the waggons or the arrogance of power?

What Do They Know?  FOI Request answer Bercow Certificate [1a]

berocw-vaz-2

The rare certificate, signed by John Bercow, confirms that the speaker is using the exemption of Parliamentary Privilege from providing the information as per 1 (b) of the FOI Act

(1)Any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled—

(a)to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, and

(b)if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

Parliamentary Privilege see FOI Wiki Section 34 Exemption Parliamentary Privelege [12]

exemfoi34

[HT @AngrybriTony for image and link]

Some people might think that Bercow had a conflict of interest in refusing a FOI request concerning a letter sent to himself, especially when doing it on behalf of the House of Commons, under Freedom of Information legislation. Should he not have recused himself due to this conflict of interest?

Some people might think he has a double conflict of interest when that very correspondence is about his old chum Keith Vaz.

Some might think he had even greater conflict of interest having already stopped Andrew Bridgen from using Parliamentary Privilege to bring up concerns about Keith Vaz.  Commons speaker John Bercow orders Andrew Bridgen to ‘desist’ from raising Keith Vaz concerns [4]

Is this a concerted campaign by Bercow to protect his chum, Vaz?

It could be argued that the refusal of the FOI request is indeed the correct response. That has some validity.

However for a speaker to decide such a matter when so obviously conflicted, exposes the system as absurdly unfair, not fit for purpose, bringing the House of Commons into disrepute and against their own rules.

Justice is not being seen to be done in the supposed home of our democracy. John Bercow is hopelessly conflicted and should recuse himself and be subjected to an investigation as to why he did not.

Bercow, acted as one man band defending Vaz, and ensured that not one word of the letter was released, nor that anyone scrutinised his previous decisions.

Is it morally and ethically and legally correct for  Bercow to invoke Parliamentary Privilege in his role of Speaker, to suppress a letter to him about his friend?

Just the week before the certificate signed by Bercow was released, Vaz himself was smarmily joking away in the House of Commons, with his old chum Bercow about Bercows 14th wedding anniversary, to Mrs Bercow, the “innocent face” Lord McAlpine patsy.

They are literally laughing in the face of the public. They are supposed to be accountable to the public.

Vaz was no doubt buoyed up by the recent decision by Police that he was not to be prosecuted over more nefarious activities with prostitutes and drugs, revealed on video.

That dubious activity was enough to make him step down from the chair of Public Affairs Committee, but not enough to prevent him seeking a place on the Justice Committee – all the while with a police investigation into child abuse allegations.

The House of Commons is something of a sick joke to us non psychopaths.

The letter applied for in the Freedom of information request is thought perhaps to warn of similar allegations that that the Sun [14] had printed of child sexual abuse with boys. Guido Fawkes published the MP was Keith Vaz [5]

According to the Sun the MP

  • had  lads “delivered” to his room at a hotel near a police station
  • abused boys at a hospital’s mental health unit
  • left one so terrified he fears for his life if he ever speaks out
  • showed an “unhealthy” interest in the two young sons of a local councillor
  • displayed a liking for “young ragamuffins”,
  • was seen as untouchable by police because of his revered
    position.

The nomination of Vaz to the Justice Committee came from the totally unaccountable to the public Labour Party, not an individual MP who would be at least accountable to some members of the public [1]

Is Vaz not to be prosecuted due to a little help from his friends, just like Janner was not  prosecuted with a little help from his friends?  House of Commons Debate welcoming Janner back 1991- “Love, Greville” [6] “…me in believing my hon. and learned Friend to be the victim of a cowardly and wicked attack”

One of Janner’s friends at the time was Keith Vaz. I am not sure how developed Vaz’s alter ego, Jim the industrial washing machine salesman, was at the time.

A previous FOI request to the House of Commons – VAZ, standards of behaviour, Home Affairs Select Committee, Security Committee [8] established some facts about what standards were expected of MPs.

Q. What are the normal guidelines/rules/procedures for a MP continuing in a role such as head of a select committee or on a Security Strategy Joint Committee, when there is clear conflict of interest, e.g. the MP is being investigated by the police for child sexual abuse and his select committee duties cover accountability of the police and overseeing IICSA, or the individual is an obvious blackmail risk on a security committee?

A. There are no guidelines, rules or procedures relating to these matters specifically for
the Home Affairs Committee or the Security Strategy Joint Committee. 10 of the Code of Conduct [10] [10b] sets out the general rule on dealing with conflicts of interest. Further guidance is contained in chapter 2 of the Guide to the Rules The Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Rules relating to the conduct of Members [10] Chapter 2 [10a]

No vetting is undertaken for Members or officials serving on Committees.

The arrangements for investigating potentially criminal allegations against MPs are helpfully described in a protocol between the Chair of the Standards Committee and the Metropolitan Police, which is published as the Seventh Report of that Committee in 2013-14. You can find it via this link: [9]

Q. Is MI5 kept informed by the House of Commons, when police investigate
an MP or on any other occasions? If so what type of occasions?

A. The House neither confirms nor denies whether or not this information is
held

Section 10 of the Code of Conduct states

10. Members shall base their conduct on a consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two, at once, and in favour of the public interest.

What is obvious is that the rules and guidelines are weak and need to be strengthened to deal with the criminals and psychopaths that hide behind supposedly gentlemanly procedures in the House of Commons.

However even with the rather inadequate rules, then it appears clear that both Mr Vaz and Mr Bercow have broken Section 10 of the Code of Conduct. Neither have taken steps to avoid a conflict between the public interest and their private interest.

“The Justice Committee was appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Ministry of Justice and associated public bodies, (to include the work of staff provided for the administrative work of courts and tribunals… ) and administration and expenditure of the Attorney General’s Office, the Treasury Solicitor’s Department, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office ..” [11a]

Vaz has clear conflict of interest in joining and continuing to serve on the Justice Committee if he is being investigated by the police for offences. It is clearly in his personal interest to influence people and policy in the very bodies that may be called/are deciding to prosecute him and that he has that he has some examinatory role and influence over in his public role. That is clearly against the public interest. Indded he could already have used his position to affect the outcome of the investigations into him.

Why has no parliamentary authority taken steps to stop this?

Bercow has a conflict of personal / public interest. He is taking decisions on behalf of the public, judging his own previous decision to be correct as well as in protecting his personal friend yet again from public scrutiny. He should have recused himself from those decisions. Perhaps the deputy speaker should have signed the certificate and made decisions regarding Vaz?

Why has no parliamentary authority taken steps to stop this conflcit of interest?

Other pertinent  questions –

Q. Has any investigation by House of Commons or any disciplinary action been started,  stopped or is ongoing into

  • Vaz’s potentially criminal activities,
  • Vaz’s conflict of interest in joining the Justice committee and remaining on it?

Q. Has Keith Vaz declared any interests or conflicts of interest in joining the Justice committee?

Q. Has Bercow registered any conflict of interest in signing a certificate refusing FOI request, on issues that he has already taken decisions on and about his friend Keith Vaz?

Q. Which are the authorities which supervise Section 10 if the Code of Conduct?

Q. Why have they done nothing about the clear breaking of the Code of Conduct?

Q. How many times in this Parliament by which I mean the last general election has a certificate been signed by the speaker to use Parliamentary Privilege as exemption for a FOI request?

Q. How many times in the previous Parliament has a certificate been signed by the speaker to use Parliamentary Privilege as exemption for a FOI request? ( ie between the last two general elections.)

I have sent a further FOI request asking these questions

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
  • and Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
  • A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
  • ShatterBoys -“Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Inspiring change, Through Shared Experience Whilst Building Connections…Together We Can Heal” [N]

Links

[1] What Do they know? https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/keith_vaz_nominators_to_the_just#incoming-911338

[1a] What Do They Know?  FOI Request answer Bercow Certificate https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/368569/response/911338/attach/4/F16%20475%20Section%2034%20Certificate.pdf#page=1&zoom=100,-208,744

[2] 2016 Dec 8 Order Order Vaz and Bercow get the Party Started http://order-order.com/2016/12/08/vaz-bercow-get-party-started/

[2a] 2016 Dec Vaz and Bercow get the Party Started https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLzDpJHmsGk

[3] 2016 Sept 10 Daily Mail John Bercow is accused of a ‘cover up’ after a Tory MP called for Keith Vaz’s suspension ONE YEAR before rent boy claims surfaced http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3783581/John-Bercow-accused-cover-Tory-MP-called-Keith-Vaz-s-suspension-amid-concerns-private-life-ONE-YEAR-rent-boy-claims-surfaced.html

[4] 2016 Nov 1 Leicester Mercury Commons speaker John Bercow orders Andrew Bridgen to ‘desist’ from raising Keith Vaz concerns http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/house-of-commons-john-bercow-speaker-orders-andrew-bridgen-to-desist-over-keith-vaz-concerns/story-29857591-detail/story.html

[5] 2016 Sept 4 Order Order Bercow knew Vaz was under Investigation http://order-order.com/2016/09/04/244563/

[6] 2015 Apr 21 cathy fox blog House of Commons Debate welcoming Janner back 1991- “Love, Greville” https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/house-of-commons-debate-welcoming-janner-back-1991/

[7] Code of Conduct http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/code-of-conduct-and-rules-of-the-house/

[8] 2016 Oct 3 FOI Request to House of Commons VAZ, standards of behaviour, Home Affairs Select Committee, Security Committee https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/vaz_standards_of_behaviour_home#incoming-876422

[9] The House of Common Code of Conduct and the Criminal Law http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmstandards/903/90302.htm

[10] Code of Conduct and Rules of the House The Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Rules relating to the conduct of Members http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/code-of-conduct-and-rules-of-the-house/

[10a] Chapter 2 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmcode/1076/107605.htm

[10b] Code download http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmcode.htm

[11] Parliament UK Commons Select Committee Justice Committee http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/justice-committee/

[11a] Role of Justice Committee http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/justice-committee/role/

[12] FOI Wiki Section 34 Exemption Parliamentary Privelege https://foiwiki.com/foiwiki/index.php/FOIA_Section_34_Exemption

[13] 2017 Jan 9 WDTK FOI Request Public Personal conflicts of Interest by Vaz and Bercow https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/public_personal_conflicts_of_int

[14] 2015 Jul 18 The Sun Cops told: Top Labour MP is paedo http://archive.is/qAK6u

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

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About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in #OpDeathEaters, cathy fox blog, Child Abuse, Criminal Cabal of People in Power, Freedom of Information Request, Leicestershire, VIP CSA, VIPs MPs Lords etc, Westminster and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Bercow refuses to release Vaz information

  1. jimwild says:

    This is really important news Cathy, I have left the Labour Party due to the outrageous acceptance by Labour of Vaz.

    Jim Wild

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Pingback: Bercow refuses to release Vaz information | Buried News

  3. Pingback: Keith Vaz, Charities, Friends etc (Updated) | goodnessandharmony

  4. Pingback: John Bercow, Keith Vaz & the worrying FOI request response – scepticpeg

  5. Peg says:

    REBLOGGED on Scepticpeg.

  6. l8in says:

    Reblogged this on L8in.

  7. Pingback: Bercow and Vaz Personal / Private Conflicts of Interest | cathy fox blog on child abuse

  8. Reggie says:

    Hello! I’ve been following your blog for a long
    time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a
    shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent work!

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