#Brickgate – Angela Eagle – Merseyside Police Change Their Position on Freedom of Information Request

11th September 2016

Background

We lodged the following original Freedom of Information request with Merseyside Police on 2nd August 2016:

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/alleged_brick_thrown_through_comhttps://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/alleged_brick_thrown_through_com

brickgate foi request to merseyside police

The police responded by refusing, withholding the information and quoting two exemptions.


Merseyside Police originally said they weren’t obliged to supply most of the information and quoted exemptions under Section 30 (Criminal investigations and proceedings) and Section 21 (Information reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means).

Here’s an explanation of these two exemptions from the regulator, the Information Commissioner:

Section 30

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1205/investigations-and-proceedings-foi-section-30.pdfhttps://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1205/investigations-and-proceedings-foi-section-30.pdf

Section 21

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1203/information-reasonably-accessible-to-the-applicant-by-other-means-sec21.pdfhttps://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1203/information-reasonably-accessible-to-the-applicant-by-other-means-sec21.pdf

And here’s a link to Merseyside Police’s detailed response:

00.Response Table PIT DJ 2016 807 MERPOL

The only point they addressed here was the first one, answering ‘yes’ – they did visit Sherlock House, the site of the criminal damage incident.

We’re left none the wiser on everything else and we asked the police to internally review their response.  At least 12 large circulation newspapers had been laced with foreseeable and avoidable inaccuracies since the original stories were published on 12th July and there seems to be no desire on the part of these newspapers to acknowledge the printing of falsehoods, or to retract or apologise.

The risk is still out there, that this false information – which links Corbyn supporters to the incident – will unfairly influence the minds of members of the public, some of whom will get a chance to cast their vote in the forthcoming Labour Party Leadership Ballot.

It’s possible that this false information – which needs publicly retracting – could swing the minds of enough voters and persuade them to crown Owen Smith – Angela Eagle’s successor in the leadership race – as the new leader, which would serve the 172 dissenting Labour MPs, would be built on lies and would be simply outrageous.

In support of their choice of Section 21 as an exemption, the police pointed us to Viscount Rothermere’s The Daily Mail for the information.  This action is insulting and beyond outrageous.

We still don’t know whether a brick was thrown and whether the police acknowledge that Angela Eagle’s office window was not broken, although they appear to have told Peter Hitchens that it wasn’t broken, according to his recent article in the Mail on Sunday.


 

That’s the background.

Here’s a link to the revised response, which followed an internal review:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/alleged_brick_thrown_through_com#incoming-864532

And here are the details:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/349462/response/864532/attach/html/3/Response%20Table%20PIT%20DJ%202016%20807%20after%20IR.doc.html

This time the Section 30 exemption still stands on points 2 and 3, but the ridiculous Section 21 response (asking us to look for the information in the Daily Mail) has been dropped on points 4 and 5.

Instead Section 30 has been used to sweep up points 2 to 5 and store all the information safely out of sight of the public behind a virtual ‘padlocked door’.

This time Merseyside Police included the following line of advice:

By searching on the internet using the search words Angela Eagle office attack or similar a volume of news items about the incident will be found

So this time, it’s not a particular story in the Daily Mail.  We’re being referred to the very opposite of ‘specific’ i.e. the whole of the internet.

I tried this and found it to be a very good example of how ‘lies become truth’. Reader, follow the police advice and try a Google Images search for “Angela Eagle Office Attack”.  You will NOT be given images of her office window.  In their place will be the following, which are images of a stairwell window on a different side of the building, a direct result of the UK press and media reporting falsehoods as truth:

search-for-angela-eagle-office-attack

We will now appeal to the Information Commissioner as is our right, and since our rights were returned to us in June 2011 following a 20 month, unlawful, extended ban.

What’s troubling us here is that Peter Hitchens of the Mail On Sunday appears to have been given access to information by Merseyside Police which we have been denied – on the specific point about whether Angela Eagle’s office window at the rear of the building had been attacked.

Here’s a tweet to Peter, sent today in the hope that he might let us in on how he came across this information, which appeared in the Mail on Sunday on 24th July 2016:


 

16th September 2016

An appeal was lodged today with the Information Commissioner:

About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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8 Responses to #Brickgate – Angela Eagle – Merseyside Police Change Their Position on Freedom of Information Request

  1. Bobby47 says:

    And here in startling graphic clarity lies the problem within our modern society. The truth no longer bloody matters. It doesn’t. Not one jot. They churn a false story out that’s peddled to the media and then transmitted to us the bloody fools who fund and fuel the madness, they offer up an explanation to a Parliamentary Committee that subsequently turns out to be a bucket of rancid bollocks, public service bodies announce something that’s complete rats urine and then, after its discovered to be undiluted rats piss they then later go onto say, ‘lessons have been learned’ and those that we were all programmed to trust because our Mams and Dads always did, they become corporately swallowed up by their own ‘in the big tent’ delusions that keep up the pretence that we are all on their side, we doubt bloody nothing they ever say and alls well,even when the lies pile up and it’s become increasingly difficult to believe anything they ever say because, deep down, you can see and tell that they also know it’s a load of bollocks and a pack,of lies.
    It used to be true or false. A lie or an honest account. Not any bloody more! The truth has nothing to do with the message or the reputation management of the message. They lie. Wriggle room is the key. Give then that and they’ll twist and spin, cognisant that if ever the wheel ever falls bloody off, and it rarely does, their backstop story is, ‘I’ve given an account of what I honestly believed to be true at the time’. The fact that it was all a lie from its conception doesn’t matter. Not to them!
    The reality to the many now is Angela’s window was smashed in anger. Whoever did it, did it because Angela was a woman, a brave strong ethical woman who stood up against the evils of Jeremy and If it were not for seventeen good, kind, decent God fearing whistleblowers who’ve bravely stood shoulder to shoulder to support Angela, then the story wouldn’t sound and read so convincing to a population who no longer care who lies to them and what the consequences of the dishonesty are.

    • Hear, hear Bobby.

      Corbyn won his second leadership election today and no … it’s not gonna be third time lucky for the 172 pretend-Labour crooks and scoundrels – who only see their “path to fame, riches, a gold-plated pension and the revolving door” slipping away into the mist…

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  5. Phil says:

    Any further news on this?

  6. Pingback: Exclusive: Labour NEC’s full #Wallasey investigation report – and what it leaves out | The SKWAWKBOX Blog

  7. Pingback: #Brickgate / Angela Eagle Broken Stairwell Window is now with the Information Commissioner’s Office | Wirral In It Together

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