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Private Prosecution Of Jacqui Smith

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A Whitehall whistleblower is to launch a private prosecution against Jacqui Smith, accusing her of expenses fraud. Miss Smith, who resigned as Home Secretary last month, racked up a £116,000 allowance on her family house in Redditch, while claiming her main residence as her sister’s spare bedroom in London.

Christopher Galley, a former Home Office civil servant, claims however that she spent more time at the West Midlands address. Jacqui Smith: Claimed £116,000 Under the banner ‘Bringing Jacqui to Justice’, he is preparing to file a complaint with Westminster Magistrates Court accusing her of fraud by misrepresentation.

Mr Galley, 27, was fired last November after he was exposed for leaking documents on the Government’s immigration policy to Tory spokesman Damian Green. He is now the research director of the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics, a pressure group set up to campaign for transparency. The group yesterday instructed lawyers with the London firm Bark & Co, which specialises in fraud and hunting down benefit cheats.

Mr Galley worked for two years as a diary manager to ministerial special advisers and was in the private office of ministers Vernon Coaker and Tony McNulty. He had access to Miss Smith’s diary between January and November last year, when he was fired. He said: ‘From what I know having seen Jacqui Smith’s diary and having watched her daily routine, I saw that she came in on Monday afternoon and left on Thursday evening. ’From what I can see Redditch was her main home and London was her second home.’ Neighbours of Miss Smith’s sister have claimed the former minister was rarely there for more than a few days a week. Mr Galley will sign an affidavit detailing his own information on Miss Smith’s movements.

The group has already made a freedom of information demand, calling on the Home Office to produce Miss Smith’s appointments diary. Last night it sent another request for details of her movements from the Whitehall car service. It is working to raise the six-figure sum needed to fight the case in court. Harry Cole, of the centre, said: ‘There is so much public anger about expenses and the police have shown no willingness to take up cases, so we’re taking the law into our own hands. ‘This will be an expensive test case but it could lead to dozens of others.’ In an interview last week, Miss Smith said she quit the Cabinet because of the ‘hurt’ she felt when it emerged that her husband had charged two pay-per-view pornographic films to the taxpayer. While arguing vociferously that she spent most of her time in London, she has not provided documented proof to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards John Lyon. A possible precedent is former Tory MP Michael Trend, who was forced to stand down over his expenses claims. He claimed in the same way as Miss Smith while he was staying with a friend in London. He had to repay £90,277.

Miss Smith did not return messages left for her yesterday.

http://www.sunlight-cops.org.uk/2009/07/15...e-jacqui-smith/

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At last! I've sent a tenner.

They recently sent an email to everyone who donated to say thank you, but they used the 'To:' box instead of 'Bcc:' so that everyone saw everyone else's email address.

Looking at the list, there are some interesting names!

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Guest KingCharles1st

"Christopher Galley, age **. Leisure time pursuits include Xtreme Hillwalking..."

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Guest UK Debt Slave
Good! f*ckin slag! I hope she has to pay the lot back..........................then dies :)

I wish! :rolleyes:

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Excellent, it won't die.

Why the hell won't the CPS do this though?

Same reason they won't prosecute Baroness Scotland, even though she is clearly guilty.

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Same reason they won't prosecute Baroness Scotland, even though she is clearly guilty.

You should have learnt by now, the law only applies to the little people.

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They recently sent an email to everyone who donated to say thank you, but they used the 'To:' box instead of 'Bcc:' so that everyone saw everyone else's email address.

Looking at the list, there are some interesting names!

Oh, go on, tell us who! (Luckily I sent a cheque)

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I don't know if a prosecution can be mounted. This is all to do with Parliamentary procedures and the proceedings of Parliament cannot be questioned or investigated in any place outside Parliament. This is why MP's can get away with making defamatory statements and is why the Police cannot enter Parliament without leave of the speaker.

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Err ...., no.

Parliamentary Privilege,

"In the United Kingdom, it allows members of the House of Lords and House of Commons to speak freely before those houses without fear of legal action on the grounds of slander. It also means that members of Parliament cannot be arrested on civil matters within the grounds of the Palace of Westminster (there is no immunity from arrest on criminal grounds).[1]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_privilege

"There is no immunity from arrest on criminal grounds."

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There are no certainties in criminal litigation.

But the chance of a conviction from a prosecution brought with reasonable professional skill against Smith is about as open and shut as it gets.

And any decent prosecutor should be able to get her old man on the wrong side of the door too.

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There are no certainties in criminal litigation.

But the chance of a conviction from a prosecution brought with reasonable professional skill against Smith is about as open and shut as it gets.

And any decent prosecutor should be able to get her old man on the wrong side of the door too.

If this gets off the ground, the CPS will take it over. Nothing can stop that if the DPP decides it's a good idea. It will then be decided that pursuing the matter is not in the public interest. I don't even know who the current DPP is but they used to be found around Kings Cross.

p-o-p

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Err ...., no.

Parliamentary Privilege,

"In the United Kingdom, it allows members of the House of Lords and House of Commons to speak freely before those houses without fear of legal action on the grounds of slander. It also means that members of Parliament cannot be arrested on civil matters within the grounds of the Palace of Westminster (there is no immunity from arrest on criminal grounds).[1]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_privilege

"There is no immunity from arrest on criminal grounds."

Parliamentary privilege goes further than that, it is an absolute privilege allowing Parliament to do anything it wants whenever it wants. The Bill of Rights states something along the lines "The proceedings of Parliament ought not to be questioned in any place outside", or words to that effect. Basically, nothing that Parliament does can be questioned or investigated by anyone, this is why the Courts can't tell Parliament that is isn't allowed to do something and can never "strike-down" legislation.

The final sentence of the quote makes no sense. No one can be arrested on "civil" grounds anyway. Parliament is sovereign, the police cannot enter the precincts of Parliament without the permission of the speaker, indeed I think they have to be specifically asked by the speaker. Crimes within the Palace of Westminster are investigated by the speaker officially. This is why he has people like the Sergent at Arms available to arrange security for the whole of Parliament.

So, I don't know that any of these MP's can be prosecuted in the normal manner as what they were doing falls entirely within the remit of the proceedings of Parliament. Having said that, there are probably some pretty nasty Parliamentary...err..."procedures" which have long since been forgotten about which could still be used, I imagine. Problem is that it requires the very people who have been dishonest to take action against themselves.

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