The HomeAffairs Committee considered the behaviour of the BBC in filming a raid on Cliff Richard's home. It seemed to be an outage to me then and it still is.
There is no full transcript of the Lord Hall evidence session from September 2014.
The main conclusions of the Committee are:
It is clear that South Yorkshire Police’s exchanges with the BBC went far beyond confirming the date of the search of Sir Cliff’s home. The Force played an active part in providing the BBC with detailed information which would allow it to secure exclusive coverage of the search.
Detailed knowledge of the investigation, beyond the name of the suspect clearly points to a leak from within Operation Yewtree and it is therefore surprising that Chief Constable Crompton did not seek to contact the Metropolitan Police soon after the approach from Mr Johnson to alert them to the possible leak and invite them to investigate.
It would have been open to South Yorkshire Police to decide to publicise the name of the subject of this investigation had they chosen to do so for operational reasons. However, the naming of suspects (or the confirming of a name when it is put to a force) when there is no operational need to do so is wrong.
South Yorkshire Police have told us that they did not want to publicise their investigation, but offered the BBC information about the search warrant as part of a compromise in which the BBC did not broadcast prematurely the information its reporter had. Senior BBC executives told us that the Chief Constable had only to pick up the phone and they would not have broadcast the story, a sensible editorial policy which should reduce the scope for conflict between legitimate journalistic activity and law enforcement, and which we are happy to endorse and publicise here.
We are disappointed by South Yorkshire Police’s inept handling of this situation. Whereas it is clear that the Force felt from the outset that it had to cooperate with the BBC in order to avoid jeopardising the investigation, its cooperation went far beyond notifying the BBC of the date, the Force failed to go to senior managers at the BBC to explain the risks inherent in premature broadcasting of the story, and it failed to alert the Metropolitan Police to the possibility of a leak from within Operation Yewtree.
It is clear that Sir Cliff Richard has personally suffered enormous, irreparable damage to his reputation, though he has been neither arrested nor charged with any offence. No citizen should have to watch on live television their home being raided in this way.
Will the saga of the Severn Bridges toll ever be put on the stage?
It happened with a PACAC select committee meeting and it was a fine
The Severn Tolls farce might be judged too far-fetched to be plausible.
This year we have witnessed a series of nonsensical statements by the Tory
snake-oil hucksters that were designed to deceived. They all produced hoops of
grateful joy from a media with the concentration span of an earthworm. The
charlatan politicians plan to rob us again next January but demand our
gratitude for their fake news. The 'cut' is a con.
PIC: SOUTH WALES ARGUS. Left to Right, TORY MP David Davies , TORY Welsh
Secretary Alun Cairns, TORY Minister Chris Graying united in mission to sell
On the 12th
December 2016 the hapless Alun Cairns hilariously
set his position to the Welsh Select Committee:
Q90 Chair: This cut that has been promised at 50%—50% on the tolls as they are in
2018 but still 50%—is absolutely guaranteed, isn’t it?
Alun Cairns: That is the Government proposal but there is a consultation going on
to how that can be achieved.
Q91 Chair: So it is not quite guaranteed?
Alun Cairns: The announcement has been made in Budget 2015, I think it was, or
2014, and it is something that is Government policy.
Q93 Paul Flynn: Severn Bridge tolls started four years before you were born,
Secretary of State. Do you expect them to continue when you reach retirement
Alun Cairns: Clearly I would hope, Mr Flynn, that you would accept that the 50%
reduction that is proposed, subject to a consultation and so on, is a welcome step.
Q94 Paul Flynn: There was a fascinating poll finding that said that 50% of the
population didn’t understand what 50% means. You have been quoted as saying
that the toll should be £3.70. How is that 50% of £6.70?
Alun Cairns: I was talking about of that order and I talked about it by the time the
bridge comes into public ownership for which there will be an inflationary fee.
Q95 Paul Flynn: In my view, the people of Wales are being ripped off by having one
of the few stretches of motorway, which the Severn Bridges are, tolled and this
has gone on for all these years now and because of the deals done a long time ago
by a previous generation. There seems to be absolutely no reason why this
shouldn’t become a national responsibility and the psychological barrier to south
Wales, which is very damaging, could be removed.
Alun Cairns: I am governed by the Act of Parliament and the Act of Parliament will
have struck a deal with the Severn Bridge company. We have an obligation in order
to deliver that but I would hope that reducing the tolls by half is seen as a very
positive step, although there will be a debt that remains outstanding. It
demonstrates the scale of the project.
Q96 Paul Flynn: You stand by the figure of £3.70?
Alun Cairns: I would say wait until the consultation goes out.
That posture did not last long. After checking their maths, they reduced the
planned toll to less than 50%
The Trinity of Snake Oil Salesmen consisted of Chris Grayling, David Davies and
Alan Cairns posed at the Severn Bridge and announced the 'Good News' that Severn
Bridges toll would be set at the bargain rate of £3.00! Hurrah! But that was for the
long term future.
But it was no bargain because next year the tolls should be nil. It was an attempt
to con us. The snap General Election forced a re-think on the Tory Trinity. Today
they will announced that they have seen the Labour Light and will resist
temptation to continue milking the cash cow of tolls double taxation. It will be
announced with a blast of Tory self-satisfaction in Newport today. (no. I have not
Will anyone ask if election opportunism played a part in their volte-face?
Tory Toll junkies are hooked on the Highway Robbery that forces local people
into paying double taxation. While the Severn Bridges were in private hands
the deal to pay tolls was resented but tolerated. In early 2018, the bridges will
become public property like the rest of the motorway system. They should be
maintained and financed in the same way as all other public roads.
For 52 years, we have paid twice. First through our taxes for the roads system.
Secondly through the toll payments. The Government want to continue to milk the
cash cow of tolls. There is an overwhelming case for abolishing the tolls
altogether. At a stroke an injustice would end and the expense and psychological
barrier to accessing Wales would be gone.
£billions of our taxes are paid to build, run and maintains the UK's road system.
The Severn Bridges costs and debts are national responsibilities when they become
public property. Wales has a history of attacking unjust tolls by the Hosts of
Rebecca. It's time the spirit of the 1839 was aroused again.
The Tories 2017 election bribe was an unconditional promise to end the tolls.
As a bribe it failed. Their ambition was to gain 7 Labour seats. They lost three
of their own to Labour and every sitting Labour MP increased their majorities.
They cannot mange a simple election bribe efficiently.
The Severn Bridges Act 1992 set out framework to award private contract to
build a much needed second Severn crossing. Severn River Crossings built the
bridge with the power to charge tolls until revenue of £1.029 billion is raised or
for a maximum of 35 years. Wales has paid extortionate annually increasing
The debt is almost paid, the concession contract is coming to An end. In the next
year the crossings will return to public ownership. Legal power to levy charges
ends with the contact.
The Act is clear and tolls must cease. The Crossings have an estimated annual
running cost of £15m. As with any other road belonging to the Department for
Transport maintenance costs are unavoidable. Road users already cover these
maintenance costs with road tax. Further tolls amount to unreasonable and
The Cairns Huckster team are back. Tolls are to be ‘CUT’ to £2.60 MORE than
Cairns promised on January 17
. Not to reduce it to that level would be illegal.
The reduction is because the bridges after next January will not be liable to
VAT. There is no choice. But Alun Cairns still has no date for delivering on his
election bribe of £00.00 tolls.
No charge is necessary after January 2018. We have discharged our debt.
It is no longer a toll, it’s a CAIRNS TAX.
Mr Cairns said he was not surprised at the reaction but claimed the "wider, silent
majority is absolutely with us". He urged "republicans" to "respect" the Prince
because of his work in the community.
The decision to re-name the Bridge after Prince Charles is a PR disaster. A petition of 20,000 appeared overnight. A poll in the Argus showed that only a tiny 11% supported Cairns. 89% wanted no change, another name or could not care. Who is advising you on PR Alun? ....a Republican?