Tag Archives: The Bow Group

Richard Farnell and Cyril Smith

Predictably, the cover-up continues…IICSA report on Rochdale

It concluded that there was “no deliberate cover-up by the authorities” yet criticised Margaret Thatcher’s “remarkable” decision to award a knighthood to the suspected child abuser Cyril Smith.

Image result for CYRIL SMITH AND DAVID STEEL

Cyril Smith with Lord David Steel MP.

Steel put paedophile MP Cyril Smith forward for knighthood ‘even after he was told of abuse allegations’ 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2566158/Lord-David-Steel-paedophile-MP-Cyril-Smith-forward-knighthood-told-abuse-allegations.html

Rochdale abuse: ‘Insufficient evidence’ for perjury charges

May 8 2019

No further criminal action will be taken against a former Rochdale Council leader who was investigated for perjury after giving evidence to an inquiry into child sex abuse.

Richard Farnell was accused of “lying under oath” about being unaware of child sex abuse in Rochdale.

Police said after a “full review” there was insufficient evidence to charge him.

Pupils at Knowl View residential school were abused at the school and sexually exploited in the town centre over a 20-year period.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) report branded Mr Farnell as “shameful” and said that it “defied belief” he was unaware of what was happening.

In May last year, Greater Manchester Police asked the Met Police to review an allegation of perjury.

Acting Det Ch Insp Gail Granville has written to Mr Farnell to inform him they will not be taking matters any further following a “full review” of the evidence.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-48199434

Anthony John Wixted‏ @TrojanManifesto

IICSA Cyril Smith finding:

118. The fact that Cyril Smith’s public standing and professional career were never negatively impacted in any significant way by the suggestion that he was involved in child sexual abuse has given rise to considerable speculation that he was in some way protected by other politicians. We may consider the possibility that Smith was actively supported at the level of national politics, or at the very least, had a blind eye turned towards allegations against him, as part of the Westminster investigation.


Resigned Rochdale council leader ‘lied to child abuse inquiry’

Richard Farnell faces police investigation after inquiry says he lied while giving evidence

Rochdale’s recently resigned council leader is facing a police investigation after an official inquiry concluded that he lied over evidence he gave about child sexual abuse allegations.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said the evidence given by Richard Farnell about his knowledge of abuse in the Greater Manchester town “defies belief”.

In a report, published on Thursday, the inquiry took the extraordinary step of stating that it believed Farnell lied under oath while giving evidence in October 2017.

Farnell, who is still a councillor in Rochdale, quit on 8 December after weeks of mounting pressure over his testimony at the public inquiry.

In its 154-page report, IICSA described Farnell’s refusal to accept responsibility for events as “shameful”.

Prof Alexis Jay, the chair of the inquiry, said: “After listening to the evidence presented by a number of victims and survivors in Rochdale at the time, I am deeply disturbed at the evidence of extensive abuse and the institutional responses to that abuse.

“Many of those who testified to their abuse have never had the opportunity to seek justice through the courts. I hope that the public hearings and this report has offered them some measure of acknowledgement for their suffering.”

The report, the inquiry’s first into abuse in the UK, follows three weeks of evidence about allegations spanning from the early 1960s to the mid-90s.
It concluded that there was “no deliberate cover-up by the authorities” but “a careless and wholly inadequate response” to the serious sexual abuse of children at Knowl View school.

The report also criticised Margaret Thatcher’s “remarkable” decision to award a knighthood to the suspected child abuser Cyril Smith. It said the knighthood in 1988 showed the “unwillingness of those at the highest level” to believe his victims.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/12/resigned-rochdale-council-leader-richard-farnell-lied-to-child-abuse-inquiry

Richard Farnell suspended by Labour party after national child abuse inquiry found he lied under oath

12 Apr 2018

Just half an hour after the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) reported its conclusions, the party confirmed action had been taken against Coun Farnell

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/richard-farnell-suspended-labour-party-14522669?utm_source=google_news&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=google_news&utm_content=sitemap

Independent Inquiry publishes Rochdale report

12 April 2018

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published its report into the institutions where children were placed by Rochdale Council, following three weeks of public hearings in October 2017.

The report is concerned with the institutional responses of the council, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service into child sexual abuse in Rochdale between the early 1960s and the mid 1990s.

It highlights the vulnerability of the children at the council-run Knowl View School and how the institution failed to keep pupils safe from harm for 25 years. It finds staff complacent and arguably complicit.

Sexual exploitation of boys was also happening in the town centre, the bus station and the Smith Street public toilets which were across the road from the council’s offices. The report catalogues the total lack of urgency on the part of the authorities to treat the matters as serious sexual assaults; boys as young as 11 were not regarded by those in authority as victims but as authors of their own abuse.

The Inquiry heard evidence about sexual abuse at Cambridge House Boys’ Hostel. It outlines the lost opportunities to prosecute former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith (who was Honorary Secretary of Cambridge Boys’ Hostel) in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse, and the unwillingness of those at the highest level to recognise that a person of public prominence was capable of perpetrating child sexual abuse.

The report is also clear that the Inquiry did not believe the evidence of Richard Farnell, then leader of Rochdale Council, who resigned some weeks after giving evidence about child sexual abuse in council-run establishments. His refusal to accept responsibility for events is described by the Inquiry as shameful.

Professor Alexis Jay, Chair of the Inquiry, said:

“After listening to the evidence presented by a number of victims and survivors in Rochdale at the time, I am deeply disturbed at the evidence of extensive abuse and the institutional responses to that abuse.

“Many of those who testified to their abuse have never had the opportunity to seek justice through the courts.  I hope that the public hearings and this report has offered them some measure of acknowledgement for their suffering.”

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/news/independent-inquiry-publishes-rochdale-report

Thirty years of child abuse – the many missed chances to save Rochdale’s victims

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published a report many people have waited decades to see – here are some of the report’s key findings, including the abuse taking place right outside the window of the town hall’s social services department.

12 APR 2018

Today the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse published a report many people have waited decades to see.

As reported earlier today, the inquiry’s investigation into four decades of abuse in Rochdale , including by the late MP Cyril Smith and on the streets of the town, issues a damning verdict on former council leader Richard Farnell, finding that he lied under oath.

But the wider inquiry is about the victims, what they went through between the 1960s and mid-1990s, and why the abuse was not stopped or prevented.

Here we run through some of the report’s key findings, including the abuse taking place right outside the window of the town hall’s social services department.

Cyril Smith and Cambridge House

The late Liberal MP Cyril Smith was not the entire focus of the inquiry, but he was the ‘starting point’.

IICSA outlines his considerable power within the town – even while still a councillor in the 1960s – and his close involvement with the council’s decisions over where children would be placed in care, more so than would appear to be ‘usual’. Over the course of his political career he was governor of up to 30 different schools in the town.

In particular the inquiry focuses on his activities at the Cambridge House boy’s hostel in Rochdale, set up under by the Rochdale Hostel for Boys Association – of which he was honorary secretary – in 1962.

It heard the testimonies of several men who described assaults and molestations carried out under the pretext of medical examinations during the three years it was open, some of which were later reported to the police.

One victim said he believed the couple who ran the hostel had it under ‘instruction’ that any time any boy felt ill, he would be called in to examine them.

When questioned about the allegations in 1970, Smith said that he had been acting ‘in loco parentis’ to the boys there.

“But we found it inexplicable that he thought his role permitted ‘medical examinations’ when he had no medical qualifications,” finds the report.

“He had considerable control over which boys were admitted to the hostel and, in general, showed a strong, perhaps unduly detailed, interest in children in care as his political career developed.

“This interest appeared to go unchallenged by the council.”

It finds he tried to use his power in the town to exert undue influence, including by trying to keep victims quiet – but that the police were not leant on and, in fact, were not well-disposed to Smith at any rate.

Neither does it find evidence of a cover-up by the Director of Public Prosecutions, who in 1970 recommended that he not be charged, or by the committee in charge of awarding knighthoods under the Thatcher government in 1988.

However it is still critical of those discussions, finding: “While there was never any expression of concern for boys who had made allegations against Smith, there was considerable discussion about whether it would be fair to Smith to refuse him a knighthood, and worries about the potential reputational risk to the honours system.

“There was little further investigation into the allegations against Smith by the political honours scrutiny committee, demonstrating a considerable deference to power and an unwillingness to consider that someone in a position of public prominence might be capable of perpetrating sexual abuse.”

The Smith Street toilets

The report identifies a particularly stark fact about the child exploitation taking place right under the nose of Rochdale council .

By the late 1980s the Smith Street toilets, slap bang across the road from the town hall’s social services department and visible from its window – pictured below – had become a well-known place for grown men ‘from all over the north west’, as far away as Blackpool, to seek out sex with young boys, including youngsters from the council’s own Knowl View school.

The report describes how police recorded that ’14 children from various children’s homes had been organised into a ring’ and were ‘extracting money for sexual favours’, organised by an ‘older’ boy – of just 13.

Another child of just 11 is described asking a man for 50p for sexual activity.

All the activity was taking place directly opposite the department charged with protecting them.

https://i2-prod.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/incoming/article14525163.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/Smith-Street-Toilets.jpg

The Smith Street toilets in Rochdale (1) and the council’s social services department at Rochdale council (2). Children were abused at the toilets in the 1980s despite being visible from the department over the road

“Sexual exploitation of children from (Knowl View) school at Smith Street public toilets was known about by the authorities from at least 1989,” finds the report.

“Indeed, some social services staff could see the toilets from their offices, recognised some of the boys as children in care and were deeply suspicious of what was going on, although there was no apparent follow-up.”

Records of individual children convey a ‘total lack of urgency’ on the part of the authorities to address the problem, however.

“One boy’s file recorded that he had contracted sexually transmitted hepatitis through ‘rent boy’ activities,” says the report.

“We concluded that no-one in authority viewed any of this as an urgent child protection issue. “Rather, boys as young as 11 were not seen as victims, but as authors of their own abuse.”

Police ‘did not turn a blind eye’ to this abuse but were unable to get enough evidence to prosecute, it says.

However there was ‘no satisfactory answer’ as to why they did not charge the men involved, despite knowing the names of perpetrators and having spoken to some of the victims.

Knowl View

Not only was the now-notorious Knowl View school – which was run by the council between 1969 and 1996 – rife with abuse, but even its fabric was not ‘homely, safe, secure, caring or therapeutic’, finds the report, which adds that it also ‘failed in its basic function’ to keep children safe.

Despite widespread abuse within the school by pupils and paedophiles, including known sex offender Rodney Hilton, staff did little or nothing about it, it finds.

In 1990 Hilton managed to get back inside the school – six years after first abusing children there, but staff still did not act.

Even while out on licence a year later he continued to be a ‘malign presence’ there, it finds, yet still ‘little’ was done.

Staff were ‘at best complacent but arguably complicit in the abuse they knew to be taking place and they must take their share of the blame for what was allowed to occur’, says the report.

Meanwhile the council’s handling of appalling abuse at the school – a residential institution for vulnerable youngsters with learning and behavioural difficulties – draws scathing criticism from the inquiry.

As well as slamming the then-leader Richard Farnell for having ‘lied’ to it over what he knew , the report also finds two separate directors of social services seriously wanting.

It is ‘incredulous’ that Ian Davey, acting director of social services in the late 1980s, did not choose to pursue the child protection issues at the school through formal procedures, including pupils being abused at the Smith Street toilets.

“It was his decision alone; it was inexplicable, professionally indefensible and extremely poor judgment on the part of the most senior social work officer in the council’s employment,” it concludes.

Even when Diana Cavanagh took over his role, there were still major flaws in her handling of the allegations, it finds.

While she disagreed with Davey – by concluding that action did need to be taken – and commissioned an independent review in 1992, before also writing her own, the resulting reports were factually inaccurate and ‘flawed’.

There was ‘no urgency’ in resolving the allegations either, it finds, adding: “Matters were allowed to drift.

“All this occurred on Mrs Cavanagh’s watch, made worse by a feeble board of governors who seemed unable to fulfil their governance responsibilities.

“Regardless of the board of governors, Rochdale council was the provider of the facility and its external manager.”

By 1992, the matter was still drifting, it finds, including under the leadership of Liberal Democrat Paul Rowen, who took over from Coun Farnell in May of that year.

Paul Rowen

“Mr Rowen bore considerable responsibility for the school as council leader from 1992 to 1996,” it concludes.

“As with Richard Farnell, he was prepared to blame others without acknowledging his own failures of leadership.

“At best, he was insufficiently inquisitive about Knowl View school, despite having knowledge of the serious problems that persisted at the school; at worst, as council leader, he turned a blind eye to these problems and chose to give them low priority.”

It does not make a judgement on whether the former MPs Jim Dobbin and Liz Lynne failed to act on this issue once allegations were raised by the school’s former head of care, Martin Digan, due to conflicting testimonies by those involved.

However it does find that Mr Digan – who has campaigned on the scandal at Knowl View for more than 25 years – did pass on his concerns to the MPs.

Police and prosecutors

The report finds no evidence of any cover-up by any institution, including the police.

In particular the Rochdale police officers who investigated the initial claims about Cyril Smith at Cambridge House hostel in 1970 did a ‘comprehensive’ job and were not swayed by his status, it finds.

All the evidence suggests Lancashire police – under which Rochdale fell at the time – were very keen to prosecute, it notes, to the point where they had even drawn up a timetable for the process.

But their 80-page dossier on Smith was knocked back by the Director of Public Prosecutions, the predecessor to the Crown Prosecution Service, in just three days, it finds.

The inquiry is ‘troubled by the cursory nature of this analysis’, as well as the DPP’s denial to the local paper Rochdale Alternative Press nine years later that a file had ever been passed to them. That may well have helped fuel conspiracy theories ever since, it believes.

However it again concludes that there was no evidence of a cover-up and makes no judgement on whether the DPP was legally correct not to pursue a prosecution.

In the early 1990s it finds the police did investigate the Smith Street abuse, although it is unclear why nobody was charged due to a lack of records. Had a better report been commissioned by the council at the time, the police may have more easily been able to act, it adds.

Later, in the 1990s, allegations of abuse surfaced again and were looked at under Greater Manchester Police ’s Operation Cleopatra.

The inquiry does not direct criticisms at GMP but does find the Crown Prosecution Service wanting.

“A valuable opportunity was lost in 1988 and 1999, not only to charge and to prosecute Smith during his lifetime but also for the complainants to seek justice,” it says.

Nevertheless it was the CPS’s advice, not a ‘cover up’, that caused that failure, it finds.

The victims

Ultimately the inquiry is fundamentally about the many victims who were abused in Rochdale between the 1960s and the 1990s, some of whom reported their suffering but were ignored.

Some of them ‘may have been very young indeed’, finds the report, which says that not only were they abused in residential care homes such as Cambridge House and Knowl View themselves, but also ‘targeted on the streets of Rochdale’, which it says was a ‘compelling’ reason to investigate abuse in the town.

Many came forward and gave evidence to the inquiry under anonymity.

The report describes the backgrounds of the teenagers and young men who were offered places at Cambridge House in the mid-1960s, often in unhappy foster placements and wanting an escape, or in one case, having moved down from Glasgow to work in a factory in the town.

One victim describes how Smith simply turned up one day at his home and offered him a place at the hostel – and says he was initially ‘happy’ there, but that things later took a darker turn.

Others experienced abuse straight away.

(Image: Sean Hansford)

One boy, who was 16 at the time, was told on his second day to have a bath and go to the ‘quiet room’, where Cyril took off his clothes on the pretext of a ‘nit’ check and molested him.

He ran away the next day.

“But the police were called and someone from Cambridge House came to pick him up,” says the report.

“When he was brought back to Cambridge House he was again taken to see Cyril Smith, who shouted at him and asked him to take his clothes off onces more.”

Smith would later pressure him to withdraw his police allegation, which he refused to do, but he was still never prosecuted before his death in 2010.

The children at Knowl View were vulnerable in a whole range of additional ways, some having autism, others with learning disabilities and mental health problems.

At least two children taken into care at the school in 1989 – both aged 11 – were already known to be engaging in sexual activity at the Smith Street toilets, one of them walking up to a man and asking for 50p in return.

Yet while at Knowl View, matters only got worse.

“Not only did his exploitation continue after [he] was placed at Knowl View, he was also being exploited out of the area,” says the report, describing how he had sex with a man at a house in Salford for £5 six months later.

“We conclude that no individual, not any institution with responsibility for them, took decisive action to address what was happening to these exploited children,” it concludes.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/rochdale-child-abuse-scandal-report-14525144

Truthseeker‏ @thewakeupcall09

Cyril Smith was the Lord Lieutenant for Manchester.

The Queen’s Paedophile Lord-Lieutenants And The Dolphin Square Connection

The Queen’s Paedophile Lord-Lieutenants And The Dolphin Square Connection

 

Rochdale council leader Richard Farnell quits weeks after telling child abuse inquiry he knew nothing about Knowl View scandal

Councillor blamed a ‘small minority’ of Labour members for ‘undermining’ his leadership ever since the hearing

8 DEC 2017

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/richard-farnell-resigns-rochdale-council-14014394

Rochdale council leader accused of being involved in ‘cover up’ of Knowl View abuse, inquiry told

The inquiry was told it was ‘inconceivable’ Coun Richard Farnell did not know about the abuse at Knowl View at the time

27 OCT 2017

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/rochdale-council-leader-accused-being-13820553

Rochdale council leader Richard Farnell faces vote of no confidence

7  Dec 2017

Next Wednesday opposition councillors will table a motion calling on Coun Farnell to step down until the findings of an inquiry into claims of historic abuse at the former residential school for boys are published

Under-fire Rochdale council leader Richard Farnell is to face a vote of no confidence in protest at his handling of the Knowl View child sex abuse scandal.

Next Wednesday opposition councillors will table a motion calling on Coun Farnell to step down until the findings of an inquiry into claims of historic abuse at the former residential school for boys are published.

The motion, which will be put forward by Rochdale’s Lib Dem leader Coun Andy Kelly, states: “This council has no confidence in the leader of the council and calls for him to step down and resign his position until such time that the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) are made public.”

Rochdale Labour group have accused Kelly of ‘using the tragic events at Knowl View for party political mud-slinging.’

His motion comes after Coun Farnell, who was also leader in the early 90s when much of the abuse was taking place, was criticised after giving evidence at the IICSA.

Coun Farnell repeatedly told October’s hearings, which examined claims Cyril Smith, the former Lib Dem MP for Rochdale, and others abused boys at Knowl View and Cambridge House boys hostel, that he had never heard of any allegations relating to Knowl View until recently, adding: “I am not prepared to accept personal responsibility for… failing to take action in this matter.”

He was repeatedly challenged by Brian Altman QC, who pointed out the director of education, director of social services, education chair and opposition members were all on record as having been aware of the allegations, but Coun Farnell insisted he had never been briefed.

During summing up, barrister Laura Hoyano, counsel on behalf of the victims, said it was ‘inconceivable’ Coun Farnell did not know about the abuse, but, she added, if he did not, he was guilty of ‘wilful blindness’ – pointing to ‘a cover up at the level of the leadership of the borough council’.

As the Lib Dems have just two councillors to Labour’s 48, the motion is not expected to gather enough votes to be passed, but Coun Kelly called on his political rivals to ‘do the right thing’ and support him.

He said: “I would call on Labour councillors to vote with their heart and do the right thing.

“Do they honestly believe that Richard Farnell remaining in position is the right thing for this town? That’s the question they should ask themselves.

“If the inquiry comes back and says Richard Farnell has not done anything wrong I will be the first to hold my hands up and say fair enough, but until that point he should step down.

“This is about justice for the victims of Cyril Smith, and let’s also not forget [Former Lib Dem council leader and MP] Paul Rowen was also on the stand during the inquiry, but neither he nor Cyril Smith are serving councillors.

“I will fully support the outcome of the inquiry, whatever it says, because it is about closure for the people who suffered abuse and about the recognition that the people in power at the time did not do what they were supposed to do. That’s the most important thing.”

But a Rochdale Labour group spokesman said in a statement: “If Coun Kelly gets more than two votes for his motion he will be lucky. Just how low can you get? Trying to use the tragic events at Knowl View for party political mud-slinging is appalling. We should be concerned about the victims and not trying to score nasty political points.

“The Inquiry has examined over 140,000 pages of documents relating to Knowl View. There is not one single report, letter, briefing note or memo addressed to Coun Farnell informing him of the events at Knowl View.

“Coun Kelly is deafeningly silent on the Liberal Democrats’ appalling failure to deal with the allegations of abuse made against Cyril Smith. They knew of the allegation going back almost 40 years. What did they do? Nothing.

“It is interesting that Coun Kelly has nothing to say about the former Lib Dem council leader and MP Paul Rowen’s evidence to the Inquiry.

“And just when are the Liberal Democrats going to apologise to the victims for Smith’s horrific abuse?”

Coun Kelly’s motion comes a week after the secretary of Rochdale Constituency Labour Party resigned in protest at the party’s handling of the scandal.

The findings of the IICSA are expected to be published before April.

www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/rochdale-council-leader-richard-farnell-14008696

Theresa May and Amber Rudd suppress Westminster child abuse documents for national security reasons

November 20, 2017

Labour MP Lisa Nandy just revealed in parliament the embarrassing inconsistencies between Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd over documents being hidden from the inquiry into allegations of child abuse by MP Cyril Smith.

“The Home Secretary told me that some papers would be withheld from the Cyril Smith inquiry for national security reasons,” Nandy told the House of Commons, yet she added: “this week the Prime Minister has written to me to say we are clear that the work of the security services will not prevent information being shared with other such inquiries.”

– And she challenged Amber Rudd to confirm “for the survivors of Cyril Smith who have waited for decades” for justice – whether papers on historic allegations of child abuse against Smith will be withheld from inquiries for reasons of national security.

Cyril Smith was a Liberal MP for Rochdale in the 1970’s after Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe – who later resigned amid sexual scandal – insisted the local party have Smith as a candidate even though police had investigated serious allegations of sexual abuse of young boys in care homes in Rochdale where he had been Mayor.

The police investigation was dropped in 1970. Smith died in 2010 and two years later the Crown Prosecution Service admitted that he would have faced prosecution for allegations of child abuse where he still alive with allegations that had surfaced since.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse last month heard how Smith was a governor at several schools in Rochdale, including Knowl View, where one abuse survivor attended as a boy when Smith was governor. He gave horrific testimony of a rape by Smith.

 

The inquiry is investigating historic abuse in Rochdale schools and care homes and heard how police had warned that Smith had “used his unique position to indulge in a sordid series of indecent episodes with young boys towards whom he had a special responsibility.”

The inquiry was provided evidence by MI5 that the security service had been aware at the time that the Director of Public Prosecutions had lied to journalists about not charging the MP, saying a case hadn’t been referred to them.  MI5 appear to have not pursued this serious allegation as their role was “to defend the realm”, the inquiry heard.

A police report into Smith when he stood for election in 1970 read: “he has used his unique position to indulge in a sordid series of indecent episodes with young boys towards whom he had a special responsibility.”

The inquiry also heard that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would have been likely to be aware of the allegations against Cyril Smith when she awarded him a knighthood in 1988.

Lead counsel Brian Altman QC told the inquiry: “It is important to bear in mind the extent to which Cyril Smith continued to involve himself in serious issues related to the welfare of children. A knighthood would only have reinforced Smith’s veneer of respectability and power.”

https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/theresa-may-amber-rudd-suppress-westminster-child-abuse-documents-national-security-reasons/20/11/

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Government papers relating to Cyril Smith will not be withheld, PM pledges

Prime Minister Theresa May has given assurances to an MP that Government papers relating to the late Cyril Smith will not be withheld.

Former shadow minister Lisa Nandy told the Commons that she had received a letter from the Prime Minister which stated the “work of the security services will not prevent information being shared”.

The letter prompted Ms Nandy to ask Home Secretary Amber Rudd whether she had been wrong to assert last month that some papers would be held back “under national security”.

The Wigan MP said: “Last month in this House the Home Secretary told me that some papers would be withheld from the Cyril Smith inquiry for national security reasons.

“This week the Prime Minister has written to me to say we are clear that the work of the security services will not prevent information being shared with other such inquires.

“So can she can confirm to the survivors of Cyril Smith (pictured) who have waited for justice for decades that she was wrong and that the Prime Minister is right?”

Ms Rudd replied: “Well I am happy to confirm the Prime Minister is always right and I will certainly look carefully at the letter that she has received to ensure that we comply with it.”

Smith, who was an MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992, is accused of sexually abusing a number of boys.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has heard evidence of the abuse and will publish its findings next year.

In her letter to Ms Nandy, the Prime Minister said: “As with the Government’s co-operation with the investigation into allegations of abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home in the 1970s, we are clear that the work of the security services will not prevent information being shared with other such inquires.

“Material relating to the allegations of abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home was disclosed to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry team in full.

“To assist with disclosure, a memorandum of understanding was established between the inquiry team, government departments and security services with regards to viewing and securing potentially relevant material.

“If material was identified as relevant to the inquiry, government department and security services would consider it for public disclosure, in line with UK Government disclosure obligations.”

http://www.careappointments.co.uk/care-news/england/item/42884-government-papers-relating-to-cyril-smith-will-not-be-withheld-pm-pledges


 

Claims council leader knew about Knowl View child abuse allegations in early 90s – inquiry told

25 Oct 2017

Leader Richard Farnell told the inquiry yesterday he only heard about allegations relating to Knowl View ‘two or three years ago’

Claims Rochdale’s council leader has known about the Knowl View boys scandal since 1992 were reported to the Labour Party three years ago – but they did nothing to investigate – an inquiry has told.

Richard Farnell – who is both the current leader and was also in charge of the town hall between 1986 and 1992 – was also accused of ‘not telling the truth’ by a fellow councillor in the latest explosive hearing of evidence relating to the scandal.

Yesterday the leader had told the inquiry he only heard about allegations relating to the notorious school, at which boys were abused throughout the 1980s and 1990s, ‘two or three years ago’ when they were raised in parliament.

But this morning his fellow Rochdale Labour councillor Peter Joinson told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that the leader would have ‘automatically’ known what was going on at the time.

He also said Coun Farnell had admitted to him in 2014 that he had known about the allegations as far back as 1992 – a claim Coun Farnell says is a ‘lie’.

However Coun Joinson said he was sufficiently concerned to have reported their conversation to the regional party.

Those concerns were bounced to the party’s headquarters, he said, passed back to the regional office and then eventually put on hold, because by that point the police were investigating.

This morning’s meeting of the national inquiry – which is currently looking at abuse in Rochdale institutions between the 1960s and 1990s – follows yesterday’s evidence from Coun Farnell himself, in which he repeatedly insisted no senior officer or political colleague had ever told him about abuse taking place at the school.

But Coun Joinson claimed that at a meeting in 2014, when he himself was still chief whip, the council leader had admitted to having seen a draft report into the scandal at some point between March and June 1992.

Following that conversation – shortly after Coun Farnell had told the media he had never been aware of the allegations at the time – Coun Joinson says he raised concerns with the then deputy leader, Coun Peter Williams.

He then raised it with the regional office of the Labour party.

“I felt there was a conflict between what was in the press and the information he’d offered to me,” he said.

“There was a clear difference. As a consequence I sought advice from the regional director of the Labour Party because I felt at that point, because he was council leader, the people who should do the investigation were in fact the people from the regional party.”

Asked what happened next, he said the complaint bounced backwards and forward before being left to the police to follow up as part of their own child abuse inquiry, Operation Clifton.

“I spoke to the regional director,” he said.

“She referred me to a further senior officer in the Labour party in London. I had a discussion with them. They referred me back to the regional director.

“By that time Operation Clifton was going on and the comment of the regional director is ‘we will have to let the police investigation take its course’.

Coun Farnell told the inquiry yesterday that Coun Joinson had made up the conversation about Knowl View, arguing it was a ‘smear’ and the result of an internal civil war raging at the time.

Under questioning by Brian Altman QC, the councillor was asked: “Did you invent any of this, Mr Joinson?”

He replied: “I did not.”

Mr Altman then asked him: “Which means Richard Farnell lied to this inquiry?”

Coun Joinson replied: “I don’t like using that word, but he’s probably not telling the truth.”

Yesterday Coun Farnell told the inquiry repeatedly that at no point had any senior officer or political colleague told him of the emerging allegations around Knowl View at the time.

That included his chair of education, the late Mary Moffat, who he said had not breathed ‘a word’ of the claims to him.

However Coun Joinson suggested that claim was not credible.

“Up to 2004 I held senior positions as a councillor,” he said.

“I was chair of education, then I moved on to be the deputy leader. I was responsible for human resources, finance. It would have been common practice for the chief executive or any chief officer to discuss any area of massive concern with the appropriate member of the council or chair of that committee.

“For me, as chair of education at the time, if that was part of my portfolio I would have automatically gone to the leader of the council.”

When asked whether that would have also been the case during the 1990s, he said: “Yes.”

The Labour party has been asked to comment.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/claims-council-leader-knew-knowl-13809896#ICID=sharebar_twitter

Rochdale Inquiry: Labour councillor Peter Joinson says Council Leader Richard Farnell “not telling the truth” about Knowl View

http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/113533/rochdale-inquiry-labour-councillor-peter-joinson-says-council-leader-richard-farnell-not-telling-the-truth-about-knowl-view

Is Diana Cavanagh wrong or does now have to admit he knew about Rochdale CSA for 25 yrs? Page 188

Rochdale and Beyond – the Legacy of Child Abuse by Anne Wade

Cyril Smith
Cyril Smith was born in 1928 and became active in local politics in his teens. He promoted himself as working tirelessly for the welfare of deprived boys. Suspicions of child abuse began in the 1950s. In 1956 he bought St Mary’s Gate newsagent and tobacconist. In the late 1950s, according to Mike Smith of the CID, this was put under police surveillance because of concerns about the number of young boys seen going in through the back door. Specific complaints began in 1961: for instance, he supported a boy to have singing lessons, groomed and sexually abused him. Why were these leads not followed up?

Smith gradually developed connections with paedophiles both locally and elsewhere in the country. Without these connections, and without sympathisers protecting him on a large scale, he would not have been able to offend as he did. One notable connection was with his later friend Jimmy Savile, born in 1926. Savile similarly presented himself as a dedicated fund raiser for charity. He volunteered at Broadmoor from his early 20s, and as a porter in other hospitals. The first complaint of abuse against him came in 1955, at a Manchester dance hall he managed. Some abuse is recorded from 1960, for example with autograph hunters being taken into hotels and abused. Just as Smith’s abusing can be traced over the next decades, so too there are records of complaints about Savile at the BBC, at Leeds general infirmary, and at Stoke Mandeville hospital.

Smith and Savile continued to live parallel lives as predatory paedophiles for half a century, both becoming well-known members of the establishment and escaping public disclosure and judicial convictions during their lives. However, once their behaviour began coming out in 2012, after their deaths, the offending of Savile, the media figure, led to the establishment of five separate inquiries, most notably Operation Yewtree. Other media figures began to be effectively followed up. But in the case of Smith, the high-level politician, all investigations have been so far resisted, just as they have been for other politicians who have been implicated.

Thanks to the public reaction to all this, one strand of IICSA, the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, is assigned to Rochdale. We are not powerless. They govern by consent, and when ordinary protest is wide enough, they back down, at least until they think we have forgotten.

Like Smith and Savile, once he surmounted initial setbacks, Righton thrived as a predatory paedophile within the establishment.

Like Righton and Savile, Smith organised access to institutions with children whom he could abuse with relative impunity, first at Cambridge House and Moorland Home, and later at Knowl View School. He maintained a power base on the local council,

Peter Righton, another paedophile born in 1926, also became a close friend of Smith, and like him and Savile rose high in the establishment.

Smith escaped prosecution through corrupt pressure from friends on the council and senior police officers, and later from the British political establishment, who used the security services to steal files and cover up any charges by claiming ‘national security’. This is part of what we hope IICSA will investigate. Smith escaped prosecution through corrupt pressure from friends on the council and senior police officers, and later from the British political establishment, who used the security services to steal files and cover up any charges by claiming ‘national security’. This is part of what we hope IICSA will investigate.

Despite hostile reporting in the alternative press, an increasing tide of critical reports from local professionals, renewed police investigations, and referrals to the DPP, the director of public prosecutions, Smith was knighted in 1988, recommended by David Steel. Questions about this recommendation were covered up for some time, but the fact was forced out under an FOI request in January 2014

In 1972 Smith became the MP for Rochdale. Without the intervention of the DPP Norman Skelhorn, empowered by the long term AG Michael Havers, to protect Smith, this could not have happened. The prosecution would have gone ahead, he would almost certainly have gone to jail, and he would have had a criminal record. His power in the community would have been curbed, and decades of abuse might have been prevented. Instead, for the next twenty years Smith operated with impunity under establishment protection

Another official who culpably failed to do anything was John Pierce, the chief executive of Rochdale council. He has gone on record as claiming he knew nothing about the three separate reports in 1988, 1991 and 1992 that paedophiles were abusing children as young as eight years of age. Yet Pierce was sent copies and Paul Rowen, who was leader of the council in 1992, said he had a number of meetings with Pierce in which the abuse at Knowl View was discussed. Shepherd’s report then appears to have been buried. It was certainly withheld from DS Bob Huntbach when he was assigned to carry out a police investigation in 2000, and asked for all the papers.

……………………………..

Diana Cavanagh, former Head of Education at Rochdale Council
Diana Cavanagh, former Head of Education at Rochdale Council

“No doubt in my mind got a copy of the Val Mellor Report” detailing sexual abuse of boys in 1992. ExHeadEd

Rochdale’s council leader was subjected to an excruciating grilling at the child sexual abuse inquiry this morning:

Councillor Richard Farnell gave evidence about what he knew about horrific abuse at Knowl View boys’ school during the 1980s and 1990s

…grilling from the government’s national inquiry on child abuse today – over what he knew about horrendous abuse at Knowl View boys’ school during the 1980s and 1990s.

Coun Farnell was also leader of the council between 1986 and 1992, when horrific rapes and sexual assaults – including by paedophile Roderick Hilton, who managed to enter the school in September 1990 – were taking place.

In today’s hearing Coun Farnell repeatedly denied ever having been informed about abuse at Knowl View at the time, despite senior officers having commissioned a damning report into the welfare of boys there in early 1992.

He never read about Roderick Hilton’s crimes in the local paper, he said, despite another witness – former Liberal Democrat politician Paul Rowen – previously testifying that it had been reported in the Rochdale Observer.

 

Here is part of an exchange between Coun Farnell and Brian Altman QC, who pointed out that in the early 1990s the town’s infamous satanic abuse scandal had already severely embarrassed the council.

BA: You will remember that pretty well, Mr Farnell?

RF: Yes.

BA: That led to a pretty bad publicity for the council, yes?

RF: Yes, I think that would be a fair assessment.

BA: And not only politically embarrassing for Labour, but those with whom you worked were politically sufficiently astute to have realised that?

RF: Yes, I would say so, yes.

BA: So what did she [Mary Moffat] tell you about Knowl View?

RF: I have no recollection of Mary Moffat raising Knowl View with me.

BA: So Mary Moffat was – for a short period of time during your leadership – your deputy, who was throughout the whole period of time of your leadership the education chair. You say you have got no recollection at all of her ever raising Knowl View with you?

RF: I have no recollection whatsover.

about Hilton’s activities in the last three years.

Neither were emerging worries over abuse of boys in the school ever raised with him by his chair of education Mary Moffat – who for a short period was also his deputy – or by his director of education, director of social services, chief executive or any Tory opposition councillors, he said.

BA: When you say, Mr Farnell, ‘I Richard Farnell have no recollection whatsoever’ what does that really mean?

RF: I do not recollect Mary Moffat mentioning to me any issue concerned with Knowl View. If she’d raised it I wouldn’t have forgotten.

BA: So what you are really telling us is she never did.

RF: Yes. Yes I’m saying that.

BA: So Mary Moffat, in all the years we know there were problems at Knowl View, not a word?

RF: Not a word.

BA: So she left you, your erstwhile deputy and education chair, completely and utterly exposed as Labour leader of the council, to a scandal at Knowl View? Is that what you are telling us?

RF: What I’m saying is Mary Moffat’s style wasn’t to come running to me every five minutes with problems within the department. She was a formidable politician in her own right. She got on with the job and she was confident in her own ability to deal with the issues that were put before her.

BA: But just think what you are saying, Mr Farnell. You are the leader. She was the education chair. And however formidable she was, any astute education chair would not leave the leader un-sighted by the kind of issues this inquiry has heard about going on at Knowl View between 1989 and the time you lost your seat on the council in May 1992. Is that what you are seriously telling the inquiry? She never brought it to your attention?

RF: She never brought it to my attention.

BA: And nor did anyone else?

RF: No.

BA: Not any single chair of any single committee who sat on your ‘chair’ panel?

RF: No.

BA: Not your chief executive John Pearce? Not the borough solicitor?

RF: No.

BA: So you were completely and utterly oblivious to what was going on at Knowl View for all those years?

RF: All those people you have mentioned did not bring that to my attention.

BA: Did anybody else, Mr Farnell?

RF: No.

BA: No-one?

RF: No.

BA: Is that the reality, do you think?

RF: It’s what happened in Knowl View.

BA: Is it the truth?

RF: It is the truth.

The leader of Rochdale Council has told an inquiry he had no knowledge of the sexual abuse of children at a residential school in the town despite mounting evidence in the early 1990s.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is examining how the late MP Cyril Smith and others were able to target youngsters at institutions in Rochdale over several decades.

It has heard how senior council staff knew about serious allegations of sexual abuse involving children at Knowl View School by the early 1990s.

But Richard Farnell, who regained the position of Labour council leader in 2014 after a gap of 22 years, told the inquiry he was never informed of the scandal during his first stint in office between 1986 and 1992.

The inquiry heard that a paedophile had been admitted to Knowl View in September 1990, where he had sexually abused at least one boy.

The council’s education chairwoman, Mary Moffat, knew about the incident but Mr Farnell insisted the information was not passed on to him.

Brian Altman QC, lead counsel for the inquiry, suggested the idea he had not been told by his political colleague was “ridiculous”.

The inquiry heard that by April 1991, the council was also dealing with the sexual exploitation of Knowl View boys at the town’s Smith Street toilets as well as an “epidemic” of “peer on peer” abuse at the school.

A report submitted on March 20 that year from a worker from the Rochdale health authority detailed claims that boys as young as eight were being targeted by men from as far afield as Sheffield.

It said most people would be “horrified” by the allegations, which had the potential to become a “public scandal”.

Mr Altman asked the council leader: “You knew absolutely nothing at that time of the scandalous nature of what was going on in Knowl View?”

Another report on Knowl View was submitted in February 1992, while Mr Farnell was still in office, but the politician denied he had been shown it at the time.

Mr Altman asked: “You were still completely and utterly ignorant of the problems in Knowl View?”

Mr Farnell replied: “I was unaware of the problems at Knowl View.”

https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2017/10/24/council-leader-nobody-told-me-about-rochdale-school-sex-abuse/?ncid=aolshare_twitter

 

IICSA 24 Oct transcript here

tweets via matt o’donoghue‏ @mattoitv:

I am not the only regional journalist to find a remarkable absence of reporting of #RochdaleCSA from @InquiryCSA in the national media.

24 Oct 2017

hearing evidence from Vince Hill, a former @GMPolice officer who was part of Operation Cleopatra in late 90’s looking into #CSA.

Cyril Smith with children from Rochdale who he had invited down to the Houses of Parliament
tweets via matt o’donoghue‏ @mattoitv:

Hearings into exploitation of boys at Knowl View School. What did @Richardfarnell1 know & do as leader?

“I have no recollection of Mary Moffatt raising Knowl View with me … no recollection whatsoever.”
 
QC: “You were completely and utterly oblivious to what was going on at Knowl View over the years?” RF: “No one.”
 
 “The idea that you never knew about it and was never told is just ridiculous, isn’t it?” “That’s your view.”

It does appear form the evidence being put to @Richardfarnell1 that just about every senior official at the council knew about Rochdale CSA

“I was unaware of those incidents because (they) had failed to inform me of those incidents.”@Richardfarnell1@InquiryCSA

Others who have given evidence from Rochdale say they were aware of Roderick Hilton and his abuse at Knowl View residential school.

Farnell was in charge during ‘Middleton cases 1991’ – satanic accusations. Farnell has denied anything scandalous during his tenure

Despite saying he cannot remember there is the issue of 20 children who were wrongly taken into care after false “Satanic” allegations.

Many, many people at #Rochdale council have known about of boys at KVS for many, many years. But not their leader @Richardfarnell1

 The note appears to show a report of the meeting went to Councillor Farnell. Diana Cavanagh says she was certain he was “informed.”
 
 
 RF: “I’ve not seen any copy of the minutes of that meeting … certainly the director of education did not speak to me.” 

BA: What you mean is that it was never brought to your attention RF: It was never brought to my attention, yes.

We’re now being shown a cutting from Rochdale Online from June 2014 where RF described the use of Knowl View as a “political football.”

 Going over HiV Report prepared into the risks pupils at KVS faced. An 11yr old had already contracted Hep through sex.
 

 

“Parents of children at the school would be horrified” if they knew. BA: A public scandal was the last thing you needed in 1991, wasn’t it?

.. in the end, Mary Moffat who was your dep and ed chair, she was bound to have told you, wasn’t she?

BA: Not one of the breathed a word throughout your whole period of leadership RF: It was for them to tell me and they did not.
BA: Mr Farnell, you are not being realistic.
BA: Even in Feb 92 you were still completely and utterly ignorant of the problems at Knowl View RF: I was unaware of the problems.
 We’re back to March 1992 and the presentation of the Val Mellor report in against boys at Knowl View School.We’re back to March 1992 and the presentation of the Val Mellor report in against boys at Knowl View School.
 All main political parties Education Spokespeople were present at the meeting in March 1992. But says he was never told.
Mr Farnell says electioneering became such a priority that no one would have had the opportunity to raise the issue of with him
Mr Altman has pointed out that other senior officials seem to have had the time to meet and discuss when Mr Farnell did not.
We’re now being shown a council memorandum from May 1992 asking for a statement of action that has been taken “so I may advise the leader.”
This memorandum is from the Chief Executive, Mr Pearce, at . Soon after Mr Farnell lost his seat.
Mr Altman is putting a series of allegations about Mr Farnell’s character that he “bullied and browbeat people” “Interfered inappropriately”
RF: Definitely not, no. Mr Farnell has batted away criticism of his alleged “hands-on” management style at Council
We’re now onto the dealings – direct or otherwise – he may have had with Cyril Smith. What was his reputation? A larger than life figure
BA: Did you hear any of the rumours about his sexual involvement with young boys? RF: He was alleged to have spanked boys …
RF: Cyril Smith was investigated at the time but nothing was done with it … it had been investigated but nothing came of it.
BA: Was there ever a pack between the Labour and Liberal parties? (to not disclose abuse) RF: The idea of a pact – absolute nonsense.
RF: I’m not sure what there was to cover up.
Now discussing type written note from the Chief Whip in Rochdale who spoke with @Richardfarnell1 over what he did and didn’t know
The note says; “at the end of the meeting I raised the issue of press articles that questioned Mr Farnell’s knowledge of the KVS report.”
The notes form the meeting say Mr Farnell received a draft copy of the report into HiV risks. BA: He’s made all that up?
RF:Yes
The notes says “Councillor Farnell says he’s only seen a draft report” BA: Those are words put in your mouth. Completely untrue? RF: Yes.
BA: This meeting with you is utterly invented? RF: Yes Mr Farnell say the Joinson note is an illustration of how “nasty” politics was.
RF: This is a complete invention to try to politically damage me and undermine me as the new leader.

If it was an illustration of civil war and bad blood in the group in the BA says it was never used. RF: He’s lying.

BA: Several boys went through that school and their lives were blighted. Presumably you will accept responsibility for that as leader?
RF: I bitterly regret the senior members of the council never approached me about these matters. They never did.
 … the people who have told the that they knew of and are responsible for the failures….
Head of Ed – Diana Cavanagh, Social Services – Ian Davey, Chief Exec – John Pearce “they are the people who should shoulder responsibility”
 BA: You are not prepared to accept personal responsibility for this? RF: For me to have taken action I would have had to have been informed

 


25 Oct 2017 – IICSA – hearing from former Labour Chief Whip Peter Joinson
Peter Joinson has been called to th InquiryCSA into Rochdale CSA He claims Richarf Farnell told him in 1992 that he’d seen a draft CSA report.
MrJoinson says he doesn’t like the word “liar” and would prefer to say “Richard Farnell didn’t tell the truth”

Rochdale Council leader accuses colleague of lying over abuse claims

A note of a meeting on June 11 that year made by Peter Joinson, the Labour group’s chief whip at the time, read: “At the end of the meeting I raised with the leader the issues of press articles that questioned his knowledge of the Knowl View abuse reports.” The note, handed to police in October 2014, made reference to a report from a sexual health worker employed by the Rochdale health authority. “As a consequence of that report the council was preparing a report, this was between approx March and June 1992,” it continued. “Cllr Farnell said he had only seen a draft report and the full report wasn’t complete until June. By that time he had lost his council seat and ceased to be council leader.” Mr Altman said Mr Joinson was questioned by police about the note in April 2016. “He (Mr Joinson) said you told him there were allegations of sexual abuse in the draft report you had seen,” said the barrister. Mr Farnell said: “No.” Mr Altman continued: “So Mr Joinson completely and utterly invented the content of this meeting with you on June 11?” “Absolutely, yes.” Mr Farnell replied. The council leader suggested Mr Joinson made up the content of the conversation as part of a “bitter election campaign”, which he described as a “civil war within the party”. “Either he’s lying, or you’re lying,” said Mr Altman. Mr Farnell replied: “It’s certainly my contention that he’s lying.”

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/news-wire/rochdale-council-leader-accuses-colleague-of-lying-over-abuse-claims-1-8821218

War of words between Labour colleagues Richard Farnell and Peter Joinson over knowledge of Knowl View sex abuse report escalates

26 October 2017

“I am disappointed that Councillor Farnell is denying a meeting had taken place and, more importantly, to use this to further obfuscate the main issue that he had offered to me the information that he had seen a draft report.

“There should not be any issue for Councillor Farnell here, he had seen a draft report, lost his seat and therefore the leadership of the Council. The responsibility for taking this issue further was therefore in the hands of Councillor [Paul] Rowen who had taken up the position of council leader and not Councillor Farnell. That is all he had to say in any press release he gave in June 2014 prior to our meeting and this particular part of the wider issue would not have occurred.”

@mattoitv

Priceless – Richard Farnell – brands calls for his resignation “appalling political mud-slinging” then slings the political mud himself:


 

Councillor Richard Farnell, Leader of Rochdale Borough Council, has hit back following the call for his resignation by Councillor Andy Kelly, Leader of the Borough’s Liberal Democrats.

Councillor Kelly has called for the “immediate resignation” of Councillor Farnell “as both leader of Rochdale Council and as councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt” over Councillor Farnell’s evidence to the government’s national inquiry on child abuse.

“Kelly is deafeningly silent on the Liberal Democrats’ appalling failure to deal with the allegations of abuse made against Cyril Smith. They knew of the allegations going back almost 40 years when it was exposed in the RAP article in 1979. What did they do? Nothing.

“It is interesting that Kelly has nothing to say about the former Lib Dem council leader and MP Paul Rowen’s evidence to the Inquiry. He was told about the abuse at Knowl View and refused to meet officers to discuss it, stating he was too busy.

“And just when are the Liberal Democrats going to apologise to the victims for Smith’s horrific abuse?

“Just when is Councillor Kelly going to apologise for the decision of the Lib Dem council who – despite knowing of allegations of abuse carried out by Cyril Smith – unbelievably put him on the governing body of Knowl View school?

http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/113532/call-for-council-leader-richard-farnell-to-resign

Daniel Hewitt @DanielHewittITV

 

I asked Rochdale Council leader Richard Farnell 8 times if he was sorry to victims of child abuse at Knowl View when he was leader.

“It is deeply regrettable that no politician sees fit to apologise to the victims to Know View. They should be help personally accountable.”

Cyril was, of course, a huge factor in Paul Rowen winning back the Rochdale seat for the Lib Dems in 2005

https://www.libdemvoice.org/rip-cyril-smith-20986.html

Sir Cyril Smith with MP Paul Rowen and Rochdale Childer chairwoman Maureen Cooper

SIR Cyril Smith’s 80th birthday party raised almost £4,000 for charity.

Proceeds from the gala concert, featuring Jimmy Cricket and the Debrose Choir at the Town Hall in June, will be donated to Rochdale Childer, a charity which helps children in the borough.

He said: “The fact that we raised so much money for such a worthwhile cause was tremendous. As a founder of Rochdale Childer, I know the excellent job that they do for some of the most vulnerable young people in Rochdale.

MP Paul Rowen added: “Sir Cyril had a great night and we raised much more than we had anticipated. We are working with the Rochdale Childer team looking at a number of options of how to spend this windfall.”

Maureen Cooper, chairwoman of Rochdale Childer, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sir Cyril’s big bash raised so much money. I can solemnly declare that not a penny will be wasted.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/charity-benefits-from-sir-cyrils-birthday-600273

THE big man celebrated his birthday with a big party on Saturday night.

MP Paul Rowen opened the gala concert by introducing a video montage of tributes from political colleagues and celebrity friends, including Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, Paddy Ashdown, Lord David Steel, Coronation Street star William Roache and comedian Jim Bowen, before guests joined in a sing-a-long of his adopted theme tune.

Sir Cyril was as straight-talking as ever during his speech as he praised Mr Rowen,

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/big-bash-for-a-big-man-959059

Council leader Alan Taylor thanked Cyril for being ‘a great inspiration and teacher’.

Alan was of course the olden days Hennigan type character. Cyril Smith’s agent. Party to all the party intrigue. And still sitting pretty. Perhaps young Alan was Cyril’s favoured candidate when Rowen stole the crown? Seen here Alan is barefoot, as is the Rochdale Lib Dem wont even today, as the Rochdale Alternative Paper’s 1975 “playmate of the Century” or something like that.

http://chrispaul-labouroflove.blogspot.com/2008/09/sunday-cyril-corrupt-cyril-file.html

Rowen – Deputy head of a secondary school in Bradford (Yorkshire Martyrs) as well as leader of Rochdale Council

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4581035.stm

Born in Rochdale, Rowen went to the Bishop Henshaw RC Memorial High School (became St Cuthbert’s RC High School in 1989 when Rochdale scrapped its three-tier system) on Shaw Road in Rochdale. From the University of Nottingham, he graduated with a BSc in Chemistry and Geology in 1976. From 1977-80, he taught Science at Kimberley School in Nottinghamshire. From 1980-6, he was Head of Chemistry at St Albans RC High School, Warren Lane in Oldham (now closed), then Head of Science at Our Ladys RC High School from 1986-90. From 1990-2005, he was Deputy Headteacher of Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic College on Westgate Hill Street in Tong, West Yorkshire.

Disgraced RE teacher found with 200 indecent images of children can continue teaching after Michael Gove gives go-ahead

Bettley, who joined St Mary’s in September 2001 from Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic School in Bradford, West Yorkshire,

By the time police seized his computer in December last year, he had viewed 143 images, assessed to be on the lowest “level one” on the scale for seriousness.

He downloaded another 46 more serious “level three” images, including scenes of child abuse, but they had not been viewed.

Instead of being taken to court, however, he was given the option of accepting a police caution.

https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/operation-greenlight/yorkshire-humber/bradford/st-marys-catholic-school-menston/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10104771/Teachers-who-view-child-pornography-to-be-banned-from-the-profession.html

Rowen – From 1990-2005, he was Deputy Headteacher of Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic College on Westgate Hill Street in Tong, West Yorkshire.

He was deputy headteacher when protected Bettley was at Martyrs Catholic School…

Bettley, who joined St Mary’s in September 2001 from Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic School

https://alchetron.com/Paul-Rowen-376983-W

Yorkshire Martyrs School linked to Kenya school via Rowen

A school in Kenya has finished building two new classrooms thanks to a £7,000 donation from its sister school in Bradford.

Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic College may be closing in 2010 but its name will live on in Marigat, Kenya, where the new school block has been dedicated to the Bradford school.

“The money that we raised was initially going to be used to bring a group of young Kenyans to Bradford.

“But as the visa situation could not be sorted out, we decided to put the money to good use by helping build the school block.”

The partnership was originally set up by former Yorkshire Martyrs deputy head teacher Paul Rowen, now MP for Rochdale, who visited the site with Mr Bishop in the summer

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/4009882.College_s_name_to_live_on_in_Kenya/

Paul Rowen WBro David Action who is also inevitably a big wheel in the local Rotary Club as well as one of the Rochdale Chapters of the hell’s Angels Freemasons – hence the strange handshake. I believe he is Mr Big in beds. Meanwhile a Mr Mason is Mr Big in used cars. Both are long time associates of Paul Rowen for his charidee activity – mainly to do with orphanages in East Africa.

http://chrispaul-labouroflove.blogspot.com/2009_01_25_archive.html

Greenland Orphanage

The Rochdale Greenland School and Orphanage appeal is a UK registered Charity established in Rochdale, Lancashire in June 2001.

It was established by Mr Rafiq Ahmed Arien and his family after a visit to Kampala, Uganda when he saw the conditions of poverty that many orphans and victims of AIDS had to live in.

Mr Rafiq Arien and his family are former Ugandan refugees who on settling in Rochdale in the 1970’s have established a successful retail and wholesale electrical business.

Together with his friends Councillor Paul Rowen and Mr Terry Mason they established The Greenland School and Orphanage Appeal which is raising money to build an orphanage and school in Uganda.

In August 2002 a group including Charity Chair Councillor Paul Rowen, Organiser Rafiq Arien and Mr Terry Mason travelled to Kampala for the Foundation Stone Lying Ceremony.

http://www.rgsorphanage.com/about-greenland.html

http://www.rgsorphanage.com/

Paul is in Keen-ya. Apparently sunning himself whilst doing charidee work at children’s homes.

Does anyone picture portly Paul Rowen in a pith helmet whilst on a colonial verandah, G&T in hand? The Happy Valley of Kenya has a reputation for “fun and games”. Were table tennis paddles packed in Paul’s trunk? Or will Rochdale’s current MP be too busy having slap up meals at various african Rotary clubs?

Will he be planning a trip to the bush? Is he popping over to Uganda to conduct some business in his second paid job working for a property company called Corinya?

So how do young Rochdale people become Parliamentary interns for Paul Rowen. Unlike Hazard County, surely this is not a “job for the boys”?

Paul explains:

“I’ve been very lucky over the last few months to have had a number of young people from Rochdale working as interns in both my London office and in Rochdale. These have included Natassa Malik whose father is a good friend of Sir Cyril Smith

http://rochdaleraw.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-to-get-job-with-paul-rowen-mp-as.html

Paul Rowen MP – member of the Beveridge Group as are John Hemming and Mike Hancock

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Rowen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beveridge_Group

Rowengate

The Ugandan Corinya does have a charidee element (a laudable children’s home- following Cyril Smith’s example of supporting the charity Rochdale Childer with its Moorland Home?).

http://rochdaleraw.blogspot.com/2009/05/rowengate-ugandan-shenanighans.html

Hancock has been the chairman of the southern region of the NSPCC since 1989

janellabooks‏ @janellabooks

Savile, Hancock, Bonner Pink. Emery Wallis, connected friends , also Ted Heath, and more. add Peter Ball into this mix, you have a flaming disgusting group

Did you know ex MP Hancock worked for childrens TV at BBC, on same corridor as Savile. Hancock and Savile also friends, and Bonner Pink!

 


5 June 1990

Leaders of some of the 19 councils that are fighting a poll-tax capping order line up outside the High Court. (l-r) Richard Farnell (Rochdale), Marie Rimmer (St Helens), Peter Ballard (Basildon), Joan Twelves (Lambeth), Sir Jack Layden (Rotherham), Margaret Hodge (Islington), Jim Dobbin (Rochdale, deputy), and Mike Goodman (Hammersmith).

link

Cassandra Cogno‏ @CassandraCogno

Cf Margaret Hodge who needs to name the officers who “misled” her into alleging children were paid & complaining to Press Commission

http://archive.islingtontribune.com/news/2014/sep/islington-child-abuse-scandal-haunts-margaret-hodge-politician-poised-run-mayor-london

Any Knowl View cover-up may also involve 1990s NW Labour personnel

 

 

…the Manchester Evening News carried a story claiming that the disgraced, deceased Liberal MP Cyril blackmailed an unnamed council leader into covering up Smith’s actions by threatening to reveal an incident of abuse by the council leader against a child in a public toilet.

 

 

knowl.png

Over a month ago, in early September when the issue of child abuse at Knowl View home in Rochdale started to hit the news again because of its inclusion in the public inquiry into child sexual abuse, whistleblowers contacted the SKWAWKBOX with a number of allegations.

The first was that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had stated that it would be making a ‘full disclosure’ of all evidence it had gathered in its investigation of events at Knowl View.

The second was that part of that disclosure would be that the leader of Rochdale Council had information about the abuse – and had kept it quiet. The person – a councillor – who knew he had received this information had, allegedly, subsequently been removed from all positions of responsibility by the council leader.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Rochdale Council’s leader’s office and asked whether these claims were true. We were told – via a press officer – that the council leader absolutely denied them and would not be discussing them further.

The councillor said to have direct knowledge of events declined to take our calls. GMP was asked whether the information would be included in its disclosure – but its reply was essentially non-responsive:

Op Clifton report will be heard in full at the IICSA hearing in London in mid-October. You would need to ask IICSA as it is their inquiry.

IICSA had not yet heard the evidence, so this was a dead end. In the absence of options to corroborate the claims, there was no option but to shelve them and wait for developments.

Those developments have now begun.

Last week, evidence was given to the inquiry that matched the reports given to the SKWAWKBOX more than a month earlier. The comments began on the first day that evidence was taken, as the transcript of the session shows:

Despite its closure over two decades ago, Knowl View has continued to resurface, provoking concerns that investigations into what happened were deliberately concealed. It has been suggested that the local politicians were party to this and to suppressing allegations about Smith, regardless of their political allegiances. There has been rumour and speculation about some form of deal/pact between local political parties not to make allegations about Cyril Smith. We will call some of those politicians in the final week of the hearings so they can be asked more about that.

ITV news correspondent Matt O’Donoghue tweeted about it three days later, as claims were detailed:

farnell2.png

He then asked council leader Richard Farnell:

farnell1.png

A day later, the inquiry spoke to the then-head (in 1992) of social services about events at the time. That witness alleged not merely silence but interference:

Q: You made a distinction in your statement about inappropriate interference in departmental matters between Smith, on the one hand, and the then-leader of the council, Richard Farnell.

A. Yes.

Q. The distinction you made was that Cyril Smith interfered on a sort of granular level, in the cases of individuals, whereas Farnell was perhaps more to the sort of generalised approach to his interference.

Yesterday, the Manchester Evening News carried a story claiming that the disgraced, deceased Liberal MP Cyril blackmailed an unnamed council leader into covering up Smith’s actions by threatening to reveal an incident of abuse by the council leader against a child in a public toilet.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Rochdale Council’s press office again today with the following:

In early September I called you about allegations that Richard Farnell knew about abuse at Knowl View and did not act. You told me he had absolutely denied it.

In view of the evidence coming out at the public inquiry about a council leader covering up information and indeed being involved in at least one act of abuse, do you wish to revise that position?

The response this time was different:

farnell3.png

The Head of Communications subsequently emailed to add:

And just to reiterate.. the leader maintains his denial

Labour’s HQ did not cover itself in glory in its handling of this blog’s enquiry, either. We wrote to the party at the same time as to the council and the police, detailing the information received, including the name of a councillor who alleged that Mr Farnell had told him privately that he had ignored a report on the abuse at Knowl View when the institution was still open.

The same councillor also claimed that he had informed Labour’s North-West regional office about that conversation – but that the report had been ‘buried’.

We asked Labour HQ the following questions:

  • Did ________ make such a report?
  • If so, what if any action did Labour take?
  • _________ used to be Rochdale Labour Group Whip, but says that Richard Farnell has since removed him from all positions. Why?

Labour HQ failed to respond until the SKWAWKBOX sent a follow-up email advising that we were about to publish an article on the matter and telling the party to provide any comments quickly if they wished to have the information included in the article.

We received a statement in reply that contained answers to none of the questions asked over a month ago:

The Labour Party is fully co-operating with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

The allegations against Richard Farnell were put into the public domain by the IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) session transcripts and subsequently by the mainstream media.

They remain allegations only and the SKWAWKBOX does not claim that they are accurate, but their existence is indisputably of overwhelming public interest. There is no evidence so far to indicate that Mr Farnell is the unnamed council leader in the Manchester Evening News article and his continuing denial of cover-up allegations should of course be recognised by all, unless and until the allegations are proven in a court of law, should a case ensue.

However, should the police decide they merit investigation, officers should also be talking to people who worked in Labour’s north-west office at the time, because any cover-up is alleged to have extended there as well.

Any #KnowlView cover-up may also involve 1990s NW Labour personnel

Boys in special school were at risk of Aids

Alarm over sexual activities at a Rochdale council home has taken years to emerge.
9 September 1995

THEY were boys aged eight to 16 with learning difficulties, and what they needed from Knowl View special school in Rochdale was care. What they got, according to Phil Shepherd, a council HIV-prevention officer, was the risk of Aids.

Mr Shepherd was horrified by the situation he discovered when he made a sex-education day visit to the residential school in March 1991. In a report he made within a week to the town’s director of education, Mrs Diana Cavanagh, he set out a picture grimmer than anything Dickens imagined for Dotheboys Hall.

“Reputedly five of the junior boys have been or are involved in ‘cottaging’ in and around public toilets. Men as far away as Sheffield are believed to be aware of this activity and travel to Rochdale to take part.

“One eight-year-old is thought to have been involved. The police are aware of the problem. What action has been taken is not known.

Mr Shepherd was a member of the Rochdale Health Authority Aids unit. “We are committed to preventing the spread of HIV,” he wrote. “The boys in this school look to us to be increasingly at risk.”

He added: “Most people, not least parents of children at the school, would be horrified were these facts to be made known.”

They were not. Mrs Cavanagh assured him the problem was being addressed “through concerted professional action”. She asked him to circulate his report no further, and “not to undertake any independent action”.

The Aids team was not asked back in. Mr Shepherd’s report has remained unpublicised, and it is only now that parents of the boys in Knowl View are becoming aware of the risk their children ran and what they may have gone through.

The full story of Knowl View, which opened in 1969 and closed nine months ago, has never been made public, but is clearly visible in confidential council documents seen by the Independent on Sunday.

In essence, boys as young as eight were put at risk of Aids through prostitution and liaisons with known sex offenders, after a disintegration of control over several years.

Concerns about the sexual behaviour of the boys were first passed to the council as far back as 1988 by Dr Alison Frazer, a child psychiatrist at Rochdale’s Birch Hill Hospital, yet it was three years later that Mr Shepherd issued his dire warning about the Aids dangers facing them, and another year before the council received recommendations on restoring management control after its own inquiry.

That report, by Valerie Mellor, a consultant clinical psychologist, came in February 1992. In it, Mrs Mellor said there was no doubt up to a quarter of the pupils at the 48-place school had been involved in serious sexual incidents and the activity had continued “over a very long period of time …. It is very difficult to believe that this behaviour had not come to the attention of at least some members of staff.”

Although her report suggested that sexual activity was at an end, five months later a pupil and a former pupil, both 14, were cautioned by police for soliciting in the town’s Smith Street lavatories.

At the height of the affair, a known sex offender gained overnight access to the school and allegedly plied pupils with cider and cannabis cigarettes before sexually assaulting them. Official details are scant.

In her 1992 report Valerie Mellor said only: “In September 1990, an incident occurred involving an adult male intruder at the school. That intruder had sexual contact with one or more of the boys on school premises.”

But one boy  says he was raped and that at least one other boy in his house was forced to have oral sex with the intruder. He claims their cries for help went unanswered because the member of staff on “sleeping-in” duty was not there. The offender returned the next night, but that time was beaten off.

The alleged rape victim says he was never interviewed by the police. The teenager was awarded a legal-aid certificate last week to sue for damages, and on Friday Mark Walker, of solicitors Molesworths, who are representing him, applied to the council for the release of files. Mr Walker said there were serious questions about the way Rochdale handled the incident. “We are concerned that not enough was done afterwards to help our client.”

John Pierce, Rochdale council’s chief executive, said police had reviewed the case again recently and found nothing requiring further action.

He added: “The police have also stated quite clearly that they do not believe there is any substance in allegations of a ‘cover-up’ relating to incidents at the school and that all the issues involved were discussed and investigated at the time by a number of agencies and the necessary action taken then.”

The authority was already taking action before Mr Shepherd’s report, Mr Pierce said.

“Both social services and the police had become involved in dealing with issues related to inappropriate sexual activities involving Knowl View pupils and adults unconnected with the school,” he said. “Arrangements appropriate to each boy’s circumstances were made in relation to counselling and health advice.”

Mr Pierce said that staff had received sex-education training and advice on how to warn pupils of the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.

But one care worker at the school said: “I would never work for this authority again. It is appalling that those people who were in charge still have jurisdiction over so many children’s lives.”

Martin Digan, 36, another former care worker, said: “I believe there has been a cover-up. Only a public inquiry can place responsibility where it should be placed.”

Parents are also dissatisfied. One 41-year-old mother believes the deterioration in her son’s behaviour was a direct result of the sexual activity he became involved in at the lavatories in Rochdale’s Smith Street – and of a vicious school environment in which, she says, on one occasion he was hit with a cricket bat.

Another mother, whose son is now in jail for causing grievous bodily harm, was informed of what happened at the school only six weeks ago by one of the other parents.

“I should have been told,” she said. “They’re pretty disgusting, aren’t they? All of the reviews I’ve sat at and none of this ever came out.”

Neither were staff and parents alone in their surprise. Bill Hopkins, who became a lay member of the governing body in late 1990, looked shocked when told last week about the prostitution. “I don’t know anything about that. I don’t know if any of the other governors did. As far as I understood it, the problem was [the known sex offender],” he said.

It seems to me that everybody at the time was contemplating their navel,” one adviser said.

“All the reports were on how the system failed and there was only a one- line reference in all the documents to the fact that the children might need some help. Rochdale let those kids down.”

Chris’s story

CHRIS (not his real name) can only now bring himself to admit what happened to him at Knowl View School. The memory leaves him furious.

He claims that when he was 14 he was raped by a known sex offender who gained access to the school one night and plied him with alcohol and cannabis.

He says: “I was hysterical. I couldn’t do anything. It was physical force. He threw me against the wall, threw me around the room.

“I was shocked and scared. He threatened to kill me if I told anybody.” Afterwards, he says, he lay in his bed terrified, hearing other pupils screaming.

Nobody came to help. He says the duty member of staff was not in his room.

Though Chris was later questioned by the school, he says he was never interviewed by the police.

Eventually he decided that nothing was being done – and began lashing out. He threw another pupil through a window. Once he was locked up in his bedroom for a week.

“I got to the stage where I was going to run off and find help elsewhere,” he said.

Then he decided that he had to learn to live with the experience. But that is difficult.

“If I saw [the intruder] now I’d kill him. I’ve been close to suicide and I’m extremely lucky I haven’t gone to prison.

“There were six in my dorm and two are in prison. One is serving ten- and-a half years for rape. The other shot a boy in the eye and blinded him.”

Chris was sent to Knowl View at the age of 12 because he had been disruptive at his previous school, but he believes he was too bright for the special school. He describes the lessons there as “a joke”.

He has no job and feels Knowl View deprived him of a chance in life.

“Before I went there I had a life. I don’t have one now. Sometimes I want to go to the Black Box [council offices] and just blow the whole lot of them,” he says.

“I was in care. That place was supposed to be full of qualified people to look after me and I don’t think they did. So they deserve to pay, don’t they?”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/boys-in-special-school-were-at-risk-of-aids-1600318.html

Cyril Smith MP for Rochdale 1972 to 1992. Died in 2010 age 82.

He was unmarried had a brother Norman. Interestingly, Cyril Smith’s brother Norman was on Rochdale Council and was Rochdale Mayor 1986 – 1987 when Richard Farnell was Head of Council.

Harold Shipman had a practice at Todmorden and Hyde 1977 (31 years old) to 1998 (52 years old), during a period when Shipman was murdering one person a week, and where Jimmy Savile cycled passed regularly and Cyril Smith lived nearby (30 min drive – Emma Street, Rochdale) . It is known that Savile undertook necrophilia and was associated with Rochdale NHS Trust. The Janet Smith review – the Harold Shipman Inquiry, I am told, did not look into these matters. Savile died October 2011 age 85. Cyril Smith died Sept 2010 aged 82 and Harold Shipman found hanged in prison 2004 age 58. Harold Shipman ‘s wife Primrose was a child minder.

Cyril Smith MP behind
(1) the 1962 Cambridge House, hostel for boys – by November 1965 social worker had reported Cyril Smith for abusing boys

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605635/Brave-boys-fat-man-branded-liars-How-Cyril-Smiths-victims-ignored-tried-expose-abuse-suffered-hands.html

(2) and the 1969 Knowl View school in Rochdale. Cyril Smith was Rochdale Mayor 1966 – 1967.
Knowl View School was labelled a “boy brothel”

In 1989 it’s alleged that Rochdale social workers were replaced by Londoners to sort out matters.

This would have been under Flowers and Farnell as they left council in 1992.

1994 Rochdale Council closed Knowl View School (Farnell and Flowers had left Rochdale Council in 1992) but nobody was ever prosecuted over abuse said to have taken place there.

Knowl View School had the 1991 Shepard Report and 1992 Mellor Report and closed 1994;

Paul Flowers:

Rev Paul Flowers’ links to Cyril Smith

The Rev Paul Flowers had close political links to Sir Cyril Smith, the late Liberal Democrat MP accused of several child abuse offences

Smith was originally a Labour councillor in Rochdale and later a Liberal then Liberal Democrat MP for the town from 1972 to 1992. His brother, Norman Smith, who was mayor of Rochdale in 1986-87, said that Mr Flowers sat on council committees with Sir Cyril.

“Cyril was more involved with [Paul Flowers] than me. Cyril was a councillor and MP at the time,” he said.

“They knew each other by being on the council, and of course he was a prominent minister. They were on committees together.”

Mr Smith said Mr Flowers was the minister of Champness Hall in Drake Street, in the centre of Rochdale.

A spokesman for Rochdale Borough Council confirmed that Mr Flowers was a councillor from 1988 to 1992. The minister served as vice-chairman of the social services committee in 1990/91, and sat on the committee in the previous and following years.

During that time, 16 children in the town were taken into care because it was alleged that they had been abused and forced into Satanic rituals.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10466679/Rev-Paul-Flowers-links-to-Cyril-Smith.html

‘Crystal Methodist’: Former Co-op bank boss in ‘drugs and rent boys binge’

The Methodist minister appears to have been caught in a another scandal after his public fall from grace in November 2013

 Paul Flowers arrives to answer bail at Stainbeck Police Station, Leeds, April 2014

Paul Flowers, the disgraced former Co-operative bank boss, has been allegedly caught taking Class A drugs with rent boys during a hot-tub party in his home.

The Methodist minister, 65, spent 28 days in “life-changing” rehab after admitting drugs charges when he became embroiled in a previous scandal.

Paul Flowers conviction The Guardian 12 Dec 1985

Paul Flowers (ex Co-Op bank) was Vice Chair Rochdale Social Services 1988-92 conducted a review of alleged satanic csa at Knowl View School and it’s this report that seems not to have been made public, although requests have been made to Rochdale Council and Simon Danczuk MP for it to be public .

Its alleged that both Savile and Cyril Smith attended the satanic csa rituals.

 

“Currently nine alleged victims are suing Rochdale council over abuse they say they suffered while at the school.

Several also claim they reported that abuse to GMP both in the early 1990s and later during the Operation Cleopatra investigation into child abuse across the region in the late 1990s, but that nothing was done.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/knowl-view-school-scandal-police-7498775

AshkenaziHistory‏ @TheAshkenazi

Michael Todd joined GMP in 2002

Manchester police chief Michael Todd found dead at bottom of cliff

12 Mar 2008

A police spokesman said officers were unaware of any scandal in Mr Todd’s private life.

But Max Clifford, the publicist, said: “Someone phoned me a week ago and they had a Liverpool or Manchester accent. All they said was that they had a story about a top copper and that it was a big scandal and that they wanted to get a lot of money. I didn’t hear from them again and there was probably no connection at all with this.”

He played host to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when they visited Manchester.

Mr Todd began his career with Essex police in 1976, serving as a uniformed officer and a detective and was appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire in 1995 before joining the Metropolitan Police.

He rose to the rank of assistant commissioner and supervised the policing of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

He became Manchester’s £122,000-a-year police chief in 2002

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1581401/Manchester-police-chief-Michael-Todd-found-dead-at-bottom-of-cliff.html

Todd was appointed an Assistant Chief Constable in Nottinghamshire in 1995, initially managing support services and then operational policing. In 1998, he was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner back in the Metropolitan Police. In 2000, following his promotion to Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, he was responsible for Territorial Policing, covering all 32 London Boroughs. In 2002, he was selected as Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police from 2002 and in 2006 he became a vice-president of ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers), both posts he held until his death.[6]

In 2012, it was announced that Police officials are examining new claims of financial malpractice against Todd. Greater Manchester’s new Police Commissioner appealed for information about Michael Todd, former chief constable of the force. The claims centre on Todd’s role in drawing up unique contracts that allowed some staff to get enormous payoffs when they left the force.

After his death, Manchester Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Angie Robinson was reported to have been having an affair with Todd. It was later revealed that he was conducting numerous affairs with up to 38 different women

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_J._Todd

Todd’s numerous affairs over the past decade were an “open secret” among senior officers at Greater Manchester Police, his former employers Metropolitan Police and senior figures at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

However, they turned a blind eye to his “reputation” – despite him suffering occasional depressive episodes, the risk of him being blackmailed and one of his mistresses being caught up in a police corruption scandal.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3525937/Chief-Constable-Mike-Todd-had-relationships-with-38-women-as-chief-constable-of-Greater-Manchester-says-report.html

Investigation of CIA extraordinary rendition flights

Todd investigated on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers the extraordinary rendition flights conducted by the CIA to transport detainees.[7]

December 2012 – reported 48 survivors of Knowl View school

csahttp://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/files-reveal-the-full-horror-of-sexual-698079 …

LEANNE McKIE, MIKE TODD, JIMMY SAVILE, CYRIL SMITH, DON MACKINTOSH

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/10/leanne-mckie-mike-todd-jimmy-savile.html

Paul Flowers to be quizzed over csa at Farnell controlled Rochdale Council Nov 2013:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2608675/Shamed-Co-op-boss-quizzed-cover-child-sex-Cyril-Smith-school-Flowers-targeted-QC-suppressed-reports-exposing-horrific-sweet-shop-paedophiles.html

“alarm bells were being rung constantly by health professionals 1988-1992 when Flowers” was head of social services and Farnell head of Rochdale Council.

But “no one would ever believe the story that ‘lovable Cyril’ would be abusing those he pretended to help – a man who could present himself as a saviour of the needy, while at the same time abusing them.”

Paul Flowers vice chair social services Rochdale 1988-92 under Farnell -Knowl View satanic csa – 2011 “resigned” from Bradford council due to inappropriate material

“Former Rochdale council leader Colin Lambert – who previously passed detectives a dossier on alleged abuse ” this was reported in MEN (Manchester Evening News) 8 & 11 & 17 June 2014

Jim Dobbin MP was highly critical of the selection of Richard Farnell as Head of Rochdale Council and mentioned this on BBC TV and reported in the media here (June 2014)
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/heywood-mp-slams-new-rochdale-7234251

Richard Farnell on Jim Dobbin. October 2014.

 

September 2014
Jim Dobbin MP dies of alcohol poisoning/ excess on an official Council of Europe visit to Poland* with Lord John Prescott and Sir Alan Meale MP.
Jim Dobbin MP was very critical of Farnell and Simon Danczuk. After Knowl View survivors were sent to his office, by Simon Danczuk’s office, the family banned the Danczuks from his funeral.

 

Councillor Richard Farnell, Samaritans branch Director Janet Murphy and Simon Danczuk celebrate 50 years of the Samaritans

Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh (R) laughs with Simon Danczuk MP for Rochdale

Rochdale MP Danczuk is no stranger to scandal, having been suspended from the Labour Party in December 2015 over allegations of sending sexually explicit text messages to a 17-year-old girl.

Now, Vaz – Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee – is hitting headlines for allegedly paying male prostitutes for sex and discussing the possibility of paying for cocaine.

Soon after the Vaz scandal erupted, disgraced member of parliament Simon Danczuk leapt to defend his colleague, tweeting his support for Vaz.

“I’ve known Keith since I entered parliament. He makes a positive contribution to politics. He serves his constituents very well.

http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/707591/Keith-Vaz-Simon-Danczuk-GMB-Susanna-Reid

Farnell now in his 50’s, has never married nor been seen with female company. Nor male company for that matter. Very reminiscent of Cyril Smith. Ooh errr !

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:uQEJiJCk2AYJ:northwestnationalists.blogspot.com/2014/03/labour-for-working-man-what-is-it-with.html+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

 

The Insider: Liverpool council’s press office.

HAVE standards slipped at Liverpool council’s press office since spinmeister general Matt Finnegan was suspended? According to official council documents seen by the Insider, the reading matter of choice at the press office has taken a distinctly comic turn. For on an order form for national and local daily newspapers there is one very special request – for a copy of the Beano (young lads magazine)  for senior press officer Richard Farnell. Could it be that one time parliamentary candidate Mr Farnell has a bit of Dennis the Menace about him or is he simply reliving his childhood days

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Insider%3A+Liverpool+council%27s+press+office.-a0135460918

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beano

 

Vote of No Confidence in Rochdale Council leader Richard Farnell

Cllr Richard Farnell is overseeing austerity cuts to the most needy in our Borough at the same time as defending a 34% rise in Councillors allowances and a 51% rise for himself.

https://www.change.org/p/rochdale-councillors-vote-of-no-confidence-in-rochdale-council-leader-richard-farnell

Rochdale council leader brands political rival a ‘turd’ on Twitter

Richard Farnell was involved in a Twitter spat over apparent illegal parking

Rochdale council’s leader has branded a political rival a ‘turd’ on Twitter – for highlighting his apparent illegal parking.

Richard Farnell was snapped over the weekend on Drake Street in the centre of Rochdale, next to his car.

It was parked on double yellow lines and on ‘no loading at any time’ lines, clearly marked on the kerb.

When his apparent breach was pointed out to him online, Coun Farnell claimed he had a blue badge displayed out of shot.

 

However, although blue badges entitle holders to park on double yellow lines for up to three hours, they don’t if there are ‘no loading’ markings on the kerb.

When called out on it on Twitter, Coun Farnell responded with fury, calling his critics ‘plonkers’.

He replied to Lib Dem political rival David Hennigan, who had said he was ‘banged to rights’, with the tweet: “Who says so? You? No obstruction just a nasty turd trying to cause trouble.”

Parking illegally on a double yellow line carries a £70 fixed penalty notice.

In response to the spat the Liberal Democrats – who are campaigning hard in Rochdale ahead of the local elections – have called for Coun Farnell to be fined.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/rochdale-council-leader-twitter-turd-11036496

Richard Farnell

“Councillor Richard Farnell is a trained journalist and communications professional.

 

My Sweet Landlord‏ @MySweetLandlord

Richard Farnell claims he knew nothing about Knowl View until 2014. As a journalist in 1995, did he miss this?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/boys-in-special-school-were-at-risk-of-aids-1600318.html

He has worked on newspapers throughout the North West and worked in local government public relations for several years. He recently retired from Liverpool City Council where he ran their Press Office and was an advisor to the directly-elected Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.

“Richard was elected a Labour Councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt ward in 2012. It is his second stint on the Council after a 20-year break. Richard was previously Leader of the Council in the 1980s. He was elected Leader of the Labour Group and Leader of the Council in May 2014 and is responsible for the policy direction of the council. He is also responsible for regeneration and special projects and sits on the Board of the Rochdale Development Agency and Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.” [1]

Coun Richard Farnell, Rochdale Council leader, a position he came to as a result of a so-called “coup” in 2014 within the local Labour Party group. [1]

Farnell was the former head of Liverpool City Council’s press office. In early 2013 it was reported that “Richard Farnell has made it to 26 out of 29 meetings at Rochdale council since last May – despite being unable to work as office manager for Liverpool’s elected mayor Joe Anderson since last summer.” [2]

 

First broadcast in September 2013, this is the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary that explored the horrific scale of Cyril Smith‘s sexual abuse of children and the how the police, crown prosecution service and MI5 not only knew of his activities but actively protected him from being prosecuted for his crimes.


Cyril smith confesses to police combi

Of course, no one in the police forces involved, the CPS or in MI5 has been held to account for aiding and abetting Smith’s vile crimes against children

https://imincorrigible.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/cyril-smith-the-paedophile-mp-and-the-police-and-mi5-cover-up-dispatches-documentary-video/

Secret service infiltrated paedophile group to ‘blackmail establishment’

BRITISH security services infiltrated and funded the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange in a covert operation to identify and possibly blackmail establishment figures, a Home Office whistleblower alleges.

The former civil servant has told detectives investigating the activities of paedophiles in national politics that the Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch was orchestrating the child-sex lobbying group in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The whistleblower, who has spoken exclusively to the Sunday Express, says he was also warned off asking why such a notorious group was being handed government money.

It emerged late last year that PIE was twice gave amounts of £35,000 in Home Office funding between 1977 and 1980, the £70,000 total equivalent to over £400,000 in today’s money.

Those details surfaced only after the whistleblower highlighted his concerns to campaigning Labour MP Tom Watson and his revelations have triggered an ongoing Home Office inquiry into why the cash was given to PIE which was abolished in 1985 after a number of prosecutions.

Until now, speculation about the grant has centred on Clifford Hindley, the late Home Office manager who approved the payments. However, the whistleblower told the Sunday Express he thought higher and more sinister powers were at play.

He has given a formal statement to that effect to detectives from Operation Fernbridge, which is looking into allegations of historic sex abuse at the Elm Guest House in south-west London

PIE, now considered one of the most notorious groups of the era, had gained respectability in political circles. Its members are said to have included establishment figures, and disgraced Liberal MP Cyril Smith was a friend of founder member Peter Righton.

In 1981, Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens used Parliamentary privilege to name Sir Peter Hayman, the deputy director of MI6, as a member of PIE and an active paedophile. In 1983 Mr Dickens gave the Home Office a dossier of what he claimed was evidence of a paedophile network of “big, big names, people in positions of power, influence and responsibility”. The Home Office says the dossier no longer exists.

Whistleblower Mr X, whose identity we have agreed to protect, became a very senior figure in local government before retiring a few years ago. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was a full-time consultant in the Home Office’s Voluntary Services Unit run by Clifford Hindley.

In 1979 Mr X was asked to examine a funding renewal application for PIE, but he became concerned because the organisation’s goal of seeking to abolish the age of consent “conflicted” with the child protection policies of the Department of Health and Social Security and asked for a meeting with Mr Hindley, his immediate boss.

PIE was being funded at the request of Special Branch which found it politically useful to identify people who were paedophiles. This led me not to pursue my objections. At that time, questioning anything to do with Special Branch, especially within the Home Office, was a ‘no-no’.

“I was under the clear belief that I was being instructed to back off and that his reference to Special Branch was expected to make me to do so.

He asked for a file the Home Office kept on PIE, but his request was refused. However, he was certain then Tory Home Office Minister Tim Raison, who died in 2011, must have signed the 1980 funding application.

Mr X has given a formal written statement to the inquiry set up last year into former Home Office links with PIE but has refused to meet the inquiry in person because he fears “repercussions” under the Official Secrets Act.

Special Branch was an integral part of the intelligence service gathering intelligence on spies and political threats to the state.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/485529/Special-Branch-funded-Paedophile-Information-Exchange-says-Home-Office-whistleblower

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

So I’ll ask once again: What did do with the boxes of documents from Mary Moss?

Tim Raison – he was helped and promoted by alleged satanist William Whitelaw, becoming his PPS in the Northern Ireland Office in 1972.

Edward Heath made him a junior education minister under Margaret Thatcher the following year

He edited Crossbow, the Bow Group magazine

In 1967 he was also elected to Richmond upon Thames council

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2011/nov/10/sir-timothy-raison-obituary

Raison was a minister under Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher, gaining a reputation as the keeper of the party’s conscience on such issues as immigration, refugees, child benefit and social policy.

thanks to the support of Willie Whitelaw, Raison served as Minister of State at the Home Office from 1979, and as Overseas Aid Minister from 1983

Mr Whitelaw’s team at the Home Office – Tim Raison and Leon Brittan

…member of the Inner London Education Authority

Timothy Raison was sworn of the Privy Council in 1982 and knighted in 1991.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/politics-obituaries/8877400/Sir-Timothy-Raison.html

From 1960 to 1966 he headed the Youth Service Development Council

Raison told me that if he had political heroes they would be Rab Butler and Sir Robert Peel

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/sir-timothy-raison-tory-minister-who-also-co-founded-new-scientist-6260304.html

He shared a flat in Tufton Street, near the House of Commons, with fellow Old Etonians Douglas Hurd and Philip Ziegler.

John Major was pps to Tim Raison 1981-83 at the Home Office

Clockmaker Keith Harding played vital role in Britain’s biggest child sex ring

MUSIC box collector and clock maker Keith Harding, whose staff restored antiques for royalty, played a vital role in Britain’s biggest child sex ring.

Leon Brittan and Cyril Smith were both regular visitors to the shop.

Image result for "david napley" + "harvey proctor"

The former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe would also drop by along with key members of the vile Paedophile Information Exchange Steven Adrian Smith and Tom O’Carroll.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/576187/Keith-Harding-MPs-Leon-Brittan-Cyril-Smith-Jeremy-Thorpe

Corbyn Conundrum‏ @Jigsawman2014

,,,all at it together do you think? Northern MPs like Cyril and Brittan together with Savile and the Scarborough mafia?

 

Michael Evans @Mikey2017Evans

The IICSA say what is the link with Cyril, Keith Harding and MI5 Secret Services, why are they involved? ANSWER…

Establishment paedophiles Jimmy Savile and Keith Harding

The Freemason Lodge Mercurius 7507 Keith Harding, close friend of Cyril Smith was Grand Master of “The Spies Lodge”

Harding met MPs Cyril Smith and Leon Brittan in the 1980s when he ran a north London antiques store.

Thirty-five years ago he appeared alongside paedophile television presenter Jimmy Savile in a Christmas special of Jim’ll Fix It.

The lodge boasts of its Government Communications Headquarters heritage on its website.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/579523/Paedophile-Mason-lodge-GCHQ

One of his staff, who worked for him between 1980 and 1987, said: “Leon Brittan and Cyril Smith were both regular visitors to the shop.

Usually they would come in via the side door, other times they would ring the bell at the front entrance and come in.

“They’d straight away ask for Keith who would be coming down the stairs.

“Then they would then either go up to his office for a private meeting or they’d go out for several hours.”

The former worker added: “The shop had many high profile customers, including the Royals

Jeremy Thorpe too was an occasional visitor.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/576187/Keith-Harding-MPs-Leon-Brittan-Cyril-Smith-Jeremy-Thorpe

A British antiques expert who restored items for royalty was a child abuser involved in a notorious paedophile campaign group, the BBC can reveal.

Keith Harding was active in the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), according to documents seen by the BBC.

A former chairman of the British Horological Institute, he appeared alongside Jimmy Savile in a Christmas edition of the BBC’s Jim’ll Fix It.

Harding, who died in June, had been convicted of sex offences in the 1950s.

A man who appeared on the Christmas 1980 episode as a boy has told BBC News the feature was “set up” by the production team, who approached the family and asked for a letter to Savile to be written.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30051756

Lord Caccia (right), the Lord Prior of St John invests Mr Cyril Smith

 Lord Caccia (right), the Lord Prior of St John invests Mr Cyril Smith (left) the Liberal Party Chief Whip as a Serving Brother of the Order of St John at todays investiture at the Grand Priory Church, Clerkenwell. Mr Smith has served St John for 18 years and is currently president of the Roche Ambulance Cadet Division, Rochdale.

The Duke of Gloucester wearing the mantle of the Grand Prior of the Order at an investiture

Keith Harding had members of the royal family as clients and appeared with Jimmy Savile on Jim’ll Fix it

Savile with the Duke of Gloucester

Savile’s brother canvassed for Cyril – he even stood for election-Battersea with Honor Blackman as celeb attraction. And of course Honor was around Hebden Bridge – another Savile haunt – all palsy walsy.

Late Liberal Democrat MP Sir Cyril Smith had a close friendship with Jimmy Savile, The Sun has revealed.

Smith, who died in 2010 aged 82, reportedly bonded with Savile after meeting him at a medieval banquet forty years ago.

In his autobiography Big Cyril, the MP whom police have now acknowledged abused young boys, recounts meeting the DJ.

He said: “I once attended a medieval banquet at Worsley, Lancashire, along with Jimmy Savile. When I joined in the community singing, Jimmy blurted out: ‘You’ve got a nice voice there, Cyril, you must come on my programme!’ That’s how I ended up singing ‘She’s a Lassie from Lancashire’ on Clunk Click.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/29/paedophiles-cyril-smith-jimmy-savile-friends-_n_2210121.html

Jeremy Thorpe, Cyril Smith and Davis Steel

Paedophile  Sir Clement Freud was nominated for his knighthood by David Steel – who also put Cyril Smith up for the same gong 

  • Ex-Lib Dem leader Lord Steel nominated Clement Freud for a knighthood
  • Freud, a disgraced MP and former TV and radio star, became a Sir in 1987
  • Also revealed Lord Steel backed child abuser Cyril Smith for knighthood
  • Cabinet Office confirmed who proposed Freud to be a Sir after an appea

Cyril Smith admitted spanking and touching boys, but I let him stay, says Lord Steel

Lord Steel, the former Liberal leader, said he confronted Cyril Smith over allegations that he spanked and touched teenager

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/liberaldemocrats/10796546/Cyril-Smith-admitted-spanking-and-touching-boys-but-I-let-him-stay-says-Lord-Steel.html

 

Paedophile MP Cyril Smith was in league with another appalling child sex abuser who set up satanic rituals and raped children as young as TWO, the Sunday People has discovered.

Victim Michael Roberts, 40, today bravely puts aside his right to ­anonymity to tell for the first time how he was only six when he was sexually abused by 29-stone politician Smith.

And shockingly he has revealed his devil-worshipping stepdad Michael Horgan organised the horrendous ordeal. Horgan made a deal with the man who went on to be knighted after years as a ­respected Member of Parliament.

Michael claims Smith, who was also a close pal of Jimmy Savile, told him he had been “a naughty boy” before forcing him to take part in a perverted spanking and groping ritual.

Now studying for a counselling ­qualification, Michael fought back tears as he recalled: “I was frightened of him because of his size. But by then I was getting abused by so many people I’d just got used to it.”

Horgan, who has also used the name Shaun O’Donnell, became known as the High Priest of Satan.

Michael Horgan
Devil worshiper: Perv Michael Horgan organised abuse

He was jailed for 10 years and placed on the sex offenders’ register after he was found guilty of six sex abuse ­charges in 1992. Smith died in 2010 aged 82.

Horgan organised a series of satanic-themed orgies for like-minded paedos.

In one of them he raped little Michael and an even younger female child before watching on as others did the same.

He organised outdoor “parties” for these activities on Saddleworth Moor, where child killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley had buried their victims.

Youngsters from two to 13 were drugged, tortured and sexually abused during the satanic “ceremonies”.

The shock revelation over the satanist and MP’s friendship raises questions over any role Smith and Jimmy Savile may have played in Horgan’s paedo ring.

Horgan was also pals with Raymond Hewlett, the child rapist questioned in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Michael added: “Michael Horgan used to take me out to ‘visit’ people ­regularly. It didn’t seem that far away. It didn’t take us long to get there. We went there in a taxi. Just me and Michael Horgan.

“I can’t remember where it was, just that it was a long row of houses and that it wasn’t far from where we lived in Rochdale.”

Michael says the visit had obviously been set up beforehand as local MP Smith ­greeted him by his first name when he walked in the room.

He added: “We went into the house. He was a big fat guy. They (Horgan and Cyril) were talking between themselves. It looked like it had been pre-planned because he (Cyril) said, ‘Hello, Michael.’

According to police records, prosecutors were given evidence about him in 1970, 1998 and 1999 but charges were never brought.

He was finally exposed as a ­paedophile in November last year. The Crown Prosecution Service admitted he should have been charged.

One of his victims claimed he was sexually abused in a room in the Houses Parliament as MPs walked past.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/pervert-mp-cyril-smith-pals-1546290

High priest of evil set free to prey on children
14 March 1999
The News of the World
Paul McMullan and Amanda Revell Walton

Satan sex monster abused his own kids..then let sick disciples do the same

A sick ‘high priest’ of Satan who raped his own kids, then handed them to devil worshipers for more abuse will this week be FREED to prey on other tots.

Michael Horgan hung his naked daughter and stepson on HOOKS and tied them to a CROSS so his ‘disciples’ could torture and film them.

Yet he only served half his ten-year jail sentence before being transferred to a bail hostel last May.

And on Tuesday the monster- whose youngest victim was only TWO -will be back on the streets unsupervised.

Vile Horgan, 50-who has changed his name to Shaun O’Donnell-would normally have his identity cloaked by the same laws which guarantee his victims anonymity.

But today his daughter Philomena, now 21, and stepson Michael, 26, have taken the amazingly brave decision to reveal themselves.

For they want the world to see the evil that is their father- and every parent to be warned that he is back on the loose. Philomena and Michael even found the courage to tell of the torment they suffered at Horgan’s hands as they grew up in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

http://raymondhewlett.blogspot.com/1999/03/high-priest-of-evil-set-free-to-prey-on.html

 

‘Nick Clegg ignored letters from lawyers’ over Cyril Smith claims

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/feb/27/nick-clegg-ignored-letters-lawyers-cyril-smith

Nick Clegg refuses to hold inquiry into Cyril Smith child abuse allegations

The Liberal Democrat leader says allegations of child abuse spanning decades are a matter for police as he denies having any knowledge of rumours surrounding the former Rochdale MP

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/nick-clegg/10765504/Nick-Clegg-refuses-to-hold-inquiry-into-Cyril-Smith-child-abuse-allegations.html

Nick Clegg issued a tribute on his 80th birthday and when Cyril Smith died.

The man who knew nothing: As Cyril Smith furore grows, MPs and child campaigners scorn Clegg for claiming that he was too young to know about his abuse

  • Nick Clegg says he was too young to know about Smith’s vile acts
  • Allegations published in magazines in 1979 and aired publicly in 1987
  •  Smith’s actions known in Westminster and his constituency, critics say
  • Vince Cable said there could have been a cover-up on a ‘very large scale’

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2604670/The-man-knew-As-Cyril-Smith-furore-grows-MPs-child-campaigners-scorn-Clegg-claiming-young-know-abuse.html

Cyril Smith and asbestsos

How the world’s biggest asbestos factory tried to stop campaigners exposing the killer dust’s dangers

Turner and Newall spied on journalists and activists before trying to accuse the of being communists in the 1980s

executives at Rochdale-based asbestos giant Turner and Newall monitored people they considered to be “subversive” and kept a dossier on their activities at the height of the debate about the mineral’s safety in the 1980s.

They also enlisted the help of disgraced Rochdale MP Cyril Smith in a clandestine but ultimately unsuccessful bid to discredit the makers of an award-winning documentary that told how asbestos workers were dying from cancer.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/how-the-worlds-biggest-asbestos-factory-tried-to-stop-campaigners-exposing-the-killer-dusts-dangers-a6798236.html

The boy who grew up to be Blair’s favourite priest

By FATHER MICHAEL SEED

Along my path, I met the late Cardinal Basil Hume. (Who invited Jimmy Savile to the Athenaeum Club.) This holy and humble man, with such a lively sense of fun and serenity, would become my mentor and friend. I was ordained a deacon in 1985.

On January 1, 1988, Cardinal Hume asked me if I would become his secretary for ecumenical affairs.

I accepted with joy and gratitude and began an eventful and extremely happy 11-year association with him, which I still cherish.

I was even more delighted when his successor, Cardinal Cormac Murphy- O’Connor, asked me, in spring 2000, if I would continue in that role during his tenure as archbishop – a ministry I still hold to this day.

Jimmy Savile & Cardinal Basil Hume

Sir Jimmy Savile causes anguish at the Athenaeum

The late Cardinal Basil Hume is being held responsible for the election of Sir Jimmy Savile as a member of the Athenaeum

Savile had to wait only two months before being admitted to the club in 1984.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/celebritynews/9596850/Sir-Jimmy-Savile-causes-anguish-at-the-Athenaeum.html

 

Why did the CPS abandon investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor?

As the full scale of the British Establishment’s cover-up of child sex abuse becomes apparent, Alistair McBay argues it is time for the Crown Prosecution Service to make public its reasons for dropping the investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor 12 years ago.

http://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2015/03/why-did-the-cps-abandon-investigation-into-cardinal-cormac-murphy-oconnor

Fr Michael Seed of Knowl View

Tony Blair’s chaplain Fr Michael Seed describes being sexually abused by one of its teachers David Higgins.

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-34262186

Tony Blair’s priest fixed papal knighthoods for cash: Senior Catholic took up to £50k donations for honours

Andrew’s secret Palace talks with controversial priest, Fr Seed, who converted Tony Blair and the Duchess of Kent to Catholicism

Sir Eldon Griffiths
The wedding in Bury St Edmunds will be followed by a reception at the Athenaeum Club and a blessing the next day by Fr Michael Seed at the Carlton. 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2348630/Pippatips-Parody-Pippa-Middleton-peril-say-lawyers.html

Cyril Smith, This Is Your Life: A Timeline

Below is a timeline for Sir Cyril Smith MBE which we hope will provide a quick and easy reference resource. It is by no means definitive and if anyone has information that can help make it better then please post it as a comment. Even if we don’t add them to the timeline, such comments will be useful to anyone researching Cyril Smith in the future.

Timelines like this can be useful but they can also have their drawbacks. As a positive this one clearly highlights no less than 12 occasions when the police became aware, to a greater or lesser degree, of Cyril Smith’s offending or his unhealthy and illegal interest in young boys, These 12 entries are in bold.  In my view, this timeline also clearly demonstrates a cover-up and complicity by the authorities which allowed Cyril Smith to continue to offend.

As a negative, this timeline does not adequately illustrate the fact that Cyril Smith was continuously offending throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. As I understand it, Greater Manchester Police are still investigating Cyril Smith’s sexual offending against young boys and hopefully a report will be published in due course which will better illustrate the appalling scale of Cyril Smith’s offending. However, until such a report is published this is the best that can be done.


C_71_article_1594862_image_list_image_list_item_0_image

Sir Cyril Smith MBE. This Is Your Life.

Timelines

Knowl View School Timeline

1969 Knowl View Residential School for opened for children with learning difficulties.

1988 Concerns about the sexual behaviour of the boys were first passed to the council by Dr Alison Frazer, a child psychiatrist at Rochdale’s Birch Hill Hospital [3]

1990 Sept  An incident occurred involving an adult male intruder at the school. That intruder had sexual contact with one or more of the boys on school premises. Mellor report  [3]

1991 Rev Flowers, disgraced ex boss of Coop was vice-chair of the social services committee in 1991 [6]

1991 Mar Phil Shepherd visited Knowl View. 1 week later Phil Shepherd had written the report and submitted it to Mrs Diana Cavanagh, Director of Education. [3]

1991 Apr 11 Investigation by police and social services requested by DOE [5]

1991 May 31 Social Services say No case to answer!! [5]

1992 Feb Report  by Valerie Mellor, a consultant clinical psychologist. In it, Mrs Mellor said there was no doubt up to a quarter of the pupils at the 48-place school had been involved in serious sexual incidents and the activity had continued “over a very long period of time …. It is very difficult to believe that this behaviour had not come to the attention of at least some members of staff.” [3]  Her report suggested that sexual activity was at an end.

1992 c.Jul A pupil and a former pupil, both 14, were cautioned by police for soliciting in the town’s Smith Street lavatories [3]

1995 Knowl View School Closed down [5]Whistleblower Martin Digan, whose appointment as the school’s head of care heralded its closure [6]

1995 Sep 10 Independent [3]  John Pierce, Rochdale council’s chief executive, said police had reviewed the case again recently and found nothing requiring further action. He added: “The police have also stated quite clearly that they do not believe there is any substance in allegations of a ‘cover-up’ relating to incidents at the school and that all the issues involved were discussed and investigated at the time by a number of agencies and the necessary action taken then.”

2013 Sep 11 Exaro Nick Fielding [4]  Knowl View files. Council warned of scandal

2014 Apr 12 Telegraph Melanie Hall [8] and Liberal party allegedly ‘covered up’ MP Cyril Smith’s four decades of abusing children

2014 April Police began a fresh investigation into allegations of abuse and a possible cover-up at Knowl View. A separate independent inquiry is investigating whether Rochdale Council could have done more. [5]

2014 Jun 3 BBC Richard Bilton [5]  Knowl View: Report into abuse at Rochdale school ‘suppressed’

2014 Jun 3 FOI Request [1] for Shepherd Report on Knowl View

2014 Jul 7 ITV Council suspends review for police investigation [7]

2014 Sep 17 Shepherd Report [2] heavily redacted released in reply to Jun 3 2014 request.

https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/the-shepherd-report-1991-knowl-view-rochdale-child-abuse/


Cyril Smith Timeline

 

28th June 1928- Cyril Smith is born in Rochdale Lancashire, the illegitimate son of  Eva Smith who worked in service to a local cotton mill-owning family. He has a sister, Eunice and a brother Norman. They never learn who their father is.

1945- Cyril Smith joins the Liberal Party

1951- Cyril Smith leaves the Liberal Party and joins Labour

1952- Cyril Smith was elected a Labour Party councillor for the Falinge ward of Rochdale. As a councillor, Cyril became governor of twenty-nine local schools and would often visit them.

1956-  Cyril Smith buys St Mary’s Gate newsagent and tobacconist. (It was demolished in 1959 as part of a re-development scheme).

Late 1950s-Smith’s newsagent on St Mary’s Gate was put under police surveillance as there had been concerns that boys were entering from the rear of the property.  (Source Mike Smith, CID).

Late 50s-  Cyril Smith gets a criminal record and is bound over to keep the peace for twelve months after breaching public lottery laws and trying to sell a lottery ticket to the chief constable of Rochdale.

1960- Cyril Smith sets up and manages Rochdale’s first bingo hall with Fred Ratcliffe, the Rochdale football club chairman.

1961-  The first victim of Smith that the police know of was groomed in December 1961 after a visit to a school carol service.  The boy was fourteen years old and Cyril pays for singing lessons for him and soon sexually abuses him.

1962- Cyril Smith helps to set up Cambridge House, an independently run hostel for homeless boys funded by Rotary club and Rochdale council .

1964- Ronald Neal is physically attacked by Smith at Cambridge House, his head smashed against a wall and two teeth knocked out.  He is taken to hospital for stitches and but when he explained what had happened to him was advised to say he had fallen over.

lyndon price

Lyndon Price, Head of Social Services, Rochdale (1965-1971)

 1965 – Lyndon Price, Head of Social Services, Rochdale (1965-1971) goes to the Chief Constable Patrick Ross concerning allegations of improper behaviour by Cyril Smith at Cambridge House.Nothing was done at this time but soon after Cambridge House closed.

1966- Cyril Smith was appointed the Mayor of Rochdale and visits every single school in Rochdale that year.  He claimed that children love meeting him – ‘It’s like a fairy story for them’.

June 1966- Cyril Smith is appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) ‘For services to youth’ in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

1967- Cyril Smith MBE resigns the Labour whip and becomes an independent until 1970.

Knowl View Special School

Knowl View Special School

1969- Cyril Smith helps to found Knowl View Special School. He will be a governor of the school with his own access all areas pass key for the next 34 years.

Jack Tasker

Jack Tasker, Detective Constable Lancashire Police CID (1966-1973)

 1969-1970-  Rochdale Borough Police Force begin new investigation under the leadership of Chief Inspector Derek Wheater into Cyril Smith regarding  Cambridge House allegations, 8 former residents are witnesses. Finding his investigation being subtly obstructed, he asks Detective Constable Jack Tasker of the county CID to investigate. Tasker interviews Cyril Smith under caution. Smith denies the allegations but Tasker believes the 8 witnesses. However, before Jack Tasker can make his report 2 senior police officers demand all the evidence and order Tasker to cease his investigation. However, this was not a cover-up. The investigation was in fact taken over by Detective Superintendent Jack Watson who concluded that Smith “used his unique position to indulge in a sordid series of indecent episodes with young boys toward whom he had a special responsibility.”

Jack McCann MP

Jack McCann MP

Cyril Smith asked the then Rochdale MP John ‘Jack’ McCann for help and he spoke to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Despite the evidence file running to 80 pages to case was swiftly dropped, the DPP commenting that “any charges of indecent assault found on these allegations, as well as being somewhat stale, would be in my view be completely without corroboration. Further, the character of some of these young men would be likely to render their evidence suspect.”

1970- Cyril Smith rejoins the Liberal Party and is controversially selected as the parliamentary candidate in the 1970 general election. He comes second.

1970- CPS records indicates file received on Smith, aged, 42, for allegation(s) relating to indecent obscene publications. (Source)

May 1972 – Smith is stripped of committee chairmanships when Labour regained control of council.

October 1972- Following the death of the Labour MP John ‘Jack’ McCann in July, Cyril Smith  is elected in a by-election  and becomes the member of Parliament for Rochdale.

1974- Smith is returned as Rochdale’s MP in both of the general elections of that year (Feb 28th and Oct 10th).

June 1975- Smith is appointed as the Liberal Party Chief Whip.

Tony Robinson

Detective Sergeant Tony Robinson of Lancashire Special Branch (1964-1981)

It is around this time that Detective Sergeant Tony Robinson of Lancashire Special Branch saw the Cyril Smith criminal file which had been locked in a safe at Lancashire Special Branch since the police investigations of 1969-1970.

Mid 1970s-Jimmy  Savile appears with Cyril in a Liberal Party political broadcast giving his backing to the party.

1976- Following the election of David Steel as leader of the Liberal Party, Cyril Smith resigns as Chief Whip for ‘health reasons’.

Paul Foulston

Detective Constable Paul Foulston, Thames Valley Police CID (1976-1988)

1976- In an unconnected investigation , Detective Constable Paul Foulston, Thames Valley Police CID visits a youth at Ashford Young Offenders Centre to eliminate him from a murder inquiry. He and his sergeant are spoken to outside of the centre by two Metropolitan Police Special Branch officers who attempt to  stop them interviewing the youth as it would “not be in the national interest” to do so. They ignored the warning and interviewed the 18 year old youth anyway. After the youth had been eliminated from the murder inquiry he proceeded to tell the two police officers that he had been in a relationship with Cyril Smith for many years and that he had been discarded for a younger boy who had in turn been discarded in favour of a boy even younger. Detective Constable Paul Foulston quotes the youth as saying ” that when they were young and tight, they excited him [Cyril Smith] when they became older he lost interest in them.”

March 1977- The parliamentary Liberal Party enter into a confidence and supply agreement with the Labour government (Lib/Lab Pact).

Soon after this Detective Sergeant Tony Robinson of Lancashire Special Branch was contacted by MI5 using the code term ‘Box 500’ demanding that the Cyril Smith file that was locked in their safe be sent by special courier that day to them in London.

Late 1970s-  Martin Digan, a social worker, begins work at Knowl View School.  He complained that Smith and his friend, the Conservative councillor, Harry Wild, chair of the board of govenors at Knowl View, would enter the school for no reason but to look at the boys.  Digan put in several complaints but was threatened with disciplinary action by the headmaster and warned not to complain about Smith again or else he would face dismissal.

Late 1970s- Ron Foynes, a member of the Royal Military Police Company based in central London says that Smith was detained on a number of occasions in the late 1970s by the Royal Parks Constabulary after he was caught ‘in acts of gross indecency with young lads’ in the public toilets close to the junction of Marlborough Road and the Mall.  On each occasion they had been told to discontinue their inquiries due to Smith’s status.

1978-  Cyril Smith molests an 11-year-old boy at the National Liberal Club in London.

May 1979- Smith is returned as Rochdale’s MP in the general election of that year.

Smith the Man-RAP

May 1979- The Rochdale Alternative Press(RAP) publish the Cambridge House allegations. The story is taken up by The New Statesman and Private Eye but none of the mass circulation newspapers take the story up. It is revealed following the death of Jeremy Thorpe that Thorpe’s defence barrister, George Carman QC, has put pressure on the press not to report the RAP allegations as it could prejudice his clients trial for Conspiracy to Murder.

In response to the RAP story about Smith a spokesman for the Liberal Party was quoted as saying, “All he seems to have done is spanked a few bare bottoms”

The Director of Public Prosecutions tells the Rochdale Alternative Press that they could not ‘confirm or deny’ receiving files of evidence incriminating Smith.

1980s-  Smiths car was pulled over on the motorway and a box of indecent images of children found in the boot.  He was put in a  cell but police received a phone call from London and he was released without charge.  Senior officers had threatened the officers involved with dismissal if Smith was not released immediately.

1981- Police operation started in 1981. It targeted south London addresses including a flat in Coronation Buildings, Lambeth – a tenement block less than a mile from Parliament and found substantial evidence of men abusing boys aged about 14. A hidden camera was installed in the flat with the help of a caretaker. Cyril Smith and a senior member of Britain’s intelligence services were among the suspects filmed. The investigation also had evidence on two senior police officers.

Cyril Smith was later arrested after reportedly taking part in a sex party with teenage boys  but he was released that night and a sergeant who wanted to keep him in custody was reprimanded.

June 1982- Following the police raid on the Elm Guest House, Barnes, South West London, allegations are made against Cyril Smith regarding the sexual abuse of a young boy. Much later in Sept 2013 Cyril Smith’s attendance at the guest house is confirmed by police.

1983/1984- CPS records indicate file received on Smith, aged 55, for allegation(s) in relation to Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 [Bribery] (Source)

June 1983- Smith is returned as Rochdale’s MP in the general election of that year.

Done Hale

Done Hale

Summer 1984- According to Don Hale, then editor of the Bury Messenger, he received a dossier concerning the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) and supporters within Parliament from Barbara Castle who was then a member of the European Parliament. Cyril Smith, who was not named in the documents visited him at his office and tried to persuade him that the allegations were “poppycock” and that he should not publish them. Later, Special Branch seized the documents. (Source)

June 1987- Smith is returned as Rochdale’s MP in the general election of that year.

1987-1989- Cyril Smith is investigated as part of Operation Hedgerow, an investigation which would expose two paedophile rings. Smith’s involvement is never followed up.

1988 – A former police officer has told how he called at a house in Stockport in 1988 after a complaint that the occupier had been committing a lewd act in his window in front of a newspaper boy. When he arrived he said Cyril Smith was there, together with a police officer in civilian clothes and two teenage boys, aged about 14 to 15 yrs old, both drunk – one a runaway from a children’s home.

Cyril Smith and the police officer left the house and the other man, a known offender, was cautioned. The retired police officer further alleges he was summoned to a meeting with a senior officer and mentoring officer and told ‘in no uncertain terms’ to say nothing about the incident (source).

3 March 1988- The Liberal Party merge with the SDP to form the Liberal Democrats

June 1988- After being nominated by David Steel, the leader of the Liberal Party faction, Cyril Smith MBE is knighted in the Birthday Honours list and becomes Sir Cyril Smith MBE.

July 1988- Paddy Ashdown is elected as the leader of the newly created Liberal Democrats.

1990s – Police investigate Smith regarding abuse Knowl View

April 1992- Sir Cyril Smith steps down as Rochdale’s MP.

download (3)

Martin Digan, former head of care at Knowl View Special Needs School in Rochdale

1994-  A boy under the age of eleven at Knowl View came to Martin Digan one night after having been sexually assaulted by a man fitting the description of Harry Wild.  The police were called.  Digan knew that Smith and Wilde both had keys to the school, but they did not have the alarm code and he could not understand how they were gaining access at night.  He eventually noticed that the headmaster’s office door was being left ajar at night.  In this office, he also discovered a report by the local health authority that had been presented to the council’s direction of education, Diana Cavanagh.  Cavanagh had instructed the author of the report ‘not to undertake any independent action’ or circulate the report any further.

It stated that boys aged eight to sixteen at Knowl View were at risk of AIDS and had been subjected to severe sexual abuse and violence by men from as far away from Sheffield who had travelled to Rochdale for this purpose.  The boys were being sold to paedophile gangs.’  Digan copied the papers, returned the originals, and made the report public although he omitted Smith and Wild’s names.  The publicity resulted in the closure of the school but Digan lost nearly everything and had to move home.  He also received phone calls from paedophiles threatening to target his children.

3 September 2010- Sir Cyril Smith MBE dies of cancer in a Rochdale nursing home.

November 2012, Greater Manchester Police  Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said there was “overwhelming evidence” that young boys were sexually and physically abused by Sir Cyril Smith MBE.

April 2014- It was reported that there had been 144 complaints against Sir Cyril Smith MBE from victims as young as eight.

https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/cyril-smith-this-is-your-life-a-timeline/

How Cyril Smith abuse went unpunished

A former colleague of Steel, David, now Lord, Alton, tells Channel 4Dispatches that he discussed the allegations made by the Rochdale Alternative Paper about boys being stripped, beaten and subjected to bizarre “hygiene examinations” or “chastisements” from Smith at Cambridge House, with Steel. He claims Steel made “a facetious remark” saying that what Smith was accused of was “no different” from what went on in public schools all over the country.

Michael Meadowcroft, a former Liberal MP and colleague of Steel, tells the programme that: “Essentially as long as a colleague turns up and votes the right way you don’t really do much about their own problems.”

http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/dispatches-reveals-how-cyril-smith-abuse-went-unpunished

Special Branch officers would watch as Smith cruised known pick-up spots looking for young rent boys during Liberal Party conferences in Blackpool, it was claimed yesterday.

Police were also allegedly aware that he secretly took vulnerable schoolboys on holiday with him and his mother to Lytham St Annes in Lancashire so he could abuse them.

Michael Meadowcroft wrote an obituary for paedophiles  Cyril Smith and Clement Freud.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/sep/03/sir-cyril-smith-obituary

Turns out it was Thorpe that was responsible. Former Isle of Ely MP Sir Clement Freud accused of abusing two girls between the late 1940s and 70s:

Former MP Michael Meadowcroft in an obituary wrote of how Freud became the MP for the Isle of Ely.

My recollection is that the contact came via Jeremy Thorpe,” wrote Meadowcroft, describing how Freud won the nomination in 1973.

“He won the nomination by thirteen votes to eight – a total vote hardly evidence for a massive association membership, particularly as he stated that the thirteen were residents of a care home across the road, drafted in to make the numbers look more respectable.”

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/06/clement-freud-part-downfall/comment-page-1/

From: Michael Meadowcroft, Honorary Alderman, City of Leeds.
THE death of Sir Jimmy Savile has reminded me of my failed attempt to get him elected to the Leeds City Council as its last elected Alderman. In early 1972, Labour Alderman John Underwood died and, as the Local Government Bill then wending its way through parliament abolished the office of Alderman as a member of borough and county councils, this was likely to be the last ever vacancy. Jimmy had already made a name for himself locally and on the media and I had met him briefly when he “dropped in” at the Liberal party conference in Scarborough some years earlier. It occurred to me that it would bring some much-needed colour to the City Council if we had Jimmy as a member, not least because, despite his appearance and his gimmicks, he had a very serious side. I therefore contacted him and he asked me to call at his terrace house in Lower Woodhouse. We discussed what it would entail to be a City Council member, even if only for a couple of years, and he said he was prepared to be nominated but only on condition that it had cross-party support. I next went to see Alderman Frank Marshall, the Conservative Leader of the City Council but, alas, he was not prepared to back the proposal and I had to report back to Jimmy that we couldn’t take it forward. And so the chance to have Jimmy Savile on the City Council was missed!
[LIZ MACKEAN] Now in 1979 you read Private Eye, you read allegations about Cyril Smith. What did you make of that?

[MICHAEL MEADOWCROFT] There were whispers before that that there were problems, I don’t think we did much about it, maybe we should have done at the time but we didn’t

[LIZ MACKEAN] ‘Whispers of problems’ ?

[MICHAEL MEADOWCROFT] Yes that, that he had, he liked boys, and that was that, there was never any whispers that there was sexual activity as such.

[LIZ MACKEAN] Was he challenged or asked about it?

[MICHAEL MEADOWCROFT] Not that I know of.

[MICHAEL MEADOWCROFT] Certainly we expected something to happen in Rochdale if it was going to.

[LIZ MACKEAN] Do you think then it was decided that there was nothing in the allegations?

[MICHAEL MEADOWCROFT] Or that they couldn’t be sustained. Which…

[LIZ MACKEAN] Which obviously’s not the same thing…

[MICHAEL MEADOWCROFT] Not the same thing no.

[LIZ MACKEAN] The police believed them

[MICHAEL MEADOWCROFT] That’s right, yes, but they didn’t do anything at the time

[LIZ MACKEAN] They tried

[MICHAEL MEADOWCROFT] Right.

link

 


 

 

Cyril Smith’s friends…Les Dawson, Ronnie Corbett, Bernard Manning,  Jim Bowen and Jimmy Crickey

https://books.google.com/books?id=XRSuAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT82&lpg=PT82&dq=Bernard+Manning+%2B+cyril+smith&source=bl&ots=dNmOvs3uC8&sig=iCOz3zxDZuhIpYZa2VSZLtcph2I&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjwiLTwuYnXAhXnilQKHZ4PDJMQ6AEIXTAM#v=onepage&q=Bernard%20Manning%20%2B%20cyril%20smith&f=false

Sir Cyril Smith, former Rochdale MP and friend of Manning, said: “Bernard was a heavyweight in more ways than one. A heavyweight to the literally hundreds of charitable causes that he supported all his life and raised thousands of pounds for.

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/tribute-to-comic-accused-of-racism-1-2106651

 


Richard Farnell was an advisor to the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson

 

Joseph Anderson from Liverpool is made a Officer of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth

Farnell was employed as Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson’s PR agent. Liverpool has longstanding csa issues.

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1smsbai

Fiona Woolf and Joe Anderson

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson added: “I’m delighted that the new Lord Mayor has taken the opportunity to visit the city so early in her tenure.

“We have developed very cordial and positive relationships with the Lord Mayor’s office since establishing a presence in London and we are grateful for her help in promoting the UK’s International Festival for Business in Liverpool next year.”

https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/northwest/105057-london-lord-mayor-promote-ifb

JOE ANDERSON was elected mayor of Liverpool in May 2012. Anderson, 56, was born in Liverpool and raised in a tenement in the city centre. One of six children, he left school at 16 to join the merchant navy and then P&O Ferries. Anderson spent 12 years at sea, during which he became the National Union of Seamen’s youngest ever convenor, aged just 20. He then took a degree in social work at Liverpool John Moores University before joining Sefton council as a social worker in 1992. He was elected to the city council in 1998, becoming Labour leader in 2001. He became council leader in 2010.

Liverpool teacher acccused of downloading child porn quizzed over deleted files

8 MAY 2013

Labour Party Councillor & School teacher Ben Williams gets a tip off from Labour Mayor Joe Anderson & Deletes 207 files from his computer the day before the section 47 police raid a jury at Liverpool Court heard Ben Williams admit.

A FORMER councillor accused of downloading child porn deleted hundreds of files off his computer the day after his party leader revealed he was under investigation.

Liverpool’s Labour Party Lord Mayor Joe Anderson rooting for pie?

One-time Clubmoor councillor Benjamin Williams, 35, admitted he had removed 207 files from his computer’s memory the day after speaking to Liverpool Labour leader Cllr Joe Anderson in December 2007.

He was arrested two days later on suspicion of making indecent images. But Williams, of Townsend Avenue, Norris Green, yesterday insisted he had deleted the files to simply make his computer work more quickly.

History and politics teacher Williams had originally fallen under suspicion in October 2006 after the IT manager at Southport’s King George V (KGV) college discovered he had been putting explicit terms such as “Lolita” and “child porn” into school computers.

Theresa May and Joe Anderson

During his second day of evidence yesterday, Williams confirmed Cllr Anderson had told him a section 47 enquiry was underway. A section 47 enquiry is a joint social services and police investigation into child protection issues.

But Williams insisted he did not realise the police would be involved.

But prosecutor Peter Davies questioned Williams over why the very next day he deleted 207 files from his computer’s temporary internet cache.

He said: “I never, ever thought it was a sinister activity. I thought it was a way of making my computer work more effectively.

“I guess I would do it every week or two. The reason was totally innocuous.”

He insisted he regularly removed files from his computer when it was running slowly or freezing.

Williams denies 10 charges of downloading indecent images.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpool-teacher-acccused-downloading-child-3445705

Councillor Richard Farnell

Shameless councillors cash in on rate rises with bumper pay hikes of up to 67 per cent

Rochdale Borough Council’s Labour leader Richard Farnell treated himself to a 51 per cent pay day – up to £47,304 from £31,224.

Grasping local government members are filling their pockets as ordinary people buckle under pressure of council tax increases

“It’s outrageous that in this time of austerity, when services are being cut to the bone, cabinet members are awarding themselves massive pay rises.

“The council is forever pleading poverty and has just started charging extra for garden waste collection – but there seems to be plenty of money to line the pockets of the powerful.

“This is absolutely sickening.
“What exactly have these politicans done to deserve these pay rises?

“How many taxpayers struggling with tax bills will have seen a pay rise of up to 50 per cent?
“Families expect their taxes to pay for social care and road maintenance, not to line the pockets of greedy politicans.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3137493/councillors-bumper-pay-rise-rate-rise-increase/

Council leader Richard Farnell at first struggled to remember who Spanker Danczuk was, when he did remember he said he supports him 100%.

https://rochdaleherald.co.uk/2016/10/16/danczuk-less-popular-than-dog-shit/

LABOUR MP Simon Danczuk bombarded a 17-year-old girl with a string of vile sex messages.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/politics/928287/want-me-to-spank-you-mp-simon-danczuk-49-sleazy-texts-to-girl-17/

Title: Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration

Party: Labour

Ward: Balderstone and Kirkholt

Other councillors representing this Ward:

More information about this councillor

Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council is not responsible for the content of any external link

Surgery details

Every Saturday at 10am
Balderstone Library in Balderstone Park

Contact information

Correspondence address:
c/o Victoria Byrne
Number One Riverside, Floor 3
Smith Street
Rochdale
OL16 1XU

Bus. phone:  01706 924826

Email:  Richard.Farnell@rochdale.Gov.uk

Download Councillor Richard Farnell contact details as VCard

Responsibilities

Committee appointments

Term of Office

  • 04/05/2012 – 05/05/2020

Appointments to outside bodies

Additional Information

About Councillor Richard Farnell

Councillor Richard Farnell is a trained journalist and communications professional. He has worked on newspapers throughout the North West and worked in local government public relations for several years.

He recently retired from Liverpool City Council where he ran their Press Office and was an advisor to the directly-elected Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.

Richard was elected a Labour councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt ward in 2012. It is his second stint on the council after a 20-year break. Richard was previously Leader of the council in the 1980s.

He was elected Leader of the Labour Group and Leader of the Council in May 2014 and is responsible for the policy direction of the council. He is also responsible for regeneration and special projects.

Richard, as a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, was appointed by the new major of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham in May 2017 as the City’s Region’s Lead for the Digital Economy.  He also serves as national vice-chair of the Cooperative Councils Innovative Network.

Regeneration of the boroughs town centres, attracting new firms and jobs to the area, and improving education, skills and opportunities for young people are major priorities for the Leader. Richard also wants to see Rochdale become one of most customer-friendly councils in the country.

Richard lives in Rochdale and is a supporter of Rochdale Hornets Rugby League Club, which is one of the first member-owned Co-operative clubs in England.

When I was a rentboy I often serviced Cyril Smith at the Strand Palace Hotel in the Charringcross Road. Cyril was unbelievably brutal and made me dress up as a Boy Scout. He used to give me thirty bob and my bus fare home.
Cyril Smith’s Tory councillor boyfriend
Harry Wild ‘groomed’ young prison inmates

24.11.17

Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith’s councillor boyfriend preyed on young male inmates of a jail in Rochdale, a previously confidential police report reveals.

Harry Wild, who was a Conservative councillor in Rochdale and chairman of the council’s social services committee, is suspected to have shared with Smith a sexual interest in under-age boys.

Greater Manchester Police investigated Wild in 2000 over allegations that he, while a member of the board of visitors at Buckley Hall prison in Rochdale, attempted to groom young male inmates and indecently assaulted at least one of them.

A confidential 17-page report on the investigation, codenamed ‘Operation European’, described its findings as “somewhat disturbing”.

Prison staff told detectives that Wild used his position on the board of visitors, which acted as a watchdog for the prison, “to further his own sexual gratification”.

The report says: “The prison staff who have been interviewed at Buckley Hall have expressed concern about Wild and his unhealthy interest in young males and what they describe as ‘grooming’ of certain individual inmates.”

The national inquiry into child sexual abuse heard last month that Wild was also suspected of indecently assaulting a pupil at Knowl View special school in Rochdale. The inquiry’s “Rochdale” investigation was also told at hearings in October that Wild was Smith’s boyfriend.

Smith, who was Rochdale’s MP, and Wild were both governors of Knowl View, where child sexual abuse was rife.

A barrister to the inquiry referred to the Operation European report, but it was not made public. I asked for the report, and the inquiry has released the document.

It comes amid growing concerns about the scale of sexual and physical abuse of inmates at youth offender institutions and prisons.

On Tuesday, Durham Police announced that seven former members of staff at Medomsley detention centre near Consett have been charged in relation to allegations of abuse of young men there. More than 1,480 men have come forward to the police investigation, ‘Operation Seabrook’, with allegations of sexual or physical assaults at Medomsley.

GMP launched Operation European in 2000 because Wild had become a trustee of the Rochdale and District Youth Fitness Foundation, which claimed to promote physical education for people in the town aged 11 to 23.

Wild was then aged 66 and living in Rochdale with his mother. The police became aware of his role in the group because Wild wrote to the chief constable three months after it was founded to seek active support for it from the police.

Detectives wanted to establish whether he was a “fit and proper person to be involved with young people”.

Wild was 6’5 tall, an imposing figure who liked to dress in a Crombie coat down to his ankles and to wear black polished boots. He pretended to have been an army officer in the Household Cavalry, and inmates called him “the colonel”.

However, detectives found that he was never an officer, but joined the army under national service in 1951 and transferred to the Household Cavalry.

The report is marked, “IN STRICTEST CONFIDENCE”. It records the fact that he had long been a “big friend” of Smith. It adds that Smith was believed to have sponsored Wild for an MBE, which he was awarded for “services to the community”.

An official from the secretariat for the Home Office boards of visitors was to interview Wild about the allegations in 1997. But the interview did not go ahead after Wild resigned from the board of visitors.

Operation European investigated Wild’s activities at the prison as well as his background.

The report on the operation was sent to the GMP’s then chief constable, but said that there was insufficient evidence to charge him. Wild died the following year in 2001.

The report describes how Wild is alleged to have groomed young male inmates, for example, buying tobacco and chocolate for them, giving money to them, helping them secure parole, and picking them up on their release and taking them for meals.

It referred to one prisoner who was at Buckley Hall from 1996, saying:

“WILD took a personal interest in him. He brought in to him tobacco and chocolate and sent in, anonymously, presents of money, clothing and an electronic spell checker. [Name redacted] realised that WILD was homosexual and was attempting to groom him, but he decided to take advantage of the situation.”

After the prisoner was released in 1998, says the report:

“WILD picked him up on his release and took him for a meal. When WILD dropped him off in Burnley later the same day [name redacted] made it clear that there would be no relationship and he has not seen or heard of WILD since.”

The report then turns to the case of another prisoner, saying:

“WILD took an unhealthy interest in him and on one occasion grabbed his backside, an incident which was investigated by the prison authorities. [Name redacted] did not then, nor does he wish to now, make any formal complaint, although he has provided a statement for information purposes. On one occasion WILD asked him if he could take him for a meal on his release. [Name redacted] realised that WILD was homosexual and did his best to avoid him. There has been no contact since his release.”

The prison governor, Walter MacGowan, told officers that Wild was full of his own self-importance and a predatory homosexual:

“He described WILD as an overbearing bully who was arrogant and full of self important [sic] and through his dealings with him formed the opinion that he was a ‘predatory’ homosexual. He was extremely concerned about WILD’S excessive visits and as soon as the [name redacted] incident became known he ordered a full enquiry.”

Other staff described Wild as pompous, saying that he would boast of being well connected in political and social circles. He claimed to be a good friend of the then home secretary, Michael (later Lord) Howard.

The report sets out what several other staff told officers:

“Mary LOWERY was the Residential Manager for Alpha and Bravo units at Buckley Hall Prison. She too was concerned at WILD’s over familiarity with prisoners and recalls him telling her that he was making arrangements for a third party to give items of clothing to a prisoner upon release. She told him that this was totally inappropriate. WILD also asked her to watch over the previously mentioned prisoner, [name redacted] because he was concerned that older prisoners found him ‘attractive’. She describes WILD as having a tendency to be pompous with a ‘large’ presence and one who liked to make it known that he was well connected in political and social circles.”

“John McLAUGHLIN is a prison officer who was Visits and Segregation Supervisor at Buckley Hall Prison. He recalls WILD as a man who presented himself as a powerful figure both in and out of prison. The prisoners began to refer to WILD as the Colonel which he played upon. McLAUGHLIN was also concerned about the amount of attention WILD gave to the younger, fresh-faced prisoners, not appearing to take any interest in the older prisoners. McLAUGHLIN was aware of the [name redacted] incident and also knew of a letter which WILD had written to the Parole Board in support of an application made by [name redacted]. This was most unusual and not within the remit of a Board of Visitors Member.

“McLAUGHLIN recalls the previously mentioned [name redacted] and another prisoner by the name of [name redacted] as being two inmates in whom WILD has a particular interest. McLAUGHLIN described [name redacted] as different from the majority of prisoners, being of good family background and very sensitive. He recalls one occasion when [name redacted]’s parents came to visit and how WILD had hovered round [name redacted] for the whole two hours.

“He also recalls another prisoner, [name redacted (1)]… who also took a strong interest in [name redacted (2)]. [Name redacted (1)] was well versed in prison life and was serving a long sentence for violence. McLAUGHLIN believed that [name redacted (1)] was using [name redacted (2)] for his own personal gratification. Interestingly, WILD requested that [name redacted (1)] be moved from Buckley Hall, albeit that the transfer and movement of prisoners was not the concern of a Board of Visitors member. McLAUGHLIN felt that WILD saw [name redacted (1)] as direct opposition and an obstacle between himself and [name redacted (2)]. He too described WILD as a predatory homosexual who used the position as a Board of Visitors member to further his own sexual gratification.”

“Gary WALSH is a Security Manager at Buckley Hall and was informed by [name redacted] that WILD had put a letter in his parole file supporting his application. WALSH found this to be most unusual as never before had he heard of a Board of Visitors member doing so.”

“Thomas FOLEY, a prison officer… was involved with his colleague, WALSH, in interviewing [name redacted] with regards to the incident when WILD grabbed his backside. [Name redacted] also told FOLEY on the day of his release that WILD had asked him for his telephone number so that he could contact him later and take him for a drink or a meal.”

“Irene Veronica BIRD, was a Prison Controller at the Prison and now works as a Governor at a prison in Gloucestershire. She too had grave concerns with regards to WILD’s excessive visits and improper conduct towards prisoners. WILD told her that he was a computer expert and often travelled abroad. Interestingly WILD used her as a reference, and without her knowledge, when he reapplied to become a Board of Visitors member at six other prisons in the North West in 1998, an application which was immediately withdrawn when he was reminded of the allegations at Buckley Hall.”

“Trevor KAY is employed as a Probation Officer at Buckley Hall and had concerns regarding WILD when WILD submitted a letter supporting the parole application made by [name redacted]. It was unheard of for a Board of Visitors member to write such a letter and he had further concerns when WILD offered to make housing arrangements for a prisoner on his release. KAY was also involved in interviewing [name redacted] regarding allegations. [Name redacted] told him that WILD had made comments about him looking nice in shorts and had also asked him for his phone number so that he could take him for a meal and a drink upon his release.”

“Sandra KNIGHT, a Parole Clerk at the Prison, told WILD that his submission of a letter supporting the parole of a prisoner was inappropriate and irrelevant.”

“Janice WALTON was a Prison Officer at Buckley Hall and had met WILD previously whilst working as a store detective at Tesco’s, Rochdale. Although she didn’t know him by name at that time she remembers him always seeking the assistance of young trolley boys to help him with his shopping. One in particular, who she knew to be called [name redacted] had told her that WILD had said he would help him out when needed. WALTON was aware of the allegations made against WILD at Buckley Hall and on one occasion had put his arm around a prisoner called [name redacted] and had apparently spoken to him in a suggestive manner.”

“John Henry CLEMENTS was Chairman of the Board of Visitors at Buckley Hall at the time. He was concerned about the excessive number of visits WILD was making and that he was too familiar with prisoners with some of them calling him ‘Harry’. On another occasion he referred to an unknown prisoner as ‘a dear boy’. CLEMENTS was responsible for initially telling WILD about the allegations being made against him and showing him a letter outlining matters. WILD, having read the letter, replied ‘TOTAL AND UTTER RUBBISH AND UTTER NONSENSE.’ WILD then further stated, ‘IF THAT’S THE CASE, I AM RESIGNING’.

“Alan CROSSLAND is the Residential Manager at Buckley Hall Prison and he was aware of the allegations against WILD. He recalls bumping into WILD on Leeds Railway Station in 1997 and seeing him talking intensely to a young man who was introduced as WILD’s son (false). CROSSLAND was so concerned about matters that he submitted an internal intelligence memorandum regarding this event. The young man on the railway station has never been traced.”

“John LYNCH was Deputy Controller of Buckley Hall at the time and describes WILD as a pompous man who liked to name drop. He even stated that he was a good friend of Michael HOWARD, the then Home Secretary.

“Ian LOCKWOOD is HMP Area Manager for the North West Area, Prison Governors Manager and directly answerable to the Minister for Prisons and the Home Secretary. WILD told him that he was an agent for the Home Secretary. It was LOCKWOOD who instructed Walter MacGOWAN to carry out an investigation into the allegations against WILD.”

Detectives also asked Lyndon Price, then Rochdale’s director of social services, about Wild. The report says:

“PRICE describes WILD as ‘pompous’ and ‘overbearing’, he was bright and well connected to Cyril SMITH. He showed great interest in youth work with particular regards to young boys. WILD in his position had free access to, and would visit, children’s homes. Though PRICE had no evidence that he had acted in an improper manner towards children, he felt uneasy with regards to his interest and motives for involvement with children’s services. PRICE would follow up any visits by WILD. Around 1971 WILD told PRICE that he was being posted to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by ICI to set up a fertiliser company. He disappeared, returning around the early 1980’s… In 1991, WILD became a member of Knowl View Governors having been co-opted by Cyril SMITH. Around 1995 WILD was elected to the Committee of Age Concern, Rochdale, and the following year became Chairman. In 1995 Cyril SMITH wrote to PRICE asking him to provide a written reference to support WILD’s nomination for the MBE. PRICE confirmed his previous work, and the following year WILD received his MBE. PRICE stated that WILD always sought positions that gave his [sic] respectability and that Cyril SMITH always promoted WILD’s rapid rise within any committee he sought to join.”

On Sylvia Kelly, who then ran Age Concern in Rochdale, the report says:

“Sylvia KELLY, when Chief Executive of Age Concern, Rochdale, was approached by Cyril SMITH with a request that she find suitable voluntary work for WILD within the organisation. She initially found WILD charming and was told by him that he had been proposed to be a Prison Visitor by Michael HOWARD, the then Home Secretary. He also told her that SMITH had told him to get a ‘gong’ by getting involved in a charitable organisation such as ‘Age Concern’. Once WILD became a committee member his attitude changed and he made it clear that he wanted people out of the organisation. WILD quickly introduced an associate of his… to the organisation… WILD made life very, very difficult for KELLY and she resigned about the same time as WILD got his MBE. WILD himself resigned shortly after getting the award.

“When being interviewed, Mrs KELLY intimated that she suspected that WILD had used Age Concern money to pay for a legal bill which she thought he had incurred and that an invoice had been sent to his home address by a firm of solicitors in Manchester, and that this somehow had been put through Age Concern’s accounts. This prompted further enquiries into the affairs of Age Concern in order to establish if a fraud had been committed.”

“No documentation or evidence was found to suggest that WILD had committed fraud whilst at Age Concern, Rochdale.”

The inquiry plans to publish a report on its “Rochdale” investigation by next April.

One of Smith’s close friends who was later implicated was a councillor and Freemason called Harry Wild, who chaired the education committee.
Where were the other councillors in all this? Why did they allow it, when they had a fair idea of how Smith, and Wild, were behaving? Why could the decent ones not manage to stop it? How many others of them were part of Smith’s paedophile network, and swung the voting, or succumbed to his forceful personality or simply accepted bribes? Predictably, Smith dominated Knowl View as he had Cambridge House, and used it as his personal brothel, shared with his friends, including the 21 men the GMP interviewed – who were they? Who was visiting Knowl View, which was functioning in the same way as Bryn Estyn in Wrexham? Councillor Harry Wild, chair of governors and of social services, was one, named along with Smith as at least voyeurs by Martin Digan, soon after Digan started working at Knowl View; and also at various times by the police. Teacher David Higgins was another, as we shall see.

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It’s all a matter of public record…You cannot be silenced for discussing something already in the public domain. … research and form your own conclusions.

 

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GRENFELL TOWER

‘Decency gone!’ May accused of cronyism as Tory row erupts over peerage for Gavin Barwell

THERESA MAY has sparked fury among eurosceptics in the Conservative Party after it emerged her chief of staff Gavin Barwell is set to be appointed as a peer in the House of Lords.

Jul 29, 2019

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1159207/theresa-may-gavin-barwell-peerage-house-of-lords-conservative-party-eurosceptics

Gavin Barwell ‘had SEVEN fire safety warnings before Grenfell’

Gavin Barwell was contacted by MPs who scrutinise fire safety rules from September 2016 to May 2017, while he was a housing minister

14 JUN 2019

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/gavin-barwell-had-seven-fire-16514925?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar


Gavin Barwell, former housing minister and prime minister’s chief of staff

PM’s chief of staff did not act on multiple warnings about fire safety in months before Grenfell, new letters show

Theresa May’s chief of staff was sent multiple, clear warnings to review fire safety rules in the months leading up to Grenfell, but failed to reply to letters or meet with the MPs raising concerns, new documents obtained by Inside Housing reveal.

Gavin Barwell, who was housing minister in 2016 and 2017, received seven letters from the group of MPs responsible for scrutinising fire safety rules between September 2016 and May 2017 – with the last landing just 26 days before the fire at Grenfell Tower.

The letters warned of the risk of a deadly fire and called for a promised review of building regulations and fire safety to be carried out to prevent it.

But Mr Barwell sent just three short replies during this period and became so bad at replying that the group resorted to sending their letters by recorded delivery.

Ministers had previously been warned that if a tower block fire occurred “where the matters raised here were found to be contributory to the outcome, then the group would be bound to bring this to others’ attention.”

The letters are described as a “smoking gun” by Labour MP David Lammy and come as Inside Housing publishes the results of a major investigation into the failure to act on the coroner’s recommendations from the fatal 2009 Lakanal House fire in time to prevent the 72 deaths at Grenfell Tower.

Inside Housing understands a total of 21 letters calling for change were sent to ministers Eric Pickles, James Wharton, Stephen Williams and Mr Barwell by the group between 2014 and 2017. Mr Barwell was made Theresa May’s chief of staff after losing his seat as an MP in 2017.

BBC Panorama has previously reported these ministers were contacted by the group – but the new documents reveal the extent of the warnings missed.

The letters particularly push for a review of the requirement that the external surfaces of buildings have a ‘Class 0’ fire safety rating. Grenfell Tower was eventually clad with a material certified to Class 0.

They also called on ministers to reconsider the decision not to make retrofitting sprinklers mandatory for high-rises, given new costing analysis showed it had become much cheaper.

But ministers refused to listen to these warnings, with Mr Wharton at one stage citing the government’s desire to “reduce the burden of red tape” in his refusal to act.

In September 2014, then-minister Stephen Williams responded to a string of letters to tell the group he had “neither seen nor heard anything that would suggest consideration of these specific potential changes is urgent” and said he was “not willing to disrupt the work of this department by asking that these matters be brought forward”.

The group’s chair, Sir David Amess MP, responded on 28 October, writing that he was “at a loss to understand how you had concluded that credible and independent evidence which had life safety implications was not considered to be urgent”.

He added: “As a consequence, the group wishes to point out to you that should a major fire tragedy with loss of life occur between now and 2017 in, for example, a residential care facility or a purpose-built block of flats, where the matters raised here were found to be contributory to the outcome, then the group would be bound to bring this to others’ attention.”

MORE HERE:

https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/pms-chief-of-staff-did-not-act-on-multiple-warnings-about-fire-safety-in-months-before-grenfell-new-letters-show-61883


Grenfell Tower failed two safety inspections in months before fire, ‘smoking gun’ documents reveal

‘The deadline date of the work they were meant to complete was May 2017, one month before the fatal fire’

9 Aug 2018

Grenfell Tower failed at least two fire safety inspections in the months before a blaze tore through it, but the organisation managing the building did not act on either of the warnings, a number of unpublished documents have reportedly revealed.

A “fire deficiency notice” from the then London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), delivered eight months before the fire, and a separate independent Fire Risk Assessment, dated June 2016, both identified multiple failures, ITV News reported.

Each warning called on the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) to move quickly, with the planning authority stipulating that action must be taken by May 2017, one month before the fire tore through it.

The report is the first to highlight official warnings, although it emerged in the fire’s immediate aftermath that residents had been telling the council and the building’s management the high-rise was unsafe for years.

Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy, whose friend Khadija Saye died in the tower, called the documents a “smoking gun” and reiterated his call for for individuals to be held responsible for the disaster.

Scotland Yard is considering whether offences including corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter and breaches of the Health and Safety Act have been committed.

It said in July it had conducted three interviews under caution as part of its investigation, but no arrests relating to the fire – aside from those on suspicion of fraud – had been made.

The notice from the LFEPA found problems with fire doors, including some that did not fit or close properly and inadequate precautions to stop fire and smoke from spreading

Meanwhile, the inspection report by an independent assessor listed 43 “high risk” safety issues, as well as problems with doors and air vents. A number of residents of Grenfell Tower attempted to flee the flames, only to succumb to toxic black smoke that filled the tower block’s single staircase.

Experts told a public inquiry into the disaster in June there wa a “culture of non-compliance” at Grenfell Tower and a system for extracting smoke from lobby areas on each floor did not work. Fire doors are a key part of containing a fire.

The KCTMO was dissolved following the fire, but the owner of Grenfell Tower, Kensington and Chelsea council said in a statement: “This will be a matter for the public inquiry, and to comment further could risk prejudicing the ongoing police investigation. We do not want to do or say anything that could obstruct the course of justice, because justice is what our residents want the most.

“Our first thoughts and our last thoughts will always be with those that lost their lives in the Grenfell Tragedy. We have been clear that we want the whole unvarnished truth and we will do all we can to assist, no matter what the consequences are for the council.”

It emerged in March the doors that built to last 30 minutes failed in 15 minutes during the fire. Tests on a range of fire doors by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on the market have since found five different brands are unsafe.

Mr Lammy said in statement posted on Twitter: “The uncovering of official warnings from the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority about fire risks at Grenfell are a smoking gun. The deadline date of the work they were meant to complete was May 2017, one month before the fatal fire.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-failed-safety-inspections-before-fire-a8483151.html


Grenfell police carry out three interviews under caution

Met considers whether offences including corporate manslaughter were committed

18 July 2018

Detectives investigating the Grenfell Tower fire have conducted three interviews under caution over potential offences relating to the disaster – including manslaughter.

“The police investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire has moved to a new phase with a planned programme of interviews under caution,” Scotland Yard said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that more interviews would take place in the coming weeks.

The interviews, carried out since late June, came as detectives investigated possible charges of gross negligence manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and breaches of the Health and Safety Act relating to the fire last summer that killed 72 people.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan police said the force would not confirm whether three separate suspects had been interviewed, or whether the same suspect had been interviewed more than once.

No one has been arrested for offences relating to the fire itself, though individuals who allegedly falsely claimed to have lived in the tower to receive compensation have been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Yvette Williams from the campaign group Justice4Grenfell said she welcomed the development in the investigation.

But she added: “It’s unfortunate that it’s taken months after it happened, because if it had been somebody responsible like a member of the public, they would have been called in in June last year.

“But we do look forward to the police doing a thorough investigation and that they are already thinking ahead in terms of gross manslaughter charges can only be a positive thing.”

Officers have spent the last year scouring the tower for forensic evidence and plan to hand back control of the building to Kensington and Chelsea council in early August.

Commander Stuart Cundy said: “The handover of Grenfell Tower by the police will only occur once we are entirely confident that all police work has been completed at the tower and handing the tower over to the responsible body will have no bearing on the ongoing criminal investigation.

“The concerns of the bereaved, survivors and residents as well as the wider community will be central to how the handover takes place. We recognise this will be a significant milestone and one that is bound to stir a range of emotions for all those affected by this tragedy.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/18/grenfell-police-carry-out-three-interviews-under-caution?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

Grenfell Tower insulation ‘never passed fire safety test’

21 May 2018

The insulation that burned out of control on Grenfell Tower had never passed the required safety test and should never have been on the building, a BBC investigation has discovered.

Panorama understands the manufacturer, Celotex, used extra fire retardant in the product that qualified for the safety certificate.

A more flammable version was then sold for public use, the programme believes.

Celotex said it is co-operating with the police investigation and inquiry.

The company said it could not comment further but wished to express its deepest sympathies to everyone who was and remains affected by the fire. But it has not denied any of Panorama’s allegations.

Panorama also accused Celotex of mis-selling the insulation with misleading marketing.

The programme has been advised that the way Celotex tested and sold the insulation could amount to corporate manslaughter.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44200041


Ben McKenna‏@benmckenna May 12

Megan Markle’s wedding dress cost the taxpayer £300,000. It would’ve cost £220,000 extra to clad Grenfell Tower in non-combustible material.


Grenfell locals are demanding to know the whereabouts of an ex-councillor

Protesters disrupted a Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) council meeting on 7 March. And a poster was held up demanding the whereabouts of an ex-councillor responsible for the tower’s refurbishment. But plans for new houses in Norfolk hint at what he’s been up to.

Where’s Rock?

Rock Feilding-Mellen oversaw Grenfell Tower’s refurbishments, including the flammable cladding believed to have accelerated the fire’s spread. Documents suggest the decision to use cheaper but more flammable cladding was made to satisfy the councillor and the planner. But on 24 June 2017, the Mirrorreported he “fled his home” following backlash from residents who were angry at his role in the fire.

Six days later, on 30 June 2017, Feilding-Mellen resigned from his £48,000 a year [pdf, p2] council position. He has since left the public eye. And this led one person at RBKC’s recent full council meeting to hold up a poster featuring Feilding-Mellen’s face and the question, “Where?”:

full Council meeting tonight. Protesters wave signs asking where is Cllr Rock Feilding-Mellen (yet another no show since July last year) & demanding commissioners be brought in as former Leader Paget-Brown speaks. Paget-Brown still a councillor, still getting paid

Directorship

Socially Conscious Capital (SCC) is a property development firm listing Feilding-Mellen as its director. In 2017, The Timesreported [paywall] that he is also the company’s majority owner. The developer designs and develops housing estates with “distinctive character”. And it claims to base its work on a principle of “responsibility” by:

Genuinely listening to local residents. Awareness of the sensitivities of the site and its surroundings. Becoming a real part of the community.

But one of SCC’s projects suggests otherwise.

‘Not interested in the views of local people’

Racecourse Plantation is a proposed housing development located on the edge of Norwich, Norfolk. Designs were submitted in 2011, 2013 and 2016. Each was rejected by the local authority. The plan has faced controversy because of its location inside woodland that Norfolk Wildlife Trust describes as a “key biodiversity asset” for the city.

The 2016 proposal was rejected by local authority Broadland District Council in June 2017 for a number of ecological reasons including the size of woodland that would be removed. But Friends of Thorpe Woodlands, a group of locals opposed to the plans, were worried SCC would appeal.

These fears came true when SCC appealed [pdf] in October 2017. The appeal claims [pdf, p12] that “all of the reasons from the Council and Consultees are unwarranted or unfounded”. But Friends of Thorpe Woodlands says this shows SCC “are not interested in the views of local people or their councillors”. The appeal is due to be heard in May this year.

SCC claimed that more than 70 people support its 2016 proposal. In 2013, 2,440 letters of opposition were made to the local authority, alongside statements from conservation charities. These included the RSPB, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Natural England. And now, the local opposition group is asking the public to “make a big difference” by sending letters of opposition to the latest appeal.

Continuing to profit

A 450-house estate is being built by SCC in the village of Longniddry, Scotland. Approval was granted in August 2017 despite similar long-running opposition by local residents.

Grenfell Action Group had written a number of posts about Feilding-Mellen and Socially Conscious Capital. The group, made up of local residents, had blogged about the tower’s safety risks for months before the fire. And in a post on 6 March 2017, it said:

Given the record of Feilding-Mellen’s ‘Socially Conscious Capital’… one has to seriously question whether this man can be trusted with the ecological and environmental protections to which the RBKC Council is supposedly committed and whether he is fit to manage the so-called ‘regeneration’ of the social housing estates of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Despite SCC’s claims of responsibility, impacts on local residents and ecology appear to mean very little. And its director continues to profit from housing development as hundreds remain homeless after the Grenfell Tower fire. This lack of accountability cannot continue.

The Canary repeatedly contacted Socially Conscious Capital for comment but received no response by the time of publication.

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2018/03/15/grenfell-locals-demanding-know-whereabouts-ex-councillor/

The company that turned Grenfell Tower into a deathtrap reports profits up 50% and anticipates no downside from the disaster

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

Profits up. Rydon investor disclosures indicate the company anticipates no downside at all from the fire, apparently believing that the lawsuits will come to nothing.



Grenfell MP says the inquiry into the fire which killed 72 is ‘beginning to look like a stitch up’

2 MAR 2018

The Grenfell Tower public inquiry is beginning to look like a stitch-up, Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad has said.

The MP made the claim because she and other Labour members of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council have not been granted core participant status in the investigation headed by Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

Labour councillors have complained there is a “clear conflict of interest” if they are represented at the inquiry by lawyers acting for the Tory-run authority.

Asked if she thought the inquiry was a “stitch-up” because of this, Ms Dent Coad said: “It’s beginning to look like that. We are feeling marginalised and neutralised. That’s not good.

“I really object to being represented by the lawyers of a discredited organisation which is under criminal investigation.”

Labour leader on the council Robert Atkinson said: “We will be witnesses for the prosecution. We will be hostile witnesses. And yet we are being forced to share council representation for the defence.”

Mr Atkinson said that if Labour had the same representation at the inquiry as the rest of the council “there will be guilt by association”.

Councillor Pat Mason said the inquiry had “less and less credibility on the ground”, adding: “We don’t believe the inquiry is credible either. We don’t believe that it’s a fair process. If you are excluding people and using obscure rules in the Public Inquiry Act to block out evidence, then you are not going to get all the evidence.”

John Cooper QC, who is representing the Labour group on the council, said core participant status would mean having full disclosure and being able to question witnesses.

Mr Cooper said: “If we do not get core participation status in this inquiry, then I’m very convinced at the moment justice will not be done.”

The public inquiry into the tragedy which claimed 72 lives last June has proved controversial.

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to take action to build public trust in the probe.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/grenfell-mp-says-inquiry-fire-12115633

Grenfell Tower 💚 @Still_I_Rise_GT

Grenfel – inquiry has HIRED KPMG as its adviser despite the accountancy firm earning millions of pounds auditing three of the main players being investigated over the tragic blaze and its aftermath. STUPID & UNBELIEVABLE DECISION number ?????????????

Questions over KPMG role in Grenfell Tower probe

 Jan 4 2018

The Grenfell Tower inquiry has hired KPMG as its adviser despite the accountancy firm earning millions of pounds auditing three of the main players being investigated over the tragic blaze and its aftermath.

KPMG has lucrative and long-standing relationships as auditor to Rydon — the main contractor in charge of the refurbishment widely blamed for the fire’s spread — Celotex, the maker of the insulation which police said failed safety tests, and the much-criticised Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

News that the inquiry is paying a firm so closely linked to the organisations under scrutiny is bound to anger survivors and victims’ families. They have already voiced concerns that the investigation is lacking in diverse voices.

KPMG was hired by the Cabinet Office to help plan the inquiry and monitor its progress.

The three-month, £200,000 contract (recently extended to February) was awarded in a fast-track process with no other bidders considered.

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/questions-over-kpmg-role-in-grenfell-tower-probe-a3732036.html

David Lammy@DavidLammy

Expelling a Lab Councillor from the board of KCTMO for speaking to journalists is not exactly a great message to send out on transparency as the Grenfell inquiry starts.. What exactly are they trying to cover up and who are they trying to frighten/silence?

Whistleblower sacked from Grenfell board

12 Dec 2017

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/whistleblower-sacked-from-grenfell-board-xfvd66drf

London Tory council to charge tower block residents £4,000 to fit sprinklers

Leaseholders hit out at Wandsworth bills for post-Grenfell fire safety measures
11 November 2017

Independent report: response to Grenfell ‘disjointed and rudderless’

The council’s response to the Grenfell Tower disaster was “disjointed and seemingly rudderless” and it failed to engage with tenants before and after the fire, a damning independent report has said. 

https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/independent-report-response-to-grenfell-disjointed-and-rudderless-53082

Grenfell: report criticised ‘inadequate’ management 12 years before fire

 

Highly critical independent report into emergency lighting system at tower made public after long campaign by residents

A negligent approach to residents’ safety by the body responsible for managing Grenfell Tower was highlighted in a highly critical independent report 12 years before the fire, according to a document that has finally been made public after a protracted campaign by residents.

The report, compiled by Capita Symonds, suggested that torches with rechargeable batteries should be installed in every flat, wired to the mains to recharge, so that residents could use torches to escape. Neither Kensington and Chelsea council nor Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) would say whether the recommendation was followed, but residents say the torches were never installed.

The independent report into problems with the emergency lighting system at the tower was commissioned by the KCTMO in 2005 after two-thirds of the tower’s emergency lighting units failed a routine inspection.

It criticised the KCTMO and the contractor responsible for the block’s fire escape lighting, documenting “inadequate management”, “inadequate installation standards”, a “failure to acknowledge the importance of undertaking urgent remedial works” and a “lack of communication” between the block’s management and residents.

Khalid Ahmed, who escaped from the eighth floor, said not all the stairwell lights were working on the night of the fire. Other residents’ accounts suggest darkness compounded by thick smoke made escape difficult.

Francis O’Connor, the co-author of the Grenfell Action Group blog, which repeatedly warned of fire safety issues before the fire in June, said the problems identified in this report indicated “that a culture of complacency, negligence and incompetence was rife within the TMO and was not confined to fire safety issues. Complaints from tenants were legion.”

He said he was shocked to read the report, which provided the “most authoritative and comprehensive forensic evidence I had seen of how pervasive the maladministration was at the TMO”.

The report noted that because the tower’s emergency staircase had no natural light, the emergency lighting system was vital. It criticised the KCTMO for failing to prepare risk assessments that recognised that “residents and members of the public were continuously at risk” when the lighting system was defective.

The KCTMO’s response to the ongoing problem with the broken system “unfortunately did not reflect any urgency”, the report stated.

The document is significant because it provides an independent third-party assessment of management failures by KCTMO, which residents claim were problematic in 2005 and still ongoing in 2017.

The campaign to have it released also reveals a longstanding refusal by the KCTMO to make public documents concerning their management of the tower. It states that as a private organisation, it is not obliged to make information public.

Campaigners are angry that the KCTMO, which was the country’s largest tenant management organisation, looking after all of Kensington and Chelsea’s social housing stock – 10,000 properties – should have been able to shield itself from public scrutiny. Repeated requests from residents to see minutes of meetings where plans for the tower’s refurbishment were discussed were rejected.

O’Connor, who until 2013 lived on the Lancaster West estate, which encompasses Grenfell, and continues to co-author the Grenfell Action Group blog, first made a formal request for the lighting report the day after the fire. His request was refused by the TMO, then granted in principle on appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, then appealed by the KCTMO on the grounds that it was not subject to the FoI rules, a decision later upheld by the ICO. He only received it at the end of October after turning to an official at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who released it under freedom of information legislation.

O’Connor points out that the KCTMO’s insistence that it was not required to release information meant that he and fellow Grenfell Action Group campaigners were unable to scrutinise minutes of critical meetings where plans for the refurbishment of the block were discussed.

A request to see minutes of one refurbishment meeting was rejected in 2014. The meeting would have “contained references to the decision to replace the approved cladding and insulation with cheaper alternatives. This would have caused us to research the qualities of the alternative products and to discover that they were highly flammable and highly toxic when burning,” O’Connor said. “We would have raised hell about this, and who knows what the outcome of that hellraising might have been? This bitter truth is hard to live with.”

The KCTMO’s contract to manage social housing in the borough was terminated last month. Kensington and Chelsea council said: “This is a matter for the public inquiry and for the TMO. The council has recently taken responsibility for the Lancaster West estate following the Grenfell fire.

“We are working with residents and independent experts to ensure that we are making necessary improvements, and that all homes are safe and secure.”

A KCTMO spokesperson said: “Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation is a private company limited by guarantee and is therefore not a body which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/01/grenfell-report-criticised-inadequate-management-12-years-before-fire?CMP=share_btn_tw

Rachael‏ @Rachael_Swindon

The hypocrisy of the Daily Mail for all to see for themselves.


 

£370 Million to restore a Palace

“essential”

Making Citizens houses fit for habitation,

no Money

Tory supporter says people on benefits shouldn’t live in the most desirable parts of London.

Scott Nelson‏ @SocialistVoice

The Queen has £10m stashed away in offshore accounts. Only this year she was given an £8m rise because £74m a year isn’t enough to live on.

Woman wearing a £1m hat with £10m stashed away in offshore accounts tells Britain to live within its means

Queen’s estate invested $13 million in offshore tax havens

Leaked documents published on Sunday suggest that the private estate of Queen Elizabeth II invested in offshore funds.

Revelations from the leak, which has been dubbed the Paradise Papers, were reported by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and outlets including The New York Times.

In Britain, the BBC said it had seen documents that show the Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the Queen with an income, had invested £10 million ($13.1 million) into funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

The documents have not been reviewed by CNN.

The Queen has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But the investments are potentially embarrassing for a royal family that closely guards its reputation.

“We operate a number of investments and a few of these are with overseas funds. All of our investments are fully audited and legitimate,” the Duchy of Lancaster said in a statement.

The Duchy added that the Queen, who is officially exempt from U.K. tax laws, “voluntarily pays tax” on income she receives from the estate.

The £519 million ($680 million) Duchy, which provides the Queen with an income to cover official expenses, says it invests primarily in commercial, agricultural and residential properties.

In the most recent fiscal year, the Duchy generated £19.2 million ($25 million) in net income according to its website.

Related: What you need to know about the Paradise Papers

One of the Duchy’s offshore investments has generated some controversy.

The BBC reported that the Duchy invested $7.5 million in Dover Street VI Cayman Fund LP in 2005. The fund, which invested in medical and tech companies, later put money into U.K. retailer BrightHouse.

The Duchy said its investment in the company is worth £3,208 ($4,200).

BrightHouse, which gave customers credit so they could buy its home furniture and appliances, was later forced to compensate consumers after the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority found it was not a responsible lender.

“We sincerely apologize to those customers who were affected,” the company said in October. “We’re absolutely determined that this doesn’t happen again and have made significant improvements over the last 18 months.”

The Duchy said in a statement that the investment in BrightHouse was made “through a third party,” and equates to just 0.0006% of the Duchy’s value.

The ICIJ noted in its report that “there are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts,” and it was not suggesting that any people or companies it named either broke the law or acted improperly.

David Pitt Watson, an executive fellow at the London Business School who focuses on responsible investments, said he “very much” doubts that the Queen knew where her money was invested.

Instead, she’s like “so many others who have a pension, or an investment account,” he said. “We just don’t know what is being done with it.”

The Paradise Papers reporting is similar to the Panama Papers, which in 2016 exposed cases involving celebrities and business executives who reportedly moved large chunks of their wealth into offshore tax havens.

The new project, which is based on more than 13.4 million documents dated from 1950 to 2016, covers a large number of global corporations and prominent people and their use of offshore accounts.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/06/news/queen-offshore-investments-paradise-papers/index.html

The London Economic‏ @LondonEconomic Nov 10

James Melville‏ @JamesMelville

Lost revenue in offshore tax havens is costing over £100bn a year – enough to eliminate extreme global poverty twice over.

Theresa May says no Government cash for sprinklers in tower blocks despite promises made after Grenfell

18 Oct 2017

‘How safe would she feel living on the 20th floor in my constituency with one staircase and no sprinklers?’ Prime Minister asked

Theresa May has confirmed there will be no Government cash to fit sprinklers in tower blocks, triggering accusations she has broken a promise made after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

It is “up to the council to make decisions”, the Prime Minister told MPs – amid a growing furore over the multi-million pound bills that town halls face.

Nottingham, Croydon and Wandsworth have all had multi-million pound requests turned – even after being advised to carry out works by their local fire brigades.

Nevertheless, until now, ministers had said they would consider help “where works are essential”, even as they resisted applications.

However, during Prime Minister’s Questions, Ms May gave a firm no after a plea for assistance from a Labour MP in Nottingham

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-sprinklers-money-grenfell-promise-broken-accusations-a8007501.html


Grenfell Tower fire was a ‘crime’ that should bring down the government declares head of the firefighters’ union

26 Sept 2017

Matt Wrack said ministers should have to give evidence to the public inquiry into the “atrocity” – and warned his members could boycott it

 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/grenfell-tower-fire-crime-should-11237179

Kensington and Chelsea council terminates contract with Grenfell Tower landlord

28 Sept 2017

Body ‘no longer has the trust of residents,’ says deputy council leader

The decision came on the same day it emerged that at least 18 children died in the fire, many of whom were siblings.

The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) manages 9,760 homes in the borough, including the Lancaster West Estate, of which Grenfell is part.

The council has faced fierce criticism over the speed of its response to the fire and there was growing concern that only a small proportion of the residents had been rehoused.

The most recent victims of the fire to be identified include two sisters, two three-year-old girls, a boy aged six, a teenager and a woman in her 30s.

A number of the dead were siblings, with the fire wiping out complete families.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-council-ends-contract-landlord-chelsea-tenant-management-a7971001.html

Grenfell Tower Survivors Accuse Authorities Of ‘Serious Concerted Cover-Up’ 100 Days After Tragedy

22/09/2017

Death toll debate rages on.

Grenfell Inquiry: Experts Fear ‘Broken’ Fire Safety Laws Put Millions At Risk

One hundred days has done nothing to quell the anger felt by Grenfell Tower survivors who on Friday accused authorities of being engaged in a “serious, concerted cover-up” over the death toll. 

As residents prepared to mark the milestone with a candle lit gathering this afternoon, the group fighting for their rights, Justice4Grenfell, issued a strongly worded statement taking aim at authorities for “doing everything in their power to downplay the scale of the disaster and to dehumanise the victims and the survivors”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/grenfell-tower-100-days-on_uk_59c4e2c9e4b06ddf45f71687?

Austerity and slashing red tape has rendered self-regulation ‘useless’,

11/9/2017

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/grenfell-inquiry-fire-safety-legislation_uk_599df3f1e4b06d67e33506d0

 

One day in… and Grenfell judge sparks ‘respect’ row

Discontent had begun brewing when the retired judge rejected calls for residents to be included as one of his team of assessors, telling the hearing it would ‘risk undermining my impartiality’.

…survivors branded the process a ‘whitewash’ and some stormed out of a community building near the tower in north Kensington, where the opening address was being live-streamed.

Where are the Grenfell donations? HSBC

Just 30% of Grenfell tower fire funds have reached victims

18 Aug 2017

Those entitled to payments include next-of-kin of those missing or dead and people who required hospital treatment

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/18/just-30-per-cent-of-grenfell-tower-fire-funds-have-reached-victims?CMP=twt_gu

It should not have required a calamity like Grenfell for people to start calling foul on this re-engineering of the city’s demography. Long before the country found itself discussing Grenfell’s dereliction — and of the contemptuous council response to a catastrophe of its own making, and the continuing imbroglio over the rehousing of survivors despite their borough’s surfeit of empty homes — the ramifications of London’s trajectory should have been the animating subject of its politics for the last decade.

Names of wealthy empty-home owners in Grenfell borough revealed

Kensington and Chelsea council list shows foreign royalty, financiers and offshore firms leaving London properties vacant

Duke’s Lodge mansion block, which used to house 26 flats, is owned by an offshore firm that is part of Christian Candy’s luxury property business

1 August 2017

Owners of the 1,652 properties listed as unoccupied by Kensington and Chelsea council include a Ukrainian billionaire fighting extradition to the US, a former mayor of New York, a high-profile luxury property developer and a senior television executive.

They include the distinctive former Brompton Road tube station building, once used as a top secret command centre for Winston Churchill, but which has been vacant since it was bought for £53m by the Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash in 2014.

The list of owners of vacant properties includes the former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who bought a seven-bedroom grade II*-listed mansion for £16m in 2015. Once home to the writer George Eliot, it boasts a baroque ceiling mural of Venus by James Thornhill, who painted the interior of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The names were revealed in a list that appears to have been accidentally sent by the council to multiple recipients, including the Guardian, and details the council tax information of the vacant homes and their 1,197 owners.

More than a third of the vacant homes (603) are recorded as having been empty for more than two years, with the owners paying a 50% premium on their council tax. A further 1,010 are classified as unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, while the other 39 have been unoccupied for less than a year, with building work in progress.

Some of the luxury properties identified as long-term empty are just a few hundred metres from the charred remains of Grenfell Tower, where at least 80 people died in June. Of the survivors only 12 households have been re-accommodated, with dozens still in temporary housing.

Other unoccupied properties are owned by offshore companies, including Dukes Lodge London Ltd, part of Christian Candy’s luxury property business, which is listed as owning 26 homes in a 1930s mansion block valued at £85m in 2015; and Smech Properties Ltd, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice-president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

Some of the information in the council’s records appeared to be wrong.

“There is a clear public interest in better understanding the issue of empty homes in London’s over-heated property market, why they are being bought and left empty, and where the money is coming from.”

An additional council tax payment, worth 50% of the normal rate, is levied on homes left empty for more than two years. But for most properties this amounts to an extra few hundred pounds a year, and no more than £1,500, according to the council data, despite some of the properties being worth tens of millions of pounds.

Anna Powell-Smith, of Who Owns England, who analysed the data, said: “This is about our broken housing system. Many of these people are leaving their homes empty because they don’t need the rent, and in that situation we could reasonably ask them to contribute more. But we can only have a proper debate about fair levels of council tax with full transparent data on ownership and housing use.”

There are 64 homes listed as vacant in Notting Dale, the ward where Grenfell Tower stood. Of those, six are recorded as having been vacant for more than two years, and the remainder fall in the category of unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

The ward listed as having the highest number of long-term empty properties is Brompton and Hans Town, the area around Sloane Street, whose local councillors include the former council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown, who resigned after the Grenfell disaster. The ward has 100 homes listed as empty for more than two years and another 128 recorded as unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

To date, Kensington and Chelsea has made 169 offers of accommodation to the survivors of Grenfell, 46 of which have been accepted. Only twelve households have so far been rehoused.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/01/names-of-wealthy-empty-home-owners-in-grenfell-borough-revealed?CMP=twt_gu


Grenfell fire: Terms of reference published

15 Aug 2017

The actions of Kensington and Chelsea Council are to be considered in the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry, the government has announced.

The inquiry will also look at the adequacy of regulations, the tower’s recent refurbishment, and the response of authorities in the aftermath.

The judge heading the inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, previously said its scope could be much more limited.

Broader questions on social housing will not be in its terms of reference.

At least 80 people are thought to have died in the fire in North Kensington, west London, on 14 June.

Justice ‘vital’

Sir Martin suggested in a letter that wider consideration of social housing policy should not be included, despite the protestation of survivors.

The full terms of reference for the public inquiry, which have been accepted in full by the prime minister, are:

  • The cause and spread of the fire
  • The design, construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower
  • The scope and adequacy of the relevant regulations relating to high-rise buildings
  • Whether the relevant legislation and guidance were complied with in the case of Grenfell Tower
  • The actions of the local authority and other bodies before the tragedy
  • The response of the London Fire Brigade to the fire and the response of central and local government in the aftermath

Sir Martin had faced calls to step down as head of the Grenfell Tower inquiry

Residents and campaigners previously called for Sir Martin to resign from the inquiry, with the area’s MP, Emma Dent Coad, saying those affected needed “somebody we can trust”.

Shadow housing minister John Healey tweeted: “Deeply unsatisfactory for PM to set Grenfell Inquiry terms of ref to exclude housing policy failings – closing off criticism of govt policy.”

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham whose friend was among the dead, said he was “deeply disappointed” that the “narrow” terms of reference did not include the provision and management of social housing in the UK.

The inquiry has now officially begun and will hold its first hearing on 14 September, with an initial report by Easter.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40935955?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_breaking&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=news_central

Peter Apps‏ @PeteApps

Judge decided ‘after careful reflection’ not to include questions on broader social housing policy in Grenfell Inquiry

27 July 2017

David Lammy‏@DavidLammy


28 July 2017

Jail anyone found guilty of causing Grenfell Tower blaze, say survivors

 

Grenfell survivors and relatives of victims today welcomed a corporate manslaughter investigation but called for jail sentences for anyone found guilty of causing the blaze

Campaigners have urged police to also consider gross negligence manslaughter charges against individuals, which can carry prison sentences if convicted. The maximum sentence for corporate manslaughter is a fine.

“We want to see individuals who took the decisions which led to so many dying to face justice. We want individuals in the dock and for them to go to prison.”

Yvette Williams, of the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign group, said: “We welcome that there is enough information and evidence to go down the corporate prosecution route.

“However, what we would like to see running alongside that is individuals being prosecuted. We want individuals named and prosecuted.”

The Metropolitan Police said its letter to those affected outlining the investigation was “simply an update” and “should not be taken to conclude that the identified offences and organisations are the only offences, organisations or individuals that are being investigated”.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/jail-anyone-found-guilty-of-causing-grenfell-tower-blaze-say-survivors-a3598501.html


 

A statement circulated to those involved said an “initial assessment” of seized material and witness statements had allowed police to conclude that each organisation may have committed the offence.

Both organisations will be questioned under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

“We have seized a huge amount of material and taken a large number of witness statements,” the letter to those affected by the disaster said.

“After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has today notified Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea TMO that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

“In due course, a senior representative fo each corporation will be formally interviewed by police in relation to the potential offence.”

It was unclear which senior figures will be interviewed by police and the legislation does not allow for the arrest of any individual.

A Met Police spokesperson told The Independent:  This is a complex and far reaching investigation that by its very nature will take a considerable time to complete.

“As is routine, we will not give a running commentary on this investigation.”

Samia Badani, residents association chair for Bramley House – a block that overlooks the tower – told The Independent the move was a positive step forward for the community.

“I’m very pleased, I think over the years we have had a very good relationship with local police and the relationship with the council is the opposite,” she said.

“We are so bruised in the community that we needed some reassurances so it’s a step forward.”

It comes after a number of stakeholders from both RBKC and the TMO resigned in the wake of the tragedy over accusations they ignored a catalogue of warnings over fire safety.

RBKC chief executive Nicholas Holgate was the first to step down in the aftermath over the borough’s handling of the fire.

“Despite my wish to have continued, in very challenging circumstances, to lead on the executive responsibilities of the council, I have decided that it is better to step down from my role, once an appropriate successor has been appointed,” he said in a statement on 21 June.

A week later, TMO leader Robert Black stepped aside to “concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry”, followed by RBKC leader Nick Paget-Brown and deputy leader Rock Feilding-Mellen just hours later.

Council leader Elizabeth Campbell said she would fully support the Met’s investigation.

“Our residents deserve answers about the Grenfell Tower fire and the police investigation will provide these. We fully support the Metropolitan Police investigation and we will cooperate in every way we can,” she said.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further on matters subject to the police investigation.”

The news comes after family and friends of five of those killed in the blaze, including two child victims, gathered to remember their loved ones.

The lives of artist Khadija Saye, her mother Mary Mendy, Berkti Haftom and her 12-year-old son Beruk, as well as five-year-old Isaac Paulos were being celebrated at the ecumenical service in St Helen’s Church.

The service opened with a recording of Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World”, and the Gospel For Grenfell choir later sang a number of well-known songs including “Something Inside So Strong”.

Ms Saye’s cousin Adelaide Mendy recalled the fear and panic on the night of the fire, and her desperate hope that her relatives would not be caught up in it.

She told those gathered: “I felt an excruciating and an almost unbearable pain. I felt powerless at the thought that there was nothing else that I could’ve done.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-news-corporate-manslaughter-kensington-council-kctmo-met-police-a7863616.html

Combustible Cladding – Early Warnings Ignored!

There has been a good deal of controversy lately over the proposed public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire which claimed an as yet undetermined number of lives and left many hundreds more homeless and traumatised. The controversy began with the appointment, despite widespread resistance in the Lancaster West community, of a retired judge, Martin Moore-Bick as head of the inquiry, an establishment figure whose previous actions revealed him to be seriously lacking in the empathy necessary to earn the trust of the local community.

The Moore-Bick controversy was further fed by statements he made (reported in the Independent on 29th June) that the inquiry would be “…limited to the problems surrounding the start of the fire and its rapid development in order to make recommendations about how this sort of thing can be prevented in future.” Judge Moore-Bick added that he was aware that local residents were demanding much wider terms of reference and expressed doubts that the the planned inquiry could satisfy those demands.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-judge-sir-martin-moore-bick-public-inquiry-residents-satisfy-victims-families-a7815056.html

The controversy deepened with the appointment of a new panel of technical experts to advise the government on fire safety issues. Half of the members of this panel are tainted by their links to a company called BRE Ltd which, for many years, has been paid by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to provide advice on fire safety. The Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE) was formerly a British Government research body, but was privatised in 1997.  It appears that BRE Global has since been paid at least £250,000 by the DCLG for fire safety advice.

Dr Peter Bonfield, Chief Executive of BRE Global, will sit on the expert panel alongside Sir Ken Knight, who is a trustee of BRE’s charitable parent company, the BRE Trust. According to Sky News and the Mail online BRE raised concerns in April 2016 that the use of combustible cladding on buildings was increasing, but they considered the current regulations to be adequate.

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-lawyer-questions-role-of-two-experts-10938353

We wanted to see this report for ourselves so we searched for it and found it online. The report was in two parts, the second more technical part of which described only limited controlled testing of single components of a cladding system but not of the entire system. Not exactly the rigorous and fully comprehensive testing one might expect given the risks involved in the widespread use of highly combustible cladding systems. The conclusions were presented in part 1 of the report and stated that:

“There is currently no evidence to suggest that the current recommendations, to limit vertical fire spread up the exterior of high-rise buildings, are failing in their purpose.”

FI—External-Fire-Spread-Part-1

FI—External-Fire-Spread-Part-2

However, to our great surprise, while searching for the 2016 BRE report, we stumbled upon another much earlier report, also commissioned from BRE by the Blair government in 1999/2000. The conclusions of that report were as follows:

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmenvtra/109/10907.htm

Clearly the advice to government from BRE Ltd in 2016 had changed markedly from that offered in 2000, perhaps because the ‘worst case scenario’ had failed to materialise by that time, but as the whole world now knows, it  did materialise, just a year later on 14th June 2017, in the worst fire disaster to strike the UK in living memory, with an undetermined number of fatalities, widely believed in the community to be in excess of 100 souls.

Alternatively, this latest BRE guidance may have been designed to accommodate a notorious policy of the current government commonly referred to as the ‘Bonfire of the Regulations’ – a policy of deliberate widespread deregulation designed to cut costs for business and industry regardless of its negative impact on public health and safety.

As reported in the Guardian on 14th June:

“A 2015 survey by the Fire Sector Federation, a forum for fire and rescue organisations, found that 92% of its members believed the UK Building Regulations were ‘long overdue an overhaul’, claiming that they do not reflect today’s design and construction methods and that research underpinning the guidance is out of date.”

The coroner in the Lakanal House case in 2009, in which six people died, including three children, also called for a thorough review as the evidence pointed to a risk of further deaths in the future unless changes were made, with about 4,000 tower blocks in the UK remaining subject to outdated regulations.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/14/disaster-waiting-to-happen-fire-expert-slams-uk-tower-blocks

It seems from the above that BRE Ltd have been too closely associated with central government, both Labour and Tory, for far too long while calls from other interested parties for reform of the building regulationse have been ignored. Indeed BRE clearly became part of the problem, rather than the solution, when they declared in 2016 that the regulations were fit for purpose.

In our opinion BRE are not fit to advise the government on fire safety issues and neither Peter Bonfield, the CEO of BRE Ltd, nor Ken Knight of the BRE Trust, should have been appointed to the technical panel convened after the Grenfell Tower fire. Perhaps the Fire Sector Federation, which appears to have far more integrity, might be willing to volunteer some of its more highly experienced  members to sit on the new panel. We believe the Lancaster West community would be more inclined to trust a reformed panel to provide the kind of competent technical advice that is so urgently needed.

http://firesectorfederation.co.uk/about/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/combustible-cladding-early-warnings-ignored/

Tower block owners can conceal failed safety tests

29 July 2017

The government revealed that 82 buildings used the same cladding and insulation as Grenfell Tower

Residents of dozens of unsafe tower blocks could be kept in the dark about failed fire safety tests because commercial interests mean that housing associations will not be forced to reveal which buildings are dangerous.

The government revealed yesterday that 82 buildings had been found to use the same combination of cladding and insulation as Grenfell Tower, which failed the fire safety test used under present guidelines.

The latest tests were more rigorous than those carried out previously, looking at the whole system rather than just cladding, which has been widely blamed for spreading the fire that killed at least 80 people. Cladding panels on 149 tower blocks had already been found to be combustible.

A review of building regulations and fire safety was launched…


Firefighters speak for the first time about the Grenfell Tower blaze in documentary


About Grenfell Tower A Report by Architects for Social Housing

July 2017

https://architectsforsocialhousing.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/the-truth-about-grenfell-tower4.pdf


In one of the richest boroughs in the country, in one of the richest countries in the world – children, fathers and grandmothers were crammed into a death trap.

link

Britain remains a country that murders its poor. When four separate government ministers are warned that Grenfell and other high rises are a serious fire risk, then an inferno isn’t unfortunate. It is inevitable.

What happened wasn’t a “terrible tragedy” or some other studio-sofa platitude: it was social murder.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/engels-britain-murders-poor-grenfell-tower

Photo published for People are comparing the Grenfell victims fund with the £369m Buckingham Palace refurbishment

 

Sam WolfsonVerified account @samwolfson

The richest borough in the UK let residents burn to death to save £5000. Michael Gove claimed £7000 in expenses to furnish his home.

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC‏ @IanKerr

The Royal Borough Of Kensington and Chelsea. Grenfell


Grenfell Tower fire: Government’s safety advisers ‘are not neutral’, says academic

A fire science expert says the company testing cladding and insulation after the Grenfell Tower fire has a conflict of interest.

18 July 2017

The company testing cladding and insulation for the Government after the Grenfell Tower fire has a conflict of interest and is not neutral, according to a respected academic.

Professor Richard Hull, a chemistry and fire science expert from the University of Central Lancashire, has accused the Building Research Establishment (BRE) of having an “unhealthy” mixture of commercial and advisory roles.

He made the claim after Sky News established that the BRE wrote a report saying there was no case for regulating toxic smoke from plastic insulation, at the same time as being paid by plastic insulation companies.

Sky News revealed last month that the insulation on Grenfell Tower gave off deadly hydrogen cyanide gas, and at least three victims had been treated for cyanide poisoning.

There are currently no regulations on the volume of smoke produced by insulation or the danger it can pose.

BRE was recruited by the European Commission “to evaluate the need to regulate… on the toxicity of smoke produced by construction products in fires”.

Its final draft report says “there would be limited benefits” from any new regulations, which could “increase costs”.

It concludes that its study found no agreed case for regulating toxic smoke, which could “potentially remove some products from the market”.

BRE, a UK charity with a £48m turnover, is paid for fire testing by some of the biggest foam insulation manufacturers.

concerns from a lawyer acting for some of the Grenfell Tower victims about key BRE figures appointed by the Government to give building safety advice since the disaster.

Jolyon Maugham QC said BRE trustee Sir Ken Knight and chief executive Peter Bonfield were “tainted by association” through their links to advice given to ministers last year that combustible material on tower blocks was acceptable because building controls were “adequate”.

BRE also sells access to an improved set of fire safety standards that could have prevented the Grenfell Tower disaster while advising the Government on building regulations.

The head of the Fire Protection Association, Jonathan O’Neill, told Sky News that the improved standards address shortcomings in the statutory regulations that Grenfell Tower relied on.

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-tower-fire-governments-safety-advisers-are-not-neutral-says-academic-10953192

Grenfell Tower Fire Victims
“You’ve let the dead down, now you want to come for the living?” Grenfell Tower victims call for council leader to stand down, minutes after she took up the position
HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva
Well, well, well.. New leader of RBKC council was warned of a potential disaster whilst councillor & rolled her eyes in response.#Grenfell
Image result for RBKC leader Elizabeth Campbell

Truth Miner‏ @truth_miner

New leader Elizabeth Campbell was a member of the Kirkhope Commission. for

Rachael Vebables@rachaelvenables

Nicolai‏ @nickh1877

Grenfell Disaster Supremo’s long association with Virgin Islands Tax-Haven.

Grenfell Residents suffer on.

@OwenJones84 @jeremycorby @RBKC

Latest victim of the Grenfell Tower fire to be officially identified by police named as Majorie Vital

Police considering manslaughter charges over Grenfell Tower fire

The investigation

This is one of the largest and most complex investigations that the Metropolitan police has ever undertaken. There are currently over 250 specialist investigators working on all aspects of this investigation. It will establish how the fire started and the speed and spread that it took hold of that building.

There are two points of priority for me: the speed that it spread through the building but also the internal safety aspects of that building. On the first point: we are examining with experts the aluminium cladding and the insulation behind the cladding; how the tiles were fixed to the building; and how it was installed.

Cladding failed test

Preliminary tests on the insulation samples collected from

Grenfell Tower show that they combusted soon after the test started. The initial test on the cladding tiles also failed the safety tests. Such are our safety concerns on the outcome of those tests, we have shared our data with the department of communities and local government, and we have ensured that that information data has been shared with every council.

Every organisation involved in refurbishment being investigated

In terms of seizing relevant material from a number of organisations I can confirm that that has already started.

If I find out that individuals or organisations have committed offences then I must be in a position to prosecute without prejudice to any proceedings. We are looking at every criminal offence from manslaughter onwards. We are looking at every health and safety and fire safety offences and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

We are not raiding. We have seized documents.

Here’s audio of the Scotland Yard press conference on the Grenfell Tower fire.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2017/jun/23/merkel-says-mays-offer-on-eu-citizens-is-a-good-start-live-updates?CMP=twt_gu


Rachael @Rachael_Swindon

Theresa May’s refusal to suspend Gavin Barwell is an insult to the victims of Grenfell. Unforgivable behaviour. #BarwellMustGo

https://youtu.be/AKg0OheeyN0

Leigh Pickett @Leigh_Pickett

Not even a glimmer of remorse Gavin Barwell

Tracy  @WinnieWoos

He could have just stopped and talked to reporter, he could have showed some empathy surely? His lack of words speak volumes.

Ronnie King said requests for urgent meetings were repeatedly turned down by former housing minister Gavin Barwell (pictured) 

Ronnie King, who was chief fire officer for 20 years and is now secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on fire safety,

said requests for urgent meetings were repeatedly turned down by former housing minister Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s top aide.

Glyn Evans, a Fire Brigades Union Official, warned MPs that the fire will ‘spread vertically’ when cladding is on the exterior of a building.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4614944/Gavin-Barwell-IGNORED-fire-safety-fears-Grenfell.html

Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell replies to X-rated PORN tweets showing clips of graphic sex scenes

Married father-of-three Mr Barwell responded to the explicit tweet “in error”, a Downing Street source says

14 FEB 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell “regrets” replying to a tweet that showed three porn videos with graphic sex scenes, a source says.

Married father-of-three Mr Barwell responded to the X-rated tweet “in error” at 9.21pm on Monday, a Downing Street source said.

The source said the tweet appeared in the former MP’s timeline and he “regrets the embarrassment this his caused”.

One of the videos features a sex scene with “two schoolgirls” and their “mum”. The clips on the thread were from porn websites called Illustrated Interracial, Blacked and Moms Lick Teens.

Mr Barwell’s reply – which didn’t have any text other than Twitter handles – was still on his account on Wednesday morning, but it was deleted shortly after it was discovered by journalists.

A Downing Street source said: “Gavin Barwell replied to this tweet, which was in his timeline, in error. He has deleted the reply and regrets the embarrassment this has caused.”

Mr Barwell, 46, a former Croydon Central MP who lost his seat in the 2017 general election, has a verified Twitter account with more than 22,000 followers.

The videos that he responded to were posted on Twitter in March last year by an account called Twinkystar.

The Twitter accounts quoted in the reply from his account also contained X-rated content.

Mr Barwell’s tweet was first reported by the website Guido Fawkes, which claimed that the reply was sent from an Android mobile phone.

It was unclear whether it was a personal or work phone.

Mirror Online has contacted Mr Barwell and the Prime Minister’s office for comment.

The reply was discovered amid a sleaze scandal at Westminster and claims that computers were used to access pornography.

In 2013, Mr Barwell, then a Tory MP, accused Labour of putting an “Arab dating” ad on a press release he read online.

But he was left red-faced when it was explained to him Google ads are based on the user’s “interests”.

He spotted the link next to a schools announcement put out on Twitter, and tweeted back: “I know you are short of cash but having an invitation to ‘date Arab girls’ at the top of your press release?”

Labour’s press team replied: “Oh dear.” It then posted a link to a Google Adsense help page.

The page stated: “In addition to seeing ads based on your interests, you may also see ads based on the types of sites you visit.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-mays-chief-staff-gavin-12023404

Action group calls for urgent arrest of Barwell over Grenfell fire

Hard-hitting report calls for transparent investigation among the ‘links in the chain of culpability’, as it alleges a cover-up has already begun

Gavin Barwell: has questions to answer over the Grenfell Tower

Gavin Barwell, who until last month was the Conservative MP for Croydon Central, should be arrested immediately and his documents and computer records from his time as housing minister seized and investigated for any evidence of a role in the Grenfell Tower fire.

And “where necessary”, a hard-hitting report published today states, Barwell should be  “put on trial in a criminal court”.

ASH – Architects for Social Housing – has campaigned long and hard against the social cleansing of council estates in Southwark, Lambeth and across the country. Today, they  published their report, The Truth About Grenfell Tower, which includes a list of around 60 politicians, civil servants, local authority officials and private contractors and consultants, who it believes should be thoroughly and transparently investigated, or the country risks another disaster with another high death toll.

Barwell was housing minister for a year, during which time he gave an undertaking to “look at” recommendations from a coroner’s inquest, after a previous tower block fire in London, which in 2011 said that the retro-fitting of sprinklers in all tall residential towers could save lives. Barwell never did get round to acting on the sprinkler recommendation.

Despite such failure, since losing his parliamentary seat at the General Election Barwell has been handed another political job, as the chief of staff to the interim Prime Minister.

Now, his name is on the ASH arrest list, together with a predecessor as housing minister, Brandon Lewis, plus Eric Pickles, the former local government secretary, and three directors of Rydon, the company responsible for the cladding work conducted at Grenfell Tower, as well as Richard Blakeway, formerly the deputy mayor for housing under Boris Johnson, and most of the members of the housing committee at Kensington and Chelsea over the past six years.

ASH is particularly concerned that the public inquiry ordered by the government into the Grenfell tragedy will only serve as a cover-up operation. “The first thing the announcement of a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has done… is to have removed all transparency and accountability for the investigation from public scrutiny and placed it in the hands of the very people who are responsible for this crime.”

Grenfell Tower in Kensington. ASH suggests a cover-up has already begun

ASH says that the cover-up has already begun. “As we have indicated throughout this report, much of the information gathered here is no longer available on the websites of the private companies and public bodies involved. The same chain of corruption that led to hundreds of residents burning to death because rich people didn’t want to acknowledge their existence is being repeated in the chain of secrecy that will… absolve the links in that chain of all responsibility for those deaths.”

They draw a comparison with the inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster; it took more than a quarter of a century before those responsible for the 96 deaths at a football match in Sheffield were charged with their crimes.

“We believe that one of the ways we can honour the memory of the dead is to identify and change the system that caused their deaths. If we don’t, this will not be the last loss of life we see on London’s council estates,” ASH warns.

Like many of the Grenfell survivors, ASH wants a coroner’s inquest, as happened after the Lakanal fire in Southwark.

“It seems that, whether by public inquiry or coroner’s inquest, the truth about Grenfell Tower is unlikely to be revealed soon, if ever,” ASH states in its conclusions.

“While the public inquiry to which the public is barred deliberates on what terms of reference it feels inclined to investigate, now might be the time to set up a ‘People’s Inquiry’ in order to address in public the question so many people are demanding be answered: who is responsible for the Grenfell Tower fire?”

Warnings about the risks and dangers of a fire in Grenfell Tower, from residents, the parliamentary fire advisory group and the London Fire Brigade have all “fallen on the deaf ears of politicians and civil servants who have shown neither morality nor responsibility, each and every one of whom should be investigated and questioned about their role in this disaster”.

The ASH report is particularly damning of the regeneration policies of many local authorities – Labour as well as Tory – and how such policies tend to see private contractors constantly seeking to drive down costs in search of ever greater profit margins, all the while potentially compromising on safety measures. In the case of Grenfell Tower, that regeneration policy took on a particularly perverse form: “The appearance of the tower from the outside that had been identified as artificially depressing the potential residual land values in the area received nearly £8.7million for a face lift.”

What they call “the links in the chain of culpability” lead all the way to the Department of Communities and Local Government, where Barwell worked as housing minister.

ASH accuses the DCLG and its ministers of placing “the deregulation of fire safety standards – which in their eyes represented an unnecessary obstacle to the profits to be made from the UK housing boom – above the safety of residents”.

ASH describes this as “systemic corruption that threatens the homes and lives of hundreds of thousands of estate residents across the UK”, and they call for “every individual culpable in this lethal chain of greed and criminal negligence should be arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced – rather than, as is currently happening, being allowed to resign on a severance package”, as has already happened at Kensington and Chelsea.

https://insidecroydon.com/2017/07/21/action-group-calls-for-urgent-arrest-of-barwell-over-grenfell-fire/

From May 11 2017

A stark warning

Coroner Frances Kirkham wrote to then Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, flagging up several areas of concern.

  @ericpickles

Why did you ignore the tower block fire risks report? 

Tory minister Eric Pickles spends £500,000 on luxury limos in three years

The Communities Secretary spent £247,775 on two ministerial cars in 2012, £185,935 in 2013, and £103,091 in the first six months of this year

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-minister-eric-pickles-spends-4600153

skuttlebucket‏ @AgeWait

This Inquiry ‘MUST’ place the following at the centre of its investigations: Eric Pickles Part 1

Eric Pickles Part2


Sky News Newsdesk

The Fire Brigades Union has called for a full judicial inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire


Another safe pair of hands for the establishment...

Grenfell fire inquiry to be led by retired appeal court judge

Thursday 29 June 2017

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster will be led by retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

The appointment of Sir Martin, who was a commercial lawyer before becoming a judge, was officially confirmed on Thursday morning.

Theresa May insists residents will be given a say over the direction of the Grenfell inquiry.

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-fire-inquiry-to-be-led-by-retired-appeal-court-judge-10930620

Sir Martin Moore-Bick will head the inquiry. Pic: Pegasus Scholarship Trust

 

Sir Martin Moore-Bick is a father of four who has held several high-profile positions over a career spanning five decades

Born in December 1946 and educated at Christ’s College, Cambridge, he was called to the bar in 1969.

Sir Martin began his legal career specialising in commercial contracts and went on to be appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1986.

He sat as a Deputy High Court judge before he was appointed to the High Court in October 1995.

The father-of-four had served in the Commercial Court of the High Court before he joined the Court of Appeal in April 2005.

There, he was an adviser to two Lord Chancellors: Lord Falconer and Jack Straw.

Sir Martin has handled prominent cases in the past – one of which saw him rule on a challenge brought by the family of Mark Duggan over police procedures following fatal shootings by officers.

He most recently held the title of Lord Justice of Appeal, retiring last December.

http://news.sky.com/story/who-is-sir-martin-moore-bick-the-top-judge-leading-the-grenfell-inquiry-10930893

May picks controversial judge for Grenfell inquiry The Times 29-06-17, p1

Grenfell Tower inquiry judge has controversial history in housing cases

Former court of appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, 70, chosen to preside over public inquiry into tower block fire

 Sir Martin Moore-Bick, a judge accused of supporting the social cleansing of London, to head inquiry into the GrenfellTower fire.
Sir Martin Moore-Bick

Among his more controversial cases was a decision allowing Westminster council to rehouse a tenant 50 miles away in Milton Keynes. It was later overturned by the supreme court.

The former senior judge has in the past been praised by the justice minister, Dominic Raab.

There were reports that there had been a delay in announcing his appointment because of concerns in Downing Street over his record on the bench.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/28/grenfell-tower-inquiry-judge-retired-martin-moore-bick

HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva

Some would say it’s almost as if they’ve gone out of their way to appoint the most unsuitable person for the job.

Rhianydd‏ @dryducks

Just as she did as Home Sec with the CSAinquiry – how many times does she get it wrong!? Must be deliberate, wants to scupper inquiry!


This is about something much, much bigger… And the reason for this is that it’s the government which is allowed to set the terms of the inquiry.

It is the government which is allowed to vet the chair of the inquiry.

We don’t allow defendants in a criminal trial to determine which charges they’re going to be tried on. We don’t allow them to vet the judge.

The government should have no role whatsoever in these decisions, because basically it is then being asked to judge its own failures. And that, it will never do.

The crack team tasked with ripping up public protections

what happened at Grenfell Tower as “mass murder”, caused by stripping away “public protections, which prevent lots of people from being incinerated”.

And he says there are journalists, organisations, and government officials whose job it is to strip them away. Monbiot points to those sitting on the Red Tape Initiative (RTI) project as an example. This is a cross-party group with considerable Tory influence and dubious conflicts of interest:

  • Sir Oliver Letwin, Conservative MP who set up the RTI.
  • Charles Moore, former editor of The Telegraph and former chair of Policy Exchange. Also Letwin’s best man.
  • Archie Norman, former Conservative MP and co-founder of Policy Exchange.
  • Greg Clark, Conservative MP, Business Secretary and former Communities Secretary.
  • Michael Gove sat on the panel prior to becoming Secretary of State for the Environment. And he was the first chairman of Policy Exchange.

Policy Exchange has on several occasions promoted deregulation.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/07/12/george-monbiot-pulls-apart-entire-tory-culture-led-grenfell-fire-video/


HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva


Residents of #GrenfellTower chose fire-resistant cladding during the initial stages. An alternative was fitted instead. WHY! @RBKC?


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4xRoROVYAAdlTe.jpg

Grenfell cladding boss is a government adviser

01 July 2017

A senior executive from the company that made the insulation boards fitted to Grenfell Tower is an adviser to the government on building regulations.

Image result for Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain U

Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain UK, which makes Celotex insulation, is on the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), which advises Sajid Javid, the communities and local government secretary.

Scotland Yard said last week that its investigation into the fire, which claimed at least 80 lives, had found that the Celotex RS 5000 insulation boards fitted in a large refurbishment project had proved highly flammable. Although classified as “low risk” in terms of fire, police said “the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower combusted soon after the test started”.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/grenfell-cladding-boss-is-a-government-adviser-8595vlh2t


Don’t tell anyone about the fire risks: Safety consultant hired to inspect Grenfell Tower urged council to hide failings – and he’s an ex-firefighter

  • Carl Stokes was paid £250,000 to inspect Grenfell Tower for any risks of fire
  • But former Oxfordshire Fire Service worker plotted with council to hide failings
  • Fire safety expert Arnold Tarling said attitude of Stokes ‘absolutely stinks’

Pictured: Carl Stokes, the fire consultant paid £250,000 to inspect Grenfell Tower 

Carl Stokes, the fire consultant paid £250,000 to inspect Grenfell Tower 

The fire risk assessor responsible for Grenfell Tower conspired with council housing chiefs to hide safety failings at the building in which at least 80 people died, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Fire consultant Carl Stokes, who was paid £250,000 to inspect the high-rise block, plotted with Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) to hide the failings from both residents and London Fire Brigade.

Remarkably, his advice not to disclose life-threatening fire risks was backed by housing chiefs, who were looking to avoid safety improvements which they considered unnecessary.

The Mail on Sunday has obtained a copy of a Fire Risk Assessment for Grenfell Tower, submitted by Mr Stokes to KCTMO in November 2012, in which he advises officials to exploit a legal loophole.

Under the heading ‘Legal Statement’, he wrote: ‘You do not have to give a copy of your fire risk assessment to anybody, not even the fire authority, if you do give them a copy this could be used against you at a later date.’

Mr Stokes, who served for many years with Oxfordshire Fire Service, then explained that withholding his report from London Fire Brigade was important because they ‘have the power to undertake an audit of the fire risk assessment to determine if it is suitable and sufficient or not’.

Remarkably, his advice not to disclose life-threatening fire risks was backed by housing chiefs, who were looking to avoid safety improvements which they considered unnecessary.

The Mail on Sunday has obtained a copy of a Fire Risk Assessment for Grenfell Tower, submitted by Mr Stokes to KCTMO in November 2012, in which he advises officials to exploit a legal loophole.

Under the heading ‘Legal Statement’, he wrote: ‘You do not have to give a copy of your fire risk assessment to anybody, not even the fire authority, if you do give them a copy this could be used against you at a later date.’

Mr Stokes, who served for many years with Oxfordshire Fire Service, then explained that withholding his report from London Fire Brigade was important because they ‘have the power to undertake an audit of the fire risk assessment to determine if it is suitable and sufficient or not’.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4657984/Grenfell-safety-consultant-urged-council-hide-failings.html

Mr Stokes was recommended to KCTMO directors by housing official Janice Wray as “willing to challenge the fire brigade on our behalf if he considered their [safety] requirements to be excessive.”

Mr Stokes is the director and sole shareholder of C S Stokes and Associates Ltd.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-risk-assessor-carl-stokes-buried-fire-risk-report-kensington-and-chelsea-tenant-a7819386.html

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

February 2016

Grenfell Tower

The TMO’s clerk of works will sign off Rydon’s work

Grenfell Tower The external cladding and window frames were passed on 15 May by the Council’s building control officer.

Grenfell Tower Tony Batty & Jon White monitored progress & ensured quality of work


 

The Government was told last year by its own fire investigators that tower blocks were covered in flammable material

June 26 2017

The Government was told last year by its own fire investigators that tower blocks were covered in flammable material – but were also told building regulations were “adequate”.

The advice was given by the same fire risk experts who are currently testing the cladding on 600 tower blocks – and so far failing every one of them.

The reports were sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in April 2016 by BRE Global, formerly the Government’s Building Research Establishment, which went on to reassure ministers that building controls, which BRE has influenced since 1948, were “adequate”.

The documents seen by Sky News show that in last year’s study of tower block fire safety it concluded: “With the exception of one or two unfortunate cases, there is currently no evidence from BRE Global’s fire investigations for DCLG to suggest that current building regulation recommendations, to limit vertical fire spread up the exterior of high rise buildings, are failing in their purpose.”

The documents go on to warn of “an increase in the volume of potential combustible materials being applied. A number of significant fires… have demonstrated the potential risks”.

BRE is now being paid to test cladding being removed from high rise buildings across the country in response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, in which 79 people are thought to have died after fire spread rapidly up cladding containing combustible insulation and plastic panels.

BRE has been paid by DCLG since at least 2007 to “investigate issues that may have implications for building regulations”.

Last week, DCLG said councils and housing associations must “immediately” take action if they have tower blocks with flammable polyethelyne (PE) panelling like that used on Grenfell Tower, which is “unlikely to be compliant with the requirements of the current Building Regulations”.

http://news.sky.com/story/government-fire-investigators-reported-cladding-risks-in-2016-10928193?dcmp=snt-sf-twitter

Krishnan Guru-MurthyVerified account @krishgm

Grenfell Tower was done without a Full Plans approval but was certified under Building Notice. Huge difference in scrutiny involved



CORRUPTION

One tower, 16 failed council inspections – then 79 died’

Grenfell Tower: 16 council inspections failed to stop use of flammable cladding

Exclusive: Officials tasked with enforcing strict fire regulations didn’t prevent use of material effectively banned on tall buildings

Four ministers were warned about tower block fire risks

Four separate government ministers were warned that fire regulations were not keeping people safe, in letters that have subsequently been seen by the BBC.

In the leaked letters, experts warn that those living in tower blocks like Grenfell Tower were “at risk”.

At least 79 people are dead or missing presumed dead after the fire at the London high-rise last week.

The department that received the letters said work to improve regulation and safety had already been under way.

Leaked letters

The letters show experts have been worried about fire safety in tower blocks for years.

Following a fatal fire in Lakanal House in south London in 2009, a series of recommendations were made to keep people safe.

They were ignored. The government promised a review of fire regulations in 2013, but it still has not happened.

BBC One’s Panorama has obtained a dozen letters sent by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group.

Informed by experts, it warned the government it “could not afford to wait for another tragedy”.

Four ministers – all from the Department for Communities and Local Government – received letters but did not strengthen the regulations.

Ronnie King, a former chief fire officer who sits on the group, says the government has ignored repeated warnings about tower block safety.

“We have spent four years saying ‘Listen, we have got the evidence, we’ve provided you with the evidence, there is clear public opinion towards this, you ought to move on this’,” said Mr King.

The government department promised a review in 2013, but it was soon delayed.

In March 2014, the parliamentary group wrote: “Surely… when you already have credible evidence to justify updating… the guidance… which will lead to saving of lives, you don’t need to wait another three years in addition to the two already spent since the research findings were updated, in order to take action?

“As there are estimated to be another 4,000 older tower blocks in the UK, without automatic sprinkler protection, can we really afford to wait for another tragedy to occur before we amend this weakness?”

After further correspondence, Liberal Democrat MP Steven Williams – who was then a minister in the department – replied: “I have neither seen nor heard anything that would suggest that consideration of these specific potential changes is urgent and I am not willing to disrupt the work of this department by asking that these matters are brought forward.”

The group replied to say they “were at a loss to understand, how you had concluded that credible and independent evidence, which had life safety implications, was NOT considered to be urgent”.

“As a consequence the group wishes to point out to you that should a major fire tragedy, with loss of life, occur between now and 2017 in, for example, a residential care facility or a purpose built block of flats, where the matters which had been raised here, were found to be contributory to the outcome, then the group would be bound to bring this to others’ attention.”

The letters were written before the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

One went to the-then Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, who received a letter about fire regulations from the parliamentary group in February 2014.

He had also been asked to look at fire safety in February 2013 and March 2013 by two separate coroners, investigating two tower block fires.

In December 2015, the all-party group wrote to Conservative MP James Wharton, another minister in the department at the time, and warned about the risk of fires spreading on the outside of buildings with cladding.

“Today’s buildings have a much higher content of readily available combustible material. Examples are timber and polystyrene mixes in structure, cladding and insulation.

“This fire hazard results in many fires because adequate recommendations to developers simply do not exist. There is little or no requirement to mitigate external fire spread.”

The last of the four ministers in the department to receive a letter was Gavin Barwell, who has since moved on to become Theresa May’s top aide. He received his letter from the parliamentary group in September last year.

In November, Mr Barwell replied to say his department had been looking at the regulations, and would make a statement “in due course”.

In April this year, Mr Barwell wrote to say he did “acknowledge that producing a statement on building regulations has taken longer than I had envisaged”.

The fire safety group pointed out that it had been “given a similar response by three successive ministers since 2010” and it “is now time to listen to what the Fire Sector is saying”.

The government has said there is still no timetable for a review.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said that a police investigation into the Grenfell Fire is already under way “but it will be some time before it is fully understood how the fire started or why it took hold in the way it did.”

In a statement, it added: “The government has acted to improve fire regulation and safety, including the recommendations made by the Coroner following the Lakanal House Fire.

“The final recommendation concerned simplification of fire safety guidance, and this work was under way, with a consultation due to be published this summer.

“Fire safety requirements are complex issues and our priority has been that we have high standards. A great deal of work has been completed, including commissioning and undertaking research to support the planned consultation. Clearly, in light of this tragic event, we need to reflect on whether this consultation is the correct next step to take. We will confirm our approach shortly.”

In a separate development, Panorama has discovered that firefighters put out the first fire at Grenfell Tower.

They were called to a fridge fire, and within minutes told residents the fire was out in the flat.

The crew was leaving the building when firefighters outside spotted flames rising up the side of the building.

The Fire Brigades Union say firefighters were left facing an unprecedented fire, and officers broke their own safety protocol to rescue people.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40330789

Labour demands answers after ministers ‘ignore’ 12 letters warning high-rise blocks at risk of fire


ZED 🤐 @ZedTrafficker

What kind of sick experiment is this? When on fire the cladding released cyanide

Fire Safety Experts warned about the dangers of Hydrogen Cyanide used in cladding in 2011 report ~ but were ignored

link

Grenfell Tower victims ‘poisoned by cyanide released by burning insulation boards used for cladding’

Three of those injured in the fire are known to have been treated with an antidote for hydrogen cyanide poisoning and fire toxicity experts say the thermal lining was an ‘accident waiting to happen’

Fire toxicity experts claim their positioning – between the new cladding facade and the existing ‘70s brickwork of the building – meant every flat could have been filled with enough gas to kill those inside.

Professor Hull, who co-authored a peer-reviewed study in 2011 which established that PIR was the most toxic six insulation materials added: “It’s been an accident waiting to happen and unfortunately we’ve got to the stage now where the accident has happened and we’re standing here saying ‘I told you so’.

“It would have been much better if people had listened to us earlier on when we published the report.”

The insulation board was manufactured by Celotex, who say if fitted correctly it meets regulations for use on buildings above 18m (59ft) tall.

Celotex is yet to comment on the cyanide claims.

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-victims-poisoned-cyanide-10664183#ICID=ios_TMNewsApp_AppShare_Click_Twitter

Grenfell contractor confirms that polyethylene-core cladding has also been installed on housing estate in Camden.

http://www.itv.com/news/2017-06-21/grenfell-cladding-used-on-nearby-north-london-estate/

An estimated 600 buildings in England have similar cladding to #GrenfellTower, Theresa May’s spokeswoman says

Company that did Grenfell renovation about to get £65,000,000 London housing contract

Rydon, the company behind the controversial refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, is about to get a £65million construction contract in west London.

According to industry publication Construction News, the contractor has been approved by Ealing Council’s cabinet as the development partner for the regeneration of High Line Estates in the borough.

Ealing is the neighbouring borough to Kensington and Chelsea, where Grenfell Tower near Latimer Road tragically went up in flames.

The lucrative deal will see the contractor finance, develop and submit a planning application for the new development, which will be situated just miles from where last week’s atrocity unfolded.

They will then demolish the area’s existing estate, before replacing it with mixed-tenure housing. The majority of homes in the development will apparently be ‘affordable’.

Rydon was the main contractor on the Grenfell Tower works that were completed last summer, at a cost of £8.7million.

One of the main changes to the building involved the addition of external cladding, which it has been claimed caused the fire to spread much quicker than it would have otherwise.

At least 79 people have been confirmed dead after the tragedy last week, but police warn that the death toll is set to rise.

Rydon has since insisted all of its work on Grenfell Tower met the required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards.

Ealing Council added that although Rydon had been chosen as its preferred partner for the development of the estate, they hadn’t yet signed a deal.

A spokesperson for Ealing Council told Metro.co.uk: ‘The High Lane estate scheme is in a very early stage. All designs will be fully consulted on with residents and partners and will meet all fire safety standards.

‘The current outdated housing blocks will be replaced by new mixed-tenure blocks that meet all modern fire safety standards. There can be no comparison made with the construction methods or materials at Grenfell Tower.’


ben goldacreVerified account @bengoldacre

One thing conspicuously missing: TV footage of police carrying boxes of documents and computers out of Grenfell’s management offices…

I am truly staggered by the lack of competent response to Grenfell, inadequate immediate support..

For victims, a PM so afraid to meet the public that there is no public reassurance, and a fair impression that accountability is lacking

https://youtu.be/aNNNzPSmnQQ

 

The horror blaze struck in the early hours of Wednesday morning

Landlord spent £10million to put cladding to make building look pretty (for surrounding rich) for 300k they could have sprinkler system.

https://twitter.com/akalamusic/status/874924962045472768

 Image result for grenfell tower block 70 dead

 

https://wikispooks.com/w/images/thumb/8/81/Grenfell_Tower_view.jpg/800px-Grenfell_Tower_view.jpg

Westfield Shopping Centre viewed (March 2013) from the Grenfell Tower

Simon @york_englishman

way this is going it’s like a setup – land expensive around there by any chance ?

 

 

Frank Lowy/Westfield Centre/ 911 Trade Centre 7

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Westfield_Shopping_Centre

Rydon has been working with the MoD for several years.

http://www.rydon.co.uk/what-we-do/ministry-of-defence

It struck me as odd that the police ruled out arson very early on, before they had made any other official comment on almost any aspect of this fire. Also that the guy with the allegedly faulty fridge was identified so quickly. Perhaps the authorities want to reassure people… or perhaps something more sinister is going on.

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/06/london-fire.html#comment-form

 

Mr Lee Jasper‏ @LeeJasper

Dear @theresa_may @AmberRuddHR

Can you clarify if the #GrenfellTower residents/supporters are subject to undercover police surveillance?

Dear @metpoliceuk @SadiqKhan

Can you clarify whether or not #GrenfellTower families/supporters are under covert police surveillance ?

Did undercover police target Grenfell residents who raised fears about safety?

June 18

Spycops have a long and baneful history of infiltrating health and safety groups.

AMID the protests and non-stop press coverage of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there are some big questions that are still to be asked.

Specifically: were undercover police infiltrating the Grenfell Action Group? Do the names of the residents who warned about the safety deficiencies at Grenfell Tower (or other council housing projects) appear on the Met Police’s domestic extremism database?

To many, this may seem an odd question, but to community and trade union activists who have campaigned on safety issues for decades, being ignored by those in authority while at the same time being victimised and spied on by them is par for the course.

Last year the High Court heard how a corporate spy called Rob Moore posed as a journalist to infiltrate various anti-asbestos groups and spy on campaigners, including relatives of those who had died from the deadly fibres.

Construction workers who raised concerns about safety on building sites have been repeatedly dismissed, kept under surveillance and blacklisted by multinational companies who saw them as a threat to their profits.

Blacklist files record such activities as workers organising a petition on social housing, participating in the Construction Safety Campaign or complaining about the unsafe electrical equipment and disposal of asbestos.

But it was not only big business that targeted those who raised safety concerns: the police were implicated too.

The Special Demonstration Squad, National Public Order Intelligence Unit and the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit all spied on activists who were vocal on health and safety issues.

The undercover police officer Mark Jenner posed as a carpenter while infiltrating a campaign by building workers to reduce deaths on building sites and targeted the well-respected London Hazards Centre.

Activists who campaigned on safety issues have found themselves placed on the Met’s domestic extremism database and a “two-way exchange of information” existed between the police and the blacklisting companies.

Following disclosure at the Pitchford public inquiry, it is now known that around 250 undercover officers have infiltrated more than 1,000 campaign groups since the late 1960s.

This included not just trade unions but environmental campaigns, anti-racist groups, peace activists and even the grieving parents of murder victims.

Progressive housing campaigns and squatters’ rights groups have been kept under surveillance by these political policing units too.

In the overwhelming number of cases, those spied upon have committed no crime. The purpose of the state intrusion into their lives was not to detect criminality but to keep tabs on anyone considered a troublemaker.

Often that simply meant participating in a perfectly lawful campaign that asked difficult questions — the very same questions about how the rich get rich at the expense of working-class communities that the whole of the country is now asking in the wake of Grenfell.

In many cases the undercover police are accused of acting as agents provocateurs or deliberately disrupting and destabilising the campaigns they targeted.

The Grenfell Action Group is part of a wider coalition of community groups called the Radical Housing Network, which has campaigned for many years against gentrification and the underfunding of working-class housing stock.

Repeated attempts by the Grenfell Action Group to alert those in authority to serious risks fell upon deaf ears.

But have these housing activists, who have been proved right in such a catastrophic and tragic manner, been targeted by undercover spycops?

Because of the police refusal to answer any questions about the operation of their political undercover police officers, I do not know the answer to that question. But given what we know about how these anti-democratic units operate, it’s one worth asking.

If this turns out to be true, then why are the resources of the British state being used to spy on perfectly legal residents’ groups with genuine concerns rather than investigate the real criminals?

How many lives might have been saved if the police had investigated the legitimate concerns raised by activists rather than continuing to spy on them?

To answer these questions might pose real difficulties for Theresa May and the entire British secret state apparatus.

Tottenham MP David Lammy has sensibly called for all the documents relating to the Grenfell Tower refurbishment to be seized by the Met Police to stop potential evidence being destroyed.

I just hope documents don’t get accidently shredded by the Met themselves.

http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-fcb3-Did-undercover-police-target-Grenfell-residents-who-raised-fears-about-safety#.WUhmkty1uM-

LoneYogi @LoneYogi

Lancaster Green residents below left without hot water, gas. At risk if Grenfell collapses. Asbestos

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/grenfell-tower-fire-the-forgotten-forgotten-victims/


Peter F @PFurmo

Daily Mail: The man ‘whose faulty fridge started Grenfell Tower inferno’

First rule of the Establishment blame game; dehumanise the victims. We lived through it after Hillsborough. We won’t allow it with #Grenfell


thetrollmaiden @Zeddeee

Electrical Surges since 2013! Fridge Blowing up my eye!


Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew

Hillsborough tactics, Day 4: As spokespeople emerge, assassinate their character to try & devalue the protest.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/16/mustafa-almansur-organiser-grenfell-tower-protest-movement/

Start fight for justice now, Hillsborough mum urges Grenfell Tower campaigners

Margaret Aspinall calls for openness and transparency in London inferno investigation

“I told him you’ve got to start demanding answers and have transparency and openness about everything as the authorities will try and palm you off…

Residents of the west London flats had predicted a ‘catastrophic event’ in a blog post just seven months ago.

The Grenfell Tower Action Group on their blog said: “The many who lost their lives in this catastrophe were our friends and neighbours.

“We tried to speak for them in life and we will continue to speak for them now.

“We share the pain of the homeless, the injured and the bereaved to whom we offer our heartfelt sympathy, condolences and solidarity.

“We also share the sense of anger and injustice that has troubled this community for years.

“That is why we started this blog and that is why we will continue as we started, speaking truth to power whether or not they choose to listen.”
Kensington & Chelsea Tory leader walks out of council meeting after judge orders it can’t be held in private without media
Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo
By cancelling council meeting, Paget-Brown stuck two fingers up to Grenfell survivors and undermined judges ruling that press should attend.
GrenfellTower council meeting decends in to chaos. Council leader scraps meeting due to media presence.
Tom London‏ @TomLondon6
How can Paget-Brown still be in post? How can anyone trust him? Grenfell survivors barred from council meeting

Judge orders council to allow media into Grenfell Tower meeting

Court overturns Kensington and Chelsea council’s attempt to hold meeting in private, after challenge from Guardian and other media

A judge has ordered a London council to lift a ban on the media reporting on the first meeting of councillors to discuss the Grenfell Tower disaster, after a legal challenge by the Guardian and other media groups.

Downing Street had expressed concern after survivors of the fire and members of the media were barred from the Kensington and Chelsea council cabinet meeting on Thursday evening which was to hear a report about the blaze.

The council had opted to hold a private cabinet meeting to hear an oral report about the fire, citing the potential for disorder, and previous threats against staff. Such meetings are usually open to the public.

The meeting was to be led by the council’s Conservative leader, Nicholas Paget-Brown, who has been widely criticised in the wake of the fire.

However, a court application by the Guardian and five other media groups saw the high court order the council to admit members of the media with press cards.

Downing Street had said it wanted all parties involved in the fire aftermath “to be as open and transparent as possible, both with residents and the wider public, to ensure full confidence in the response effort”.

A spokeswoman said: “We would encourage everyone involved to respect this wherever possible.”

Labour’s Andrew Gwynne, the shadow communities secretary, had also urged the council to reconsider. “In order to deliver a response that survivors, residents and the wider public can trust, there is no room for anything less than complete transparency,” he said.

The decision to bar survivors and the wider public from the meeting followed protests two days after the fire, in which at least 79 people died, when angry residents stormed the town hall.

The council said the decision to exclude the public was made in accordance with its own standing orders “which are confirmed in common law”.

A notice of the private meeting on the Grenfell Tower fire.
A notice of the private meeting on the Grenfell Tower fire. Photograph: Kensington and Chelsea council

The council has come under intense criticism for its response to the disaster, with many residents claiming they were left to fend for themselves.

Its chief executive, Nicholas Holgate, resigned last week, after pressure from the communities secretary, Sajid Javid.

Calls have been made for Paget-Brown to follow, with London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, demanding the resignation of the entire council leadership.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/29/grenfell-survivors-barred-from-council-meeting-about-fire?CMP=share_btn_tw

Just watch the COVERUP unfold….

EL4C‏ @EL4JC

Theresa May promised Grenfell survivors they would have a say in who chaired the inquiry and it’s scope. Today, she broke that promise.

Kensington Council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown resigns after fatal Grenfell tower fire

Move follows criticism of the council’s response to the disaster

June 30 2017

Moments after Mr Paget-Brown’s resignation, deputy council leader and the cabinet member responsible for housing, Rock Feilding-Mellen, also announced he was stepping down.

In a separate development, the organisation which manages Grenfell Tower in west London announced it had agreed its chief executive would “step aside” so he can “concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry”.

A statement from the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) confirmed Robert Black’s position, two days after retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick was appointed to lead the public inquiry into the deaths of at least 80 people.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/kensington-council-leader-nicholas-paget-brown-resigns-grenfell-tower-fire-residents-survivors-tory-a7817396.html

HRH Crafty Muvva

“…perceived failings”. Incredible… Don’t worry Nick, your Tory mates from Bow Group will assist.

#DontLetTheDoorHitYourArseOnTheWayOut

Dave Russell‏ @daverussell

How can a inquiry be INDEPENDENT Judge is appointed by Mrs May! What is the terms of reference? To absolve Tories at any cost.
Madeleine Noor Baker‏ @MadNBaker
No 10 have said “we wish the residents to be consulted on the terms of reference of the inquiry” – then 2 days later publish unconsulted TOR

Journalists barred from first Kensington Council meeting since Grenfell

Journalists have been barred from tonight’s meeting of Kensington Council’s cabinet – the first to be held since the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea says tonight’s meeting will be held entirely in private session, putting the decision down to the “risk of disruption.”

The council has cited an incident on Friday 16 June, two days after the fatal fire, which saw survivors and other residents attempt to enter Kensington Town Hall before returning to a demonstration outside, as an example of the supposed risk.

At least 80 people are now known to have died in the blaze, although a final figure may not be produced until 2018.

A notice of meeting on the council’s website reads: “Please note this meeting will be held entirely in private session, pursuant to Standing Order 31.01*, in the light of the risk of disruption (as witnessed on Friday 16 June) and consequently security and public safety concerns.

“As such it will be open only to cabinet members, support officers and invited guests (if any).  The public minutes of this meeting will be published, in due course, on the council website.”

The Standing Order referred to states that under common law and statute, the chairman of the meeting, who in this case is council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown, has the power to exclude the public if he or she is of the opinion that there shall be a disruption to the business.

The fire is listed as the only item of business other than apologies for absence and declarations of interest.

Following the decision, local news website Get West London offered to live stream the meeting via its Facebook page, but has yet to hear back from the council.

In a piece on the decision, content editor Charlotte Neal wrote: “We understand that the lack of distinction between public and press in the order and zero evidence that one of our reporters would disrupt proceedings, coupled with the undeniable public interest of the meeting, gives the council not even a matchstick sized legal leg to stand on. If the ban remains, the press could likely demand a (costly) judicial review.

“Head of governance services at the council, Robert Sheppard, responsible for giving advice to the cabinet, told Get West London ‘council lawyers are satisfied on the legal basis’ and that the press is welcome to challenge it. When asked if we could speak to the council’s lawyers, he redirected us to the press office.

“If the council’s not going to let the public into the meeting, once again insulting their capability to handle themselves, at least let “the eyes and ears of the public” do what it does best and report on the damn thing. We repeat, these people deserve at worst the whole truth.

“We stress, the press are the eyes and ears of the public; we’re not here to play lip service to the council and publish its carefully crafted ‘available shared content’ – where’s the accountability in that?”

The site will be live blogging from outside the meeting this evening.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ acting general secretary, said: “We are deeply disturbed at the news that the Kensington and Chelsea council cabinet meeting tonight will be held in private. The ban on media attendance should be lifted immediately and we call on all council members to ensure that this matter of the utmost public interest is discussed in public.

“The horrific fire is a matter of grave public interest. The public has a right to know if public policy failures contributed to this disaster. There is no justification for behind closed doors discussions. This can only contribute to further alienation of residents who feel their voice has not been listened to.

“Members of the public, especially those affected by the fire, and broader public must have their rights respected. The right to freedom of expression includes the right to information. Ultimately elected representatives make decisions on behalf of their constituents and the local community.

“Decisions of the council should be open to scrutiny and conveyed to the public via the independent media. Secrecy is the default position of those who seek to avoid accountability for their actions and on this occasion there is no room for anything less than complete transparency.”

The council declined to comment further when contacted by HTFP.

http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2017/news/journalists-barred-from-first-kensington-council-meeting-since-grenfell/


 

Grenfell Tower

Outside of Grenfell Tower

2014 from The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

 

Building Control » Building Control Summary

DEM/14/02401 | Demolition | Grenfell Tower, Grenfell Road, LONDON, W11 1TH

 

Description Of Works Demolition
Site Address Grenfell Tower, Grenfell Road, LONDON, W11 1TH
Application Reference Number DEM/14/02401
Valid Date Thu 22 May 2014
Decision Date Not Available
Status Deposited

There are 0 documents associated with this application.

There are 0 cases associated with this application.

There is 1 property associated with this application.

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/bconline/buildingControlDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=_RBKC_BCAPR_123520

 

 

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/877259254016741377

Anne Murphy @DrAnneMurphy

That £5,500. It’s a statutory payment.


Why Didn’t the Grenfell Towers Collapse After Burning for Over 12 Hours?

https://youtu.be/kjZDDfxL1Kw

 

Aug 20, 2008

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released its long-awaited report on the collapse of World Trade 7 following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Our take-home message today is that the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery,” NIST lead investigator Shyam Sunder told journalists at this morning’s press conference in Gaithersburg, Md. “WTC 7 collapsed because of fires fueled by office furnishings.It did not collapse from explosives or from diesel fuel fires.”

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/a3524/4278874/


 

“Where was this when people were screaming at windows?” New Grenfell Tower fire engine with 137ft ladder explained

Residents ask on Facebook why a fire service appliance with much longer reach than those which initially responded to the devastating blaze can be seen at the scene ‘only now’?

…someone trapped high up in the building – desperately waving for help from a window.

In other images shot that morning, it’s clear firefighters on the ground – who rushed to the scene just six minutes after the first 999 call – had ladders which couldn’t reach anywhere near that high.

The frustration for those who were first on the scene is unimaginable.

Residents were told to stay in their flats – advised before that night as the protocol to follow in case of fire and, it’s been claimed, by operators when they dialled 999.

At the time it was said – although not confirmed – London Fire Service appliances only had ladders which could reach as high as the 12th floor of what’s described as a 24-storey building.

But residents have reacted with shock and consternation when crews in a fire appliance extended a ladder at the scene yesterday which clearly reached much higher.

Some four to five days after the blaze, the appliance with the longer ladder is being used to search the site for the bodies of victims trapped in the blaze high up.

A spokesman for Surrey Fire & Rescue confirmed to MirrorOnline that they were called at 6.50am on Wednesday morning – some six hours after the blaze started at around 12.50am.

He said he was unable to say how long it took for the for the Aerial Ladder Platform to arrive at the scene, travelling from Leatherhead.

Its Surrey-based crew – five men on the appliance in rotation – have been working round the clock to support their London colleagues at the scene ever since.

The question remains why London Fire Brigade don’t own one – especially with such a concentration of high rises in the capital.

Questions over whether they had access to the best resources available are a matter that the public inquiry MUST look into.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-fire-ladder-engine-10648677

 

Teacher says ‘nothing was done’ to help Grenfell victims

 

A teacher who says she witnessed some of her students run back in to the burning Grenfell Tower block to try and help a friend has expressed her anger that “nothing was done” to help.

“The army barracks are in Knightsbridge, why did the army not come? Are we not good enough?”

http://www.itv.com/news/story/2017-06-17/grenfell-tower-fire-pm-says-support-for-victims-wasnt-good-enough-as-protests-and-anger-continue/


Dr Lauren Gavaghan@DancingTheMind

@theresa_maywhy was the army not sent in immediately to help people of #Grenfell ?

Grenfell fire: Theresa May attacked by fire safety expert for not treating disaster as national emergency

24 June 2017

‘This is turning into a PR disaster for the local authorities,’ says Stephen Mackensie

A fire safety expert has criticised Theresa May for not convening a Cobra meeting to support local authorities in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Stephen MacKenzie said he thought Camden council “had done the sensible thing” by evacuating hundreds of people from five tower blocks.

But he told Sky News he was “at a loss as to why Theresa May has not convened Cobra over this to actually get emergency arrangements, led by central government, to support the local authorities and to give the residents the necessity reassurance and address this issue.

“This is turning into a PR disaster for the local authorities,” he said, adding that a group of fire experts should be convened “urgently” over the weekend together with private and social housing to find solutions to the issue.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-fire-theresa-may-cladding-response-expert-cobra-meeting-criticism-a7805861.html


Fears grow over ’15 tots from same nursery missing’ in Grenfell Tower fire

A childcare worker at Grenfell Nursery reportedly told a relative ‘at least 15 of the children aged between six months and four-years-old were still missing last night’

The childcare centre, based on the ground floor of the building, is reportedly said to be ‘preparing for the worst’.

Authorities are yet to issue a list of the missing more than 72 hours after the disaster.

The Daily Star reports that Ish Murray’s pregnant sister works at Grenfell Nursery and has told him ‘at least 15 of the children aged between six months and four-years-old were still missing last night’.

The 35-year-old told the paper: “Lots of kids live in the block with their parents.

“My sister told me that 15 are missing.”

The information is yet to be officially verified.

Nursery manager Shirley Sylvester has confirmed that young children are missing but hasn’t publicly stated a number to the media.

“Lots of children who go here live in the block,” she said.

“We are not coping very well to be honest. They are our local families”.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-fire-nursery-15-10637730#ICID=sharebar_twitter

She will be missed by us all forever’: Family pay heart-wrenching tribute to ‘loving mother and partner’ Berkti Hafton, 29, killed in Grenfell Tower fire

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/she-missed-forever-family-pay-13317100


Kensington and Chelsea Council have yet to respond to over 130 offers to rehouse Grenfell Tower victims

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-kensington-chelsea-council-displaced-residents-protests-grenfell-tower-a7795171.html

Sajid Javid


Tories Who Voted Against Making Rented Properties ‘Fit’ for Human Habitation

David Cameron, Chris Grayling, Dominic Grieve, Nick Hurd, Julian Lewis, Jacob Rees-Mogg, John Whittingdale to name a few

The bosses of the company that installed Grenfell Tower’s allegedly deadly cladding were accused by HMRC of pumping £2.5million into tax avoidance schemes. 

A spokeswoman for the mayor of London has told the Guardian that the British Red Cross is now leading the volunteer effort on the ground around Grenfall Tower. A spokeswoman for the Red Cross, however, said she was not aware of the news.
skuttlebucket‏ @AgeWait

A Matter of Interest ? Barely 1 month after the Grenfell Tower Fire…

Trent‏ @RandolphTrent

in contrast this is the house when its for a 10% pay rise for them!

for further contrast!

Angry Grenfell residents demand arrests and resignations at meeting

Kensington and Chelsea council meeting sees people express rage and contempt for officialdom at investigation’s slow progress

12 July 2017


How many people lived in Grenfell? How many people got out and are accounted for? How many are still missing?

 

Where are the survivors?!

“We are sending boxes and food… to who? None of the people I grew up with, I can’t find anyone! Where are they?” asks a distressed resident on PressTv. Haven’t most residents in that building died? We don’t even know how many people were in that building! It could easily be 440-660 people assuming 2-3 persons per 220 bedrooms (Claire OT- tweeter user on my network). Those on the missing list have not been checked against the bodies lying in the body bags in the tents! (Jane interviewed by Ashish Joshi -Sky News) Who is identifying the dead? When will the relatives, if they have survived be contacted? When will these people who government failed to give dignity in life, allow them dignity in death? Why is the media not asking these questions repeatedly until we find the answers?

No one has communicated! No one has owned the aftermath of the tragedy! No one has even apologised! No one has resigned. Pages have been removed from Council websites. Why are they all in hiding &/or being non-transparent? Is this seen as a price perhaps worth paying .. the eye-sore… the expendables.. the inevitable casualties of their greed, selfish life styles and corruption? How did we get to a situation when ordinary law abiding citizens who have lost loved ones, family and friends, neighbours felt the need to storm the council offices?

https://satyagrahamedia.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/grenfell-towers-when-will-we-learn/

http://skruff.co.uk/vid1.mp4

^ Grenfell – Must watch   – Powerful video


Tent full of body bags, no one accounting for…

https://twitter.com/Rachael_Swindon/status/875817825339924481

 

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

Surely the number of bodies found in the building is known, even if they haven’t been identified. So what’s the body count?

Heroic Grenfell Tower firefighters gagged from talking about horrors amid fears death toll could rise above 100

The order from bosses has been revealed by several Fire Brigade sources who grimly insisted the official figure of 80 dead will soar

1 JUL 2017

Heroic firefighters have been gagged from talking about the full horror at Grenfell Tower amid fears the true death toll will top 100.

The order from bosses has been revealed by several Fire Brigade sources who grimly insisted the official figure of 80 dead will soar.

They spoke as authorities were accused of masking the total of those who perished in the inferno.

One firefighter, who did not want to be named, told the Sunday Mirror: “We’ve been told by our management don’t speak, ideally. The coroner has said it could obstruct the investigation. I don’t know how it can – what’s happened has happened, but that’s what we’re being told.”

A union rep for the Fire Brigades Union said: “We know the death toll will be higher than the official figure – and we’re not talking about one or two higher. There’s a strong possibility we are talking about three figures.”

17 days after the fire we have no list of survivors, the police have said we will have to wait until the end of the year for numbers.

“It’s causing huge anxiety for people who want closure as they wait for news of their loved-ones and it feeds deep mistrust amongst the victims and survivors themselves.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/heroic-grenfell-tower-firefighters-gagged-10722903


Police say the final Grenfell Tower death toll won’t be known until next year

Jun. 28, 2017

The final death toll of the Grenfell Tower disaster will not be known until next year, the Metropolitan Police has said.

At least 80 people are now known to have died in the catastrophic blaze on June 14. This has risen from 79, with the latest victim being identified as five-year-old boy Isaac Paulous.

But a final figure will not become clear until 2018.

Residents’ groups and Labour MP David Lammy have criticised the fatalities number for being unrealistically low, and have even suggested that the true scale of destruction has been suppressed to avoid civil unrest.

Officers said they believe the majority of those who died came from 23 flats in the upper half of the building, which had a total of 129 apartments. Police have yet to make contact with anybody from the 23 flats, leading them to believe there were no survivors. They were distributed between the 11th and 23rd floors.

Officers have contacted at least one survivor in each of the other 106 flats.

Fiona McCormack, a detective chief superintendent orientating the investigation, said a conclusive death toll will be available “only after we have completed the search and recovery operation, which will take until the end of the year.”

McCormack said officers have now been in every single flat, and on the building’s roof.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/metropolitan-police-grenfell-tower-death-toll-not-known-until-next-year-2017-6?r=UK&IR=T

The man, Sir Ken Knight, overseeing the Grenfell fire panel advised ministers to cut fire funding by £200m

The Queen awarded Sir Ken the Queens’ Fire Service Medal in 1991 and the CBE in 2001. He was appointed as Her Majesty’s Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Richmond upon Thames in 2007. Sir Ken was Knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the fire and rescue service.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Knight

28 June 2017

Fire safety independent panel chair advised against retrofitting sprinklers and authored report advocating £200m fire service cuts

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II  glances over to her husband Prince Philip  beside Fire Commissioner Sir Ken Knight  during a visit to Millwall Fire Station in London’s Docklands, 16 February 2007. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh received a briefing on operations and watched participants in the ‘LIFE Program‘. The program is an intensive course in which young people learn firefighting skills alongside real firefighters. The youngsters are aged between 13-18.

 

Sir Ken Knight will now advise the Government on its response to the Grenfell Tower fire 

Sir Ken Knight will head the group which has been appointed to “advise on any immediate measures that can be put in place to make buildings safe.”

But in his report the Lakanal House fire in Camberwell, which killed three women and three children in 2009, the former London fire commissioner wrote: “It is not considered as practical or economically viable to make a requirement for the retrospective fitting of fire suppression systems to all current high-rise residential buildings.

Sir Ken was also the author of a 2013 report which recommended £200m worth of cuts to the fire service, according to the Political Scrapbook website.

panel he now heads, will be made up of building and fire safety experts, including the chief executive of the Building Research Establishment, Peter Bonfield, the chairman of the National Fire Chiefs Council, Roy Wilsher, and president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Amanda Clack.

They are due to have their first meeting this week.

http://www.independent.co.uk/property/house-and-home/pets/news/fire-safety-measures-grenfell-tower-sprinklers-retrofitting-fire-service-cuts-independent-panel-a7812646.html

Mahboubeh Jamalvatan is still troubled by what she saw on night of fire and unsettled by the protracted dislocation that has followed.

She is finding it hard to sleep or eat because she is still so troubled by what she saw. “What bothers me a lot is it was mainly children and women who died, because the men were out. I saw them with my eyes, the people behind the windows, the children. Downstairs, people were screaming ‘come down’ but they couldn’t, they were trapped there. The police were asking us to move back but I could see the faces at the windows as the fire was spreading around the building,” she says. “I think about it all the time.”

She told the police she was surprised by how few firefighters she saw to begin with. In her statement she said she was concerned that the fire brigade were slow to appreciate the seriousness of the fire. “They thought they could handle it,” she says, speaking with the help of an interpreter. She was also disturbed by the difficulty fire teams seemed to have in getting to the building. “The way that the building was designed, there wasn’t full access around it, there was no access for the fire engines to get there,” she said. Residents had lodged formal complaints over several years about the difficulty of emergency access to the building.

 

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

I, too, believe the fatality count is being micro-managed to contain the fallout for the government.

survivor ‘only passed 8 people on stairs all the way from upper floor’

Reading eye-witness reports like this makes my blood boil. Why isn’t the media and government telling the truth?

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

Mining accident…accurate numbers. Passenger ship capsize…accurate numbers. Plane crash….the same. The council fucking know how many.


https://twitter.com/charlotteh71/status/876430609463300097

DamningListen to this ^

Fatalities into the 160s – authorities delaying publishing the numbers, hoping interest will die down.


i newspaperVerified account @theipaper

Grenfell survivors tell me the death toll is far higher than police say. I believe them


Good Morning BritainVerified account @GMB

‘There is no way that the death toll is the figure that is currently being given as 79’ – Local councillor Eartha Pond


Hana @akacairo

They can identify a suicide bomber and know his full name and nationality after being completely blown up.. But not people in this tower?


https://www.facebook.com/MajidFreeman650/videos/790183781141008/


Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

@RSOE_EDIS

Hi….

was your ‘missing’ figure of 538 at #GrenfellTowerFire changed to 0 for a reason ?



Gathrer collects statuses of former Grenfell Tower residents

Add, edit and view the surviving, missing and deceased here

http://gathrer.com/



17 June 2017

Police update. Local residents ask questions about public inquiry & materials used in refurbishment

Grenfell Tower refurbishment was ‘not approved’, according to council

http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/21/grenfell-tower-refurbishment-was-never-formally-signed-off-6723671/


Grenfell fire victims can’t access funds raised for them and council only giving them a tenner, volunteer claims

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-victims-given-a-tenner-hotels-no-access-funds-kensington-chelsea-borough-a7795771.html

Grenfell Tower residents offered rooms – in ‘carbon copy’ hotel. With cladding

Government staff have been drafted in to bolster the official response to the Grenfell Tower disaster in west London.

The move follows widespread criticism of the local council’s performance.

Residents condemned the relief effort as “absolute chaos” and complained that Kensington and Chelsea Council had provided little support or information.

Councils across London are now involved in the operation, with humanitarian assistance being provided by the west London borough of Ealing.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40316812

 May admits her Govt and Tory K&C council’s Grenfell Tower responses failed survivors: “That was a failure of the state local and national.”

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/theresa-may-admits-grenfell-tower-response-was-failure-1627275

lily #labourtine🎈Verified account @lilyallen


Ealing are now running the show since RBKC stood down. This doesn’t fill me with confidence. Grenfell

The people tasked with looking after the survivors and families are developing with the same firm that clad Grenfell.

#chaos@guardian@DailyMirror

Grenfell victims are sleeping in cars and parks, says Kensington MP

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/20/grenfell-victims-sleeping-cars-parks-says-kensington-mp/

Janey GodleyVerified account @JaneyGodley

As the #GrenfellTowerFire victims sleep in cars.

Grenfell residents say SCO-19 armed police on estate. Why?

riot pol 1

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/18/grenfell-residents-say-sco-19-armed-police-on-estate-why/

Trent @RandolphTrent

its almost like they are doing everything they can to force riots on the streets! maybe to make examples when they TRY to crack down on it!


Police say 58 people are now ‘assumed to be dead’ in the Grenfell Tower inferno as fire investigators use dogs to continue their grim hunt for bodies

Commander Cundy said police had received more than 6,000 calls and that the search is set to take weeks or ‘longer’.

He said that the force has confirmed 30 people are dead and has established that another 28 are missing. He added that he has to ‘assume’ these people had died.

The commander stressed that this information was based only on the number of people they believe were in the tower when it caught fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning and the actual loss may be greater.

Firefighters have said they believe no one on the top floors of the building survived.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4613094/DOGS-help-grim-hunt-bodies-Grenfell-Tower.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailUK


 


Stuart Syvret @StuartSyvret

Gavin Barwell

Former housing minister Gavin Barwell refuses to comment on fire report

 

Westfield Shopping Centre viewed (March 2013) from the Grenfell Tower

Westfield Police Station

In March 2013, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced that the Metropolitan Police were to set up a new base in Westfield Shopping Centre following the closure of Shepherd’s Bush Police Station front counter. In his Police and Crime Plan, designed to save £500 million by 2015, some 2,600 officers were to be redeployed in Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the Met – including 92 more in the borough taking the total up to 139.

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Westfield_Shopping_Centre

 David Mortimer @ukfathers

Last year was a bumper year for Rydon, which saw profits leap nearly 40% to £10.3m and a payout of £8.4m to shareholders.

Image result for tory donor jeremy coller

 

Tory donor owned stake in refurb company accused of using cheap cladding on Grenfell Tower

 

Coller Capital – founded by Tory donor Jeremy Coller – owned a fifth of Rydon Construction, via a partnership based offshore in Jersey

A Tory donor’s private equity firm was a big investor in the construction company accused of saving £5,000 with cheaper, more flammable cladding at Grenfell Tower .

Mayfair-based Coller Capital owned a fifth of Rydon Construction, via a partnership based offshore in Jersey, when the work started on the £8.6 million refurbishment at the block in 2014.

Coller boss and founder Jeremy Coller donated £15,000 to the Tory party in July 2015.

Omnis, which supplied Reynobond panels for the project, confirmed it sold the version that cost £2 a square metre less than the more fire–resistant option.

It is just this type of choice that was covered by Part B of the review of fire regulations Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell promised the Commons in October.

Coller, who had no operational control, bought a stake in Rydon in 2010 as part of a £332 million deal with Lloyds.

It became the major 70% partner in Jersey-based Cavendish Square Partners, which in turn owned a 30% stake in Rydon Holdings, the parent firm of Rydon Construction. Last year Rydon’s profits leapt nearly 40% to £10.3million and £8.4million went to shareholders, says CorporateWatch. Rydon bought back shares owned by Cavendish for £6.2million in December 2015.

It is believed more than £4 million of this went to Coller Capital.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-donor-owned-stake-refurb-10637010

https://alchetron.com/Jeremy-Coller-469171-W

Image result for jeremy coller and lord janner

Jeremy Coller is a British financial executive. He is CEO and CIO of Coller Capital, a British private equity firm.

For 20 years, Jeremy Coller has played a key role in the evolution of the secondary market for private equity. He founded Coller Capital, a secondaries firm, in 1990, and has appeared in media lists of the most influential people in private equity.[1] In 2008, the Daily Telegraph of London listed him as number 21 in a list of the most powerful people in British hedge funds, private equity and fund management.[2]

Jeremy’s early career was spent as Head of Research at Fidelity International and as a sector fund manager at ICI Pension Plan, where he was an early investor in Dayton Carr’s Venture Capital Fund of America, an early secondaries firm.

Jeremy attended Carmel College. He holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Sussex, and a Bachelor’s degree from Manchester University School of Management. He also took the Diplome Cours de Civilisation at the Sorbonne.

Jeremy is married with two children and lives in London.

https://web.archive.org/web/20080501202936/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Coller

As well as being Chairman of the Jeremy Coller Foundation, his vehicle for philanthropic activities, he sits on the Boards of the Coller Institute for Private Equity at London Business School and the Coller Institute for Venture at Tel Aviv University.

He is a member of the Advisory Council of The Elders.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Coller

The Elders (organization)

The group was initiated by Richard Branson[5] and musician and human rights activist Peter Gabriel, together with anti-apartheid activist and former South African President Nelson Mandela. Mandela announced the formation of the group on his eighty-ninth birthday on 18 July 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elders_(organization)

Jeremy Coller’s financial background

In 1995, the firm created a US secondaries fund, and in 1996 it bought all Rothschild Inc’s 12-year-old venture assets in the first secondaries direct deal – in which a fund buys a portfolio of stakes in companies.

https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/jeremy-coller-profile-20100726

Britons invest in Rawabi, Palestinian city of dreams

…the project, whose initial funding came from Mr Masri and the Qatari government, is attracting high-profile Jewish investors. These include America’s Michael Steinhardt, George Soros, and the British businessman Jeremy Coller.

https://www.thejc.com/news/world/britons-invest-in-rawabi-palestinian-city-of-dreams-1.55516

Jeremy Coller’s uncle, Julian Scott,  is a liveryman  in the Worshipful Company of Turners of London, and Fiona Woolf is an honorary member.

http://www.turnersco.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/The-Turner-issue-38-June-2013.pdf

MichaelH14

Jon StoneVerified account @joncstone

Kensington and Chelsea, one of the richest places in the country, also has one of the lowest council tax rates

Cladding ‘fitted on Grenfell Tower’ is BANNED in US and Germany


Image result for SIR RODNEY ALDRIDGE and grenfell tower

Simon Cowell to raise money via a charity single…

cathyfoxblog @CathyCathyFox

so it’s really the people who buy the single helping, not Simon who could easily afford to ……

Hannah. G. @comeasbundy

Instead of making a ‘charity’ single people buy, how about Simon and other celebrities use their own money to donate


Simon Cowell net worth: Simon Cowell is a British music executive and television producer who has a net worth of $550 million.

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/actors/simon-cowell-net-worth/


Paul Walters @Pauljwalters

How about just donating cold hard cash, it’s all about ‘how good am I’ self promoting wanker.


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

The Scum & The Scum Simon Cowell, who was quick to get £50,000 cash for his friend and convicted paedophile Jonathan King.

Simon Cowell paid bail for convicted paedophile Jonathan King and had convicted paedophile abuser Max Clifford as his PR

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/columnists/article-332299/Simons-shame.html


Trent @RandolphTrent

#PissOffCowell

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Why is Pete Townshend who was on the sex offenders register for downloading CHILD PORN part of Artists for Grenfell?

Paedophile Pete Townshend’s police interview

https://youtu.be/G5CWqSPNPnc

Image result for peter townshend and rolf harris

Image result for peter townshend and gary glitter

 

Gary Glitter and Pete TownshendPrinces Trust Concert

The Who’s Pete Townshend knew four Grenfell Tower families and has “written some cheques” for the victims

He revealed he even replaced a piano for a family that lost theirs last week.

“A little Spanish girl in there studied the piano – they got a piano up 10 flights and of course it’s gone now, so I managed to get her a piano.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/whos-pete-townshend-knew-four-10649517

The rock star Pete Townshend was cautioned by police and placed on the sex offenders register for five years following his admission that he accessed child pornography on the internet.

Townshend, 57, received the caution at Kingston police station in south-west London for “accessing a website containing child abuse images”.

He was arrested in January as part of Operation Ore, the largest investigation into child pornography in the UK. He admitted using his credit card to access images but claimed they were for “research” for a book.

“People who pay to access these sites are injecting cash into a criminal and manipulative industry that sexually exploits and seriously damages children.”

The children’s charity NCH said Townshend’s crime was “not a small matter”.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/may/08/arts.ukcrime

 

Related image

Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew

The Queen has issued a statement of condolence to the Grenfell Tower victims from her largely-empty 775-room palace that you pay for.

Magic money tree.

Context: Buckingham Palace to undergo ‘essential’ £370m refurbishment

f4a01f1b0fa1

Wentworth Woodhouse, the huge stately home owned by Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s in-laws

Oh yes, the Establishment can always find that Magic Money Tree when it suits them.


Yes Highland @yhWildfire

About four miles and a whole world apart.

KrushBrother Ⓥ @OriginalKrush

Massive coverage of the Downing Street protests on the BBC Website!!! Nah, only kidding. No mention of it at all! #MayMustGo #ToriesOut

 



Justice4Grenfell @Justice4GF

Why is mainstream press talking up rioting? Has there been any violence? All looks peaceful to me. Calling May a coward doesn’t = violence.

Laura Hankinson @JustLaurahhh

“They just want a riot” No they spent years writing letters and going through official channels being ignored.


scarlett stuff 🌹 @scarlettstuff

You know why. Paint people fighting for justice as a mob to discredit them


Kerry-Anne Mendoza @TheMendozaWoman

It took the Guardian less than a week after #Grenfell to start patronising & demonising survivors & their allies

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/17/grenfell-tower-anger-homes-proeprty-rage#comment-100540478

Bobby Palmer @thebobpalmer

You: Grenfell was a tragedy in which 79 innocent people died The Daily Mail: Haha poor people can’t spell


Sundancin’ Paul @Sundancer_UK

Are you aware of the lies that he’s spreading about ?



Weiss @w_nicht

This is what Murdoch’s so called journalist say about it:

Iain MartinVerified account @iainmartin1

Word of praise for the cops tonight in London, policing demos. Stretched by terror threat. Now handling Socialist Worker middle class twats


 

Phil @PhiIIip_Thomas

#MSMsilent on the report into the Shepherd’s Court fire was kept a secret, wonder why?


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Tory Councillor Ken Hawkins insulting grieving Grenfell relatives


cathyfoxblog @CathyCathyFox

Mob rule was what got us into this mess. Mob rule by greedy neoliberal profiteers who dont care about people

There have been protests calling for justice over the tragedy.


Police open criminal investigation into Grenfell Tower fire <Tory outsourcing, profit, landlordism in the dock

Paul Lewis @paullewismoney

Criminal enquiry into fire. So why have documents and computers not been seized?

 


Alasdair Lord @Alasdair_Lord

Corporate manslaughter is not a crime. Blair to break corporate killing pledge

October 27, 2004

Tony Blair is set to break Labour’s manifesto promise to create a law before the next general election that punishes companies for fatal accidents.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ebbf322a-2845-11d9-9308-00000e2511c8.html?ft_site=falcon&desktop=true#axzz4kAan8RIZ

 

 

Dave’s New Year resolution, January 2012!

BBC reporting that, during her visit, Theresa May did not meet any of the survivors of for “security reasons”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/16/theresa-may-scared-grenfell-survivors-finished-austerity-cameron-osborne
Not So Strong @StrongerStabler

Theresa May’s priorities. 15m trip to see fire chiefs, not residents then to Savoy for Champagne & dinner with donors!

#DayOfRage #ToriesOut

On same day homeless survivors of Grenfell were stopped from claiming emergency payments.May’s smoozing with millionaires at Tory fundraiser


Eva Nova @jammyspoons

Theresa May responded quicker & more compassionately to Tory MPs who lost their seats than she did to victims.
Mr Malky @MrMalky

Quick rustle me up some survivors for a tea party at Downing St


17 June 2017
May hand picking #GrenfellTowerFire to visit her in PRIVATE at Downing Street.

Theresa May meets Grenfell Tower fire victims at Downing Street as protests over handling of tragedy continue

The PM invite residents to No 10 following her disastrous visit to a local church in Kensington which prompted a huge protest

Mrs May returned to the site of the blaze in North Kensington on Friday where she met with community leaders organising the relief effort at a local church.

But shortly before 5pm, while the MP was inside the St Clements Church in Notting Hill, a group of protesters arrived shouting “shame on you” and “coward”.

The council allegedly opted for cheaper cladding on the outside of the building – reportedly to make the 1970s block look nicer for its wealthier neighbours – instead of a non-flammable mineral based variant which only cost £2 more per panel.

A short while later, Mrs May reportedly fled from a side door

The handful of residents walked into No 10 as protesters shouted “May Out” from the gates.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-meets-grenfell-tower-fire-10639402

Hundreds march through Bristol for Grenfell Tower fire victims

21 June 2017

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/hundreds-people-march-through-bristol-127989


Cassandra Cogno @CassandraCogno

Inquests,police investigation, criminal prosecutions for #GrenfellTower May cannot be trusted to set up “swift” inquiry look at @InquiryCSA

 

Lady Black Cat @Lady_Black_Cat

Public Inquiry=govt choose judge & set Terms of Ref etc. Theresa May has history of killing issues via Public Inq route


Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

Why should I trust May to run an honest public inquiry into #grenfell when she lost dozens of files to protect friends in CSA inquiry?

Don’t put another inquiry into the hands of control freak who lost CSA files and delayed IICSA by putting forward 3 tainted partisan chairs!


₮ḥɛ Ƀɛåʈ₪ᴉ₭ ₣цƶżɃѳʍɃ @Sixgun77

Image result for savile and queen

Can’t think why the inquiry keeps ‘stalling’.


Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

I’m confident Theresa May will give the London fire the same treatment as CSA, Orgreave, Hillsborough, CoE sexual abuse, Edward Heath.


P J @Pamper48

The Establishment: safe in her hands!


 

Justice4Grenfell @Justice4GF

 

Andreas Baader @stop1984

Photo published for People are sharing this video of Boris Johnson telling opponent to 'get stuffed' in response to...

People are sharing this video of Boris Johnson telling opponent to ‘get stuffed’ in response to fire cuts

https://www.indy100.com/article/boris-johnson-london-tower-fire-grenfell-assembly-cuts-fire-service-7790971

 

Rachael @Rachael_Swindon@BorisJohnson When you did this you caused the abandonment of safety checks at . How do you feel?


Andreas Baader @stop1984

Boris Johnson accused over sales of London fire stations 2014

I’ve been thinking about the fire brigade because Boris Johnson is shutting down stations for luxury hotels 2014

Fire station shut by Boris Johnson to be turned into luxury flats by company run by Tory donor

Thursday 22 June

One of 10 fire stations shut by Boris Johnson while he was Mayor of London is to be converted into luxury flats – by a company whose directors include a Tory donor.

Belsize fire station, which was closed in 2014 after 100 years of service to the local community, will be turned into 16 apartments, the Camden New Journal have reported.

Vulcan Property Ltd, which bought the grade II listed building from the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) for £7.8 million, was given planning permission for the flats this week.

Scrapbook has found that Electoral Commission records show one of the company’s three directors, William Richard Woodward-Fisher, made a £2000 donation to a Conservative association in 2005.

Camden Council’s planning committee gave the scheme the go ahead this week, but at a previous meeting local councillor Flick Rea said: “It is patently clear that we did actually need this fire station.”

 

  • Firefighters at the station rescued a man from a fire in a block of flats on the same morning that the station was closed.

  • Last year a house just a 20 second drive away from the station was destroyed by a blaze. The owner of the house told the Camden New Journal“If Belsize was open, the response time would have been quicker. There is not even a conversation about that. It’s a 20-second drive away…I want to praise the firefighters but criticise the politicians that closed Belsize.”

  • And the closure of the fire station was blamed for the death of a pensioner who died after jumping from his burning flat. Here’s the ITV news report from the time…

 

The fact that two flats in the new development are allocated for social housing will be of little comfort to those paying the price for Johnson’s closures.

Especially given that Tory supporters are now profiting as a consequence of his deadly cuts…

https://politicalscrapbook.net/2017/06/fire-station-shut-by-boris-johnson-to-be-turned-into-luxury-flats-by-company-owned-run-tory-donor/


Chancellor Philip Hammond denies that public cuts are impacting emergency services


A Firefighter’s blog

http://michaelrosenblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/a-firefighter-who-attended-grenfell.html?spref=tw

 

We’ve been investigating the evidence about the Grenfell fire. And what we’ve found is numbing.

On 23 June, the police announced that they were considering charges of “manslaughter, as well as criminal offences and breaches of legislation and regulations” over the Grenfell Tower fire. And they issued a statement confirming that both the cladding and insulation installed at Grenfell have failed safety tests. Investigators are now trying to establish whether those materials were used illegally.

The Canary has been examining available and leaked documents relating to the Grenfell refurbishment. And the results are numbing.

Crime scenes

The day after the Grenfell fire, the Metropolitan Police Service announced it had begun a criminal investigation into the causes of the tragedy. This meant that the tower block and the premises of all parties connected to its refurbishment are now crime scenes. Since that announcement, many have been pushing for strident action.

MP David Lammy, for example, had asked Prime Minister Theresa May for an update on the criminal investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire in a House of Commons session. She was not able to oblige him. He demanded that all relevant documents relating to the refurbishment be seized; and that corporate manslaughter charges be considered.

He said: “Most people see this as a crime and they know that rich and powerful organisations get away with crime”.

And in an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stressed:

I would seek an assurance that if the Inquiry or police investigation finds any individual or organisation to have been negligent in their duties, then they will be prosecuted. This issue is not limited to the type of cladding fitted; the material it is attached to and how this has been achieved are also critical factors.

The key players

By all accounts, the cladding used during the refurbishment is likely to be key to the investigation.

A planning application [pdf] for the Grenfell Tower refurbishment project was made in October 2012. In that application, there appears to be no mention of the type of cladding eventually used, just “zinc rainscreen cladding“. This may be significant. Planning permission was granted in January 2014. And in the decision document [pdf p2, point 3], it was a requirement that “Materials to be used on the external faces of the building” be approved by the Local Planning Authority.

There were a number of key players involved in the project:

Other key players organised the cladding:

The wrong cladding?

In Arconic’s Reynobond PE brochure [pdf], a diagram clearly shows that panels with a fire retardant core, which applies only to the Reynobond FR model, can be used for buildings up to 30 metres tall. And above that, the A2 (non-combustible) model should only be used:

cladding diagram

Indeed, the Building Control Alliance 2014 recommendations agree; and they are quoted on the Omnis Exteriors website:

Where the building exceeds 18m in height, the BCA recommends…the use of materials of limited combustibility for all elements of the cladding system both above and below 18m.

However, Grenfell Tower is over 60 metres tall and only Reynobond PE (the combustible variety) was installed.

Costs

So why was Reynobond PE chosen instead of Reynobond FR? Simple: Omnis director John Cowley told The Guardian that the product is £2 cheaper per square metre than the fire-resistant variety. But costs should not have been a factor, as Kensington & Chelsea Council holds reserves of £274m.

The view of the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) on this aspect is unequivocal:

The cladding on Grenfell Tower was intended to pimp it up so that it wouldn’t spoil the image of creeping gentrification that the Council are intent on creating, here and throughout the rest of North Kensington.

Omnis director John Cowley told The Guardian: “We supplied components for a system created by the design and build team on that project.” The company put a more detailed statement on its website.

Is the cladding banned?

Cowley, who is also the managing director of CEP Architectural Facades, which produced rainscreen panels and windows for Grenfell Tower, is clear on this:

Reynobond PE is not banned in the UK. Current building regulations allow its use in both low-rise and high-rise structures. The key question now is whether the overall design of the building’s complete exterior was properly tested and subsequently signed off by the relevant authorities including the fire officer, building compliance officer and architect before commencement of the project.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, however, said the cladding (Reynobond PE) on the building was illegal in the UK. And the Department for Communities and Local Government later clarified:

Cladding using a composite aluminium panel with a polythene core should not be used for cladding on a building taller than 18 metres.

But in Germany, construction companies are banned from using Reynobond PE on towers more than 22 metres high. And in the US, the product is banned above 15 metres. Britain’s Fire Protection Association now wants the government to make it a statutory requirement for local authorities and companies to use only fire-retardant material, such as Reynobond FR.

What do the building regulations say?

The potential for fire to break out of a multi-storey building and rapidly spread up external cladding is addressed in Part B (last updated in 2006) of the building regulations:

The external envelope of a building should not provide a medium for fire spread if it is likely to be a risk to health and safety. The use of combustible materials in the cladding system and extensive cavities may present such a risk in tall buildings.

Limited combustibility can be demonstrated by testing a cladding system as a whole and by satisfying the performance requirements set out in BR 135 Fire Performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi-storey buildings. This would allow the inclusion of firebreaks within the cladding. However, contractors are provided some leeway in that, under Appendix A of the Building Regulations 2010 fire safety document [pdf], only the outward-facing surface needs to be fire-resistant.

Or as fire expert Arnold Tarling dramatically commented:

Since the Grenfell fire cladding installer Harley Facades (formerly Harley Curtain Wall) has removed details from its website of its work on Grenfell Tower “as a mark of respect” (though an archived copy of that page has been recovered).

Interestingly, according [paywall] to The Times, in 2016 a Harley customer tried to claim £428,000 for disputed work undertaken by Harley Curtain Wall. The company then went into liquidation. However, Harley’s owner Ron Bailey was allowed to purchase his old business for just under £25,000, even though it owed creditors £1.18m and was being pursued by HMRC for tax avoidance.

Soon after the fire, The Times [paywall] reported:

Harley said that the panels it supplied were a ‘commonly used product’ in the refurbishment industry. ‘We will fully support and co-operate with the investigations into this fire,’ Ray Bailey, 58, its managing director, said. ‘At this time, we are not aware of any link between the fire and the exterior cladding.’

Other considerations

There were other factors that could have contributed to the Grenfell tragedy.

The KCTMO was repeatedly warned about fire dangers in tower blocks, but did nothing. Residents also raised concerns about the gas pipes in the main stairwell, as it appears they were not boxed in with “fire-rated” protection. And there were four years of warnings over fire hazards by the Grenfell Action Group (GAG). But these were also ignored. Indeed, in 2013 the council threatened legal action against GAG.

The KCTMO has published a statement saying:

We understand the growing demand for answers. Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) continues to play an important role in gathering all relevant information that will enable us to assist fully with investigations.

At present, however, our focus remains firmly supporting our residents, staff and local agencies throughout this incredibly distressing time.

The government’s role

A dozen letters by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group, warning that the government “could not afford to wait for another tragedy”, were leaked to BBC Panorama. They were sent to four ministers with the Department for Communities and Local Government. One of the recommendations was that sprinkler systems should be installed in 4,000 blocks of flats. But according to a leaked letter [pdf], nothing further was done about that. The ministers who were warned of fire dangers included: then Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, Conservative MP James Wharton, Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams, and Conservative MP Gavin Barwell (now Theresa May’s Chief of Staff).

Barwell promised a review into safety in 2016. And he was warned again about fire safety in March 2017. A review was eventually announced. But nothing was done, and the review was kicked into the long grass.

Other sites

Immediate action is now needed to identify which other properties have been clad with Reynobond PE. A cursory search of the Omnis Exteriors website shows that two properties – Granville Road and City West (Manchester) – were clad with Reynobond, though it is unclear which kind. Other cladding projects carried out by Harley may also have been clad with Reynobond.

And there could be more properties – not just high-rise flats – that are clad in Reynobond PE by other contractors. Indeed, already seven high-rise blocks, including three in Plymouth and one in Tottenham, have been identified. And a further nine high-rise blocks in Salford are currently under investigation.

Meanwhile, cladding installed on tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate, Camden, is currently being replaced after tests were carried out. Camden Council stated that the cladding was “not to the standard” expected. As with the Grenfell site, the main contractors were Rydon and Harley. The council is now seeking legal advice.

Truth comes out

Regardless of the ambiguities in the building regulations, the guidance from the product manufacturer should have raised questions about the choice of cladding.

Or as the Grenfell Action Group puts it:

We believe the dangers of cladding must have been known by the Council and TMO technical staff involved in planning the Grenfell Tower ‘improvement works’ and by the contractor Rydon and sub-contractor who carried out the works and seems to have opted for cheaper highly flammable cladding.

Rydon insists it met “all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards”.

Everyone who signed off the project has questions to answer.

Lammy again:

When the truth comes out about this tragedy, we may find there is blood on the hands of a number of organisations. It is my grave concern that the families of Grenfell Tower will not get justice if documents are being quietly destroyed and shredded, and emails are being deleted.

Hopefully, further evidence will be found to explain more fully why the fire happened; and why so many people tragically lost their lives.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/23/weve-been-investigating-evidence-grenfell-found-numbing/



 

Grenfell Tower gas pipes left exposed, despite fire safety expert’s orders

June 28 2017

Council expert said pipes serving flats must be protected with fire-retardant boxing but, by time of fire, two-thirds were still bare

Dozens of exposed gas pipes in Grenfell Tower that caused residents to fear for their safety were left bare despite a council safety expert ordering them to be protected by fire-retardant boxing.

The National Grid agreed to protect the pipes serving individual flats, which had been installed over the winter, but had only added a third of the boxing by the time the deadly blaze killed at least 79 people.

In March, three months before the blaze, residents told the London fire brigade (LFB) that people living in the 24-storey tower were so scared by the pipes “that they are having a panic attack”.

They requested an urgent safety report to show the building is “safe from fire hazard”, according to correspondence seen by the Guardian.

A fire safety consultant for Kensington and Chelsea council, which owns the tower, had approved the location of new gas risers and pipes in landings and stairways, but only if they were clad in “fire-rated” boxing, according to an email to leaseholders from Sacha Jevans, director of operations at the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.

Jevans said that the National Grid assured the council on 27 March that the pipes would be protected, but two-thirds of the lateral pipes were still exposed when the disaster happened on 14 June.

The works were originally undertaken by the National Grid’s gas distribution arm following a leak. In March, the firm was sold to investors, including the Qatari government, and renamed Cadent Gas.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/27/grenfell-tower-gas-pipes-left-exposed-despite-fire-safety-experts-orders?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Alex AndreouVerified account @sturdyAlex

Mr EthicalVerified account @nw_nicholas

From Boris Johnson’s sister

.thinks Theresa May is a victim of the fire as well.#GrenfellTower

@soundpolitic @soundpolitic


It’s a good job there isn’t a column where @BorisJohnson mocks health and safety
Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

I wonder whether his mates likely to profit from laxer regulations wrote his script?

Health and safety fears are making Britain a safe place for extremely stupid people

Health and safety concerns are reducing life to mindless mayhem, complains Boris Johnson.

Witt UK Group
PSB UK Ltd recently handed over this prestigious project to J S Wright & Co Ltd for the new lobby smoke ventilation system.
Two other company names in relation to Grenfell

CFb9iW3UgAETiTd.jpg

Nick Paget-Brown with Princess Anne

Tory council leader reaches an all-time low and blames residents for the Grenfell fire [VIDEO]

 

It’s difficult to see how the Tories could sink much lower in their response to the Grenfell Tower disaster. The top of government failed to act on a safety review. The landlord ignored tenants’ warnings. Theresa May couldn’t even bring herself to meet residents. And now, the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council,  Nick Paget-Brown, has managed to hit a new low, blaming residents for a sprinkler system not being installed.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/16/tory-council-leader-reaches-an-all-time-low-and-blames-residents-for-the-grenfell-fire/

20 June 2017

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea offered to resign after the council was heavily criticised for its response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Standard has been told.

The town hall is also at the centre of a police investigation into the devastating inferno which is feared to have claimed the lives of at least 79 people.

Nicholas Paget-Brown is believed to have offered his resignation at a meeting of the council cabinet yesterday but it was unanimously rejected by fellow councillors.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/council-leader-nicholas-pagetbrown-offers-to-quit-after-criticism-over-grenfell-tower-fire-a3569101.html

HannahJane Parkinson@ladyhaja

If K&C council is doing such a great job then why has Ealing council had to step in? Paget-Brown here, & fresh from blaming residents too

https://twitter.com/lilyallen/status/876442976351924224

Kensington council leader refuses to say if he will resign over Grenfell Tower fire, insisting response was ‘effective’

Nick Paget-Brown is told some people view Kensington and Chelsea as a ‘rich borough, represented by rich people who don’t care about the poor, have contempt for poor people’

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council has refused to say whether he will resign amid criticism of the local authority’s response to the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Nicholas Paget-Brown, a Conservative, also insisted there had been an “effective” relief effort to help those made homeless by the fire which swept through the block of flats, killing at least 58 people.

He made the claim despite Theresa May saying the “support on the ground for families who needed help or basic information … was not good enough” and criticism from Jeremy Corbyn that the “wealthiest borough in the country” appeared to lack the necessary resources to deal with the crisis.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme if he was going to resign, Mr Paget-Brown said this was “not a matter for now”.

Kensington and Chelsea Council has faced criticism over its decision to build up a reserve fund of £274m. The shadow Communities Secretary, Andrew Gwynne, told The Independent the council needed to “immediately explain itself” over why the funds were not used to ensure safe housing.

But Mr Paget-Brown told World at One that this money was used to “invest in new facilities” in the area, such as a new academy for local children, new leisure centres and upgraded housing

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-kensington-chelsea-council-leader-nick-paget-brown-resign-effective-response-a7796236.html

Grenfell figures reveal social housing shortage amid glut of empty luxury property

Kensington housing crisis revealed by Grenfell fire deaths 

THE WEALTHY BOROUGH of Kensington and Chelsea, where the disastrous Grenfell Tower fire disaster took place, represents the extreme segregation of UK housing policy, according to new figures released by researchers. 

There are 1,399 vacant dwellings are in the borough according to Kensington and Chelsea council research, with many properties linked to offshore tax haven ownership – the mechanism of the property speculation industry. 

While many of these buildings have been left empty, accruing value for their corporate owners, the public housing stock has been left to deteriorate or be sold off. Ben Kentish, journalist at the Independent, said: “Kensington and Chelsea Council cares so much about social homes that it’s built just 10 – yes 10 – of them in the last 28 years.

“To those saying there’s no room to build, in the same period private property developers built 4060 homes in the borough. The council built 10.”

Yet despite being one of the wealthiest areas in the world, the council has been unable to confirm that surviving victims of the Grenfell Tower fire will be rehoused locally.

Residents and tenant’s groups had been warning of the possibility of such a tragedy for years, but it appears that not only were these warnings ignored, but steps were taken to actively silence the tenants calling for action regarding the safety of the building.

Housing is a human right and last night’s tragic event further highlights the need for housing to be run for the benefit of all, rather than for private profit. We call for tenants to no longer be silenced and to be actively involved in decisions about the safety and maintenance of their homes.”

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/11198/grenfell-figures-reveal-social-housing-shortage-amid-glut-empty-luxury-property

The UK has some of the highest levels of hunger and deprivation among the world’s richest nations. One in three children in the country is in what Unicef calls “multi-dimensional poverty”: that’s deprivation in housing but also in clothes, social activities and food. This is the reality told by countless organisations on the ground: social workers, nurses, welfare rights advisers and debt charities.

Austerity is more than simply citizens in hardship: it’s the wilful abandonment of the government’s duty to help. Kensington and Chelsea council – the Conservative council responsible for Grenfell – for its part is sitting on £274m in reserves, according to the latest accounts.

While poor children in the borough fell below the breadline – and Grenfell residents slept in a tower without sprinklers – the council handed £100 council tax rebates to millionaires.

Tenants are said to be being told they will be rehoused as far away as Preston and threatened with being declared “intentionally homeless” if they refuse – meaning that Kensington and Chelsea council will have no duty to house them.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/22/grenfell-people-die-housing-inequality-austerity?CMP=share_btn_tw

Tory councillor who oversaw Grenfell Tower refurb

rock.jpeg

Rock Feilding-Mellen

24 JUN 2017

Rock Feilding-Mellen, Cabinet Member for Housing and deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council

Tory councillor for Housing in Kensington & Chelsea + private property developer Rock Fielding-Mellen is where the buck stops with Grenfell Tower. He ignored complaints and cut corners when signing off the redevelopment. He has personal interests in gentrifying the borough.

link

Rocky’s lack of experience in ‘matters housing.’

Image result for Rock Feilding-Mellen

For some years, he and his two partners have struggled to make a go of pretentiously named development company, Socially Conscious Capital.
Though it pretends to be something ethical it is, by any other name, a developer.

It has just two failing projects:

Longniddry, East Lothian
Racecourse Plantations

The Socially Conscious Capital website spouts a lot of nonsense about ‘working with the community’.
Sadly, it seems not to be working. Read the waffle HERE
Longniddy is owned by Rocky’s stepfather, the affable and kind-hearted Earl of Wemyss & March, so you would think getting the yokels to ‘engage’ with Rocky would be a cinch….not so!
With one voice they told Rocky they needed him like a hole in the head telling him to take himself back south.
Local reports suggest that Rocky flew into a major tantrum.

So what about Racecourse Plantations?
Sadly, Rocky seems again to have evoked the wrath of the local bumpkins. Though not mentioned on the website, it seems his attempt to build 390 socially conscious housing units on ancient woodlands got kicked into touch.
You can  read about it HERE
So not much of a record for persuading local and yokels to take him seriously!

And this leads us on to the PROBLEM.

Image result for Rock Feilding-Mellen

Rocky has Borough responsibility for housing and regeneration.
There are two solid reasons why he is ill-equipped for the role.
1. He pisses off those he is supposed to be persuading by constantly losing his temper when thwarted or challenged
2. His private business track record to date is risible.

Oddly, the website says this about Rocky’s local government expertise. Frankly, he should not be mixing up his roles in this way: it looks as if he is using his council job to aid his private business.

Political: local planning authorities – who set the planning policies and ultimately make the decisions – are political organisations. It’s therefore necessary to understand the local political climate when putting together a proposal. 
Rock Feilding-Mellen, who has over eight years’ experience as a local government Councillor, applies his knowledge of local politics to guiding the planning strategy for our sites.

A casual read suggests Rocky’s local government housing experience is an advantage…
Based on the record, not for Socially Conscious Capital……

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.com/2015/12/rock-feilding-mellen-two-jobssame.html

Will RBKC Investigate Rock Feilding-Mellen?

Image result for Rock Feilding-Mellen

It is the belief of many in our community that Cllr Rock Feilding-Mellen may be inappropriately using his position of power on the Council for his personal benefit. In the Grenfell Action Group we share those concerns. We believe that Cllr Feilding-Mellen had prior knowledge of the detail of the Council’s forward planning for the regeneration of the Latimer area, and we believe his decision to purchase his current residence in Bramley Road may have been made in anticipation of the likely increase in the value of that property as a direct consequence of the Council’s regeneration policy, over which he now exercises considerable power and influence as Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration.

We believe that the the purchase price of the property bought by Cllr Feilding-Mellen would have reflected the fact that this area of North Kensington has long suffered from under-investment and, as a result, house prices at the time of his decision to buy would have been considerably lower than in other more affluent areas of the borough. We therefore believe that Cllr Feilding-Mellen has a strong personal motive to push forward with plans for the regeneration of the social housing estates that surround his property, as the ‘gentrification’ of the area will inevitably lead to a steep rise in property prices, and a significant increase in the value of his own property.

We do not believe that Cllr Feilding-Mellen will be incentivised to properly consider the objections of local residents of social housing estates who oppose plans to demolish their homes and we believe that he has a direct and significant conflict of interest as he seeks to apply RBKC legislation that would see the destruction of the social housing estates surrounding his property, the displacement of working class communities resulting from the increased ‘gentrification’ of the area, and a consequent significant increase in the value of his own property in Bramley Road.

We also have concerns about the several small companies declared by Cllr Feilding-Mellen on the RBKC register of members interests. Two of these companies are registered at his address in Bramley Road. Neither appears to be profitable or to be engaged in any actual business worthy of note. One of the companies in question, VIMV2 LLP, has existed as a small company  for several years but appears never to have declared a profit, and despite having assets of nearly £6million, it appears currently to be £122,000 in the red. The very existence of these companies therefore raises questions as to their possible purpose. Might they exist primarily in anticipation of emerging opportunities for property speculation in the Latimer area, or perhaps in other parts of the borough, the redevelopment of which Cllr Feilding-Mellen will oversee as Cabinet Member for Housing Property and Regeneration? We simply don’t know, but we believe we have a right to be concerned, and to raise those concerns with the Council.

We believe that residents are entitled to be reassured by RBKC that Cllr Feilding-Mellen will be recused from any decision making process involving housing regeneration from which he stands to profit personally. We are also seeking reassurances that neither he nor the companies in which he has an interest will be permitted to buy or sell property in areas of the Royal Borough subject to regeneration or likely to become so.

On 23rd March we made a formal complaint to the RBKC Chief Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, LeVerne Parker, requesting that the issues detailed above be investigated as a matter of urgency and seeking reassurances that Cllr Feilding-Mellen’s personal and business interests would not be allowed to influence decisions concerning plans to ‘regenerate’ RBKC social housing estates. We received the following initial response from Ms Parker;

“I acknowledge receipt of your complaint of today’s date.

Although your complaint does not expressly refer to it being a complaint alleging that Cllr Feilding-Mellen has breached the Members’ Code of Conduct, as your complaint is about an elected councillor, I will deal with it as such and I attach a copy of the Council’s procedures for dealing with code of conduct complaints.

As the first step I am required to consider whether your complaint merits formal investigation and the attached document sets out the criteria I will take into account in coming to my decision. I will also consult the Independent Person and the Chairman of the Audit and Transparency Committee.

I will advise you of my decision on or before 3 May 2016 but, if you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely…”

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/will-rbkc-investigate-rock-feilding-mellen/

RBKC Declines to Investigate Rock Feilding-Mellen

 Rock Basil Hugo Feilding Mellen (born 1979)

Londoner’s Diary: K&C’s deputy Rock Feilding-Mellen avoids bash at his family estate

Kensington and Chelsea council deputy avoids step-sister’s aristo party

KENSINGTON and Chelsea council’s Rock Feilding-Mellen has made one correct call since the Grenfell Tower fire. He decided not to head to his family home, Stanway House in Gloucestershire, for a wild weekend of partying with the aristo-boho set.

Feilding-Mellen is deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing, property and regeneration, with a brief covering the Grenfell Tower but he’s also part of a social set a world apart.

This weekend was the 30th birthday of his step-sister Mary Charteris, model and member of the band The Big Pink with her husband Robbie Furze, held at Stanway.

19-june-insta-1.jpg
Party time: birthday girl Mary Charteris and friends. @georgianahuddart

He had been expected to go home at the weekend to party but, after Wednesday, he told his friends that is just wouldn’t be right. One friend tells us he was “shattered” by what happened.

It would have made “bad optics”, as they say, had Rocky been seen knocking back champagne with his family and friends. Those who did go to Mary’s party included Cara Delevingne, actor Jaime Winstone and aristos including Scarlett Spencer-Churchill.

19-june-insta-3.jpg
A dawn walk, with Cara Delevingne in yellow. @felixradford

There is a video online of Cara driving to Gloucestershire in a Range Rover. Pictures of the all-night garden party appeared on Instagram this weekend.

19-june-insa-2.jpg
The morning after. @jonte0

Rocky’s mother Amanda is married to James Charteris, the Earl of Wemyss and March. Mary is the daughter of James from his first marriage to Catherine Guinness. Stanway is the family house, set in 5,000 acres with a 300ft single jet fountain, the tallest gravity fountain in the world.

A rather different sort of estate to those in North Kensington.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/londoners-diary-kc-s-deputy-rock-feildingmellen-avoids-bash-at-his-family-estate-a3568101.html

Rockn Feilding-Mellen’s mother:

The Feilding family is descended from the House of Habsburg

The crackpot countess (who drills holes in her head to get high) using £550,000 of YOUR cash to prove magic mushrooms are healthy

  • Countess of Wemyss and March – aka ‘Lady Mindbender’ – is best known for her belief in the health benefits of magic mushrooms
  • She set up Beckley foundation in 1998 to campaign for legalisation of drugs
  • On committee is Prof David Nutt, who was sacked as Government’s drug tsar in 2009 for claiming Ecstasy was less dangerous than horse riding

 

Eccentricity seems to run in the family.

Amanda’s father, an art and antiques-loving country squire called Basil, married his own cousin, Peggy. Together, they inherited Beckley from his parents. And into this rose pink home in January 1943, Amanda was born.

Old Etonian and Oxford graduate, Joe Mellen — who also swore by trepanning, and he became Amanda’s next lover, as well as father of her two sons Rock and Cosmo.

Wemyss, an Oxford don who once taught Bill Clinton, was known for hosting amazing parties at Stanway, his Jacobean stately home in Gloucestershire, which made boho-aristo groupies like Mick Jagger go weak at the knees.

There were plenty with his first wife Catherine Guinness and he continued the pattern with his new countess. The most memorable of these parties took place last year when Neidpath’s bombshell daughter Mary Charteris, married a pop musician called Robbie Furze.

The event, described as ‘the maddest wedding of the year’, was attended by Jerry Hall and her daughter Georgia May Jagger, and the supermodel Delevingne sisters. The bride wore a very revealing dress; the ring bearer was a dog.

Yet despite this decadence, since setting up her foundation she has travelled the world enlisting the support of presidents, made depositions to the House of Lords, and collected big-name scientists around her.

Even proof that this theory was bunkum hasn’t put Amanda or her circle off — hence the £550,000 grant to investigate magic mushrooms.

It is clear, too, that her interest in drugs has been handed down the generations. In 2011, Amanda’s younger son Cosmo, 28, made a film, Breaking The Taboo, which was financed by Sam Branson, son of Richard, and argues that criminalisation of drugs isn’t working.

Nor was the family’s fervent belief in the legalisation of drugs dented by a tragic reminder of the dangers of drugs that came in 2004.

Robert Hesketh, who Catherine Guinness had married after her divorce from Lord Neidpath, died at the age of 48, with a cocktail of alcohol, heroin and cocaine in his blood.

Nothing, not even tragedy, could put off the Countess of Wemyss from espousing the benefits of illegal substances and mind-bending mushrooms.

Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March, is an English artist, scientist, and drug policy reformer. In 1998, she founded the Beckley Foundation, a charitable trust that promotes a rational, evidence-based approach to global drug policy policies and initiates, directs and supports pioneering neuroscientific and clinical research into the effects of psychoactive substances on the brain and cognition. The central aims of her research are to investigate new avenues of treatment for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and addiction, as well as to explore methods of enhancing well-being and creativity.

London fire: It could take two years to rehouse Grenfell Tower victims, councillor says

The deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Rock Feilding-Mellen has admitted to the BBC that it could take up to two years to rehouse all the victims of Grenfell Tower.

Mr Feilding-Mellen said the first priority was to get the families out of hotels and into temporary accommodation before trying to find them a more permanent home.

The council said it had provided hotel accommodation for all those families that had lived in Grenfell Tower that had contacted it.

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-london-40300517/london-fire-it-could-take-two-years-to-rehouse-grenfell-tower-victims-councillor-says

Paul Mason‏ @paulmasonnews

Why is RBKC Tory housing chief Rock Feilding-Mellen still in post? Clear evidence from TMO email: cost pressures led to cladding switch


Insurance – follow the money:

some more background

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/search?term=grenfell

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

RBKC switched insurance providers about three months before the fire

Zurich had been charging an annual premium of £680,000 according to The Times

Anthony John Wixted‏ @TrojanManifesto

Are you suggesting the Swiss company Zurich might have pulled out of the deal due to safety fears???

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

It believe it was due to the type of policy that they covered, whereby Zurich did not.

How many other local council buildings in the uk are insured by Protector Forsikring???

Zurich Insurance Group employ some of the best researchers in the world…

..and if we found out so much about Grenfell Tower within 24 hours then ZIG knew it months ago…

Am I right in assuming that Protector Forsikring wont have to pay a penny because landlords,contractors and councils acted negligently???

 

ZED 🤐 @ZedTrafficker

 

The Council changed their Insurance – Set to gain the biggest payout of £1 Billion

And *uck all mention of Grenfell Tower in the queens speech…. Forgotten already

SilverLining @Ev3ryCloud

Said it all before, it covers re-housing & council will be profiteers, not the residents. More than shocking!

#Justice4Grenfell

Norwegian insurer Protector Forsikring initially revealed that last week’s Grenfell Tower fire could lead to an insurance bill of more than £25 million – but now the total payout is estimated to be as high as £1 billion.   

This could be Europe’s single biggest building insurance payout, according to a report by Sputnik. It said The Times estimated the total bill, with eventual cost depending on the number of fatalities, the price of demolishing and rebuilding the property, and the litigation.

Protector Forsikring’s chief executive Sverre Bjerkeli previously said the firm expects its Munich Re-handled reinsurance program to pick up “almost the entire cost” from the blaze. According to a Reuters report, the Norwegian insurer, which has a presence in Manchester, wrote the policy for the Grenfell Tower for about £20 million.

Kensington and Chelsea Council, which owns the freehold of the tower, reportedly switched insurance providers about three months before the fire that the Metropolitan Police said has left 79 people missing as of June 19.

Swiss company Zurich was named as the original insurer of Grenfell Tower, with Kensington and other boroughs picking Protector Forsikring supposedly to save money. The Norwegian firm was said to be charging a much lower annual premium, according to Sputnik.

Meanwhile, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) is being blamed for having used cladding with a polyethylene core – a factor cited in the spread of flames.

KCTMO, which managed the Grenfell Tower on behalf of the local government, allegedly ignored fire safety concerns raised by residents and experts as early as 2004.

http://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/uk/news/breaking-news/grenfell-tower-insurance-bill-could-be-europes-biggest-ever–reports-71072.aspx

Swiss company Zurich was named as the original insurer of Grenfell Tower, with Kensington and other boroughs picking Protector Forsikring supposedly to save money. The Norwegian firm was said to be charging a much lower annual premium, according to Sputnik.

Larry Silverstein/Zurich : in a crowning touch of irony, Zurich American Insurance Companies, one of the insurers that fought Silverstein tooth-and-nail over his 9/11 claims, wound up taking three floors at 4 WTC this August.

https://www.wtc.com/media/news/15-years-after-911-larry-silverstein-finally-recreated-wtc

Silverstein angled for an even larger payout from the insurance companies but was unsuccessful. It is known that the insurers conducted their own investigations of the culprits behind 9/11, which may have yielded different conclusions than those reached by the U.S. 9/11 Commission.

https://www.wtc.com/media/news/15-years-after-911-larry-silverstein-finally-recreated-wtc


Amid renewed public interest in determining the identities of all the culprits behind the 9/11 attacks, comes word that a second executive with one of the World Trade Center’s insurers has died from “suicide.”

Zurich Insurance Group’s former CEO Martin Senn was reported to have shot himself at his vacation home near Davos in Switzerland. No suicide note was found by police. Senn resigned as CEO of the insurance giant last December after the company experienced losses from the still-unexplained large explosions in Tianjin, China, last August.

In August 2013, Zurich Insurance’s then-chief financial officer, Pierre Wauthier, was found hanging at his home in Walchwil, in the canton of Zug, Switzerland, not far from Zurich. Wauthier previously worked for JPMorgan Chase. Police said the hanging “pointed to” a suicide. The insurance company conducted an investigation and determined that Wauthier was not suffering from stress as Swiss police contended.

In January 2014, Tim Dickenson, the communications director for Swiss Re, another World Trade Center insurer, died from unexplained causes in London. Swiss Re was one of the firms that experienced suspicious put options on its stock prior to 9/11 and which went toe-to-toe with World Trade Center lessee Larry Silverstein on settling insurance claims. Swiss Re, like Zurich Insurance, conducted its own investigation of 9/11 and both companies indicated that Silverstein was using the attacks and destruction of the WTC to bilk the insurance companies and make a handsome profit.

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/18295


David LammyVerified account @DavidLammy

Hearing that Grenfell Tower survivors not wanting to be rehoused elsewhere eg in Preston (over 200 miles away) are being threatened

with being declared “intentionally homeless”, which in reality means the council won’t help them get rehoused. Absolutely despicable.

Intentionally homeless = the council does not have legal duty to rehouse you. How can your home burning down = intentionally homeless


Andrea Davison @beforethestars

That was always the Tory rich intention get them out of prime land and put in Tory voters


Kabir Ali CTA @KabirAli_KBR

Social cleansing of London been happening for a while now. It’s now under the spotlight due to Grenfell. Community means nothing to Tories


Scott Nelson @SocialistVoice


London is being socially cleansed of working class people to make way for the likes of the toffee-nosed snobs in Kensington #GrenfellTower



TM @cedawnow

Has Jeremy Corbyn struck a Faustian pact with Labour’s gentrification-happy local councillors?

In his conference speech in Liverpool, the Labour leader railed against the housing crisis. “Look what’s happening to housing under the Tories… council homes are sold off without being replaced,” he said. But weirdly, he didn’t find time in his speech to criticise Labour councils such as Lambeth, Hackney and Southwark for doing just that.

Quite the opposite. In a gambit aimed at stopping his party’s desperate civil war, he said: “Across the country, Labour councils are putting Labour values into action, in a way that makes a real difference to millions of people, despite cynical government funding cuts that have hit Labour councils five times as hard as Tory-run areas. It is a proud Labour record, and each and every Labour councillor deserves our heartfelt thanks for the work they do.”


OFFICIAL – RBKC ADMITS ‘SOCIAL CLEANSING’ PLANS

press-release-banner

press-release

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/press-release/royal-borough-assigns-£10m-purchase-homes-temporary-accommodation

The Grenfell Action Group has repeatedly accused the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea of despising the unemployed and the low-paid as an underclass which it would rather see removed completely from the Rotten Borough. The above press statement from Kensington and Chelsea Council may well be the first concrete evidence that our accusations have been well founded, and it confirms that ‘social cleansing’ is now an active policy which will soon be implemented by the Neo-Con Monsters in Hornton Street.

Back in early 2013 the Hornet”s Nest website revealed that Derek Myers (RBKC Chief Executive at the time) and Laura Johnson (Director of Housing) had been meeting with senior Councillors and Officers from Peterborough Borough Council to explore the possibility of RBKC shipping homeless families from the RBKC waiting list out to Peterborough.

This shameful plan involved RBKC buying land to build ‘barracks for the poor’ in Peterborough to which RBKC could move anyone on their housing register to a ‘Cockell New Town’ in Cambridgeshire.

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/a-dangerous-pairing.html
http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/mr-myers-mixes-it-in-peterborough.html

At the time, these discussions apparently failed, partly due, no doubt, to the storm of adverse publicity created when the Hornet, and the Peterborough local press, both blew the whistle on it. However it has now become clear that RBKC have since continued to actively pursue this approach to solving the local social housing ‘problem’, and have now implemented the first stage of what is effectively a ‘social cleansing’ policy. This brings the nightmare scenario of largescale ‘social cleansing’ a step closer to reality.

The latest RBKC plan to use Council funds to purchase property outside London is evidence that ‘social cleansing’ is an active policy of RBKC and that our Councillors have a will to displace the poor and vulnerable out of the Rotten Borough to make way for spiv property developers and ‘buy to leave’ speculators. The references in the press release to ‘temporary accomodation’ are, of course, effectively meaningless as the Council has no intention of ever increasing the stock of social rented housing.

So far they have only allocated £10 million for this nefarious scheme, which appears to be targetted at homeless families on the housing waiting list. We all know, and the Council admits, that such a meagre budget will buy only a very limited number of properties, so we must assume that this is just a pilot scheme which is likely to be expanded if it proves successful from the perspective of the councillors and council officers responsible. We should also be mindful that what they now represent as an opportunity to house those in greatest need, may well be expanded to later include those targetted for decanting to make way for the mass regeneration projects that we now know are in the pipeline.

We have already seen social cleansing in operation elsewhere in London, notably in Brent, Southwark. Hackney, and Haringey. Make no mistake, your home and your tenancy are no longer safe, and we advise all social housing tenants, in this most rotten of boroughs, to treat all statements, reassurances or promises made by councillors or officers of RBKC with extreme caution. We call on all social housing residents to wake up to the likely implications of this new policy. Spread the word to your neighbours. There is no time to waste and we need to start organising and taking action now to protect our homes, our communities and our tenancies.

N.B. This story has been picked up by the Guardian this weekend in an article that indicts both RBKC and Westminster, which has implemented a virtually identical ‘social cleansing’ policy. Read more here:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/02/london-social-housing-kensington-chelsea-rising-prices

Grenfell Tower residents condemn ‘invisible’ estate managers

Group of victims, residents, community leaders and volunteers has criticised the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.

June 18 2017

Residents who met the Prime Minister in Downing Street following the Grenfell Tower fire have criticised estate managers of the building as having been “invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy”.

“With the exception of very few junior officers, the estate managers have been invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy.”

The group, which spent two-and-a-half hours with Mrs May on Friday and Saturday, hit out at the “longstanding neglect” of council buildings in the area.



This letter sent by Kensington and Chelsea’s council leader, Nick Paget-Brown, to residents in 2014 will absolutely infuriate you.

James O’Brien was absolutely horrified at the discovery of a letter sent by Kensington and Chelsea’s Tory Council Leader, Nick Paget-Brown in 2014 to rich local residents. 

On his LBC show, James shared with his listeners the letter sent by Mr Paget-Brown, to residents living in the borough where the Grenfell Tower took place.

He said: “OK are you ready for this? In 2014, the leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, Nicholas Paget-Brown, wrote to all residents to pay their council tax in full.

“I think everybody in Kensington and Chelsea are going to be in the top band, aren’t they, for council tax nationally speaking? I can’t imagine there are many properties in that area that don’t fall into the top council tax band, so low is it, it has never been raised since it was introduced.

“Anyone who had paid their council tax in full, I think in the top band, received a letter from the leader of the Kensington and Chelsea council explaining that they would all receive, you might want to sit down for this…I suspect this letter dropped through the letter boxes of Kensington and Chelsea residents, residents of the richest borough in the country, the richest residents, of the richest country, received this letter at about the time catastrophic cladding was being attached to the side of a tower block.”

The letter said that theses residents would receive a one-off payment of £100 to be deducted from their council tax bill. 

James went on: “The bonus was due to the council’s ‘careful management of its finances’ over the years. This, while…catastrophic cladding was being stuck to the side of the building in order to save five grand. Wow.”

http://www.lbc.co.uk/news/london/west/kensington-chelsea/grenfell-tower-fire/letter-sent-by-kensington-council-leader-infuriate/

bpanews_266f00e6-ffe6-48c0-9881-7e128bbbed15_embedded655210

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/grenfell-tower-residents-condemn-invisible-estate-managers-35839173.html


Pilgrim Tucker @PilgrimTucker

Its time the media started applying some scrutiny to senior councillors and their relationships with property developers


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Glenn Woodhead Innovations and Solutions Manager at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea


SilverLining @Ev3ryCloud

How MANY involved?


 

THERESA May has ordered a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster as the Government vowed that “no stone will be left unturned” to get to the truth about what happened.

 

Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

 

Is ‘No stone will be left unturned’ secret code for ‘Let the coverup begin’?


 Grenfell Towers

Rachael @Rachael_Swindon

This afternoon Theresa May is making time to meet with the DUP. She didn’t have time for the residents of though. Disgusted.

David Lammy@DavidLammy

Joel Benjamin @Gian_TCatt

Appears #GrenfellTower residents complained TIMBER battens were used to fix cladding to the building exterior. Who inspected the works..?!

 

CharlieBoab @VanCharleston

 Will there be a 27 year #GrenfellTower cover up “advanced in the committee rooms of the Hse of Commons & the press rooms of 10 Downing St?”
Dame Alun Roberts
Glad to see so many people on social media researching background to London fire. I do not trust public inquiries by the likes of PM May.
 If CSA inquiry is anything to go by, inquiry is just another word for slow, gradual coverup.
 
Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr
Chilcot….Taylor Report…Lord Saville and Bloody Sunday.
The Royal Borough will be granted Core Participant Status, and we know what that means.

The Grenfell Tower residents saw this tragedy coming, but were repeatedly ignored. Was it because they were poor?

June 14 2017

In a frighteningly prescient post titled Playing With Fire, the Grenfell residents’ association wrote in 2016 that ‘a serious fire in the tower block’ with a catastrophic loss of life would be the only way they could bring the company managing the building ‘to justice’

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/grenfell-tower-fire-kensington-london-residents-kctmo-council-contract-ignored-poor-a7789276.html

Labour Insider @Labour_Insider

Robert Black is the Chief Executive of . He is reported to earn £160,000 a year and lives in a £1 million house.

Photo published for Answers needed over Grenfell Tower fire

 

Two #GrenfellTower women -now feared dead- were ‘threatened with legal action’ for raising alarm about fire safety

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-london-dead-legal-action-campaign-fire-safety-mariem-elgwahry-nadia-choucair-a7795586.html

Two women feared dead in Grenfell Tower tragedy were threatened with legal action – after raising alarm about fire safety

Mariem Elgwahry and Nadia Choucair were branded ‘troublemakers’ because they campaigned to make their homes safer

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/two-women-feared-dead-grenfell-10640944

gag BANNER

The Grenfell Action Group was formed in 2010 to oppose the KALC project and defend the rights of the residents of Lancaster West Estate, a sprawling inner-city housing estate of nearly a thousand dwellings, mostly working class, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic.

History – From Core Strategy to Kensington Academy

Image result for lancaster green london

The people of Lancaster West stood to lose a great deal to this massive over-development at the heart of our estate, not least the well-loved and well-used open-space of Lancaster Green, the defence and protection of which was one of our primary aims.

Chapter 23 of the Core Strategy deals with the site allocation for the Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre development (Policy CA 4). The site is comprised of two land parcels, the first of which already hosts the Kensington Leisure Centre. This area is earmarked in the Core Strategy for a rebuilt or redeveloped leisure centre on the same footprint, more or less, as the existing structure. The second adjoining land parcel is earmarked for a new secondary school, the proposed Kensington Aldridge Academy.

The Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre (KALC) project was destined to become one of the biggest and most ambitious development projects sponsored by Kensington and Chelsea Council in recent times. An application for planning permission was submitted in May 2012 and was duly approved. Demolition and excavation to prepare the site for development began as soon as planning permission was granted.

Lancaster Green. Approximately 40% of the proposed academy site was composed of open green space which included footpaths, grassed areas, flowering shrubs, and a significant number of mature trees. Lancaster Green, as it was called, had been designated, for a number of years, as one of the Council’s local parks. It was listed as a park on the Council’s website and was marked as a park by an official Council signnpost. It was listed in the Council’s ‘Open Space Audit’ (2004), as the ‘Grenfell Tower Amenity Space’ (4350 sq metres), and was listed in the ‘Parks Strategy’ (2010) as the ‘Lancaster West Secondary Park’.

Although managed by the Council’s Parks Department the legal status of Lancaster Green was actually more complicated than this would suggest. A Title Review of the proposed KALC site, carried out by the Council’s Legal Services Department in June 2010, revealed that both Lancaster Green and the Grenfell Tower Playground area were covered by the same title deed as the adjoining part of Lancaster West Estate, and therefore properly belonged to Lancaster West Estate, rather than the Sports Centre. This was a clear indication that both Lancaster Green and the playground area were originally created as essential amenity space for Lancaster West residents. These amenity spaces were particularly important to Grenfell Tower residents, who have no balconies or private amenity space, and whose public areas receive no natural light. It is noteworthy also that Lancaster West Estate is generally deficient in playspace, and the open space in the western part of the proposed KALC site, including the sports pitches, had always served to mitigate that deficiency.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/beginnings-3/

Image result for lancaster green london

Site of former Lancaster Green – Kensington Aldridge Academy

https://companycheck.co.uk/company/07702460/KENSINGTON-ALDRIDGE-ACADEMY/companies-house-data?cct_source=192&cct_medium=website&action=buyReport

Grenfell Tower fire

The flammable cladding encasing the exterior of Grenfell Tower played a major part in spreading and accelerating what began as a single dwelling fire with such rapidity that the entire interior of the 24 storey building became a raging inferno in less than an hour. It is incumbent on us also to state our firmly held belief that the cladding in question was not introduced for the benefit of the residents of Grenfell Tower but because Kensington and Chelsea Council had redeveloped the surounding area, building another of their flagship academy schools right next to Grenfell Tower, and a new sports and leisure centre next to that.

 

The cladding on Grenfell Tower was intended to pimp it up so that it wouldn’t spoil the image of creeping gentrification that the Council are intent on creating, here and throughout the rest of North Kensington.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/

One of Grenfell’s Tower’s two escape routes was blocked up because of academy

Residents of the Grenfell Tower area have alleged that one of Grenfell Tower’s two escape routes had been permanently closed after the construction of the Kensington Aldridge Academy. The academy, which opened in the autumn of 2014, is currently closed because of its proximity to the scene of Wednesday’s terrible fire.

Photo published for “One of #Grenfell’s two escape routes was blocked up because of academy”

Local people told the SKWAWKBOX on Sunday that there were two exits from the block, but that one had been shut up – and that older residents of the Tower may have died because they went to the blocked exit in the confusion of the blaze, instead of the one that remained usable.

Residents of the area also alleged that the academy has the same type of exterior cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower and that the decision to use it on the high-rise may have been driven by a desire to bring the appearance of the tower block more into line with that of the new academy.

The cladding on the academy can be seen in the image below:

 

Kensington-Academy1.jpg

There appears to be no ill-will or blame toward the academy on the part of local residents and indeed staff from the school, which remains closed, have been participating in the relief effort. However, there is considerably anger about the planning decisions that led to it being sited so close to Grenfell Tower and to the closure of the exit.

One resident told this blog,

How can you put a building so close that you have to close one of only two ways out? It’s bad enough that there was only one staircase for 600 people in that building, but closing one of the exit doors as well? They were treated like cattle.

Some of the older people still got confused and tried to use the old door sometimes. Can you imagine if that happened on Wednesday?

If the assertions of local people are correct, they must raise serious concerns about the council’s planning decisions and their contribution to last Wednesday’s terrible events.

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/19/one-of-grenfells-two-escape-routes-was-blocked-up-because-of-academy/amp/

Rod Aldridge, founder of the Aldridge Foundation and Capita

Sir Rodney Aldridge –  Dedicated to helping disadvantaged young people

Rod Aldridge is also a trustee of the Prince’s Trust, chairing a scheme to help children who have dropped out of school.

Leaving school at 16 with a handful of O-levels, Aldridge got a job in the post room at his local county council.

Sir Rod Aldridge speaking at the Topping Out

Kensington Aldridge Academy Reaches Major Milestone

28 January 2014

Bouygues UK celebrated the construction of the Kensington Aldridge Academy in west London reaching its highest point recently, with an official “Topping out” ceremony.

The event was attended by Chairman of the Academy’s lead sponsor the Aldridge Foundation, Sir Rod Aldridge, the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor Charles Williams, and Leader of the Council, Councillor Nicholas Paget-Brown.

http://b4ed.com/Article/aldridge_academy_reaches_milestone

link

The government’s controversial academy programme is not universally welcomed by parents concerned that their children’s education is being transferred from state to philanthropist.

As a public figure associated with the Labour government – he retired after negative publicity surrounding a £1m loan he made to the party, and chairs a youth volunteering programme launched by Gordon Brown

Education Portslade county school for boys; qualified as a chartered public accountant, 1970

Career 2006-present: founder and chair, the Aldridge Foundation; 1984-July 2006: founder and chair, The Capita Group plc; 1974-84: technical director, Chartered Institute of Public Finance; 1972-74: assistant treasurer, Crawley council; 1969-72: senior accountant, Brighton council; 1963-69: postboy and then junior posts in payroll section and audit department, East Sussex county council

Public life Chair of dance working group, Department of Health; youth volunteering charity, v; The Lowry and User Voice

Interests Family, golf, Sussex county cricket club, Chelsea FC and Brighton and Hove Albion FC

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2009/aug/05/rod-aldridge-entrepreneurship-mobility-capita

01 Feb 2003

Capita is the biggest contractor of government services. It collects television licence fees and council tax payments, and runs depart- ments, divisions and government programmes.

It runs the Criminal Records Bureau and, last autumn, schools stayed shut as it tried to work through every school employee in the country to see whether they had any criminal record.

‘Our contract was with the Home Office. The procedure was agreed, and that’s what we were doing. The education minister decided we had to do a full check on teachers. Nobody discussed that with us. I’m not even sure they discussed it with the Home Office.’

http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/mt-interview-rod-aldridge/article/412371

Labour donor landed role as adviser to Brown thanks to ‘dirty secret’

3 November 2006

rodPA031106_228x251.jpg

Mr Aldridge: boss of Capita, which has been awarded billions of pounds of public sector contracts under Labour

A millionaire businessman who secretly loaned £1 million to the Labour Party was recruited to head a flagship Government project by one of his own companies.

Official documents show civil servants regarded the process used for the appointment of Rod Aldridge as head of a £150 million youth community service scheme as a ‘dirty secret’.

After inquiries were made about it, one emailed another warning: ‘Our dirty secret is out – would you like to deal?’

The documents, released under freedom of information laws, reveal that recruitment firm Veredus was used to find a chairman for a flagship body implementing the recommendations of the Russell Commission, set up by Gordon Brown to bring about a revolution in youth volunteering.

Mr Aldridge – boss of technology firm Capita, the parent company of Veredus – was eventually appointed to the prestigious post.

He has since taken up a job as head of a new charity called V, which is managing the volunteering scheme.

Though the position is unpaid, it holds huge prestige as one of Mr Brown’s pet projects.

Last night the Conservatives expressed astonishment at the revelations about his appointment and said they would be demanding an official inquiry.

They demanded to know whether ministers had played any part in the process.

Tory frontbencher Chris Grayling, whose questions prompted the release of the documents, said: ‘I shall be writing to the permanent secretary of the Cabinet Office asking for an investigation.

‘It seems extraordinary that a recruitment company would nominate its own group chairman to a position as politically sensitive as this.

‘Inevitably, people will be suspicious. This is someone who is a major financial supporter of the Labour Party, who’s clearly close to senior Labour figures.

Capita has won a number of Whitehall contracts despite being fined millions for several high-profile blunders.

Following the disastrous launch of the Criminal Records Bureau in 2002, it was fined almost £2million for its failings in providing criminal checks on people working with the vulnerable.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/labour-donor-landed-role-as-adviser-to-brown-thanks-to-dirty-secret-7197043.html

Capita boss quits over Blair loan

Rod Aldridge said the loan had been ‘in good faith’
The chairman of outsourcing firm Capita is stepping down over “spurious” claims his £1m loan to Labour resulted in the group getting government contracts.

An influential Commons committee has also launched an inquiry into funding.

The constitutional affairs committee will interview Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser, on his role in persuading Labour backers to make loans.

Lord Levy will also be questioned by the public administration committee.

Tony Blair has denied suggestions that he nominated wealthy supporters for peerages in return for Labour Party loans.

Rod Aldridge, one of 12 donors who lent the party almost £14m

NAMES OF LABOUR PARTY LENDERS:
Rod Aldridge – £1m
Richard Caring – £2m
Gordon Crawford – £500,000
Prof Sir Christopher Evans – £1m
Sir David Garrard – £2.3m
Nigel Morris – £1m
Sir Gulam Noon – £250,000
Dr Chai Patel – £1.5m
Andrew Rosenfeld – £1m
Lord Sainsbury – £2m
Barry Townsley – £1m
Derek Tullett – £400,000
Total: £13,950,000

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4836024.stm

Firm that said put money in Iceland: How 250 councils paid to be steered to financial disaster

A single firm of consultants gave financial advice to more than 250 public authorities  –  many of which have lost tens of millions in the Iceland banking scandal.Sector Treasury Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Capita, the controversial ‘outsourcing’ company which has ballooned into a multi-billion-pound concern under Labour.

It is now known to have been a key player in the decisions taken by scores of publicly funded bodies over where to place the vast funds at their disposal each year.

Controversial: Capita chief Paul Pindar, left, and his predecessor Rod Aldridge, who had to quit

Controversial: Capita chief Paul Pindar, left, and his predecessor Rod Aldridge, who had to quit

The firm failed to comment when asked if it had been receiving commission from any financial institutions as a result of its dealings with local authorities.

However, town hall sources confirmed that STS was being paid a ‘retainer’ by councils for its advice on where to place their money.

STS is called in because many local authority finance directors are baffled by the world money markets and do not feel confident about where they should place the cash they receive each year from Whitehall and council tax payers.


Image result for SIR RODNEY ALDRIDGE and kensington academy

Duchess of Cambridge, with Sir Rodney Alderidge, Opens Kensington Aldridge Academy

SIR RODNEY MALCOLM ALDRIDGE

https://companycheck.co.uk/director/916151915/SIR-RODNEY-MALCOLM-ALDRIDGE/summary

Aldridge is a patron and, former trustee of the Prince’s Trust and is currently Chairman of the Aldridge Foundation, an educational charity which sponsors academy schools in England and champions entrepreneurial education.

He is also a member of the Prince’s Charities Council at the invitation of the HRH Prince of Wales, a patron of the Prince’s Trust, Non-executive Director of Equiniti, a Director of Cornerstone and a Director of Constellation Healthcare Technologies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Aldridge

Image result for SIR RODNEY ALDRIDGE and kensington academy

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge attending the opening ceremony of another Aldridge Foundation academy in 2011. “

In July 2006, Sir Rod retired as Executive Chairman of Capita to establish the Aldridge Foundation to focus on his charitable activities involving educational underachievement and social exclusion of young people. He also is the Chairman of the Lowry, the award winning arts and entertainment venue in Salford, near Manchester which is the home of the L.S Lowry painting collection.

He was awarded a knighthood in the Queen ’s 2011 New Year Honours list on New Year’s Eve, in recognition of his services to young people in his capacity as Chairman of The Aldridge Foundation and for the other work that he has undertaken in this field including being a Patron and a former Trustee of the Princes Trust , the charity established by HRH Prince of Wales.

https://www.lazagaleta.com/magazine/sir-rod-aldridge.htm

Aldridge Foundation academies have been in the news. In the last few months the head of one of their academies has been suspended and forced out alongside reports of poor inspection grades and financial problems.

This time last year, the Aldridge Foundation was in the news, too, when 1,600 residents of Darwen signed a petition asking for parents, pupils and staff to be given a choice over who should run the proposed Darwen Vale Academy. They didn’t want the Aldridge Foundation foisted on them as the sponsor.

Parents and staff in Darwen had some knowledge of the Aldridge Foundation since it already ran another school in the town – the Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA). Coincidentally, this academy had been rumoured to have had a part in the resignation of Aldridge Foundation’s founder, Rod Aldridge, as Chairman of Capita in 2006 after it was revealed that he had secretly lent the Labour Party £1 million. Capita was adamant that he had not been pressured to leave but reports, at the time, suggested several shareholders were growing increasingly concerned over Aldridge’s £2m donation to Tony Blair’s academies and his appointment, two months after the loan was made – to head a £150m youth volunteering network in late 2005.

In 2006, The Daily Telegraph reported that with Aldridge as Chair, Capita secured £2.6bn of business between 1997, when Labour came to power, and 2006. This included contracts to privatise IT for the Department of Work and Pensions and the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the administration of driving licences. Capita secured a £120m deal to work on behalf of the Department for Trade & Industry over injury claims from coal miners and a contract for the British Waterways’ pension scheme. But Capita’s privatisation was not without criticism. The cost of their work for the Criminal Records Bureau mushroomed from £250m to £400m. Capita was fined £3.7m following problems with the launch of London’s congestion charge and £300,000 for inadequate internal fraud controls. But despite these criticisms The Guardian could report in 2010 that Capita had made Rod Aldridge a fortune worth £110m.

http://antiacademies.org.uk/2015/01/a-tale-of-two-cities-darwen-and-brighton-daca-baca-and-paca-and-the-aldridge-foundation/

In this interview, Sir Rod and Lady Aldridge open their home to our readers to give an in-depth look into their days of leisure, and of course, give us an overview of their most precious work at the Aldridge Foundation.

Capita also runs the Congestion Charging Scheme and collects the BBC’s licence fee.

Aldridgre sold £7.64 million of shares, much of which he is understood to be using to complete a divorce settlement from his wife Jacqui. Despite this sale, Mr Aldridge retained shares worth £60 million. He was awarded the OBE in 1994, and is a trustee of the Prince’s Trust.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1513558/The-lenders-how-they-made-their-millions.html


Natalie @natalieisonline

https://twitter.com/natalieisonline/status/876043495512920064

In Aug 2013, Grenfell Action Group reported that the power surge issue hadn’t been resolved and that the committee report was “misleading”.

Grenfell Action Group literally called this. “(t)he power surges at poses a major fire risk to many residents.”

While the housing committee were reluctant to place accountability/ responsibility or share it with TMO, Grenfell Action Group introduce RGE

 


1. Grenfell was identified as a “potentially high risk”.

2. The London Fire Brigade recommended TMO visit Lakanal House in Southwark to familiarise themselves with the potential risk in high rises.

For context, the Lakanal House fire in 2009 left 6 dead and at least 20 injured. More here:

What’s really strange in reading so many of these reports and minutes is that there never seems to be any conflict between TMO and RBKC.

All of the accounts of TMO’s work in the community and engagement with residents are glowing. This is strange.

THE ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
HOUSING AND PROPERTY SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
7 NOVEMBER 2013
REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR OF HOUSING AND TOWN CLERK AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
MID YEAR REVIEW ON TMO PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT 2013/14
The purpose of this report is to present details of the Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) performance from April to September 2013 against the Performance Agreement
 Full report here:  link

…there is a rumour going around that the TMO are favouring the views of some Grenfell Tower householders while excluding the legitimate views of others. We know that some householders have been contacted by the TMO (some of whom are not even in the UK) while many other residents of Grenfell Tower have not seen hide nor hair of the TMO for months, and certainly have not been asked to contribute their views. We believe that this favouritism of certain vested interests by the TMO is completely unjust and that all residents who live in Grenfell Tower are entitled to be consulted and not just the ones that the TMO find amenable (for whatever twisted reasons).

What we do know for sure,  is that Claire Williams and Peter Maddision from the TMO have no intention of recognising residents of Grenfell Tower who have come together to form any kind of “collective representation”. It seems that we will get what the TMO will allow us, and only what the TMO will allow us.  Shame on them!

THE OLD TMO MANTRA OF ‘DIVIDE AND RULE’ STILL HOLDS TRUE AND GRENFELL TOWER RESIDENTS’ VIEWS COUNT FOR NOTHING. WE DEMAND REAL CONSULTATION AND TO BE GIVEN PROPER INFORMATION BY THE TMO THAT KEEPS US FULLY AND APPROPRIATELY INFORMED ABOUT THE GRENFELL TOWER WORKS AND THE FUTURE OF OUR HOMES.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/grenfell-tower-residents-still-waiting/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/gag-objections/

 

Khalid خالد @KhalidMH77

there is money for bank bailouts and Middle East wars yet there’s nothing but contempt for Londons poor


The landlord of Grenfell Tower had already been given legal warnings over fire safety in two other tower blocks

The landlord in charge of Grenfell Tower, where a fire broke out in the early hours on Tuesday 14 June, had been issued legal warnings over fire safety in two other tower blocks prior to the blaze that engulfed the West London property.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) is the landlord of Grenfell Tower. The 24-storey tower block with 120 flats was reported to be on fire at 12.54am on Tuesday 14 June. At the time of publishing, 50 people had been taken to hospital and six people had been confirmed dead.

Previous history

But this is not the first fire in a KCTMO-managed tower block. Because the London Fire Brigade (LFB) had previously issued it with two legal enforcement notices over fire safety, as a result of another fire.

In October 2015, a fire broke out in Adair Tower and 50 people had to be rescued from their flats. As a result, LFB issued an enforcement notice not only on Adair Tower but on the neighbouring Hazelwood Tower. And it shows a catalogue of failings.

A catalogue of failings?

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/14/landlord-grenfell-tower-already-given-legal-warnings-fire-safety-two-tower-blocks-video/

Theresa May’s new Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd, was among the 72 Tory MPs – who are also residential landlords – that voted against a motion to make homes “fit for human habitation.”

Fire Minister was among 72 Tory landlords who voted against making homes “fit for human habitation”

via @psbook

Daniel Blake’s Vest @WarmongerHodges

Theresa May: snubbed Grenfell residents Gavin Barwell: delayed fire safety review Nick Hurd: voted against homes fit for habitation


Photo published for Theresa May's new chief of staff 'sat on' a review of fire safety in tower blocks like Grenfell...

May and Barwell

HRH Crafty Muvva @craftymuvva

This man must be held accountable for sitting on the report in to fire safety in tower blocks. He was contacted time & again.

 


“It is like you have got a high-rise building and you are encasing it in kerosene,” said Edwin Galea, director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich. “It is insanity, pure and simple.”

Such a runaway blaze appears to have been precisely what happened at Grenfell Tower. The flames engulfed the building in a matter of minutes, moving from the outside inward and emitting a dark smoke characteristic of burning insulation.

Recriminations over the failure to prevent the disaster and the sluggish response have contributed to a political crisis for Prime Minister Theresa May, whose Conservative Party lost its majority in a parliamentary election six days before the fire.

If Britain had already banned the material that appears to have spread the fire — as the ministers asserted on Sunday — that would move responsibility for the disaster away from the government and point instead to possible crimes by the tower’s owners and their contractors.

The use of the material is a sensitive issue for the British government because the United States and other countries years ago banned its application in tall buildings on the grounds that it was a fire hazard. In recent years, a series of highly publicized blazes in the United Arab Emirates and Australia has called attention to the problem and spurred more countries to adopt similar restrictions.


Not So Strong @StrongerStabler

Gavin Barwell, sat on High Rise Fire Safety Report, yet May still trusts himto be Chief of Staff. Blood on his hands


Jo Maugham QC

“Seven years later… a… review… had not even begun.” Are the lives of poor people just expendable?



Not So Strong @StrongerStabler

 

Philip Hammond on Marr claiming sprinklers in high-rises aren’t a necessity.

2013 coroner’s report said ALL needed them.


Susanna Reid@susannareid100

Chancellor Phillip Hammond says wait for expert advice on fitting sprinklers. Coroner has already made recommendation


Last year’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill, proposed by Labour, which may have stopped the Grenfell Tower inferno had the government voted for it. But Tory MPs voted it down, 72 of whom were landlords who would have been out of pocket through all the extra nanny state interference.

One of them, Philip Davies, argued it would put “a huge burden on landlords” who are “an easy target for the Left in this country”. They certainly are now, Phil. But not for the Right, who believe landlords (in many cases them) should be free to make as much rent as they want without being bogged down by all that expensive red tape.

Not that the Right is totally against state intervention in housing. Ask Jacob Rees-Mogg ’s in-laws, whose ancestral pile, the 365-room Wentworth Woodhouse, was given a £7.6million restoration grant last year. The same Rees-Mogg who repeatedly voted for the Bedroom Tax, which punished people with one extra room.

Philip Hammond’s commitment in this week’s Autumn Statement to spend £7.6m on restoring Wentworth Woodhouse, England’s largest private home, also had a little-known beneficiary: the house happens to be ancestral home of the mother-in-law of Jacob Rees-Mogg (a recent report of his net worth being up to £150m), the Conservative MP who is among the chancellor’s noisiest critics.

Mr Rees-Mogg said he had no involvement in the campaign to save Wentworth Woodhouse. But after hearing the Autumn Statement in which the funding was announced, he for once dropped his criticism of Mr Hammond and described his overall budget as “excellent”.

“I liked the fact that there was only one gimmick. The fact that the gimmick was Wentworth Woodhouse I liked more,” said the backbencher, one of whose children has Wentworth as a middle name.

The Fitzwilliams moved out in 1946 and the house was put into a family trust. Lady Juliet Tadgell, the only child of the earl and now Mr Rees-Mogg’s mother-in-law, inherited the family fortune but not the home. She is one of the trustees of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust,

Located in south Yorkshire, Wentworth Woodhouse is not very well known, reflecting its limited opening to the public as well as its unglamorous location near the M1, among the area’s former mines.

https://www.ft.com/content/d5efd3a0-b32f-11e6-a37c-

Rupert MyersVerified account @RupertMyers

Kensington Labour MP Emma Coad wasn’t just a councillor, she was on the board Grenfell Tower residents complained to

Emma Dent Coad visits the Grenfell Tower area with Jeremy Corbyn AP

A row has broken out between Labour’s new Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad and her Conservative predecessor over the Grenfell Tower fire.

Ms Dent Coad, below, has accused Tory-led Kensington and Chelsea council of failures that led to the blaze, claiming “poor-quality materials and construction standards have played a part in this hideous and unforgivable event”.

But as a councillor she was on Kensington and Chelsea’s housing scrutiny committee, which oversees “community safety issues”, until May 2014.

A 2014/15 report, in which she is named, says the committee scrutinised work on Grenfell Tower.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labours-new-kensington-mp-was-on-housing-scrutiny-committee-a3566661.html’

 

 

were you a member of the KCTMO when they chose the contractor in 2011?

Emma Dent Coad

No I wasn’t.


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Minutes of a meeting of the Council – Grenfell Tower 2015 1/6

https://twitter.com/Ev3ryCloud/status/877198622395387907


 

 

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Has Nicholas Holgate Chief Executive of RBKC Council made any comment to the media ?

New Joint CEO for LBHF & RBKC

Nicholas Holgate has been appointed as the interim joint chief executive of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Currently Town Clerk and Executive Director of Finance at the Royal Borough, Holgate will take up the Bi-borough reins in November.

Since joining Kensington and Chelsea, Nicholas’ responsibilities have grown steadily. As well as finance he is today in overall charge of property, including housing and planning; IT and communications.

Before 2008, Holgate held a number of senior posts at HM Treasury before becoming Chief Operating Officer at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “Derek Myers is a very tough act to follow and, while we are sad to see him go, we know that Nicholas Holgate is also excellent and inspirational, and will lead from the front with real strength. We look forward to him taking up the role very soon.”

http://lookwestlondon.com/new-joint-ceo-for-lbhf-rbkc/

Truthseeker1@thewakeupcall09
John Whittingdale & Nicholas Holgate (Chief Executive of RBKC) both worked for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Nicholas Holgate Chief Executive of RBKC council on social engineering in 2003 (the Child Trust Fund )
 Chairman: Your consultation document received a leader in the Sunday Times, describing it as “a half-baked piece of social engineering that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds, stack up countless more civil service jobs to administer and then achieve little”. How did you achieve that kind of headline?

Civil servants charged with designing the controversial scheme admitted to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that it would benefit middle class parents far more than the Government’s target of low income groups.

They also accepted that the fund could count against a series of existing state benefits.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2868764/MPs-savage-Browns-middle-class-child-fund.html


New money man for K&C council

A new face has joined Kensington and Chelsea Council fresh from a stint with the government.

1 OCT 2013

Nicholas Holgate is joining the council after working as chief operating officer at the department for culture, media and sport. He has become the new executive director for finance, information systems and property for the Royal Borough.

He said: “It will be great to contribute to the work of such a vibrant organisation and as I live in Olympia, the borough affects my quality of life outside the office too. I am absolutely thrilled.”

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Mr Holgate is also a former director of welfare reform at the Treasury, which he first joined in 1984.

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Cllr Merrick Cockell, welcomed the appointment.

Often known as the Chief Executive in other councils, the Town Clerk is the chief officer of the Council responsible for the delivery of services to residents. He will also act as the borough’s finance director, ensuring the effective management of Council resources. In addition he advises the Mayor at Council meetings.

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Nicholas Holgate has worked in local government since 2008 when he joined the Royal Borough as Executive Director for Finance, Information Systems and Property. He has also served for 11 months as interim joint chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham.

A career public servant, he started out as an Administration Trainee in HM Treasury in 1984. He was Director of Welfare Reform over 2001-2004 and then Chief Operating Officer at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport until 2008.

Council chief quits over Grenfell fire response

The chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council has quit following a barrage of criticism over its response to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Nicholas Holgate said the communities and local government secretary had “required the leader of the council to seek my resignation”.

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, she said it was right that Mr Holgate had resigned.

Yvette Williams, spokeswoman for the Justice4Grenfell campaign, agreed it was right for him to go.

“He wasn’t left with any alternative,” she said. “The community had been completely abandoned by the local authority.”

It is thought a highly toxic gas released by insulation on the outside of the building may also have contributed to deaths.

http://www.itv.com/news/2017-06-22/kensington-council-chief-quits-amid-criticism-over-grenfell-fire-response/

THE EMBATTLED chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea Council has resigned after they were slammed over their response to the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Nicholas Holgate was asked for a resignation by communities secretary Sajid Javid

Kensington council boasted Grenfell Tower’s fire safety standards were exemplary – and should be extended to all other major works.

Locals then branded the initial relief effort as “absolute chaos”.

Since the devastating fire, residents left homeless were forced to stay in hotels and B&Bs.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3855960/chief-executive-of-kensington-and-chelsea-council-resigns-over-grenfell-tower-inferno/

David Mortimer @ukfathers


WirralInItTogether @Wirral_In_It

When is Councillor Sam Mackover, chairman of the committee that brushed Grenfell Tower tenants’ concerns under the carpet BEING INTERVIEWED?

 

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Sadiq Khan took donations from property firm which ‘put tenants’ lives at risk’

Sadiq.jpg

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/mayor/revealed-sadiq-khan-took-donations-from-property-firm-which-put-tenants-lives-at-risk-a3219961.html


Alan WhiteVerified account @aljwhite

Inside Housing has a FOI response showing Grenfell Tower had not been checked for fire safety for 18 months

Gavin Barwell was appointed Theresa May’s chief of staff on Saturday, after losing his seat in the election 

Rabih Chaaban @ChaabanRabih

How can it be democratic?? Gavin Barwell failed be get elected still appointed by Theresa May as chief of staff – overseeing elected MPs!

Theresa May’s chief of staff ‘sat on’ report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire

Theresa May’s new chief of staff was one of a series of housing ministers who “sat on” a report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire for four years.

A former Chief Fire Officer and secretary of a parliamentary group on fire safety today revealed successive ministers had had damning evidence on their desks since 2013 and nothing had happened.

And the Labour MP who chairs the group said ministers had “sat on” the recommendations for almost four years.

Gavin Barwell, who was housing minister until losing his seat in last week’s election, promised to review part B of the Building Regulations 2010, which relate to fire safety, but the review never materialised.

link

Revealed: the tower block fire warnings that ministers ignored

Fire chief tells of repeated rebuffs by ministers as Theresa May admits Grenfell victims were let down
17 June 2017

Krishnan Guru-MurthyVerified account @krishgm

This is the man who was in charge of housing. He was rejected by voters last week and hired by Theresa May as Chief of Staff

As public outrage mounted and political pressure grew on Theresa May over the tragedy, former chief fire officer Ronnie King – who is secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on fire safety – said urgent requests for meetings with ministers and action to tighten rules were stonewalled.

King also revealed that ministers had failed to insist that life-saving sprinkler systems were mandatory in the design of new schools in England, despite clear recommendations in reports commissioned by the government itself, which advocated their use.

His criticism came as the prime minister admitted on Saturday that although the emergency services had been “heroic”, support for families of Grenfell Tower victims who needed help after the fire “was not good enough”.

He said that requests for meetings with former housing minister Gavin Barwell, now Theresa May’s chief of staff, were turned down. King said: “We have had replies, but the replies were to the effect that you have met my predecessor [the previous Tory housing minister James Wharton] and there were a number of matters that we are looking at and we are still looking at it.

“They are politicians and I am a professional fire adviser. I understand the difficulties they have with this,” King said. But he repeated: “They always seem to need a significant loss of life before things are changed.”

Reports into a previous fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south London in 2009, in which six people died, and a subsequent coroner’s report led to urgent calls from the fire sector for action. But seven years later those calls had still not been acted on and a long-awaited review of building and safety regulations had not even begun. In October last year Barwell answered a parliamentary question from the Labour MP Steven McCabe about the review timetable.

Barwell replied saying: “We have not set out any formal plans to review the building regulations as a whole, but we have publicly committed ourselves to reviewing part B [the regulations governing fire safety] following the Lakanal House fire.”

Another leading expert, David Sibert, fire safety officer to the Fire Brigades Union, who was told he would sit on the review, confirmed to the Observer that he had yet to be invited to contribute to it. It is believed that at most only a limited start was made and then abandoned as civil servants were directed on to other matters, notably the need to secure Brexit.

Last week Barwell declined to comment on when the review would be ready. Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Brinton, who also sits on the all-party group, said: “We could have had new regulations ready to go last year as the refurbishment work on Grenfell Tower was completed.”

On Monday MPs from Labour, Plaid Cymru, the Lib Dems and the SNP will turn up the pressure on government by asking urgent parliamentary questions to establish what work, if any, has been done on the review.

With the crisis threatening May’s already shaky hold on Downing Street, concerns about fire safety were widening to include regulations governing building of schools, student accommodation and care homes. King said: “The Department for Education have their own strict guidance for schools. Last July they issued their amended document as a final draft. Previously they said automatic fire sprinklers would be installed in all new schools except for a very few low-risk schools. They then issued revised guidance, which said that because of XYZ they are removing the requirement for sprinklers in all new schools.”

The Department for Education said that fire safety in schools was paramount but suggested sprinklers were not mandatory in all buildings. “All schools, like other public buildings, must adhere to stringent fire-safety legislation,” a spokeswoman said.

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, who knew one of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, demanded that the police seize all documents from relevant parties that could help explain its causes and assist the criminal investigations. He said: “The prime minister needs to act immediately to ensure that all evidence is protected so that everyone culpable for what happened at Grenfell Tower is held to account and feels the full force of the law. We need urgent action now to make sure all records and documents relating to the refurbishment and management of Grenfell Tower are protected.”

On Saturday police said that at least 58 people were missing and presumed to have died in the tragedy, and that the figure might increase. The latest official total includes the 30 who are already confirmed to have died in the fire. Commander Stuart Cundy said that the “significant” recovery operation might take weeks to complete. “As soon as we can, we will locate and recover loved ones,” he said.

PJ @moltomacster

Snivelling coward. This failure of leadership, of compassion and empathy shows this govt for what it is.

 


Mark Ashley @themarkashley

Tower floor plan. “Improved” high density layout means one set of stairs for 24 stories of 120 apartments

‘No sprinklers or fire alarm’ and residents told to stay INSIDE: Tower block’s ‘Third World’ safety failures

Cladding added during £10m refurbishment caught alight ‘like a matchstick’

cathyfoxblog @CathyCathyFox

carried out refurb of tower. someone should be charged with murder

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire/


Project Compass @ProjCompassEU

Grenfell Tower procurement – awarded to Rydon in 2014 by LBKC. Full details, including contract notice & award:

Director of company which refurbished Grenfell 'hangs up' on Piers Morgan

Harley secure £3m contract from Rydon Group to carry out over-cladding and window replacement at Grenfell Tower

David LammyVerified account @DavidLammy

Harley (company that installed Grenfell cladding) deleting pages from their website. Looks like they’ve got something to hide, doesn’t it.

David Lammy‏@DavidLammy

Studio E (architects that oversaw Grenfell cladding refurbishment) are deleting pages from their website. Have they got something to hide?


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

RYDON CONSTRUCTION LIMITED & RYHURST LIMITED

Ryhurst part of the Rydon Group and partnership with the NHS


 

Peter Apps @PeteApps

Earlier this year we revealed panels on the outside of tower blocks were putting lives at risk

his is what a report into cladding used in a nearby tower which caught fire in August said. Report was kept secret.

 

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Company boss Raymond Bailey hiding in his £1m mansion

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/875330915597250560

Mark Ashley @themarkashley

Tower fire ventilation system, cowardly deleted at 4am by the suppliers trying to scurry away.

 

James MitchinsonVerified account @JayMitchinson

Why weren’t they listened to? Why? #GrenfellTower

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

Lady Borwick friend of Theresa May MP for Did she respond to the concerns of the residents ? No attendance at hustings.

Ivory loving Tory MP Lady Victoria Borwick friend of Theresa May…….no action on safety issues at

 

 

TMO INVESTIGATION – BORWICK STEPS IN

Grenfell Tower residents had little to smile about when disgruntled leaseholders and tenants met with our local MP, Victoria Borwick, along with Peter Maddison and Sacha Jevans from the TMO, in the Community Rooms at Lancaster West Estate on the morning of 14th December.

We believe that Lady Borwick left the meeting in no doubt that a great injustice and trauma has been inflicted on this community as a result of the appalling management of the Improvement Works and we must now trust that she will keep her word by supporting residents in their call for an independent investigation into Mr Maddison, Claire Williams and others at the TMO.

Bearing in mind that Grenfell Tower is only the first of a number of tower blocks in North Kensington facing refurbishment it would be wise of RBKC to support Lady Borwick and local residents in their call for an independent investigation. There is much to learn from this sordid affair. The Council should have no reason to oppose such an inquiry and Grenfell Tower residents have much to gain and everything to lose if this call for an independent investigation of the TMO is not forthcoming!

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/tmo-investigation-borwick-steps-in/

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Grenfell Tower

February 2016 The TMO’s clerk of works will sign off Rydon’s work

Council stockpiled £274m in reserves despite Grenfell Tower residents’ calls for fire safety improvements

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-royal-borough-kensington-chelsea-council-stockpiled-274m-despite-warnings-residents-a7795411.html


Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

Former Home Sec who made an absolute mess of the CSA inquiry, presenting 3 of the worst chairs possible, now wants to take personal control!

Will Home Office staff be seconded to the inquiry like they were with CSA inquiry?

Another ‘must read’ and sequel to the Theresa May/Hubert Brasier story.


James Cave @jaycave14

Remind me who cut fire service numbers before suggesting a new royal yacht? Who is protecting private landlords?

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire/


Dinner at the Carlton: The New Tory power brokers

2009

The guest list for the Conservatives; premier political dinner last week which gives a fascinating snapshot of the movers and shakers getting ready for their turn to influence Downing Street
Lady Borwick and  Lord Borwick on the guest list

Unveiling a plaque to Lady Churchill with Sir Nicholas Soames

Tories BOW to wealthy antiques dealers and DROP ban on elephant ivory in manifesto:

Lady Victoria Borwick is related by marriage to the notorious McAlpine family.

Her husband’s uncle is Alistair McAlpine, alleged child abuser.

Lord “Jamie” Borwick – nephew of Lord Alistair McAlpine

Victoria’s  husband, Geoffrey Robert James Borwick, 5th Baron Borwick aka “Jamie”, is the son of Hon. Patricia Garnett McAlpine – Patricia’s brother is Alistair McAlpine

http://www.thepeerage.com/p14612.htm#i146113

Lady Victoria Borwick is MP for Kensington and Chelsea, preceded by Malcolm Rifkind who is a cousin of alleged child abuser, former Tory Cabinet minister, Leon Brittan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10650010/Who-do-they-think-they-are-One-in-11-MPs-is-married-related-or-have-ancestors-who-sat-in-Commons.html

Lord Alistair McAlpine was also a collector.

Tories BOW to wealthy antiques dealers and DROP ban on elephant ivory in manifesto

Under David Cameron the Conservatives had pledged – along with other UK political parties – to put into place a ban on ivory trading. This follows bans by China, the US and other important ivory trading countries to end domestic trades in ivory by the end of 2017.

But there is no mention of the ban in Theresa May’s Tory 2017 manifesto. Sneakily, the Tories have decided to DROP their previous commitment to introducing a total ban on ivory trade in Britain. This comes after heavy pressure from wealthy antiques traders who have been lobbying Teresa May hard to drop the ban on ivory.

The most powerful UK antique traders association is the British Antique Dealers’ Association – whose president is Tory MP and pal of Theresa May, Lady Victoria Borwick.

On average, an elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory and their population has fallen by almost a third in Africa since 2007.

Interestingly, this policy puts the Tories in direct conflict with Prince William, who has been a vocal supporter of a total ban on ivory sales.

Will we see the Duke of Cambridge campaigning for Labour – which has pledged to introduce the total ban the Prince has been lobbying for?

https://tompride.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/tories-bow-to-wealthy-antiques-dealers-and-drop-ban-on-elephant-ivory-in-manifesto/#comment-100577

At William Hague Farewell Dinner with William Hague and Victoria Borwick

 

William Hague Cover-Up

Victoria Borwick

She works on a daily basis with the big pillars of authority in London, such as the Metropolitan Police.

Does she ever take issue with the Metropolitan Police, or any other authority? “Of course…of course.”

http://henpicked.net/interview-with-victoria-borwick-deputy-mayor-of-london/

link

Victoria Borwick – gifts and hospitality

https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/governance-and-spending/sharing-our-information/assistant-directors-and-heads-service/victoria-borwick/gifts-hospitality

She worked in senior management for P&O and DMG World Media (Daily Mail and General Trust plc) before becoming the Conservative Party’s fundraising director.[2]

 

The Busy Borwicks

Son of Kensington MP Lady Borwick’s curious connections to the people who ensured both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump revealed

On Sunday, Carole Cadwalladr of  The Observer published a lengthy and well researched article that, amongst other things, examined the connections between The Hon. Thomas Borwick – the son of the Conservative hereditary peer The Rt. Hon. The Lord Borwick and Kensington’s Member of Parliament Lady ‘Call me Victoria’ Borwick – and the controversial US hedge fund titan and backer of Donald Trump, Robert Mercer.

 

A director of a multitude of companies, in spite of being just 29 years old, “new media expert” Thomas Borwick – whose mother was forced to apologise “after using City Hall resources to promote her husband’s [now defunct] electric vehicle business” in 2009 – it now transpires, was not only Vote Leave’s chief technology officer but previously worked with SCL/Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ. Borwick currently touts himself to his 202 followers on Twitter as the founder of a political canvasing consultancy named Kan.to, an organisation that he boldy claims “will out-organise, out-plan, out-leaflet, out-twitter, out-work and out-vote all of its opponents”.

Mercer, one of the owners of the far-right Breitbart News Network as well as being a major shareholder in Cambridge Analytica, is a man whose “sinister” connections to both Trump and Nigel Farage have rightly been widely criticised. On that basis, that the son of fervent Brexiteer Lady Borwick – a woman whose constituents voted 69% to ‘Remain’ and whose domain was home to a greater proportion of EU nationals than any other London borough in 2016 – has links to this billionaire and his activities should only encourage the voters of Kensington to ditch her and her out-of-touch party.

link

Son of Tory MP beaten unconscious outside Leicester Square KFC by 3 women

He said: ‘At some point they started pushing and shoving – three at that stage, of which only two were particularly aggressive. I couldn’t hypothecate (?) or guess what was on their minds. At some point my food and drink spilled and was taken from me.

‘The rest of my friends quickly came outside. From our group absolutely all of them did nothing aggressive to the ladies, but they continued to react though and many of my friends were attacked.

The computer app writer was queuing with friends when they became embroiled in a row with the women over space.

Tom was among a group of six friends on a night out in London,’ said Lady Borwick, who was previously Boris Johnson’s deputy.


2015

Revealed: The ‘triple dipper’ Conservative MP who is paid nearly £100,000 a year for three elected jobs

Victoria Borwick, the (former) MP for Kensington, is paid an extra £30,000 a year as both a councillor at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and member of the London Assembly

Mrs Borwick, 59, whose application to replace Sir Malcolm Rifkind in the seat was personally backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, defended her decision.

She can use the title “Lady” because she is married to Lord Borwick, a hereditary peer who has sat in the House of Lords since 2013. The couple live in a £6.6million home in Chelsea and have four children.

Mrs Borwick’s predecessor as MP for Kensington Sir Malcolm Rifkind had complained that it was “unrealistic” to live on £60,000 shortly before quitting after being caught in a cash for access investigation by The Daily Telegraph in February.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11686725/Revealed-The-triple-dipper-MP-who-is-paid-nearly-100000-a-year-for-three-jobs.html

She paid tribute to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, saying: “Many people will be sad to see someone so distinguished leave. They are very grateful for all that he did in services to our country and also to Kensington. I have big shoes to fill.”

“The Tories got rid of one Rifkind (Cash for Access) and now replaced him with ‘Madam Rifkind’, who thinks it is perfectly reasonable to use these jobs to rake in as much money as possible.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/general-election-conservatives-announce-kensington-8868946

 

Tory Donor List – Borwicks

link

Slumming it: Tory Lady ventures into East End

Role reversal? Could this be the first time a young East Ender gets to look down on a Victoria Lady?
Role reversal? Could this be the first time a young East Ender gets to look down on a Victoria Lady?
Since the Tories headed up the Coalition after the 2010 General Election, they have been making cuts in public spending and presiding over austerity measures which have made life harder for ordinary Eastenders. Government attacks such as the bedroom tax and welfare benefit tax have left many East End families only able to buy the cheapest, unhealthiest food – or forced them to supplement their own buying with trips to the food bank.

Against this backdrop, Lady Borwick, aka Assembly Member Victoria Lorne Peta Borwick, a Deputy Mayor of London, deigned to drop into Tower Hamlets last week to claim the credit for Tower Hamlets’ work in promoting good health in its schools (that’s the schools which Lady Borwick’s party is trying to dismantle).

 

2007:

Trump crony Rudy Giuliaini drew inspiration from Winston Churchill in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack on New York, he revealed.

Mr Giuliani cited the alliance between Churchill and Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and Tony Blair and George W Bush as evidence of the powerful bond between Britain and the US. He would make it his mission as President to strengthen the relationship further.

The lunch was attended by about 100 wealthy Americans and dozens of London-based US correspondents.

Conservative mayoral contender Victoria Borwick, who has pledged to introduce Giuliani-style zero tolerance policing, was the only senior Tory present at the lunch at the Hyde Park Mandarin hotel. 

“He is a brilliant political leader,” she said.

Mr Giuliani is due to meet Margaret Thatcher tonight at the same hotel before delivering his keynote speech on his manifesto for a 2008 Republican presidential victory.

http://britainandamerica.typepad.com/britain_and_america/2007/09/josh-sutton-rep.html

Rudy Guiliani

Back in 1984, Giuliani was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  During that time, allegations began to surface about physical and sexual abuse perpetrated on children at the day care center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Giuliani knew there were multiple children being abused.  And yet he did not indict anyone.  Not receiving justice from Giuliani, the parents pursued civil action.  The government ended up paying 11 victims $2.7 million, but protected its image, thanks to Rudy.

link

 

Rudy Guiliani

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/05/why-trump-fired-comey.html

Lady Borwick, a Tory councillor in Kensington & Chelsea, spent eleven years as Director of the Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fair and a further period of time assisting with the International Fine Art Fair in New York. What better experience could there be to  prepare one to understand the problems of the East End?

http://eastlondonnews.co.uk/slumming-it-tory-lady-ventures-into-east-end/

Lord Borwick

Geoffrey Robert James “Jamie” Borwick, 5th Baron Borwick] (born 1955) is a British businessman, hereditary peer and member of the House of Lords. Chief Executive of Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC, known for the manufacture of the London Taxi, from 1987 to 2001 and then Chairman until 2003.

 


Lady Emily @Pushingtheboat

Family history of selling your soul to the devil in the name of personal gain and greed. My, my.

More here:

https://goodnessandharmony.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/ardingly-collegechichester-diocese-school-paedophile-ringspie/

 

From Domestic Servants to Prime Minister: Theresa May’s Family Fortunes

Theresa May became British Prime Minister on Wednesday 13th July, 2016. Interestingly, this piece by family history expert Roy Stockdill was written back in in 2013. His opening paragraph looks rather prophetic now…

From Convent School to Councillor

“Politics and power often run in families and dynasties, but I could find nothing in the ancestry of Theresa May to suggest that she would become the most powerful female politician in Britain as Home Secretary. Seen by some as a possible successor to David Cameron as Tory leader, she has said she wanted to be an MP ever since she was 12 years old, an ambition in which she was encouraged by her mother.

Her father however, was an Anglican clergyman and kept his political views to himself. Some of Cameron’s Cabinet are regarded as ‘posh’ and ‘old school tie’. But there was no silver spoon for Theresa May. After education at a state primary school, convent girls’ school and a state comprehensive, she read geography at Oxford University, graduating in 1977, became a London borough Councillor and got into Parliament for Maidenhead after twice losing in Labour seats.

Grandmothers in Domestic Service

In researching her family background, I discovered that both of Theresa May’s grandmothers were in domestic service as young women and that she had a great-grandfather who was a butler – so her roots are very much downstairs rather than upstairs. She was born Theresa Mary Brasier on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex, where her father, the Rev Hubert Brasier, was chaplain to a Church of England hospital.

Her mother was the exotically-named Zaidee Mary Brasier, formerly Barnes. The name Zaidee is of Middle East origins. The Home Secretary lost both parents just a few years after leaving university and marrying her husband, Philip May, in 1980. The Rev Hubert Brasier, who became vicar of two Oxfordshire parishes, was killed in a car crash in 1981 and his wife Zaidee Brasier, born in 1928, died the following year, aged only 54.

Theresa May’s parents married at St Giles’ Parish Church, Reading, Berkshire, on 16 June 1955, Hubert Brasier being then 37, a bachelor and a Clerk in Holy Orders, his address being the Chaplain’s House, All Saints Hospital, Eastbourne. Zaidee Mary Barnes was 26, a spinster, of 156, Southampton Street, Reading. The bridegroom’s father was Tom Brasier, deceased, and the bride’s father was Reginald James Barnes, traveller.

Grandparents in the 1911 Census

Hubert Brasier was born on 20 August 1917 at 61 Clonmore Street, Southfields, Wandsworth, London, son of Tom Brasier, then a clerk, and Amy Margaret Brasier, formerly Patterson. They were the paternal grandparents of Theresa May and their marriage certificate shows they were married at The Independent Chapel, West Street, Fareham, Hampshire, on 25 September 1909.

https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/famous-family-trees-theresa-may-1406260824.html

Grenfell Tower: A Tory Wicker Man ?

 Grenfell Tower in West London and the Wicker Man.

SPECIAL REPORT
21st Century Wire

The week saw one of the worst urban disasters in recent history, as runaway fires consumed a low-income high-rise council estate in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea. So far, police have confirmed 17 dead and have indicated that they expect to find many more fatalities.

As the old adage goes, there are no natural disasters, only human ones.

But this horrific scene in west London symbolises much more than simple negligence. The image of a Wicker Man comes to mind.

Were low-income residents sacrificed at the altar of austerity, greed and corporate privatisation?

As North Kensington’s towering inferno continues to smoulder into the early morning, circumstantial evidence is beginning to emerge showing how Conservative MPs  sidelined legislation that would have required higher safety standards. According to reports, a group of Tory MPs have consistently voted against tenants’ rights including voting down Labour’s amendment to the recent Housing and Planning Bill which would have required landlords to make their homes “fit for habitation.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the 72 Tory MPs who killed the legislation also just happened to be commercial landlords themselves.

To add insult to injury, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during his tenure as  Mayor of London instituted cuts that have stripped London of 7,000 of its firefighters in the last five years, with numerous Fire Station closures and other cuts to frontline emergency services.

So how did Grenfell Tower turn into a death trap for so many ? The organisation responsible for maintenance and safety at the social housing block is the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO). But the organisation’s name is deceptive – far from being a tenant-run company, the ‘TMO’ is actually a private company – an aloof ivory tower that sits far above the actual residents, and who ‘manage’ 10,000 properties… with handsome salaries and fees for selected executives and contractors. Although Grenfell Tower is owned by the Borough Council of Kensington and Chelsea, the management of the tower block is subcontracted out to the TMO.

Critics of the public-private partnership, or PPP, management hand-off claim that the quasi-privatised TMO arrangement is rife with corruption, including sweetheart deals to contractors. It also enables connected board members to fleece poor residents while taking home enormous sums of money for doing little if anything for it. Last year, the KCTMO was paid £11million ($14 million) in taxpayer money to manage Grenfell Tower. According to the Mail Online, four senior members of TMO took £650,000 between them last year. And that’s not all:

“There are also claims that there was no central sprinkler system – or it was also not working properly during the fire. Others have claimed that the new cladding encasing the block added during last year’s £10million refurbishment by Rydon Construction caught alight ‘like a matchstick’.” This [petroleum-based, flammable plastic] exterior cladding was apparently added to the building to improve the view and cosmetic appearance of the tower when seen from a new development or private luxury flats in the locality.

Apparently, this was all part of a “regeneration project” which was said to be completed last year on only one building: Grenfell Tower.

It gets worse. According resident advocacy blog Bella Caledonia:

“It’s emerged that the local Council – the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – actually threatened a local blogger and action group with legal action for calling to attention the state of the building. We’re told also that “Theresa May’s chief of staff ‘sat on’ report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire.

Resident Darren Cullen said on Twitter: “Any attempt to depoliticise an event like this is a political act in itself.”

Despite numerous warnings by the residents of Grenfell Tower, local action groups believe that the TMO did not take any significant action to rectify fundamental health and safety flaws.

Reporter Holly Baxter of the London Independent detailed how a series of prophetic warnings posted by the residents’ advocacy group were routinely ignored:

“The Grenfell Action Group residents’ association had consistently warned about the possibility of such a tragedy; this morning, they updated their website with a post which reads: “Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC [the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea]. ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time.”

“Links to their earlier posts prove it: in 2013 they warned that shutting down the block’s car park would mean just one narrow, restricted road for emergency vehicle access, something which eyewitnesses reported slowed down the fire engine response this morning; the same year, they wrote a long post about continuous electrical surges which had been causing fire hazards in the building (“decisive action was only taken yesterday after highly distressed residents descended en masse on the estate office to demand help and assistance. They had woken to find smoke issuing from various electrical appliances in their homes, including the light fixtures, and descended in panic to the estate office to demand help”) ; and in November 2016, their frustration about what they called inadequate fire escapes culminated in a frighteningly prescient post titled Playing With Fire: “The Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring to an end the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders… It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block… is the most likely reason those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice”.

But the Tories can’t take all the credit. It’s been said by some party grandees (not to mention Margret Thatcher herself) that the Thatcher Era’s greatest achievement was New Labour and Tony Blair – both of whom helped to push Thatcher’s mass-privatisation agenda over the goal line. Blair’s corporatist trojan horse was camouflaged under the heading of a ‘New Deal for Communities,’ along with the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit nested within the Department for Communities and Local Government and fueled by millions of pounds in “regeneration grants” from the EU – supposedly designed to lift-up some of the England’s most deprived neighbourhoods, which instead paved the way for a bold social engineering project which led to the mass-gentrification of low income areas across the UK, where massive profits were booked on the back of privatising council properties, taking advantage of an over-inflated housing market. It was during this period that PPP takeovers like the TMO took hold of large sectors of Britain’s social housing.

See more TMO scandals at Not TMO, and this open letter to the Hackney TMO here.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/06/15/grenfell-tower-a-tory-wicker-man/

 


LONDON FIRE CONSPIRACY

17 June 2017

The Grenfell Tower is in Kensington, in London.

In the June 2017 General Election, Labour gained Kensington from the Conservatives.

Does someone want to reduce the number of Labour voters in Kensington?


While leader of Westminster City Council Dame Shirley Porter oversaw the “homes for votes” scandal

The Grenfell Action Group believes that there are striking similarities between the current ‘regeneration’ policies … and those that landed Dame Shirley in so much trouble in the late 1980’s.”

“GERRYMANDERING” IN NORTH KENSINGTON! .

“For a start, the intended ‘regeneration’ policies are targeted at Wards that are currently represented (some marginally) by Labour Councillors, particularly St Charles and Notting Barns.

“The inevitable result of ‘regenerating’ working class housing estates involves replacing tenanted properties with so-called ‘affordable’ housing (ie affordable only to middle class home buyers).

“One inevitable outcome of this process will be to skew the demographics of North Kensington with a predictable swing to the Tories.”

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/06/london-fire.html

Grand Union Homes – off limits to be discussed by KCTMO or RBKC

https://twitter.com/Ev3ryCloud/status/881143251025244161

Former Chief Executive of KCTMO Gordon Perry was the Chief Executive of GRAND UNION HOMES

Gordon Perry

Gordon Perry
Gordon Perry

Before becoming chief executive of the group, Gordon was chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea TMO. He has more than 30 years experience in the housing sector. As the senior director responsible for service improvement in his last two organisations he led them to three star status. As chairman of the London Almo group and chair of the London Almo Procurement Network, Gordon pioneered collective procurement and partnering contracts as one of the trailblazer consortia. Gordon was the founding chairman of the National Federation of Almos.

https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2012/jun/08/accent-group

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/881133459841978368

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/881126815561129984

Can @kctmo explain why they setup Grand Union Homes and was taxpayers money used ?

 

SilverLining‏ @Ev3ryCloud

Why same directors on this & dissolved company…real estate?

 

3 Yr Old Article however consider GrenfellTower & see a pattern.

Photo published for Tories accused of political fix for Boris Johnson as London is protected from extra cuts

Tories accused of political fix for Boris Johnson as London is protected from extra cuts

24 Aug 2017

Local councils face even deeper spending reductions than thought – except for Greater London Authority
As predicted weeks ago all part of LGA ( Boris Johnson)
All connected to GLA & LGA as i’ve said before… Tory Gov has much to answer too... #ACCOUNTABLE

13 Nov 2014

Big questions for Boris over billion dollar property deal

Boris Johnson is under fire over his handling of a £1bn deal for a Chinese firm to redevelop a huge site on London’s historic Royal Albert Dock.

his follows an investigation by Channel 4 News into the track record in China of the firm which won the contract – ABP – and into whether ABP were given favourable treatment during the tender process.

There are also questions over donations to the Conservative Party from an Anglo-Chinese businesswoman who acted as adviser to ABP.

Sir Alistair Graham, a former chairman of the government’s Committee on Standards in Public Life, suggested to Channel 4 News there should be an independent investigation into the tendering process for the development, which will take place on publicly-owned land.

“It has the smell of a semi-corrupt arrangement, doesn’t it?” he told Channel 4 News:

“If, in fact, somebody is going through a sham process to ensure that someone they want to be successful in the process, but it’s not a level playing field for UK companies, and there have been some financial transactions of an intimate nature then that smells to me of a semi corrupt arrangement.”

In May 2013 the Greater London Authority granted Advanced Business Park – known as ABP – the tender to develop the 35-acre site at the Royal Albert Dock, a derelict site opposite London’s City Airport. The development was hailed by Boris Johnson as “a beacon for investors”, and ABP hope that the site will become an important forum for scores of Chinese firms operating in Britain. The project will include 3.2 million square feet of office space, leisure facilities, and 845 residential flats. It is thought to be China’s largest property investment in the UK.

ABP’s human rights record

Our film raises serious concerns about ABP’s human rights record in China. We discovered that ABP, and their partners in Chinese local government, were involved in the forced removal of some residents from their homes at the site of their one completed development in Beijing. We have obtained amateur video footage, shot by a resident, of demolition teams tearing down a family’s home with all their possessions inside, on Christmas Day 2010. The family also say they were denied fair compensation for losing their home. We have substantial legal paperwork detailing their efforts to secure proper compensation in the Chinese courts.

Boris Johnson confirmed to me in an interview for Channel 4 News that neither he, nor the Greater London Authority (which Johnson runs), assessed ABP’s human rights record in China as part of the evaluation process.

Johnson also said ABP’s human rights record in China “wasn’t relevant to the tendering process.” But the Mayor promised to “look at” any new information.

https://www.channel4.com/news/boris-johnson-london-propery-deal-china-albert-dock


“It had to be a cladding fire.”

British fire protection specialist Arnold Tarling isn’t wondering what caused the fire to spread so quickly in London’s Grenfell Tower early Wednesday. He’s certain the recently added exterior cladding system is to blame.

For years, the associate director of London-based Hindwoods Chartered Surveyors has been calling for improved fire safety regulations in the country.

Tarling said he burst into tears when he first heard from a fellow fire expert that the highrise was on fire.

Following is an edited transcript of an interview with him Thursday by CBC executive producer Tracy Seeley.

Q: In your opinion, what happened?

There was an initial source of fire. That cause is entirely irrelevant to what happened later. What happened is the fire got out of a flat, maybe from an open window or through a broken window from the heat. And then it started heating the panelling and the insulation above. That then set a chain reaction in which the panel started to burn.

The panels being aluminium, melt at 600 degrees [Celsius] or thereabouts. But the fire brigade cannot put out any of the fires behind these panels, because there’s metal there. You also have a wind tunnel effect sucking the flames up the wind tunnel, up between the insulation and the external cladding, melting the solid polyethylene above, and continuing the fire right up the height of the building.”

The cladding system is combined polyaluminum sheets with a filler of polyethylene. And that is what has caused the problems, because the polyethylene melts at a very low temperature and it catches fire. It is basically like a candle which is sandwiched between two sheets of metal.

We have seen those fires before. There was one in 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, but those didn’t enter the flats, because I understand the flats were sprinklered. In Britain, we didn’t have these flats sprinklered, and therefore the fire was able to enter the flats quite rapidly.

Q: What does this say about these modern methods of construction that could be potentially so dangerous?

What it actually says is that the building regulations we have in this country are not fit for … this form of cladding. All that you require to meet the standards is that the outside surface shouldn’t allow the spread of flames. What is going on behind the metal or the other surface is entirely irrelevant to building regulations. You could put expanded polystyrene in there, or anything else that burns.

Q: The construction company has said it followed regulations.

I have seen nothing yet that the architect or the contractor or the supply of materials breached the building regulations. The horrendous fact is that in 2014 I did a talk to the British Standard Institute at one of their fire conferences. And I said this will happen in this country. There will be multiple fatalities as a result if these cladding systems are not changed.

Q: How do you feel?

To be honest I burst into tears. This tragedy is totally avoidable. I would say it is wicked that these people have had to die. When I got a phone call from another expert at quarter to four in the morning, I went downstairs turned on the television and burst into tears. My wife came down thinking my mother had died.

It is terrible what has happened. It needn’t have happened. And the people responsible are either the politicians or their advisers. It need never have happened.

Q: What do you expect will happen?

Well, on the scale of what has happened in previous years where we’ve had inquests where it has been said we should have sprinklers in respective buildings and fitted retrospectively, what do I expect of government? Nothing! Nothing’s been done. Nothing’s been acted upon.

Time and again they said lessons will be learned. If I hear another politician say lessons will be learnt, I will scream. It is just soundbites. It’s just meaningless, just saying lessons will be learned when they’ve never been learned from the past.

London fire

Four managers at company paid £11million by taxpayers to manage inferno tower block shared more than £650,000 pay last year

  • Grenfell Tower in London is owned by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council
  • In 1996, tenant firm KCTMO took over the management of the block of flats 
  • They gave a £10m refurbishment contract to a third body – Rydon Construction
  • KCTMO has been accused of ignoring warning signs regarding fire safety at flats
  • Four most senior members of KCTMO earned £650,000 between them last year

hey are the four most senior members of KCTMO and according to papers seen by MailOnline, they earned £650,000 between them last year.

Sacha Jevans, who is Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation's Director of Operations

Barbara Matthews (centre) is the Executive Director of Financial Services and ICT, Yvonne Birch (left) is the Executive Director of People and Performance and Nicholas Holgate (right) who is Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council’s Chief Executive

Residents say they told former KCMOT worker ^  Siobhan Rumble  of their safety concerns, but claim their warnings were overlooked in the building that is ownedby Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council

A tweet sent by KCTMO's Barbara Matthews on February 22 showing off the company's Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For award by The Sunday Times

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4603626/Taxpayers-11MILLION-company-managing-Grenfell-Tower.html

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Tony Redpath, Amanda Gill, Laura Johnson & Jonathan Bore all NEED TO RESIGN from RBKC


Scott Nelson @SocialistVoice

WATCH: The 1984 documentary that predicted a disaster like Grenfell Tower


And from a fictional tv series…

Predictive programming?

Grenfell Tower disaster parallels in House of Cards, 1993.

 Originally broadcast on December 12th 1993, these edited excerpts from the BBC’s ‘House of Cards’ are incredibly prescient, in light of the events of last Tuesday. The obvious satirical commentary of the show highlights the withering opportunism of governments and media alike to jump on such stories. The points are made in general, but I found the arguments around social injustice, and the nature of the cause of the tragedy – a gas explosion in a run-down tower block – particularly chilling. Especially uncanny are the details of the degraded state of public housing, and even the specific points that a small fire on the fourth floor began the blaze, and the death toll being 72 (an estimated figure of around 70 from the fire service yesterday was given in relation to Grenfell).
I am simply struck by how a 25-year old show can so closely resemble today’s reality, with seemingly so few of the issues having been addressed in the interim.
20 June 2017

The Grenfell Tower fire was the end result of a disdainful housing policy

The people who lived in Grenfell Tower should be writing this article. But those who died cannot tell their stories, and those who survived are still dealing with their trauma. The residents had tried for so many years but were silenced by a system that prevented them from being heard. The most persistent were threatened with legal action for defamation which had the effect of discrediting their claims of neglect and mismanagement. It’s only now that people are listening – when it’s too late.

I worked with a group of residents living in Grenfell Tower through my involvement with the Radical Housing Network, a network of housing campaigns across London. The first meeting of tenants in early 2015 was attended by around 100 residents. Each spoke of the historical neglect of the building, of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) failing to undertake basic but vital maintenance or improvements. Residents recounted incidents such as disturbing power surges in which appliances “blew up”.

I’d been asked to help the residents organise and campaign on the specific issue of a major refurbishment of the building being undertaken by a private contractor. The residents – mainly social tenants but also people renting from private landlords in flats previously purchased under right-to-buy – represented a typical slice of working-class urban London. They were ethnically diverse, and many had brought their children with them to the meeting. Their unequivocal message was one of a failure by KCTMO and the private contractor to respond to their concerns, let alone take any action about them.

This disdain for residents did not surprise me. It was the same story across many of the campaigns I’d worked on: one where private contractors and developers worked with local councils to “regenerate” estates, while systematically ignoring the views and needs of residents.

The recent history of social housing is one of contempt for council tenants and denigration of council housing. The scale of the tragedy at Grenfell is singular, but the underlying causes of the fire are deeply economic and political. This approach to and accompanying narrative about social housing dates back to the 1980s. It is still driving processes of urban gentrification across London.

Council housing was conceived and built in the postwar era as a mainstream way of living – a place “where the doctor, the grocer, the butcher and farm labourer all lived on the same street”, in the words of Nye Bevan, the politician most closely associated with the state-managed housing revolution. Primarily for the working class, it also housed many of the more comfortably off as well, and was not a derided way of living. Indeed, in 1979 one in five of the richest tenth of the UK’s population lived in social housing. Key aspects of council housing were genuine security and affordability. While far from perfect, it was a standout achievement of the postwar rebuilding of the UK.

Since Margaret Thatcher introduced right-to-buy in 1980, neoliberalism has come to dominate all aspects of economic and social policy. Council housing and its tenants have been undermined and sidelined. Council homes, reduced in number by over 2m, are available only to the most economically dispossessed in society. The Thatcher revolution, continued by New Labour, required that the state and public sector be reduced as much as possible. Regulation and “red tape” were enemies of entrepreneurialism. They were characterised as intrusive and undesirable, while the private sector was hailed as the epitome of efficiency and responsiveness.

In the council housing sector, these changes came together in a drive towards removing housing from local government ownership and control. Council housing was handed over to newly created quasi-private bodies, such as arms-length management organisations and tenant management organisations, or transferred en masse to housing associations. This was justified by claims that management of social housing would improve, bureaucracy would be done away with, and responsiveness to tenants would increase.

Regeneration projects are now invariably delivered through hugely complicated public-private partnerships, with little government funding. Instead, in exchange for their work, private developers receive highly lucrative long-term contracts, such as PFI, and valuable land on which to build homes for private sale. Local government has become distanced from housing provision, central government funding for social housing has been reduced, and the involvement of powerful private companies has increased. As this has happened lines of accountability have become blurred, and social housing tenants have become a “necessary evil”, tolerated by the private sector only because they allow lucrative private market housing to be built.

The consequences of these shifts, and of the accompanying decades of disinvestment in housing policy, are now being seen across London. It is not simply the Dickensian levels of inequality we see in the city on a daily basis, or even the atrocity of the Grenfell fire. It is also the way in which tenants of social housing are treated as problems to be managed, with no voice and little respect. The experience of the Grenfell Action Group is not that of an outlier or a cock-up. It is symptomatic of these gradual and systematic changes in the social housing sector, and in society more broadly, over the past 35 years.

Grenfell was a preventable, political tragedy, about which ordinary people have been warning for years. The tragedy happened because ideology and the bottom line have come to matter more than people’s lives. If anything positive is to come of this disaster, it must be that we start to value council housing again – and the people who live in it.

Five questions about Grenfell Tower that must be answered

With a criminal investigation under way and a public inquiry announced, the AJ puts forward five key questions about the causes of the tragic fire

1. CLADDING • 2. THE REGS • 3. ARCHITECTS’ ROLE • 4. BUILDINGS AT RISK • 5. IMMEDIATE ACTION

The residents of Grenfell Tower in west London had repeatedly warned of the potentially devastating effects of a fire before last week’s blaze. At the time of writing 79 people were dead or missing, presumed dead, as a result of the disaster. The exact cause of the fire at the 24-storey building in north Kensington, which had only recently undergone an £8.6 million refurbishment by Studio E Architects, remains unknown. Much more evidence will be needed before fingers can be pointed and, of course, there may have been multiple causes. Even so, the new cladding on this 1974 concrete block has already become a major focus of attention after eyewitnesses said the fire spread up the building’s exterior with alarming rapidity. Here are five key questions which will need to be answered.

One of the main aims of the refurbishment was to improve the building’s thermal performance through new external cladding. In its designs, Studio E Architects, working with contractor Rydon, specified a cassette-type insulation system comprising Celotex FR5000 insulation board attached to a timber backing. The drawings also specified a Reynobond aluminium composite material (ACM) rainscreen panel to be installed 50mm in front of the insulation. The lightweight Reynobond panel comes with either a polyethylene core or a slightly more expensive, honeycombed mineral core, which is more fire-resistant.

According to a report in The Guardian, at Grenfell, the construction team used the cheaper panels. These are prohibited on high-rise buildings in the USA and – according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – also breach the UK’s Building Regulations 2010, which restrict their use on buildings over 18m tall.

Earlier this week chancellor Philip Hammond said a criminal investigation would be launched to investigate these possible breaches – in particular discrepancies with Part B (fire safety) Volume 2, Paragraphs 12.5-12.9, which state that cladding and insulation on buildings over 18m tall should be of limited combustibility. This is defined further in Table A7.

2. If this cladding method breached the regs, why was it used at Grenfell Tower?

Grenfell tower ©harley facades c1059 complete 4

Source: Harley Facades

This will be a key question for the Met’s criminal investigation and the public inquiry but, at the time of writing on Monday (19 June), Kensington and Chelsea Council remained unwilling or unable to answer basic questions put to its press office five days previously, including if and when Studio E’s project was granted Building Regulations approval and when exactly Grenfell Tower last had a fire risk assessment.

What is known is that fire experts have long claimed that Part B is inadequate and open to exploitation. The document has not been properly reviewed since 2006 and, in 2015, a survey by the Fire Sector Federation, which represents fire and rescue organisations, found that 92 per cent of its members believed that the regulations were ‘long overdue an overhaul’.

In the UK, products are tested on an individual basis, rather than in combination with other building components. This contrasts with the testing regime in the Middle East. Following a series of serious fires in high-rise buildings there linked to the use of panels containing polyethylene – the same cladding material apparently fitted at Grenfell Tower – the UAE banned the material and ruled that components must be fire-tested alongside other components.

Konstantinos Tsavdaridis, associate professor of structural engineering at the University of Leeds, told The Times that the UK needed to adopt such a system, adding: ‘You may have very good material indeed. But if you install it as part of a system with gaps and voids, the smoke and the heat can pass through and create a chimney effect, funnelling flames to the floors above. That’s what happened at Grenfell Tower.’

The role of procurement and whether value engineering was at play will also be in the spotlight, as will the government’s war on red tape and so-called ‘health and safety culture’ and whether this drive helped allow rules to be broken or bent. After speaking to affected residents last Sunday, London mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘To those who think rules, regulations, health and safety investment, are a bad thing, I say come to Grenfell Tower, come and meet the wonderful people I have met and remember those who have lost their life in a preventable accident that didn’t need to happen.

‘The tragedy we have seen is the consequence of mistakes and neglect from politicians, from the council, and the government.’

3. Could the declining role of architects have played a part in this tragedy?

The answer to this will of course depend on the exact cause of the fire and thus on the outcomes of the public inquiry. However, there is a suspicion that there is no longer a single competent professional such as an architect or engineer who has responsibility for specifying materials and – alongside the building control and fire officers – ensuring such materials, or a safe and legal alternative, are used and correctly installed.

Instead, the argument goes, responsibility for risk has been spread around to the point where no-one knows where responsibility lies. In a recent opinion piece for The Guardian in response to the Grenfell Tower fire, architect Deon Lombard – a former project director at tp bennett who has worked on major refurbishment projects and on residential towers – wrote: ‘In the past, architects have specified construction materials and have then been in a position to ensure that the specified materials were used. This is increasingly not the case as performance specifications enable alternative materials to be used, often selected by the developer, contractor or subcontractors.

‘With architects now seldom having the authority to insist on specific products being used, there is a tendency to go for cheaper materials, without necessarily understanding the impact or knock-on effect.’

RIBA Council member George Oldham – Newcastle upon Tyne’s city architect from 1979 till 1990 – told the AJ that ‘something has been lost’ in the move away from filling such positions, pointing out that his role had involved a wide range of responsibilities, including fire risk and maintenance of buildings.

He said: ‘There has been a shift from public sector control of the design and building process to something which is more or less a free-for-all.’

Statement from Studio E

We are deeply shocked and distressed over news of the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower.

Our thoughts are with those that have been affected by this tragic incident, together with all of their relatives and friends.

Given the ongoing nature of the incident it would be inappropriate for us to comment or speculate further at this stage. We will be available to assist the relevant authorities as and when we are required.

4. Are there any other buildings at risk?

Grenfell©chirlajon

Source: ChiralJon

According to the DCLG, there are 4,000 similar residential tower blocks in the UK – many of them owned by local authorities.

Councils around the country including London boroughs, Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester are urgently carrying out fire safety checks while tower block residents in four major Scottish cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee – were quickly reassured by the authorities that the cladding believed to have been used at Grenfell Tower had not been used on their buildings.

In addition, at least one architecture practice is internally reviewing its designs for tower blocks and the building materials used.

Simon Bayliss, managing partner at HTA, said: ‘We’ve set up a technical group across our various architecture studios and different teams, so we can represent all of the buildings we have built recently or are currently building.

‘We will be looking into the implications of the detailing, the packages we’ve prepared, our role on the projects, and preparing ourselves to work with the clients and the contractors should they need any assistance.’

Bayliss, who lived in a 20-storey tower block for eight years, said that HTA had yet to establish whether any of its schemes used the same cladding as Grenfell Tower.

He pointed out that a 2012 fire at a HTA-designed 22-storey tower block in the Chalcots Estate, north London, which had used aluminium cladding, had not spread to other floors.

‘We need to look at every single one individually and make sure that the right things were done,’ he said.

Prior to the Grenfell Tower fire, safety checks on tower blocks appear to have been in decline.

According to figures published in last weekend’s Sunday People, fire safety checks at tower blocks and commercial buildings fell 25 per cent in the five years from 2011 to 2016, from 84,575 to 63,201. Worryingly, the cladding used in Grenfell Tower is not restricted to residential buildings either. The Times reported that £553 million of public sector money has been spent fitting buildings with similar external cladding, including schools, hospitals and leisure centres.

5. What needs to be done immediately to make sure post-war, high-rise residential blocks are safe?

Ampthill estate by nico hogg

Source: Nico Hogg

Ampthill Estate in Camden

Among the most extreme solutions is give up on these buildings and to simply flatten them. Writing in last weekend’s Observer, mayor Khan wrote: ‘It may well be the defining outcome of this tragedy that the worst mistakes of the 1960s and 1970s are systematically torn down.’

Others have suggested less drastic measures, including the retrofitting of sprinklers to all high-rise residential blocks, a recommendation made in 2012 by the coroner at the Shirley Towers inquest.

At present, only towers built in England since 2007 and above 30m high have to have sprinklers fitted. Their effectiveness was praised in 2015 by a spokesman for the Chief Fire Officers Association, who maintained that no-one had died in any fire in the UK in a building with a ‘properly installed sprinkler system working the way it’s meant to’.

However, others point out that it will take months to fit sprinklers to all vulnerable towers and call for far more urgent action.

Leading architect Rab Bennetts said: ‘We cannot wait. We need to get moving on several thousand towers. The government needs to ensure there are fire extinguishers and smoke alarms on every level, they need to make sure fire doors work properly and the seals are good and they need to  ensure that flammable clutter and rubbish isn’t left around on landings.

‘There are thousands of people in these blocks and they need everything done fast to ensure they’re ok.’

Timeline

  • April 1991 Cladding cited as a key factor in a fire at Knowsley Heights, Liverpool
  • June 1999 One person dies in a tower block fire in Garnock Court in Irvine, Scotland. The cladding is cited as a factor
  • 2005 Scotland requires sprinklers in all new-build tower blocks above18m
  • 2006 The government insists on sprinklers in new-build tower blocks of flats higher than 30m
  • July 2009 Six people die in a fire in Lakanal House, south London. The coroner says that the Building Regulations should ‘provide clear guidance’ with regard to the ‘external fire spread’ on buildings
  • April 2010 Two firemen are killed fighting a fire in Shirley Towers, Southampton
  • November 2010 Fifty-eight people die in a fire in a 28-storey block of flats in Shanghai. External insulating material is cited as a possible cause
  • 2012 Shirley Towers inquest. Coroner recommends sprinklers should be fitted to existing residential tower blocks
  • March 2013 Lakanal House inquest recommends retrofitting sprinklers to existing tower blocks
  • January 2014 Planning permission is granted for the £10 million refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, including new external cladding. Completed in 2016
  • December 2015 Cladding is cited as a cause for the spread of a fire at the 63-storey Address Hotel in Dubai
  • January 2016 Legislation introduced in Wales requires sprinklers in every new home
  • November 2016 Grenfell Action Group warns that the block’s manager KCTMO is ‘playing with fire’ and ‘only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord’
  • 14 June 2017 Fire breaks out on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower

https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/news-analysis-five-questions-about-grenfell-tower-that-must-be-answered/10020900.article#.WUkmYqhYrqA.twitter

GRENFELL TOWER – THE BRUTAL ILLUSTRATION OF INEQUALITY

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council (RBKC)

One of the first people to put their face in front of the media was Nicholas Paget-Brown, leader of the Tory-run council.  Mr Paget-Brown is an interesting man – he used to be involved in the Tory think-tank Bow Group, so is clearly well-connected in Tory circles.  He offered his resignation but the council cabinet unanimously declined to accept it.

IMG_0927

The housing stock in the borough is run by Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation (KCTMO) – which is basically the council giving itself another name.  It was KCTMO (yes, the council) who employed the services of the contractors to undertake a £10m regeneration of Grenfell Tower.

Survivors and locals keep repeating that they almost feel that it could be an intentional action as they believe the council are in the process of social cleansing an area that could potentially make them a lot of money.  I won’t speculate on whether this is true or not.

Regeneration – companies involved:

The Grenfell Tower regeneration project

Grenfell Tower Pre-assessment by Syntegra Consulting, 2013

An article in The Guardian covers all those involved in the project:

  • Harley Facades Ltd (originally Harley Curtain Wall): run by Robert Bond, who lives in a Kent mansion, they undertook the cladding work for £2.6m.
  • Rydon: construction firm was the lead contractor having won an £8.6m contract to regenerate the estate.
  • Artelia UK: commissioned to project manage the refurbishment.
  • Max Fordham: Building services engineers.
  • Studio E: Architect.
  • Witt UK/PSB: ventilation firm.
  • Celotex: supplied insulation for cladding.
  • JS Wright & Sons: worked on the ventilation.
  • Arconic: Designed Reynobond PC used in the plastic cladding.  Despite selling fire retardant cladding for just £2 more per piece, the council chose the cheaper option.

The questions that need answering

  • Why was such a huge amount of taxpayers money spent on superficial cosmetic work when essential safety work was required but neglected?
  • Why were residents concerns continually ignored and, worse still, threatened with legal action by the council solicitor?
  • Why was the cladding used despite recommendations by it’s manufacturer that it NOT be used on buildings taller than 10m?
  • Is it true that there used to be a sprinkler system within the tower block in the seventies?
  • Why were the council offices closed all this weekend (directly after the fire) despite the plight of those who have lost everything?
  • Why can the government pledge nearly £400m to refurbish Buckingham Palace (even though the Queen doesn’t live there any more) but pledge £5m for many people who have lost the only homes they had and all their possessions.
  • Why did the stairwell fill with smoke?
  • Why did RBKC not contact the British Red Cross until Friday afternoon to ask for their assistance on the ground?  It seems that despite the devastation and carnage that unfolded in front of their eyes, they still continued to ignore the residents until they couldn’t do so any longer.
  • How can your surplus stand at such a huge figure yet housing such as Grenfell be so lacking in basic safety measures?
  • How can you justify spending out on making paving stones ‘less slippery’ using new equipment and extra manpower in the richer areas, yet seemed to adverse to spending money where it NEEDED spending?  That is the public purse!
  • Why are your wages so extortionately high?  What justification is there for them – it can’t be because of added responsibility of the position as you’ve shown no responsibility whatsoever!

Legal Aid

The council were alerted numerous times by residents and the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) of potential safety risks.  Not only did the council ignore them, they even went so far as to silence them by issuing a solicitor’s letter!

IMG_1052

In 2013, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling made cuts to the legal aid budget, the result of which meant that most ordinary folk cannot access legal aid any more because they simply can’t afford it.  So even when the GAG (the abbreviation isn’t lost on me) knew the council were breaching safety with inadequate alarm systems and evacuation procedure, there was little they could do because they couldn’t afford to!  This highlights the very issue of inequality in this country.  The Tories have slowly chipped away at the rights of the masses until voices can no longer be heard.  The latest idea of scrapping the Human Rights Act and policing the internet more heavily just adds to this.

So who’s to blame?

Without knowing the reasons why the fire started (maybe a power surge caused the fridge to ignite) it’s impossible to say.  However, one this is almost certain – the cladding used on the tower exacerbated a fire that London Fire Service say, they did extinguish.  So, who is responsible for the cladding?

It’s not the manufacturers – they simply fulfilled an order – although that particular cladding should now be banned.

It’s not the builders who were simply following orders to fit it.

So who made the decision to use that particular cladding?  Who proposed it, who checked it, was it assessed against other options and who rubber-stamped it?

Who is the person at RBKC in charge of health and safety within social housing?  Why was there no proper evacuation procedure in place?  Why did it take for numerous complaints from residents to even get simply signage?

Who is the person who should have been coordinating and assisting all those affected by the fire but who has been nowhere to be seen?

Who has been making the most appalling decisions since the fire occurred?

Oh, and I haven’t forgotten you Mr Barwell…

Lastly, why did the then Minister for Housing, Gavin Barwell, sit on a report that had urgent recommendations on tower block fire safety to prevent this very thing from happening?  Is he going to be held accountable?  He’s just been promoted by Theresa May.

Why did 71 Tory landlords vote against the bill to make rental properties fit for human habitation – including Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd!

All those extortionately paid staff at RBKC and in the government are a shocking example of all that is wrong in our society.  They lack any decency.

And all those unpaid volunteers who stopped to help due to simple common decency and compassion are a shining example of all that is good.

Nor you, Mr Johnson…

In 2013, whilst London Mayor, Boris Johnson responded to criticisms about his cuts to fire services and the risks to life by telling a Labour politician to “get stuffed”.

So many questions.  So many lives lost.  So many lessons still not being learned.  So much deflection of responsibility.

https://scepticpeg.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/grenfell-tower-the-brutal-illustration-of-inequality/

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-library/hllreform.pdf

The Bow Group Acknowledgements:

Nick Paget-brown and Camilla Batmanghelidjh

https://www.bowgroup.org/sites/bowgroup.uat.pleasetest.co.uk/files/Go%2520Zones%2520-%2520Policies%2520for%2520the%2520Places%2520Politics%2520Forgot.pdf

Camila Batmanghelidjh and Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson and Camila Batmanghelidjh

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/598681/Kids-Company-Camila-Batmanghelidjh-charity-swimming-pool-mansion-Hendon

Grenfell: Exploitable Flaws Found In Building Control

According to the Fire Sector Federation, the Building Control Alliance is a “unique industry group made up of representatives from all the organisations directly involved in building control in England and Wales.”

Though its own website is currently not available, the organisation is described as comprising “the organisations supporting the many thousands of building control professionals – the Chartered Institute of Building, the Chartered Association of Building Engineers and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – and the professional associations promoting public and private sector building control, Local Authority Building Control and the Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors.”

The BCA, the Fire Sector Federation says, is the only place where all these “voices and competing interests” come together as one.

It appears to be a lobby group which has issued guidance and presentations, seen this morning, highlighting an exploitable loophole in the fire compliance regulations relating to the use of external cladding on buildings over eighteen metres in height.

 

https://www.byline.com/column/67/article/1741

London fire: Flats acquired for Grenfell Tower survivors

June 21 2017

The upmarket Kensington Row complex includes a 24-hour concierge service and a private cinema, the website of developer St Edward’s says.

Each new home will be fully furnished, and the government says will be completed to a high-specification.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40357280


Chris GilesVerified account @ChrisGiles

You do know these are just the social housing units that were anyway part of the development – not a gift from above?


Jon Stone@joncstone

 

Spin alert: are they ‘luxury flats’ or ‘newly built social housing’?


Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew


“Grenfell victims given luxury flats”. No, they’ve been allocated the social housing flats such developments are required by law to build.


Snobby Tory Kensington residents don’t want Grenfell Tower survivors living in nearby luxury apartments as they will ‘lower house prices’.

What a horrible thing to say to those effected . Nasty sods

link



 


 

 

 

 


https://www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/property-developers/st-edward/about-st-edward

Retired KCTMO Board Member Michael Beverley, age 50, found dead (2009)

He was the TMO’s longest-serving board member.

Karen Buck, MP for Regent’s Park and Kensington North,  paid tribute to Mr Beverley.

She said: “I worked closely with Michael for many years and was deeply saddened by news of his death at such a young age.

“I always found him full of humour, interest and compassion, and he put so much effort into his community that his loss diminishes us all.”

Robert Black, chief executive of the TMO, echoed their sentiments.

 

The Tories proved themselves tonight to be without honour, courage or integrity. They will regret this vile betrayal of good men and women

 

 

THE POSTING OF STORIES, COMMENTARIES, REPORTS, DOCUMENTS AND LINKS (EMBEDDED OR OTHERWISE) ON THIS SITE DOES NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE, NECESSARILY EXPRESS OR SUGGEST ENDORSEMENT OR SUPPORT OF ANY OF SUCH POSTED MATERIAL OR PARTS THEREIN.

 

Carlton Club Members – Westminster Paedophile Ring (Part 2)

Jonathan Aitken and Jonathan King in Commons

Jonathan King, Jonathan Aitken and  Ronnie Campbell MP (far left)  at the Inside Time prisoners survey publication, House of Commons, 21/6/2006

Music mogul Jonathan King denies sex assaults on boys

 4 May 2018

Former DJ and music producer Jonathan King has denied a series of sexual abuse offences against 12 teenage boys.

The 73-year-old, of Bayswater, west London, is accused of assaulting the boys, aged between 14 and 17, between 1970 and 1988.

Mr King, appearing at Southwark Crown Court under his birth name of Kenneth George King, pleaded not guilty to each of the 18 counts.

King is charged in relation to seven incidents of alleged buggery, and 11 incidents of alleged indecent assault.

He was released on bail to appear again on 11 June 2018.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-44007733

Image result for "jonathan king" + "patrick rock"

Image result for christine and neil hamilton

HAMILTONS GET PALLY WITH KID PERV KING

Disgraced Tory and his wife form bizarre friendship with pop paedophile Jonathan King…

9 FEB 2013

The Hamiltons “are among the many people who have been kind enough to visit me during the three years I’ve spent in prison.”

Christine said: “We went to visit him once but I do not want to discuss what we talked about. Sorry.”

Her husband was forced to resign from John Major’s government in a cash-for-questions scandal.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/hamiltons-pally-kid-perv-king-1602994

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Paedophile Jonathan King is another who thinks that Ted Heath was asexual.

&

Jonathan King provoked outrage by claiming Jimmy Savile was not a ‘serial rapist’, despite hundreds of complaints of abuse by the disgraced presenter. 

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Jonathan King claims he has never met Matthew Kelly, but we know for a fact Savile did.

‘The Richard Whiteley Show’ TV Programme. – 1995

Jimmy Savile, Suzi Quatro, Donald Jones, Matthew Kelly, Brian Glover, Richard Whiteley and Margaret Jones

link

Image result for "gerry healy" + "vanessa redgrave"

Corin, Vanessa Redgrave with Healy, Caughey

 

Michael Crick‏ @MichaelLCrick

Former WRP activists write to Red Pepper magazine urging Vanessa Redgrave to reveal what she knew about sexual abuse of women and girls committed by former WRP leader Gerry Healy, whom Redgrave and her brother Corin strongly defended in the past

The Guardian 26 Jun 1985

Matthew Kelly tv comedian speaking at the launch of an appeal to help surcharged councillors. With him are Mr Ted Knight, leader of Lambeth council and actress Vanessa Redgrave and Frances de la tour

Lambeth Police Station Paedophile Sex Ring Dungeon Scandal

There were around 50 Children who had entered Lambeth Childrens’ Homes and never been seen again by their families.

The leader of Lambeth Council at the time was Ted Knight who was a close friend of Margaret Hodge  who was leader of nearby Islington Council. It is believed that Children were “traded” between Lambeth and Islington Councils.

https://cigpapers.blog/2013/04/02/lambeth-police-station-paedophile-sex-ring-dungeon-scandal/

 

Truthseeker‏ @thewakeupcall09

Kelly’s ‘grooming’ film The beast, of Bournemouth, Dorset, David Christie aka David Allen, was once given a £10,000 loan by Kelly, which the star later wrote off.

Matthew Kelly gave £10,000 to his close friend and convicted paedophile David Christie News of the World 25-11-01

 One of the men, David Christie, 57, who is British, was sacked from the charity after admitting an “improper sexual relationship” with one of the 300 or so children in his care. He has not been prosecuted and is now living in north London.
 British paedophile jailed in Ethiopia David Christie, from Bournemouth, changed his name to David Allen after adverse publicity about claims of abuse at the Jarrie Children’s Village, 220 miles north of the capital.

Matthew Kelly was arrested under Operation Arundel 7 BIG NAMES FACE CHILD SEX CHARGES Daily Star 17-01-03, p1

Matthew Kelly – Operation Arundel After consulting the Crown Prosecution Service the police decided to drop the case because there was “insufficient evidence” NOT cleared. (2003)

Boy George and Matthew Kelly

Kelly’s ‘grooming’ film

By MICHAEL LEA

ACCUSED TV host Matthew Kelly narrated a film about a children’s shelter that became a paedophile’s paradise, it was revealed yesterday. Kelly  being probed over claims he sexually abused a boy  did a voiceover for a promotional video about the Jari Village refuge in Ethiopia. The Stars In Their Eyes presenter told how carers helped young famine victims back on to their feet. But in reality the refuge became a “grooming” centre run by child sex monster David Christie, a pal of 52-year-old Kelly.

There is no suggestion that married Kelly, who is on police bail, visited Jari Village or knew it was a haven for paedophiles. But his role in promoting it is further evidence of his association with convicted paedophile Christie, 60 who in 1997 admitted having sex with a Jari child. An aid worker who campaigns for kids in Ethiopia told The Sun: “We were astonished when we learned Matthew Kelly had been arrested over sex abuse allegations.

Instantly, we remembered this promotional video he narrated for Jari Village. It concerned us as Jari became infamous as having been infiltrated by paedophiles. They knew they could get easy access to vulnerable youngsters by targeting aid organisations and charities.” Kelly calls the children “survivors” in the grainy 12-minute film. But many were really victims. The aid worker has sent a copy of the video to Surrey Police, who are investigating the allegation facing Kelly.

In the film kiddies are seen in every shot. At one point youngsters in red leotards perform acrobatics and juggling routines to promote “Circus Jari”  based on an idea by disgraced aid worker Marc Lachance.

He founded Circus Ethiopia, a globe-trotting troupe recruited from street children.In 1998, 15 performers sought asylum in Australia claiming they were sex abuse victims. And Oxford-born Lachance killed himself when they named him as a pervert.

Dad-of-two Kelly is thought to have befriended ex-minicab driver Christie in Sri Lanka, where the TV star has a holiday home. It is believed he narrated the film as a favour to his pal. Christie was convicted in Britain in 1965 after forcing a boy to perform a sex act. But in 1994, he became the Ethiopian representative of Jari’s founders, the Swiss charity Terre des hommes.

Taped … misspelled credit for Kelly’s narration

One of the teachers he recruited was Canadian Denys Benjamin hired a fortnight after he was arrested in Sri Lanka for acts of gross indecency.
Within weeks, Benjamin was found in bed with a Jari orphan. Christie was fired in 1997. He is currently in an Ethiopian jail facing charges of trafficking kids and abuse.

The beast, of Bournemouth, Dorset, was once given a 10,000 loan by Kelly, which the star later wrote off. Kelly must return to a police station on March 12. He has not been charged.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage…#ixzz2KnWPGgqN



However, Cold Blood reworks this familiar Silence of the Lambs theme uncommonly well. Much of the credit can go to Matthew Kelly’s portrayal of the fastidious, weirdly personable killer. Some of the exchanges between his character, Brian Wicklow, and the detectives in the interview room are beautifully turned as Wicklow tries to gain the upper hand over his inquisitors.

__________________

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Matthew Kelly a friend of Rolf Harris ? Daily Star 17-01-03

The Stars In Their Eyes presenter, Matthew Kelly, was arrested and bailed by Surrey Police  over allegations of sexual abuse on boys under the age of 16 during the 1970s.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1419345/Police-raid-Kellys-Sri-Lankan-holiday-home.html

justme‏ @zante03

was a friend /acquaintance of Jonathan King too, no?

Officers in Sri Lanka raided a holiday home that Matthew Kelly  rents in Colombo and took away a computer and videos.

As part of the same inquiry, police detained Tam Paton, former manager of the 1970s pop group Bay City Rollers, and Steve Jolley, a music tycoon. They are expected to answer bail on March 12.

The allegations against Kelly arose from Operation Arundel, which centred on the involvement of Jonathan King, the pop mogul, with a 1970s disco called The Hop, in Walton-on-Thames.

King was jailed for seven years in 2001 for offences against boys.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1423028/Matthew-Kelly-in-the-clear-over-child-sex.html

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Among the celebrities paying tribute to Rolf Harris in the book are Kate Bush, Joanna Lumley, Matthew Kelly and Cliff Richard.

 

Jonathan King’s friend Clem Cattini Worked with Rolf Harris and Cliff Richard

Cattini has played on  Rolf Harris‘s “Two Little Boys”,

and toured with Cliff Richard,

 https://youtu.be/dMgROD_4AYc

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

Polly put the kettle on: Didn’t Jonathan King’s friend Clem Cattini work with Clive Dunn?

#GinGoblin

LazerLight‏ @Lazer_Light23

Wasn’t it a ‘Polly Dunn’ who located your home details? Wonder if related to Clive Dunn who had a place in Algarve?

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

You mean the man who posed nude for his autobiography and was friend of J King’s mate?

LazerLight‏ @Lazer_Light23

Who posed nude, Clive Dunn???

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

The political world is round. Go round far enough to the left and you meet those who set off to the right. On. The dark side….

Clive Dunn OBE

Permission to speak, Sir?

a staunch socialist who was a former member of the British Union of Fascists, a middle-aged father who was Britain’s best-loved grandad, and an ex-public schoolboy with a penchant for walking round naked apart from his socks.

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

Received this DM from Anna Raccoon about the Gin Goblin which I publish with her permission. Looks very much like Barbara hewson is lying!


Ronnie Kray’s letter of praise for Cliff Richard

He writes from Brixton prison to biographer John Pearson: “I had a verry nice letter from Cliff Ritchards. It was marvoulas of him.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/ronnie-kray-s-letter-of-praise-for-cliff-richard-6527292.html

HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva

Ronnie Kray killed a “rent boy”

https://youtu.be/Y9RVpxLFW7A

Gangster Ronnie Kray and top politician Lord Boothby in 1963.

Lord Boothby was close to all the top people from Churchill to Tom Driberg

“The Krays had property at Bildeston where they were involved with local youth clubs and giving children donkey rides etc.”

Record producer Joe Meek

“Joe (Meek) signed Tom (Jones) when he arrived in London, but he tried kissing him behind the studio screens and that was that,”

Jimmy Savile on Top of the Pops with Alan Freeman (right)

Apparently Kray had access to many London care homes and would have boys delivered to parties at DJ Alan ” fluff” Freeman’s large flat over a music shop in East London.

Man tells of agony at the hands of BBC paedo ring involving DJ Alan Freeman and evil pal Jimmy Savile

The traumatised victim claims he was just 11 when German film actor Victor Beaumont lured him to his plush London flat where the BBC stars raped him

“There they would meet with show biz types and DJs including Jimmy Savile, JOE MEEK and on occasion Beatles manager Brian Epstein.”

According to this source – Archives – the Krays ran a paedophile ring.http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/features/hard_men_with_a_soft_spot_for_suffolk_1_188508

2 November 2012

Jimmy Savile, Edward Heath and the Kray twins

A 1977 prison report said: ‘Ronald Kray remains an active and predatory homosexual, and cares little who knows it.’ Another report describes how Kray was found in bed with another inmate.

Reportedly, prison officers usually turned a blind eye to Kray’s affairs. Reggie Kray’s twin brother was Ronnie Kray, who was also a gangster and lover of boys.

The twins had huge property interests in East Anglia. Kray had access to many London care homes and would have boys delivered to parties at DJ Alan ” fluff” Freeman’s large flat over a music shop in East London. There they would meet with show biz types and DJs including Jimmy Saville, Joe Meeks and on occasion Beatles manager Brian Epstein. The eastern crime squad knew about the Kray gangsters and the sex parties known as ” Pink ballets ” with young lads but let them continue

At these parties , young boys , specially brought over from several childrens homes would be plied with drugs and alcohol.

However these parties were forced to come to an end when Police chiefs got wind that the MP & Ex Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe was attending them along with several other prominent MP’s…

At a big London railway station in the spring of 1970, a plastic carrier bag was found in the regular search for bombs before the station closed for the night.  “The contents were an odd assortment of letters and photos, which seemed to have been taken at a kinky party attended by some well-known figures in entertainment.
“One in particular showed a pop singer who masquerades under a Christian persona; dressed in women’s underwear he was pictured with young boys. (I will leave it to you, just who that famous pop singer could have been !)
“The bag was duly taken to the station office and, as a senior rail worker wrote out a report for the lost property office, two MI5 men and a special branch officer arrived and demanded the photos.”  Like the Dickens report and other evidence of VIP child abuse it has been buried.
Boothby was a promiscuous bisexual, in a time when male homosexual activity was a criminal offence. While an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, Boothby earned the nickname “the Palladium”, because “he was twice nightly”. He later spoke about the role of a speculated homosexual relationship in the drowning of his friend Michael Llewelyn Davies (one of the models for Peter Pan) and fellow Oxonian Rupert Buxton. He did not start to have physical relationships with women until the age of 25.      From 1954 Boothby  campaigned publicly for homosexual law reform.

Lord Boothby, who incidentally was  very close to Winston Churchill, liked masochistic sex with rent boys and would often be known to use the Krays for the procurement of young boys
It all started in  1963 when Boothby began an illicit affair with East End cat burglar Leslie Holt (d. 1979). Holt was  a younger man Boothby met at a gambling club. Holt introduced him to the gangster Ronald Kray, the younger Kray twin, Ronald supplied Boothby with teenage boys and arranged orgies in Cedra Court.  The boys were told to behave or else. And they certainly knew what else meant !
The Krays also came into the public eye when an exposé in the tabloid newspaper Sunday Mirror  began to expose a sexual relationship between a  gangster    and a UK Conservative Party politician.   Although names had not been published the Kray twins threatened the journalists involved in the story, whilst  Boothby threatened to sue. The newspaper backed down under pressure, sacked its editor, printed an apology and paid Boothby £40,000 in an out-of-court settlement. As a result, other newspapers were unwilling to uncover the Krays’ connections, criminal and sexual activities. Consequently young boys continued to be supplied from children’s homes to be sexually exploited  for the gratification  of  gangsters and corrupt politicians.  All this wilt the  blessing of the Police and Parliament.  Decades later nothing changed.

Ronnie once said to a boy: “You will go home with Lord Boothby. You will do exactly what Lord Boothby wants. Or I will hurt you”
Kray biographer, John Pearson, writing in the Independent on Sunday, also claims that the Peer and the MP engaged in gay sex orgies with children and that Boothby had a fondness for boys defacating on him, and the Krays had a compromising photograph of Boothby and his memiors.
Similarly, when Tom Driberg, a Labour MP and KGB agent who wore fishnet stockings, got involved with the Krays, telling them ‘about the houses of rich friends they could burgle,’ again the government suppressed any inquiry, as they didn’t want to have to cope with the damaging revelations.
The media were further intimidated and silenced when Boothby and Driberg used the Krays ‘to turn anyone over who had crossed them’. The Police protected the Krays and children  continued to be supplied  and abused.
On notepaper carrying his address in Eaton Square, Belgravia, Lord Boothby wrote to Kray on June 6, 1963: ”Thank you for your postcard. I very nearly went to Jersey myself, as I have never been there, and hear from so many people that it is quite delightful.”

http://google-law.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/jummy-savile-edward-heath-and-kray-twins.html

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Kitty was allegedly taken to Goodmayes Hospital after visiting Lord Boothby, this allegation needs to be investigated.

Andreas Baader‏ @stop1984

watch from 46:20, names of VIP’s censored out of Krays, historic police report, as they are still alive?

Andrew James‏ @badbrainA

Right so we have Thorpe and one other unnamed at the ‘Pink Ballets’

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Jeremy Thorpe was still alive when that documentary was broadcasted. And that I named him whilst alive as a paedophile.

Jonathan King and Joe Meek

Jonathan King & Margaret Thatcher (1990)

 

Pop mogul Jonathan King, 72, is charged with 18 sex offences from the 1970s and 80s

  • King famed for songs like Everyone’s Gone to the Moon and Hooked on a Feeling
  • He appeared many times on television including shows like Entertainment USA
  • King was bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday
May 25 2017

 

Pop mogul and record producer Jonathan King was today charged with 18 historical sex offences against nine alleged victims.

King was famed for songs including Everyone’s Gone to the Moon and Hooked on a Feeling and discovered the band Genesis as a music producer.

He appeared many times on television on both sides of the Atlantic including on shows like Top of the Pops and Entertainment USA.

Surrey Police announced he was charged with offences which allegedly took place between 1970 and 1986.

King, aged 72 years, was bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, June 26, to answer the charges which were uncovered as part of ‘Operation Ravine’.

A Surrey Police spokesman said: ‘Operation Ravine was established in early 2015 following a review by Merseyside Police into the Surrey Police investigation entitled Operation Arundel which launched in 2000.

‘The independent review was commissioned in January 2014 to ensure all lines of inquiry had been identified.

‘A number of actions have subsequently been progressed under Operation Ravine leadin