Patrick Mercer has some explaining to do

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
2:25 pm and is filed
under Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories!.

By now you will have seen the news that The Sun have finally managed to swallow their pride and summon their courage enough to deliver a small apology to (with this ickle bit of apology on Page 12 of that tabloid, months after the enormous front page splash that warranted it). The PCC have also ruled on the Jenvey matter, but (disappointingly) make NO mention of the sloppy if not malicious accusatory tactics used by Graham Dudman of The Sun in order to discredit me instead of addressing the evidence (which he did not even appear to look at himself).

I plan to address that matter soon, but first, I would like to draw your attention to this statement by Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, published as part of this earlier report by the Guardian (emphasis mine):

But where does this leave the Conservative security guru Patrick Mercer MP, chairman of the parliamentary subcommittee on counter-terrorism? As 5 Live pointed out, he was foolish enough to use his gravitas to bolster Jenvey’s reputation. “An extremely capable and knowledgeable analyst who needs to be listened to,” he said of Jenvey two years ago. Mercer told us yesterday: “My office certainly received information from him but never worked with him. This was a damaging lie. I have had nothing more to do with Glen Jenvey.” (source)

No, a damaging lie is telling people who are asking about this case and the two subsequent instances of harassment that I’m an “electronic stalker”; a claim reportedly made by Mercer that his office now refuses to discuss.

Patrick Mercer’s office also refuses to comment on that MP’s earlier admission that Iain Dale was the source/origin of this claim. They also refuse to reveal who exactly Mercer has been sharing this claim with.

To summarise (and paraphrase a certain less-than-upright blogger), I think it’s fair to say that Patrick Mercer has done a little more than spill my pint.

Still, it brings me no joy to reveal that Patrick Mercer is either an outright liar, or wholly incompetent when it comes to the management of his Parliamentary office.

The following email (that I’ve had in my possession for quite some time) reveals that – as late as March of this year – Patrick Mercer’s office clearly worked with Glen Jenvey (who, I should stress, is not the source of this revelation); the synergy between Jenvey, Mercer’s staff, his own Parliamentary Questions, and a tabloid newspaper is crystal clear.

That, and they were not only clearly working together, but they were doing so almost two months after the immediately-discredited Sugar story, and after I had produced evidence linking Jenvey to the ‘Richard Tims’ alias (that subsequently linked him to the ‘abu islam’ profile he later confessed to using in his attempts to fabricate evidence of extremism).

I was in touch with Mercer’s office the very day the email below was sent. In fact, I was in touch with the very same person (Edward Barker). Barker made reference to the possible necessity of “voice recognition experts” to verify the authenticity of a voice he quite likely recognised without need for professional assistance. Sure, he may have a point when you take his concerns in isolation, but these concerns seem a little misplaced if not misdirected to me, especially when, at the same time this was happening, Jenvey’s publicly-stated position was that the PCC were in league with extremists.

A lot more caution was warranted at this stage of the game, especially for a man working in the office of Patrick Mercer (former Shadow Minister for Homeland Security, and present Chairman of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism).

Huh. What am I saying? Caution?! Try distance, and a lot of it.

Mercer’s statement as published by the Guardian might suggest to the unwary that he and his office had parted company with Jenvey immediately after he had learned of the Sugar fabrications, but no formal/announced parting took place until after Jenvey smeared me as a paedophile approximately two weeks later (news the good people from Mercer’s office – and Iain Dale – saw fit not to pass on to that MP, by the way).

Heather Millican from Mercer’s office was today given the opportunity to deny the authenticity of this email. She said nothing. She did not reply to any of my emails about this, she did not answer her office phone, and when I attempted to call her on her mobile, she barked at me that I should not have called her on a ‘private’ number.

So here’s the email, minus one or two of the more private details. Remember; this comes to you as undisputed evidence, when I gave Mercer’s office ample opportunity to dispute it.

I have tidied the formatting so it’s easier to read, but any text/content changes/snips or relevant notes are in [square brackets].

From: BARKER, Edward
Sent: 02 March 2009 17:06
To: [Daniel Jones of The People newspaper (via Gmail)]
Subject: Abu Barra & Co

Dear Mr Jones,

I have been in touch with Mr Jenvey about a number of things but most of all the following, which in my view would combine well to make a very good Sunday story:

(a) Abu Barra audio;
(b) Rahman audio;
(c) Failure of Home Secretary, despite tough rhetoric, to close down any extremist websites.

On (a) and (b) do you have a budget to be able to send the audio files to a voice expert for comparison with video files so we have some basis for relying on them?

On (c), we received last week a Parliamentary Answer which said that no websites have been shut down by police using powers given to them under section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006:

Written Parliamentary Question (WPQ)

Date of Answer: 24.02.2009

Column References: 488 c695-6W

Member Tabling Question: Mercer, Patrick

Topic: Terrorism: Internet

Question: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK-based websites have been closed down because they contained extremist material inciting terrorism in the last five years.

Answering Department: Home Office

Member Answering Question: Coaker, Vernon

Answer: The legislation that allows a request to be made that unlawfully terrorism related material is modified or removed from the internet is section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Section 3 allows for the service of a notice by a constable where he or she is of the opinion that unlawfully terrorism-related material is available on an electronic service such as a website, on the person(s) responsible for that material. The notice requires that the unlawfully terrorism-related material is removed or modified within two working days.However, the preferred route of the police is to use informal contact with the communication service providers to request that the material is removed. To date no Section 3 notices have been issued as this informal route has proved effective but statistics covering the number of sites removed through such informal contact are not collected.

Question Number: 254791

Date Tabled: 03.02.2009

Date for Answer: 05.02.2009

Legislature: House of Commons (HoC)

Chamber/Committee: Commons Chamber

Status: Answered

Session: 08-09

What do you think?

Let me know how I can be of further assistance…



Edward Barker
Parliamentary Researcher to Patrick Mercer OBE MP
T: [snip]
M: [snip]

I’m not really in the mood for a witty one-liner to finish this off, so I will only say this:


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