My name is Robert Henderson. Over a year ago I supplied the Metropolitan police with unequivocal evidence that Piers Morgan when Daily Mirror editor received information from one or more of their officers in circumstances which can only have been illegal. That evidence is in a letter from Morgan to the Press complaints Commission in which he writes”The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect)”. The letter is in text form below and in facsimile form in the attached file Morganletterscan.docx . Please ask Hogan-Howe why this is not being investigated.
The accusations of criminal behaviour made against me by Morgan in the letter are a tissue of lies. The reality of my dealings with the Blairs is neatly précised in an Early Day Motion put down by Sir Richard Body:
10 November 1999
CONDUCT OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR SEDGEFIELD 10:11:99
Sir Richard Body
That this House regrets that the Right honourable Member for Sedgefield [Tony Blair] attempted to persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring criminal charges against Robert Henderson, concerning the Right honourable Member’s complaints to the police of an offence against the person, malicious letters and racial insult arising from letters Robert Henderson had written to the Right honourable Member complaining about various instances of publicly-reported racism involving the Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaints of the Right honourable Member and the Right honourable Member failed to take any civil action against Robert Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon Robert Henderson, notwithstanding that Robert Henderson had been officially cleared of any illegal action.
This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record – see http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702
FROM THE EDITOR
By fax (0171-353 8355) & by post
16 October 1997
Your ref: 970738
Christopher Hayes Esq
Press Complaints Commission
I Salisbury Square
Dear Mr Hayes
Mr Robert Henderson
I refer to Mr Henderson’s complaint as outlined in his letter of 23 September.
As you are aware, we have been in contact with Mr Henderson for some time due to his propensity to bombard individuals and this office with correspondence. There are certain irrefutable facts that escape emphasis in Mr Henderson’s correspondence.
Far from ignoring any of his correspondence we have written to him on the 20 May, 22 July and 6 August We have consistently made it clear that we have no intention of entering into any further correspondence with him.
Be that as it may I will address his concerns:-
In essence, the basic “sting” of the article, of which he complains, was that he had been sending numerous insulting letters, some with racist undertones, to Mr and Mrs Blair which had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.
Mr Henderson himself admits that he sent Mr and Mrs Blair at least thirteen letters. I have no way of directly knowing of the content of those letters because I have not had sight of them. However, clearly they sufficiently concerned Mr Blair’s office to be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service and I think the Commission is perfectly entitled to draw an adverse inference on the contents of those letters as a result of that referral.
I cannot accept Mr Henderson’s explanation for writing to Cherie Blair.
To do so was clearly designed to intimidate.
In Mr Henderson’s draft article “Moral Simpletons Target Innocent Man” the bile that he shows on the second page of that article clearly illustrates his capacity to insult in his letters to Mr and Mrs Blair (to the extent that they be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service). I would also refer the Commission to Mr Henderson’s gratuitous reference to a “Blaireich”.
He also admits to expressing his disgust (we can only guess in what terms) of the decision of Mr and Mrs Blair not to send their son to a school whereby a white schoolboy was, apparently, murdered by five other boys (and that that murder was racially motivated).
The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) gave us the detail of the letters that we then published. Nothing that Mr Henderson writes has convinced me that the article was anything other than accurate.
Perhaps one can get a flavour of his correspondence with Mr and Mrs Blair by examining the final sentence of his draft article in which he states “It was a cargo of ancient male gonads”.
The Commission may be aware (I am attempting to get hold of the article) that the article of Mr Henderson’s that appeared in Wisden’s Cricket Monthly in 1995 gave rise to an extraordinary amount of controversy and resulted in Wisden paying substantial libel damages to the Cricketer, Devon Malcolm, whom the Commission will be aware is a coloured fast bowler for England. As I understand the matter, and Mr Henderson will correct me if I am wrong, the article implied that coloured players will not try as hard when playing for England as white players.
I have discussed the legal position with the newspaper’s solicitor, Martin Cruddace , and he has assured me that the law has recently developed whereby words (be they written or spoken) can constitute assault if the pattern of those words is such as to make the recipient of them either anxious or ill. It has developed as a reaction to the former impotence of the law on stalking.
The law has therefore developed since the publication of the dictionary reference on which Mr Henderson relies.
I cannot accept that the taking of the photographs of Mr Henderson, given the clear public interest concerning the subject matter of The Mirror article, could possibly constitute harassment under the Code.
I am most concerned not to waste any further time in dealing with Mr Henderson’s complaint but, naturally, if the Commission wishes me to address any further matters then I will endeavour to do so.
However, I hope that the above is sufficient to convince the Commission that the basic “sting” of the article is accurate and that Mr Henderson’s complaint ought to be dismissed.