was half way through writing a blog about former Chief Executive Will Tuckley
and the little matter of the £2 million bribe in Tower Hamlets where he is the
Government Commissioners’ appointee to that discredited borough when the phone rang. It was
PC Brooks from Swanley Police station who said someone had made an allegation of
harassment against me. She refused to say who had made the allegation or what
the allegation was and if I didn’t make an appointment at Swanley she would come and arrest me.
Former Met. Police Inspector Mick Barnbrook told me I should call her bluff, get myself arrested and then sue them for wrongful arrest but by then I had agreed to go for interview at 7 p.m. this evening.
One doesn’t need to be a clairvoyant to know that Councillor Maxine Fothergill had a fifth victim in her sights. Three of those who went before were accused of fraud and there was no evidence to support it. All were released without charge.
The fourth was accused of theft and I do not know what the evidence was for that.
By comparison the allegations against me were fairly small beer.
Much to my surprise the Duty Solicitor after looking through the papers was of the same opinion as Mick, I should have stood my ground or at the very least held out for a local interview.
He also said the police were entirely wrong to haul me over to Swanley without a clue as to the reason why.
It was precisely eight o’clock before the police switched on their recorder and 20:31 when the Stop button was pressed.
The police didn’t ask a great deal, just a few questions which set me off pretty much non-stop.
The interviewing officer took a copy of Maxine Fothergill’s solicitor’s letter to me which didn’t ask me to remove any blog content and which I took to mean he could not find anything libellous.
The police also took a copy of the written advice given to me by the Metropolitan Police following the Councillor Massey affair which in summary is that a news blog is safe from harassment charges so long it is not racist or extreme in some undefined way.
I think they may have been impressed by the most recent blog (and a similar one from last month) which which said I had no wish to continue with the Fothergill revelations, they had gone far enough. Those blogs rather detract from the suggestion I set out to deliberately maximise Councillor Fothergill discomfiture. She is a public figure in the news, nothing more, nothing less.
The Duty Solicitor was obviously very pleased with my responses and gave me a broad smile and a wink at the end which I suppose has to be a good sign. The police will decide whether to charge me with harassment in a matter of days, not the seven months Bexley police took.
While I have been away from home Maxine Fothergill’s business associates have sent more details of what they see as more grist to the Bonkers’ mill and asked me to publish it. But I am not going to, I said that enough was enough four days ago. I will wait and see what the New Year brings.