Coffee House

Was the deputy chief whip just doing his job by passing on Mitchell concerns?

18 December 2012

The latest twist in the Andrew Mitchell story is particularly intriguing. The Guardian is reporting that news of the confrontation between the police and the chief whip was passed onto Downing Street by the deputy chief whip John Randall.

Now, Randall and Mitchell were known not to get on and Randall played a key part in forcing Mitchell out by indicating that he was not comfortable working under him. This latest news threatens to inject yet more poison into the Tory bloodstream. If brother whips can treat each other like this, what hope party discipline?

But one longstanding Conservative MP made the case to me just now that Randall’s behaviour is not as odd as it might seem. The MP stressed to me that, by convention, the deputy Chief Whip is actually responsible for relaying concerns about the behaviour of the chief whip to Number 10. So, by this logic, Randall would not have been doing his job if he had not passed on the information. I’m doubtful, though, this argument will persuade Mitchell’s friends who believe that their man has been very poorly treated.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • paulus

    I said at the time there was a bigger story here and lo & behold and it looks like it has been orchestrated from beginning to end. I always thought Ch4 were lefty lackys, but wrong doing is wrong doing and exposing it is the proper remit of the media.

    The police have tried to fit up a cabinet minister, alledgedly, some newpapers colluded in it,apparently, and the band wagon jumpers jumped on it definately.

    If this doesnt turn out to be the biggest story of 2012, where the whole rotten edifice is finally kicked in and the law of the land prevail, I will eat telemachus’ liver raw with a nice Chianti, listening to Lynseys, all time greatest renditions of miners brass bands favourites.

    • HooksLaw

      If a newspaper colluded, ie they knew it was a lie then front row seats at the Old Baily really will be worth the admission money.

  • Coffeehousewall

    I am not a member of the EDL. I have no inclination to become a
    member of the EDL. But it does seem to me that Stephen Lennon is an
    articulate, reasonable and ordinary Englishman, who has put his life on
    hold for the sake of principles which matter to him, and should matter,
    in one way or another, to all those who wish to preserve our English
    culture and society as something worthwhile and unique. It is almost
    past saving. At the very least we should listen to the questions which
    the EDL poses and make sure that we have answers which will satisfy our
    children and grandchildren as they enter into the England we bequeath

    I am providing here a transcript of a recent letter Stephen Lennon
    sent to his supporters from Bedford Prison. I believe that it is worth
    reading, and that it raises serious questions about the treatment of an
    Englishman who appears to have been accused of no crimes which would
    warrant an extended detention on remand in a maximum security prison. It
    seems that none of the human rights organisations in the UK are willing
    to consider his case. I am not able to say if Stephen Lennon is guilty
    of any of those crimes he has been accused of, but his case does surely
    warrant a closer investigation, especially if we are about to enter into
    a world where a Conservative Government is ready to implement secret
    courts. If it is so easy for a man who seems to have become a thorn in
    the side of a left-leaning political establishment to find himself in
    prison, then we must be aware that any one of us might be next if
    nothing is done.

    He writes…

    So here I am, Bedford Prison, closer to home. I arrived here on
    Thursday the 29th after standing trial in Luton Magistrates for
    breaching my football banning order. I was found not guilty. I bet
    that’s not been put in the press? When I was charged it was all over the
    press, it turned out in court that the police had withheld
    documentation that proved my innocence which is why the judge dismissed
    the case. On the 27th the police came to see me again in Wandsworth
    Prison, the 27th being my 30th birthday.

    2.5 years ago I was arrested on many charges, all to do with
    finances. Charges such as tax evasion, money laundering, mortgage fraud,
    etc. The police have spent the last 2.5 years going through my private
    financial affairs dating back 6 years from the time of the arrest,
    forensically going through my accounts. During this time all my bank
    accounts were froze, all direct debits cancelled, my tanning salon
    frozen, and I was put under a financial restraint.

    My wife was also arrested, and the same conditions put on her. At
    the end of the 2.5 year investigation I have been charged with three
    counts of conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud. 7 other charges relating
    to money laundering etc were dropped. I’ve heard and seen on TV, radio,
    papers, quite a big deal has been made of these 3 mortgage fraud
    charges. None of the charges relate to any mortgages I have taken out.
    None of them relate to me lying or committing mortgage fraud on
    properties I’ve bought.

    I’ll briefly explain one of the charges. I bought a bungalow in
    Bletchley, Milton Keynes in 2007. By the way all the offences I am
    alleged to have committed are all prior to 2009, before the EDL. I
    bought the bungalow for £60,000. I didn’t have a mortgage, I bought it
    outright. At this time I had a plumbing company employing 6 people and
    turning over 100’s of thousands each year. I sold the property, which
    when I bought it was a repossession, for £70,000 to a friend. The
    property had subsidence damage. When my cousin bought the property she
    got a mortgage off a mortgage broker. It is alleged she lied about her
    income. What this has to do with me I don’t know, but this is my charge!

    The other 2 are very similar to this. I was doing well in
    business prior to the EDL. Since my restraint and the police harrassment
    of any business linked to mine, the tanning shop went under. The
    restraint meant we couldn’t meet overheads. And my plumbing business has
    also collapsed. The police still have many of my belongings, watches,
    even my engagement rings were taken along with my wife’s jewellery,
    computers etc. All this for 3 trumped up mortgage fraud charges which
    don’t actually relate to me.

    Will the press give coverage when I am cleared of these charges
    in a court of law? I doubt it! I’ve been granted bail for these mortgage
    frauds, which says a lot! There is no case! I’m innocent of the

    I am currently on the hospital wing of Bedford Prison. Again
    isolated from prison population. I’ve asked again to be put on a normal
    wing! The Governor refuses as he has a duty of care for me and his
    staff. I’ve had many lads shout up to my cell window that they’ve got my
    back if I go on the main wings. Half of Luton is in here. Some good
    friends, Irish travellers, black lads from Luton, all ready to back me
    up. Although I know I’m going to be competely isolated whilst I’m in

    The Governor really don’t want me here either. My presence in
    jail is a hot potato for any Governor to deal with. Many of the screws
    are ex-Forces and very sympathetic. Again, I am yet to be allowed any
    exercise, or to go outside for fresh air! The journey here is a lot
    better for my children to visit so is better than Wandsworth. I will be
    returned to a London prison on 7th January.

    Thanks to people showing support out there. Never give up. Stay
    strong and keep fighting. History will judge us all. The English Defence
    League will be remembered for our commitment to fight the Islamisation
    of this great, green and pleasant land which has the black cloak of
    Sharia shadowing above it. English Defence League, created by the people
    for the people. Islam created by a ***** for *****’s.

    Enjoy your Christmas and have a well deserved break.

    God bless


    • HooksLaw


  • ButcombeMan

    “And previously on” Plebgate:

    Now come on chaps.

    Too many people, ready to believe the worst of Mitchell, in many case becasue it suited their agenda

    Fess up.

  • RKing

    Just watched Channel 4 news…. it’s not looking good for the police fed. or their “independant” witness who just happens to be a copper.

    I reckon Mitchell wil lsoon have his job back and Randall? – don’t get too comfortable in your chair tomorrow!!

  • dalai guevara

    Waffle waffle waffle. Who effing cares whether some ex effing whip said what he said when he has clearly had to effing resign, whilst in much more important developments, our head of state has today repeatedly clarified that we are effing broke.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Why did he have to effing resign, o wise one? Because four policemen lied in their teeth. No,.more than four. The members of the Police Federation also lied. I suggest Mr Mitchell comes back as Minister with special responsibility for the Police.

      • dalai guevara

        Aha, so that’s the name of the game – revenge. Will the ‘new Minister with responsibility of the police’ also have the powers to repatriate champagne drinkers from Bahrain?

  • salieri

    No, Mr. F, it is neither intriguing nor a twist. It’s a total non-story, unworthy of even the Guardian’s febrile feuilletonism. The deputy chief whip is duty-bound to warn the Boss when stuff about his Ministers is about to hit the fan. Quiet day in the Westminster bubble, was it?

    • Coffeehousewall

      If the Spectator has nothing to write about you would think that they would investigate and write about the treatment of Stephen Lennon, a political prisoner of the Coalition State in 2012 and probably the first of many. If you are a Muslim terrorist you get bail, if you speak for English democracy and freedom then you must be silenced.

      The Spectator, as ever, can be relied upon to do the State’s bidding.

      • salieri

        I don’t wish for a moment to belittle your concerns, Peter, but with respect your last sentence is perhaps a little extravagant. Is he a political prisoner anyway? I have no idea, but reportedly he is about to be tried on “charges including fraud, money-laundering and possession of drugs with intent to supply.” If this is true, I would have thought the prospects of bail were pretty slim whoever he is and whatever his beliefs.

        • telemachus

          In regard of which the moniker of the Lennon-Robinson porn site should be proscribed

          • HooksLaw

            False use of a passport. He used a false passport because he had been banned from entry from the USA previously. He was banned previously because he is a thug and a criminal.
            If there are any sane UKIPers on here the warning lights ought to be flashing.
            Maybe some of you might care to claim this website back for the sane and the serious. Given the clear trend I would have thought the editorial staff might be relieved if you did. On the other hand maybe Fraser Nelson really is as thick as you think he is.

            • Coffeehousewall

              You really do sound like Telemucus, which is both expected but also disturbing.

              • HooksLaw

                You are the one who is disturbed.

        • Coffeehousewall

          Salieri, He has not been accused of money laundering or possession of drugs with intent to supply. He was accused, after a several year enquiry by the police, of false representation in regard to his nephews mortgage application.

          Even if that were true how could it be liable to remand in a Category A prison where he is in solitary confinement for his safety? The Pakistani Muslim paedophiles who have been convicted of child sex were all on bail before they were convicted.

          There is something seriously wrong going on in this case. Why is Chris Huhne about to be told he will no longer be investigated for what is a manifest crime that he and his wife have committed? Why are they not both in a Category A prison? Is purportedly providing false information for a mortgage application so much more serious?

          • salieri

            You are right about the money-laundering and intent to supply: the BBC News report I saw (28/11) didn’t make it clear that these charges related only to several co-accused. Thank you for pointing this out. But the report does say there are 3 charges of conspiracy to defraud, and there’s mention elsewhere of using a fake passport and also of breaching bail. As for being Cat A in Wandsworth, the website of British Freedom itself says that “English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has been moved from Wandsworth to Bedford Prison, closer to his family and friends”. The facts seem hard to pin down and since this is all sub judice that is hardly surprising. But you can’t fairly accuse the Speccie of doing the state’s bidding.

            • Coffeehousewall

              Salieri, read this letter by Stephen Lennon. You will see that the police have been trying to silence him for two and a half years without much success. He describes in detail the situation he has faced. His wife arrested. His accounts all frozen. His business ruined. And almost every charge thrown out when it comes to court because the police are withholding evidence which would prove his innocence.

              Do read this letter and see what you think…


              • salieri

                Thanks for the link. It does make interesting reading. I note, though, that he himself says he was given bail on the mortgage charges, so the remand in custody was presumably on the others. We shall all have to await the trial to ascertain the facts and the sub judice rule precludes further comment, favourable or otherwise. I am quite willing to accept that the police may have had a wider agenda, but I still can’t accept that he is in any sense of the term a political prisoner.

            • Coffeehousewall

              Salieri, I think one of the main issues is that he is in a prison and refused bail while other dangerous criminals are granted bail as a matter of course. It is suggested that there was some irregularity in his entry to the US, but this is not a UK crime, if it were true. And if it were true then it is surely not a legitimate cause for imprisoning someone.

              We know that the Huhnes have lied and yet they are not in prison, and it seems the case against them will be quietly dropped. The Pakistani Muslim gangs who have abused young white girls all received bail. There is something else going on in this case, and the media, including the Spectator, are choosing not to mention it, let alone investigate it.

      • telemachus

        The Spectator certainly could run a piece on the stain of EDL on our Society

    • the viceroy’s gin

      And not much from the Speccie teenagers re the 3 Londonistan banksters charged in the LIBOR festivities, mind. Presumably, the bubble denizens prefer that one remain hidden, and so well done the Speccie. The paymasters are proud.

    • McRobbie

      I don’t see a non story in finding out that the police federation chief sits in a meeting and is told a full story about what happened directly from Mitchell and then stands outside and says the opposite. Then that a serving policeman writes an e-mail that says he witnessed abusive behaviour by a senior politician of the government hated by the police federation, when in fact he did not witness anything, and then a log of the event was firstly falsified and then leaked. It is a disgraceful attempt to vilifie firstly Mr Mitchell and by inference the tory party. If this is so, and the evidence that it is seems clear, then it is the most serious attempt to undermine the democratic process by lies and deceit and it seems to have been orchestrated by the police federation or some of their members.
      This is not just a serious story, it must lead to an inquiry into the police federation and its members and the lies that have been exposed, and then criminal charges if possible.
      Well done channel 4, but isn’t this another nail in the BBC coffin… they had the resources to do the same just not the insight or the motivation.

      • salieri

        Yes, I quite agree that should have been the real story. Again one has to ask why it wasn’t; and why, instead, we are fed malicious and misleading pap from the Guardian.


          But why is this always the case?

      • HooksLaw

        Quite correct. I am just wondering if the labour MP who will have been inevitably involved in all this will end up being named.

        • George_Arseborne

          The Labour MP is the deputy chief whip of the nasty conservative party John Randall. Oh what a rubbish Hookslaw. Nasty guys keep on setting each other up. What a shame!!!!!!!

  • ButcombeMan

    There are important issues to be addressed and we get this. Who cares.

    • mikewaller

      I do, not least because of the stinking hypocracy of the Police Federation. One of the facets of the case they majored on was that because Mitchell denied using the word “plebs” the integrity of the officers involved was being questioned. We even had a pack of police clowns demonstrating outside Mitchell’s constituency office over the word. Now it is being suggested that the guy who snitched to our gutter press over the affair wasn’t even there. Yet on past record, if this is proved to be the case and he is sacked, the dear old Police Fed will defend him to the hilt. Interestingly, having rarely been off the air when the story first broke, last night they would not even put up a spokeperson for the BBC’s “Midlands.Today”.

      The other point of interest was picked up in the first reader comment above; the appalling,self-serving infighting between individual Tory MPs. No wonder the Coalition is starting too fall apart, these guys would slaughter all four grandparents for four-pence! .

      • HooksLaw

        The police federation are a trade union like all the rest. There is no evidence of any in fighting over this. According to the BBC the suspended policeman made the allegation to the deputy chief whip whose duty it was to pass on the incendiary news to the PM.
        All political parties have rivalries. Labour are the worst. Internal feuding has always taken second place to governing the country.

      • David Lindsay

        The Coalition despised the police even before this plebs business, and
        it really, really, really hates them now. They, in their turn, still
        have old scores to settle from the Major years, not an insignificant
        factor in this case.

        Meanwhile, although Labour is well on course to use the low turnout as
        the excuse to promise the abolition of Police and Crime Commissioners,
        that party is once again run all the way up to the very top by people
        who have not only heard of Hillsborough and Orgreave, as Tony Blair
        probably never had, but who never shared the view of his handlers that
        Scousers and miners richly deserved to be murdered wherever and wherever

        The fact that fact that Norman Bettinson retains his knighthood, his QPM
        and his pension does not help matters. He needs to be told, by whatever
        means necessary, to take one for the team. And that team had better
        have a very, very, very good response ready for when Orgreave becomes
        the big story, as it very soon will.

        • HooksLaw

          Zero evidence the coalition despised the police. The only miner that I head of being murdered was one who had a rock dropped on his car by a picket.
          I think this incident fully justifies police commissioners and my guess is a labour MP was involved in these smears as well.

        • MirthaTidville

          Whilst I dont have much time for Bettison having had dealings with him in the past, may I remind you of the tiresome fact that he has not been convicted, beyond reasonable doubt, of anything. Therefore he is entitled to keep what he already has and will no doubt, like the rest of us be grateful for keeping speculation to yourself

          • David Lindsay

            The police need the capital with the incoming governing party. They’ll just make him, one way or another.

    • HooksLaw

      A policeman claims he was a witness but was in fact miles away at the time is what the story should be about.
      If this allegation put forward by the BBC last night is true then the with the police being willing to fit up a cabinet minister we have to wonder about the whole basis of the judicial system. Not least how they behaved over the very political hacking affair.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Quite right. The policeman is a liatr and in my opinion the other two colluded in lying. Everybody knows about police noteboks which are written up long after the event. Policeman the world over lie in their teeth and ours are no different. The story is not about Tories but about lying, bribeable policemen who would sell their sainted mothers for a hundred quid. .

        • ToryOAP

          Correct Fergus but who agreed with us when we made these points when the MSM and assorted numpties here were on a ‘plebgate’ witch hunt? I always said that, even if Mitchell was a prat, the police jobsworths had stitched him up and it was unlikely he had used the ‘p’ word. How many will put their hands up and apologise?

          • HooksLaw

            Personally I do not see the point of being a cabinet minister if you cannot sound off against the jobsworths. In so doing they are doing us all a favour.

        • HooksLaw

          The real shocking point to this is that if the police can collude and fake their evidence in the case of a cabinet minister then what chance do the rest of us have.
          And of course if there was a conspiracy (and the BBC news have just repeated the allegation) then just how far did it go. Which Labour MP was first out of the blocks on this (I only ask because I do not know)?

      • ButcombeMan

        If you check back you will find I was one of the people here who always took the view that Mitchell had probably been fitted up, ie “verballed” in true MetPol fashion. If true it is not the first time MetPol have claimed to wintess events that they did not. Nor is it the first time someone has been “verballed”.

        I also questioned why nothing had been done about the leaking, clear criminality. (That has taken rather a long time-why?)

        This entry entry though, is lightweight.

        Report on it tomorrow-after C4 News has done its stuff. (That is if there is anything TO report).

        • ButcombeMan

          I comment to my own post. Well for those who have not seen the C4 investigation, it is, fairly convincing, (assuming the Whitehall videotape has not been fiddled with).

          It does look as though we have had a Police Fed and MetPol conspiracy against a serving Cabinet Member. Third world stuff, how high did it go? How many knew? What confidence do we have that Bernard Hogan Howe will get to the bottom of it? Why has this taken so long to come out?

          Such evil defeated Sir Robert Mark.

          Those half wits here who rejoiced, may need to do some apologising.

          Cameron also looks to be a fool, he had a half arsed investigation by Jeremy Heywood,. The Cabinet Secrretary would clearly be out of his comfort zone doing that, he lacks the skills, why use him? Yet another misjudgement.

          Cameron is just not very smart or worldly wise. Maybe now his eyes have been opened.

          MetPol. The best Police force money can buy.

          Frank P-where are you lad?

          • HooksLaw

            I am not sure who else there is to investigate a cabinet minister other than the cabinet secretary. i think labour used the same route.

        • HooksLaw

          fair doos to you

      • Dimoto

        I would hazard a guess, that if this intrigue is traced to it’s source, you will find the mucky finger-prints of the well-known dirty tricks boys, all over it.
        I doubt some dumb policeman would have the front to do this on his own initiative. The choice of imagined epithets is a give-away.

  • Earlshill

    So Mitchell thinks that by leaking the video of his contretemps with the police at the gate that he’s going to get his job back, and shaft Randall in the process? Dream on….
    Mitchell has no support and if he persists in his attempt to gain revenge then hopefully the press and others will start to ask the really interesting questions about his “army” experience. He has no shame….

    • telemachus

      No his crime – see above is that he is a Cameron Liberal

      • ButcombeMan

        No, you made that suggestion up, as you well know.


          He always make things up

    • HooksLaw

      he leaked a video. Did he have it plugged to his hat?

      • ToryOAP

        Watching 4 News now and Michael Crick. The CCTVs were released by the Cabinet Office. The witness was not there. Mitchell told the truth. Time for some libel claims I hope and some humble pie from the trolls here.

  • Vulture

    Another juicy scandal as the Tories rend each other asunder like rats in a sack. It all goes to make them look terribly attractive and voter-friendly doesn’t it? With old Thrasher Mitchell looming out of the mist as the ghost of Christmas past this one promises to run as long as the Panto at the Wimbledon Empire. And if mad Mitch comes back, raving Randall will have to go. Ain’t life grand! Pass the popcorn Alice!

    • telemachus

      There is whisper that Mitchell is in favour of Gay Marriage and one of the revanchist “bastard” MP’s used the golden opportunity to stick it into Mitchell and by extension Cameron.

    • an ex-tory voter

      Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch (Mitchell excepted). As usual Cameron and his advisers have “played a blinder”.
      David Cameron is to political nounce as chocolate is to teapot.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here