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The Jubilee River story - Elliot
('the blame game') Morley and Jubilee River
info - Trial dates
Chaytor - 18 months jail - 7 January 2011
to Kenneth Clarke - still awaiting reply - 2 December 2010
Judge explains privilege ruling - BBC News - 1 December 2010
Expense MPs appeal rejected - ITN
- 1 December 2010
External link: Supreme Court - 01 Dec 2010 R v Chaytor and others
Read press summary
Elliot Morley and others - Old Bailey - Court 11 - 26 November 2010
See previous page for additional information including 'publication of trial
Latest info - Trial dates
Taylor January 17 2011
Devine February 2 2011
Elliot Morley April 11 2011
Lord Hanningfield ?
David Chaytor was sentenced at Southwark Crown
Court to 18 months in prison on 7 January 2011
still awaiting a reply to the following e-mail - sent to Kenneth Clarke
(copy to Teresa May) on 28 November 2010
Dear Mr Clarke
of State for Justice you will no doubt be aware that the case of Elliot
Morley and others is currently being considered in Court 11 at the Old
the question in not whether the defendants are guilty or innocent of fraud
In fact the
matter being considered is whether the
defendants can actually receive a fair trial due to all the
that principles are important, but my concern is because the majority of
this process is being funded with still
more money from the public purse and implemented with a
significant lack of public awareness.
suspect the expenditure claims total is now insignificant when compared
against ever-increasing costs to the public purse, and we have not had a
single trial yet.
I do not see openness and transparency here
and I feel sure that you will agree that there is a need for questions to be
both asked and answered.
forward to hearing from you promptly.
Elliot Morley and others - Old Bailey - Court 11 - 26 November 2010
discretely moved the hearing listed for 26 November 2010 from Southwark Crown Court to the Old Bailey.
This is my
I made my way to
the Old Bailey on (26/11/2010) to see what Elliot Morley and his friends
had to say about their expenses. Although I was waiting on the
staircase at 11.30am, I was not allowed into the gallery public area until
after the case had commenced. Elliot and his friends were not in
attendance, but there were maybe ten barristers in total (well they all had
wigs anyway) and of course the Judge in his fine robes. There was only
one court reporter and three members of the public (including myself) to witness yet another page
added to a famous and long running case.
The issue under
consideration now is whether or not the accused could get a fair trial rather than if
they are actually guilty or innocent.
From midday onwards in Court
11 the barristers
were presenting a case along the lines that the media coverage
(especially the internet) has been so intense and prolonged that the defendants
could not possibly get a fair trial.
assertion was that due to all the coverage
the jurors would not have
open minds, and any Judges Directions at the beginning of the trial
could not influence the jurors’ thinking to ensure fairness of
Unfortunately I was asked to leave the public gallery at 4.30pm because
the security staff were at the end of their shift even though the
hearing continued for another hour. (No comment here)
So here we have - MPs
(allegedly) fiddling expenses from the public purse and being charged
and out on unconditional bail
same MPs then
obtaining and using legal aid (the public purse again) to claim Parliamentary
- having finally exhausted the appeal
process and lost at the Supreme Court
MP’s now claiming they cannot get a fair trial (still on legal aid and
the public purse of course)
- and we (the public) are still waiting for
a trial. Filibuster experts perhaps?
(Please note that Tory peer Lord Hanningfield, who also faces charges,
has not applied for legal aid.)
The case continues……………..
Elliot Morley and the
Jubilee River blame game
In January 2003 hundreds of households downstream of Windsor
suffered serious flooding for the first time since 1947.
As Minister responsible for flooding, Elliot Morley stated that the newly
built Jubilee River was not to blame for the flooding. He rejected calls for a
public inquiry and called for a stop on the blame game. See what Elliot
Morley said in March 2003 at the bottom of
It took many years for the facts to emerge...................
- the EA built a £110m world class, award winning flood
alleviation scheme MWEFAS/Jubilee River (the biggest in England?)
- given Ministerial approval after a Public
Inquiry in 1992
'it would be very embarrassing'
- then came the cost-cutting -
MWEFAS cost reduction 1995 - 2002
- Thames dredging ceased without consultation
the dredging problem
- unable to carry its design capacity
Jubilee River still 10% under capacity
- fell apart on first use - £5m in repair
The Myrke embankment
structural problems -
- Myrke bend radius problem -
the Myrke bend radius problem
- £2.75m out-of-court settlement for
sub-standard design and construction
£2.75m out-of-court settlement
- continually polluted with algae -
the algae problem
- and still degrading today.
1 December 2010
Last updated at 10:25
The three men all deny the charges against
Supreme Court President Lord
Phillips has said parliamentary privilege does not protect MPs from being
prosecuted for "ordinary crimes".
Last month the court rejected a bid by three ex-MPs' to have their cases
heard by parliament, not the courts.
He said the ancient right was meant to protect Parliamentary business
from interference and claiming expenses did not "form part of of this
Elliot Morley, Jim Devine and David Chaytor deny theft by false
The three former Labour MPs will now face separate trials at Southwark
They had argued that Parliamentary privilege, which protects MPs from
legal action arising from events in Parliament - should apply to expenses.
The Supreme Court rejected that argument on 10 November.
unanimous decision by a panel of nine senior judges, Lord Phillips said
the case had raised a "novel and important question of law", as for many
centuries courts had recognised there were some parliamentary activities
they could not inquire into which fell within the "exclusive cognisance" -
or jurisdiction - of Parliament.
Continue reading the main
End Quote Lord
Phillips Supreme Court president
Parliamentary privilege has never prevented
the prosecution of Members of Parliament for ordinary crimes that
are not connected with carrying out the business of Parliament”
Lord Phillips said: "Parliamentary privilege is
essentially concerned to protect from interference the business that
Parliament exists to conduct, in particular the legislative and deliberative
debate and discussion that takes place on the floor of the Houses or in
"Making claims for allowances and expenses does not form part of this
business. It is an incident in the administration of Parliament.
"Parliamentary privilege has never prevented the prosecution of Members
of Parliament for ordinary crimes that are not connected with carrying out
the business of Parliament."
Former Bury North MP Mr Chaytor, 61, of Todmorden, West Yorkshire; former
Scunthorpe MP Mr Morley, 58, of Winterton, north Lincolnshire; and former
Livingston MP Mr Devine, 57, of Bathgate, West Lothian, are all on
unconditional bail and face separate trials. Mr Morley's had been due to
start on 22 November but has been delayed.
'Law of Parliament'
In the Supreme Court hearing in October, Nigel Pleming QC, representing
two of the men, told a panel of nine Supreme Court Justices that their
appeal was "not, and never has been, an attempt to take them above or
outside the law".
He argued important issues of principle were raised by the case and the
allegations had to be "dealt with by the correct law, the law of Parliament"
- arguing that only Parliament could question and impugn statements made in
He argued that the expenses scheme was created and is administered by
Parliament for Parliamentarians: "The administration of the scheme is also
entirely a matter for the House of Commons - this extends not only to its
creation but to its regulation and enforcement."
All three men were barred by their party from standing again as Labour
MPs at the general election.
The charges against them followed a nine-month police investigation
triggered after details of all MPs' expenses claims were leaked to a
Last update: Wed Dec 1 2010 13:13:12
Wed Dec 1 2010
Three former Labour MPs accused of fiddling their expenses have heard from
Supreme Court justices at a ruling why they were not protected by parliamentary
David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine have denied theft by false
accounting and are facing separate trials.
The three took their cases to the highest court in the land claiming any
investigation into their expenses claims and the imposition of any sanctions
"should lie within the hands of Parliament".
Citing Article 9 of the Bill of Rights and "exclusive jurisdiction" of
Parliament, they all raised a common point of law in their challenge to the nine
Justices, claiming criminal proceedings could not be brought because they would
infringe parliamentary privilege.
Their appeals were unanimously rejected by all nine justices, headed by the
president Lord Phillips, on the basis that neither Article 9 nor the exclusive
jurisdiction of the House of Commons posed any bar to the jurisdiction of the
Crown Court to try the former MPs.
Former Bury North MP Chaytor, 61, of Todmorden, West Yorkshire; ex-Scunthorpe MP
Morley, 58, of Winterton, north Lincolnshire; and Devine, 57, of Bathgate, West
Lothian, formerly MP for Livingston, remain on unconditional bail.
This is what Elliot Morley said in the House of Commons on 13
Link to source
13 Mar 2003 : Column 513—continued
13 Mar 2003 : Column 517
Extract from Hansard (Elliot Morley)
On the Jubilee river, I repeat that I do not believe that it is to blame
for the flooding of other communities on the Thames. It was
subject to independent planning scrutiny as part of a public planning
inquiry, and it is subject to independent scrutiny by our own DEFRA
engineers, who are independent of the Environment Agency. Although I
accept that hon. Members representing communities on the Thames have put
their case in a fair and non-partisan way, I think
that some communities and some individuals are engaged in a blame
game, and I call on them to stop. All
the information on the matter should be made available, and I will take
steps to ensure that it is, so that there can be scrutiny by local
As regards the
invitation to contribute to an independent analysis, I have no objection
to local authorities employing their own independent consultants, but
for them to say to the Environment Agency, "We don't believe a word that
you say, but give us your money anyway" is not a very attractive
proposition. The agency has bent over backwards to
try and examine the issue independently and make information available.
People need to see that and reach the conclusion that the Jubilee river
went through all the proper procedures and is not responsible for the
As a matter of
routine, in every area that was flooded in the January incident there
will be an examination of the causes of the flooding and the steps that
can reasonably be taken to make sure that it does not happen again. That
is part of the response to any flooding incident.
13 Mar 2003 : Column 518
Elliot Morley and the Jubilee River 'blame game' (from Hansard