RESEARCH TOOLS


Afternoon Hearing on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tim Godwin and Bob Quick gave statements at this hearing

Hearing Transcript

(2.00 pm) LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MR JAY Now, Mr Quick, the Damian Green investigation, can we deal with the background quite economically, if we may? There was a briefing or concern within the Cabinet Office that there had been leaks of protected information from within the Home Office; is that right?
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. And in view of that and the overall sensitivity of the matter, you instructed your deputy, who was DAC, as she then was, Cressida Dick, to undertake a scoping exercise and what in essence did she tell you?
A. In effect that the scoping exercise had revealed that someone working very close to the Home Secretary in her private office seemed to be accessing letters from the Secretary of State to the Prime Minister as well as removing documents from a safe in the outer office, private office, and that essentially the CPS, who had been consulted, advised that these are likely to be criminal matters.
Q. So DAC Dick instructed you that Stephenson, who then I think was then Deputy Commissioner, he wasn't yet Commissioner.
A. Yes.
Q. I think he'd just become Sir Paul Stephenson at that point.
A. Indeed.
Q. He'd been briefed terms of reference for an investigation were established, this was in November of 2008, and it soon came about, paragraph 35 of your statement, that a civil servant in the Home Office, Mr Christopher Galley, was a strong suspect for some of the leaks; is that right?
A. Correct. At least five had been linked to him, and then I believe a sixth leak late in the day also was linked to this civil servant.
Q. When he was arrested on 19 November 2008, and documents seized, those documents indicated that the then Shadow Immigration Minister, Mr Damian Green MP, was involved with Mr Galley; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Mr Galley was interviewed on that day. He admitted being responsible for four of the six leaks initially linked to him.
A. That's correct, sir.
Q. What did he say in relation to Mr Green's involvement?
A. He claimed that Mr Davis introduced him to Mr Green, and in effect that Mr Green had had a conversation with him about accessing material that would be useful, and Galley gave a number of descriptions in interview regarding that conversation, intimating that Mr Green was seeking dirt or damage on the Labour government, and other material that would be useful to him.
Q. Mr Galley's claim was that he told Mr Green that he wanted a parliamentary job within the party?
A. Indeed. His account was that he enquired of Mr Green as to whether he could assist him obtain employment within the party and he claimed that Mr Green had given him positive signals about helping him find employment.
Q. In paragraph 37, Mr Quick, Mr Galley then detailed two meetings with Mr Green where he handed over leaked material to Mr Green, including material stolen from the Home Secretary's private outer office safe. One meeting was in a wine bar?
A. That's correct, sir.
Q. The quotation there, that was in an email?
A. That was in an email from Mr Green to Galley arranging a meet: "Anywhere we won't see any of your colleagues! Do you know Balls Brothers opposite Victoria Station?"
Q. Then there's a text message, paragraph 38, 24 September 2008, where Mr Galley sent a text to Mr Green's mobile stating: "Interviewed today by Cabinet Office about leaked economy and crime paper, I think I managed to deflect all questions." And then Mr Green's response was: "Good let's talk again after conference unless you are going."
A. That's correct, sir.
Q. Later you found evidence of additional communications between Mr Galley and Mr Green and that's paragraph 39, which I don't think it's necessary to specify but we note in passing. The circumstances leading to Mr Green's arrest, paragraph 41, Mr Quick, are that on 20 November 2008 you were informed by this is Commander McDowall, I think, the admissions by Mr Galley in relation to Mr Green, and the first stage was to get advice from the Directorate of Legal Services because obviously issues of parliamentary privilege arose?
A. Indeed. This was the late DAC, Deputy Assistant Commissioner McDowall, who briefed me on the arrest and the admissions, and whilst initially it was proposed that we would follow up this by way of searches and potentially an arrest, we agreed to actually slow that process down because of the sensitivities, potential for parliamentary privilege issues to be involved and make sure that we were on a very firm legal footing before we moved forward.
Q. The advice you received this is paragraph 42 was that a search of an MP's parliamentary office would be lawful provided it was carried out with the consent of the parliamentary authorities?
A. That's correct.
Q. But a search warrant could be obtained in any event. So you then moved to a decision-making process as to whether it was appropriate to arrest a Member of Parliament or to invite him in for interview by appointment. Can I ask you to address that, please? It's paragraph 43. You were later criticised for following the arrest course on the basis that it was disproportionate, notwithstanding everybody accepted that there was evidence, so before you decide to arrest, what considerations enter into play?
A. Well, there were many considerations, and I think the starting position was moving towards an invitation to attend the police station voluntarily for interview. However, a number of pieces of information came to light, including some information from Christopher Galley, who had been released on bail after his arrest and recontacted the police the following day to tell the officers that he'd had a call, a telephone conversation, with Mr Green, and in relaying the conversation he claimed that Mr Green had told him not to mention certain aspects of the inquiry, the involvement of another person, and therefore the Gold Group, balancing a whole range of issues and I won't, unless you require me to, go through every single one was unanimous in the belief that the only ethical and effective way forward was to deal with Mr Green by way of an arrest, but with elaborate special measures in place to minimise the impact of that arrest.
Q. Thank you. You made reference to a Gold Group. I don't think that term has yet been defined for the Inquiry. What is a Gold Group?
A. A Gold Group is a senior strategic decision-making body of experienced and senior or specialist staff to support decision-making. Essentially I was the chairman of the group. The decision ultimately was mine, but I had a whole range of senior and specialist staff to go through all of the issues and dimensions of that decision before we finally made it.
Q. What happened there, I think we can take this shortly: special arrangements were put in place?
A. Yes.
Q. Sir Paul Stephenson was briefed?
A. Yes.
Q. A search plan was instituted, and this related to the Palace of Westminster. Mr Green was arrested at his Kent constituency. He was taken to the Belgravia police station.
A. That's correct.
Q. He initially claimed to be too tired to be interviewed. He later agreed to be interviewed, but in effect gave a "no comment" interview, or rather he declined to answer any questions?
A. That's correct.
Q. And that's where matters were left by the time we reach paragraph 52 and, as you say, on 28 November various influential public figures were severely critical of the arrest and investigation of Green, despite being unaware of the nature of the material obtained by the police. Pausing there, Mr Quick, it might be said that this was bound to be a controversial operation. Were you expecting this level of criticism?
A. Absolutely. When I briefed Sir Paul Stephenson prior to the arrest operation we both discussed and recognised this would be controversial, and in some respects that was not a huge surprise, but some of the reporting was a surprise, insofar as the assertions about facts that we knew not to be true.
Q. There was obviously a party political agenda here, with politicians perhaps briefing the press and then these matters appearing in the press, and Mr Green's colleagues, it might be said, seeking to to use the vernacular rubbish your investigation. Is that how it appeared to you?
A. It certainly appeared that way, yes.
Q. You received a telephone call from Sir Paul Stephenson on the evening of Sunday, 30 November. This is paragraph 54.
A. That's correct.
Q. He expressed his anxieties. Hardly surprising, perhaps. He told you not to worry and that he was not about to row away from you. Did you find that a surprising remark?
A. I did. I took some comfort in his call but I was a bit concerned about his remark. I sensed a slightly dispirited tone, and, of course, it was very controversial and the media controversy had built up to a head at the weekend, and I could understand his anxiety and I'm sure I shared in it, but at the same time I was very clear that we were investigating a case where an individual, or possibly others, were prepared to intercept a Secretary of State for national security's personal letters and communications to the Prime Minister, and access safes where we knew sensitive documents to be held. So I was very clear that we were within our rights to continue the investigation, despite it being unpopular potentially with the media and others, because I guess leaks in many ways are potentially good copy for newspapers, but we needed to be absolutely clear as to whether an offence had been committed, whether national security had been compromised or sensitive or secret documents removed.
Q. There was a meeting the following day, Monday 1 December. This was Paul Stephenson, because Sir Ian Blair, as he then was, I think had just resigned a few days before.
A. Yes.
Q. And the Acting Deputy Commissioner, Tim Godwin, was there. You say: "Stephenson looked very anxious and told me he had written out his resignation." But you told him clearly he'd done nothing wrong; is that right?
A. Indeed. I was surprised and quite shocked at that remark, because I couldn't see that the police were doing anything other than their duty to investigate what were very serious allegations from a government department.
Q. At all events, plainly that didn't happen, Sir Paul Stephenson didn't resign, for obvious reasons.
A. No, sir.
Q. There was adverse reporting in the press, however, which you referred to in annex K, which it is our tab 12.
A. Yes.
Q. Maybe we can look at some of that. 01580, the first page, the Evening Standard. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was very much at the centre of these reports. Do you feel that the reporting was inappropriate or do you feel that what politicians were telling newspapers was inappropriate or neither?
A. Well, I had concerns at some early reports just before the weekend, I believe, where the Mayor had expressed concerns about the arrest of Mr Green, and I detected that that had an impact, and I detected a change in attitude towards the operation on the part of one or two colleagues, and real anxiety and fear about what was going on around them, and that did concern me, yes.
Q. Might it be said, though, that the role of the press in a mature democracy is to hold institutions like the police to account? This was a controversial operation, a controversial arrest, therefore it wasn't only inevitable but almost desirable that you should be held under scrutiny, that the bright light, as it were, should be shined in your direction; would you accept that?
A. Absolutely, sir. I think chief police officers accept that and in many ways require that so that their powers are appropriately restrained, but I was concerned that the Chairman of the Police Authority would enter into that fray because obviously that person's position in overseeing the Metropolitan Police.
Q. Thank you. You received some advice from AC Yates at about this point. He asked to see you in his office. He told you he felt the inquiry was doomed, that the CPS would withdraw their support due to the outcry, in much the same way as they had in cash for honours, and advised you to stop the investigation and "cut my losses". All he was doing I suppose was communicating to you what might have been his bitter experience we don't know, but we know what happened in relation to the cash for honours; is that right?
A. Yes. I had huge sympathy for AC Yates' experience in cash for honours, but my point was really straightforward. We had to have a legitimate reason to stop the investigation, and there wasn't one, and I didn't think it was appropriate and I was surprised he asked me to drop it at that point, because we'd just seized a load of evidence that we didn't have the opportunity to examine at that point, and clearly to stop the inquiry at that time would have consequences if later it was established that there had indeed been more serious leaks.
Q. Yes.
A. So it didn't seem a tenable argument to me.
Q. Turning it on its head, it would have had the appearance of succumbing to political pressure had you stopped in your tracks there and then, it might be argued?
A. Indeed. It could have appeared that way.
Q. But what happened then, but in your view prematurely, was that a review took place which Sir Paul Stephenson instigated, and Chief Constable Ian Johnston of the British Transport Police was designated to carry out that review. You make the point that you felt that that was inappropriate, given that you really hadn't reached the point in examining the evidence to reach any conclusion as to whether your inquiry merited a review?
A. Indeed.
Q. Is that so?
A. But I was very concerned that the review was convened in haste, in an air of semi panic, and I felt that the chances of the review getting to grips quickly with the issues were slim, and I felt that it was essentially a result of pressure that was being placed upon the Met.
Q. Thank you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Could I just ask, bringing it back to the press, did you feel that the line taken by the Metropolitan Police at this time was being reflected in the reporting?
A. No, sir. I had concerns about what I was reading in the media at that time, particularly across and after the first weekend after the arrest, and I couldn't see any line of the Metropolitan Police being reflected in that reporting. There were reports attributable to people close to the Acting Commissioner, that he didn't support the arrest, that we had argued furiously about it and I'd ignored his advice. There were various claims in the media that really troubled me, and my team. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Because that might be relevant to the next phase of the inquiry to deal with the relationships between the politicians and the press.
A. Quite possibly, sir, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MR JAY We see one such piece, annex M, our tab 14, page 01595. I think this was the Daily Telegraph, where it was alleged that Sir Paul Stephenson felt that his chances to become Commissioner had been damaged and had had a row with you, described as a "frank exchange of views".
A. Yes.
Q. Was that correct?
A. This was false. This was a false report. Nothing of the kind happened. As I say, I was very concerned about the potential source of those articles and it crossed my mind whether the journalist was simply making it up or whether there was a source somewhere briefing this story into the press.
Q. In terms of briefing behind your back and Sir Paul Stephenson's back, do you have any idea from where it came? You refer to someone senior at Scotland Yard.
A. When looking across the reporting, some the reports were well informed, if I might say that, given our line was relatively narrow in terms of what we were saying to the press. It seemed to me that there was some briefing going on, and it wasn't authorised by me as the officer in charge, and the Acting Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, implied very strongly it wasn't him. I did raise this issue. No one came forward to say they had been briefing the press, as you might expect, but I, along with my team, were very concerned about what was happening at that time.
Q. So although you suspected that someone senior at Scotland Yard was briefing the press, is this right, you didn't have suspicions about any one particular individual? Or did you?
A. I didn't have any evidence about a specific individual. I had formed some concerns about relationships with the press in the short time that I had been at Scotland Yard. For example, I was aware of a particular journalist at the Mail who had done a pretty good job of trying to demolish the Metropolitan Police over the previous few years and in particular a former Commissioner, and I was aware of some quite close relationships with people like that, which I found extraordinary.
Q. Who was this journalist at the Mail?
A. One of them was a guy called Stephen Wright, who I believed was a Mail journalist. In fact I'm sure he was.
Q. Yes.
A. And I was aware that one of my colleagues, AC Yates, was close to him. So I did have concerns about these relationships in the short time that I'd been back in the Met as an Assistant Commissioner.
Q. Yes. We have a combustible mix here, because to put it bluntly, there was a job open at the top, Commissioner had just gone, a number of powerful people are jockeying for position, who's going to be the next Commissioner, and this is one way, arguably briefing behind the scenes, of improving your own position, knifing someone else or trying to get your friend in a better position to be the next Commissioner. Is it that sort of situation here?
A. Well, there's all sorts of potential explanations. I guess my concern was we had a criminal inquiry under way, the allegations were very serious, and it was important that the Met was able to get on with it and not, if you like, persuaded to drop the case before the inquiry was thoroughly completed.
Q. What happened then is that the Johnston review began on 2 December 2008. You felt he was set a deadline which was unrealistic, that of two weeks, and there was a meeting on 6 December this is paragraph 61 which Acting Deputy Commissioner Godwin asked you to attend, and at that meeting you heard what Mr Johnston's preliminary findings were; is that right?
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. And the findings were and these are findings which are borne out in the final report you had evidence to justify the arrest but that arresting Mr Green as opposed to inviting him in for interview was disproportionate; is that right?
A. Yes. I found the rationale for that extraordinary, because the proposition put to me was that the Cabinet Office envisaged this as being a discipline matter, and it was clear from the outset that they thought it was a criminal matter and they required the intervention of the police with their powers. They had been investigating these leaks for some time without success. There was a recognition, as I said earlier, that the person responsible, or at least a person, was in a very sensitive place in the Home Office with access to very sensitive material. I was aware that not only did the initial letter make it clear it was criminal, my meeting with the Cabinet Office along with Cressida Dick's meeting made it clear they thought it was criminal, and in any event, regardless of that, the CPS had advised it was criminal. So I found it strange that there was this emphasis constantly on it not being a criminal matter. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Would the police normally be involved in an investigation if it wasn't criminal? If it was going to be disciplinary?
A. No, sir. We wouldn't expect to be involved in that whatsoever. MR JAY At the meeting this is your paragraph 62, Mr Quick you say: "[Paul] Stephenson and Godwin seemed very preoccupied during the meeting about the negative media attention MPS would receive if this investigation continued." So are you saying there that the media agenda and the reputation of the police in the eyes of the media, and then consequentially in the eyes of the public, were, as it were, dictating where this investigation should go?
A. Yes. I sensed that it was having an enormous impact on how people were thinking about this case. I was simply concerned that the police are the police in the sense they have a set of statutory functions and duties, and I'm not suggesting for a moment that the police don't take account of things in the media and challenges and criticism, but at the same time the facts were the facts, and there was a perfectly legitimate criminal investigation going on and we had to focus on getting on with it and completing it to the satisfaction of ourselves and reporting matters to the CPS.
Q. Immediately after the meeting, as you say, Sir Paul Stephenson came into your office and asked you to stop the investigation.
A. Yes.
Q. And you expressed your view that wouldn't be appropriate in line with the evidence you've been giving to us. I've been asked to put this to you: was this because Mr Johnston had given his preliminary conclusion that the arrest of Mr Green, although lawful, was disproportionate, and therefore it was right that the investigation should be stopped?
A. Well, Mr Johnston did give some views, but I did respond to those views with pointing out the facts as I understood them to be, and therefore I couldn't see any construct upon which you could hang the cessation of the investigation, anything legitimate, and I made that very clear at the meeting. That wasn't challenged. I didn't sense that anyone was able to challenge that on the basis of facts.
Q. What happened then was that Mr Johnston gave his report on 16 December. It was in the line with his preliminary conclusions, as you've told us. Can I move forward to paragraph 67. You subsequently became concerned to discover that certain critical by which you mean highly important references in the original Johnston review have since had to be redacted from the public version as they were objected to by the Cabinet Office, and a section of your statement has been redacted out because those I think are the bits which were objected to by the Cabinet Office. Paragraph 68: "The proposition that the Cabinet Office considered that this was not a matter that warranted a criminal investigation was at the heart of attempts to persuade [you] to stop the Green investigation and formed a central plank in the argument and conclusion by Mr Johnston that the arrest of Green was 'disproportionate'." And you stand by that?
A. I do, sir, yes.
Q. And you say basically that simply can't be right because what were the police doing in the first place if this wasn't a criminal investigation? It had to be a criminal investigation.
A. Indeed, sir, yes.
Q. Thank you. The end of this piece of evidence you're going to deal with in a moment, but there's an important piece of evidence you can give which starts at paragraph 70, media attack on your family. Can we take this in slightly more detail than we've done the previous section? Paragraph 70, that on 19 December, which I think was three days after the Johnston review
A. Yes.
Q. you received a call from your wife to inform you that a client of hers had called her to say that a journalist from the Mail on Sunday had called at her house to interview her about your wife's wedding car business. What in essence was your wife's wedding car business?
A. It was a wedding service, it was entitled a wedding service and advertised as such. It involved a fleet of Rolls Royces that were made available to families who had a wedding planned, for hire, to take the bride in the traditional way to the service, and several partnerships and other similar wedding-connected events. Essentially, she had been running that for about 18 months, she'd made it very successful, she was enjoying it, and subsequently we found that the Mail had found an interest in it and managed in a way that we've never really worked out how to find one of my wife's clients, it wasn't a local client, but they told her they were going to do a special feature on this business, and managed to get into the client's house and the client actually gave a ringing endorsement of my wife's business, but they were very fixated on me and whether I had a role in the business, did I drive the cars personally, did I use police officers in uniform to drive the cars. Quite daft questions in a sense, but that was how it was reported back to my wife from her client.
Q. So the interest was not in the business at all, it was your connection with the business; is that right?
A. Indeed, yes.
Q. Do you know to this day how it was that the Mail on Sunday managed to make this connection?
A. I don't know.
Q. So we understand the nature the business you've alluded to this it was a bespoke service, not just the Rolls Royce but a driver for the Rolls Royce, obviously?
A. Yes.
Q. And there was an issue relating to licensing, I think?
A. Yes.
Q. Which you raised or your wife raised with the borough council and was resolved how?
A. She took advice when she started the business about the wedding service. She was advised that weddings and related services do not require a licence, there is no such licence. Subsequently, of course, I have looked and found the same. So she was operating in the belief that there wasn't a licensing requirement, and I think that was quite right.
Q. Subsequently, this is paragraph 72, there was further journalistic activity, if I can put it in those terms, and some of it related to your own Jensen Interceptor motorcar, which was by that stage almost a vintage car, it was almost 30 years old, which was on your wife's website, but you say it was an optimisation tactic, it wasn't in fact for hire?
A. That's correct, yes. My wife became suspicious that prior to the call from her client that week, someone had been very persistent in trying to hire the Jensen, and she was very forthright but polite in saying actually it isn't for hire, although it's on the website. The car attracts a lot of interest, it has a big fan club, and it was a website optimisation tactic, as you say.
Q. Mm.
A. This caller was very persistent. As I understand it, my wife didn't take orders on the Jensen, it was very unusual, so of course subsequently we suspect that that was a journalist trying to hire it and they were told it wasn't for hire.
Q. But both the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail had been critical of your handling of the Damian Green MP investigation which of course was ongoing at this stage; is that right?
A. Indeed, yes.
Q. Can I ask you, please, about the assistance you sought from Mr Fedorcio, paragraph 73.
A. Yes. I'd asked on the Friday of these events for Mr Fedorcio to assist. He said he would contact the Mail and find out what's going on. I don't think I heard back from him until the following day, 20 December, when I took a call from him and he told me that the Mail on Sunday, the next day, the Sunday, were going to run an article that my wife's business uses serving police officers as drivers, and I had a conversation with Dick asserting that that was completely and utterly untrue, and obviously I didn't want to see that article. He told me it was going to be a front-page story and I think I very confidently asserted if they did publish that, then I think I would have a legal redress to it. He then came back to me later that afternoon and said they've now conceded it's not true. However, they spent quite a bit of money on this investigation, they've been doing it for I think he said ten days, and therefore they're going to run a different story, which is that my security is at risk by virtue of my wife's business. So I said to Dick, "I'm sure it will be if they publish it in a million newspapers and link it to my role as the head of counter-terrorism", but I didn't feel there was a link that anyone would find and therefore I felt it was a bogus case they were making to run an article against me in relation to the real issue, as I took it, to be the Damian Green investigation.
Q. It was worse than disingenuous, if I may say so, because the security scare they were referring to was one they themselves were fermenting. Tab 15, it's your annex N, we can see the piece. 21 December 2008, Mail on Sunday.
A. That's correct.
Q. Picture of you. You even hire out your own sports car.
A. So it appeared, yes.
Q. "Questions are being raised over [your] judgment after it emerged that the wedding car hire business including one of his own cars is being run through his home." Given that it was your wife's legitimate business and the sports car wasn't for hire, that was untrue. "The business uses former police officers as chauffeurs for the stable of vintage Rolls Royces?" Was that true or untrue?
A. There were some former police officers, retired, who were members of the Chauffeurs Guild I believe my wife employed from time to time.
Q. There's a reference then to you hiring out your personal 7 litre 130 mile an hour Jensen sports car. "One senior Yard source said 'Bob Quick needs to ask himself whether he is happy that all this is out and about. There will need to be a review, bearing in mind his position. He needs to review all of this'." Can you comment on the senior Yard source?
A. No, I can't. I have no idea who that was.
Q. It's clear that Mr Fedorcio sought to assist you to dampen down this story. Did you feel that he did all that he could?
A. If I'm honest, I didn't feel I had huge support from my colleagues at that time, because on the Saturday, when we became aware that the Mail were conceding their original story was not true and then seemed to have conjured up a different story about my personal safety, I made representations to Sir Paul Stephenson that this was really a very cynical move on the part of the Mail, it was clearly linked to the Green investigation and therefore we ought to be speaking to the editor and perhaps, you know, questioning their the legitimacy of this article. He wasn't keen to do that, and I wasn't particularly happy with that decision because I felt it was such a blatant move that would create a risk, that didn't currently exist, that impacted on my family. So I felt that I ought to ask him for his support and the organisation's support, but I didn't feel, if I'm honest, that that was forthcoming.
Q. And this was, as you make clear in paragraph 78, both Mr Fedorcio and Sir Paul Stephenson were not intervening on your behalf. Do you know why they did not intervene on your behalf?
A. I don't know. I have no real understanding of why they didn't feel able to approach the editor and really just challenge their motives and their behaviours and whether this was really justifiable.
Q. What were the consequences from your personal perspective of the publication of this article?
A. Well, the consequences were there was an impact, I think, in the public perception about the Green inquiry. They were or the article was laced with references to my judgment and the Damian Green case. There was an impact on my family's safety because now there was a mass media engaged to alert the country that that business actually was connected to the head of counter-terrorism, so it did then introduce some real anxieties for my wife and I about our children, who were still at home at that time, and so we had to take steps to move them out of the house until we could properly assess the impact of it, have a security review and make some modifications just as a precaution, because I was aware of I was well aware of cases in the UK where extremists and other violent individuals have targeted members of the police or security forces. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Was this business run in your name? I don't say "your", I don't mean your first name, but in the name was the name Quick associated with it?
A. The company was registered in my wife's name, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But it was a limited company?
A. It was a LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Or a firm, a business name?
A. It was a business name. It was registered probably to our home address in my wife's name, but the cars were actually kept at a location away from home. Essentially it's a web business, so she ran it from her computer at the house. So I guess my point to Mr Fedorcio was that if I was a violent extremist seeking to find out something about Bob Quick, I wouldn't automatically think of doing a search for a Rolls Royce wedding car, so essentially by using the Mail to connect the two, the risk was massively well, it was introduced. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, had your surname been Jones or Smith, then of course there would be almost no risk.
A. Correct, sir, yes. There are quite a lot of Quicks out there, actually, but it's a much rarer name, I would agree. MR JAY The trading name of the business was Aphrodite Wedding Services, which presumably if you Googled a wedding service that would come up, but was there anything on the web page which contained the name Quick, even if it was your wife's name, with her first name, of course?
A. To my knowledge, I can't remember whether there was or wasn't. If there was a name, it would have been my wife's name, and there wouldn't have been anything about me or my role on there. MR JAY There was a conversation you had with the journalist I think that day, it's paragraph 81 of your statement, Mr Quick, where the journalist asked you how you felt about the Mail on Sunday article. Was the journalist from the Mail Group?
A. No, sir. I think possible Associated Press.
Q. Well, that would be if it's Associated, that is LORD JUSTICE LEVESON AP is different from Associated News. MR JAY Oh yes, pardon me.
A. Yes.
Q. In the heat of the moment you say you shared your initial thoughts about the Mail on Sunday being mobilised by the Conservative Party to undermine the Green investigation. You went on to say this was corrupt.
A. I did say that, that's correct, sir.
Q. That was certainly what was passing through your mind at the time. You realised though that perhaps that was whether it was true or not an unwise thing to say?
A. Indeed. I said it in the heat of the moment, I guess on the back of what seemed like a series of interventions on the inquiry, but I quickly recognised that I wasn't in a position to prove that and I did drag the Met into an even greater controversy, and so the next day I agreed to withdraw it and apologise.
Q. And this was after remarks by senior Conservatives stating that you were wrong and you should apologise and Sir Paul Stephenson asked you to withdraw your remarks and apologise and that's what you did?
A. I did.
Q. There was a further article in the Mail on Sunday the following weekend, which is at tab 16 or annex O, page 01603. The allegation was made: "Top terror chief's car hire firm is operating without a licence."
A. That's correct.
Q. And you say that's incorrect?
A. Well, it was operating without a licence, because, as I understand it, there is no licence, but I guess it's the inference that that creates for potential clients of my wife's business.
Q. The clear suggestion is that they should have licences, isn't that right?
A. That's as I understand it, yes.
Q. The article is, you would say, misleading in any event because it isn't your car hire business but your wife's?
A. That's correct.
Q. The upshot was that your wife had no alternative but to wind down the business, and that's what happened?
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. To go back to the Green investigation LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Beforehand it wasn't just you that had been approached. You say in paragraph 84 that others with whom you were associated, friends and family, had also been approached by journalists.
A. Yes. We had at one point journalists in the village and my wife, I think, had reports of them approaching people in the street asking about the family. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Sorry. Yes. MR JAY What happened with the Green investigation is that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keir Starmer QC, took over investigation of the case and indicated that he felt there were issues which required further investigation.
A. That is correct, sir. I felt that given the controversy and the head of steam that had built up, I felt I wouldn't approach the DPP direct, I would ask one of my senior commanders to attend a case conference, and obviously if the DPP felt in some way the investigation was misconstrued or the original advice given by the CPS was incorrect, then he would doubtless say so and we would review whether the continuance of the inquiry was sensible, but my commander, my colleague, Mr Sawyer, came back from the case conference and indicated that it was felt that the inquiry should continue and it was in the public interest to see it through and satisfy ourselves that no sensitive or secret material had been leaked. I should say, of course, during this inquiry one of those who was originally implicated had made a public statement to the effect that they did from time to time receive secret material, so of course that was impacting on our thinking throughout the investigation.
Q. About this time, or slightly earlier, there was an article in the Guardian this is tab 17, annex P, page 01606 where you apparently moved quickly to declare a truce with the Conservative Party after it became clear that David Cameron had you in his sights. This, I think, was immediately after you apologised; is that right?
A. Yes. This article this is the "I'm going to get him this time" article, am I looking at the right LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, it is. Tab 17.
A. Yes, that's the one, sir, I have that. Indeed, that appeared just about the time I apologised or just after. I think it was repeated a few times in different places. MR JAY Yes. It's interesting that the author of this piece is linking this to David Davis taking offence at the briefing we heard you give evidence about in relation to the 42-day plan.
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. At the end: "The Tories emphatically deny having briefed the Mail on Sunday that Quick's wife ran a wedding chauffeur car business which sparked his outburst. But one well-placed Tory said Well, we can see that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm sorry, I don't fully understand it. "Bob Quick is behind this. I'm going to fucking get him this time." What was it being said you were behind?
A. I must say I don't know. I've no idea, sir. MR JAY It may relate to
A. I would have thought the Green inquiry, I'm assuming, but I don't know. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, it would be fair to say you were behind the Green inquiry; you were responsible for it.
A. Indeed, sir. Indeed. MR JAY Is it a reference back to your outburst that the Conservative Party had got the Mail on Sunday to target you?
A. Well, again that
Q. That doesn't make much sense either, does it?
A. As Lord Leveson says, it was patently obvious I was behind that and those comments were attributed to me, so I'm not entirely sure what that grievance is.
Q. It all suggests a campaign from whoever to smear you in relation to the Green inquiry, to use a range of strategies. That's really a comment, rather than something that might warrant an answer. The next thing that happened, Mr Quick, was the unfortunate events which led to your resignation.
A. Yes.
Q. Which are fully explained in your statement. In a nutshell, what happened?
A. In a nutshell, during the course of a counter-terrorism operation, the day before the operation lots of frenetic activity, one of which was for me to go to Number 10 and brief the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister and other officials along with the Security Service colleagues. On that day I was handed a briefing note that was should have been prepared the night before. There were logistical problems that day, it wasn't prepared until the morning. It was handed to me in a paper folder, which was unusual, and I guess a consequence of the delay. I read it in the car. When I stepped out of the car, I realised I hadn't put the top sheet back in the paper. I literally saw it as I got out the car, turned it quickly, but there was a photographer somewhere, it would appear, with a pretty good lens. It appears I got snapped and some of that was visible. It didn't have hugely sensitive data on it, but it had some I think an operation name and some roles, but I don't think it revealed a lot of operational detail, but it did reveal that some kind of operation may be about to go ahead. I later found out, about an hour after I left Downing Street, that I'd been photographed and was very surprised to learn that whoever took it, or someone, had put it on the web, World Wide Web, so I realised the operation had been compromised. I was then focused on how to mitigate that problem, and a decision was taken to bring the arrests forward, which was achievable, and actually went quite smoothly, but it was obviously inconvenient and difficult. And then at the end of the day I sort of turned my attention to the consequences of that momentary lapse and what I ought to do about it.
Q. The Shadow Home Secretary stated your position was untenable. You decided, after discussions with family and close friends, it was right and proper to offer your resignation, and then you say in paragraph 95: "The next day whilst my terms and conditions were outstanding, and before I had actually tendered my resignation, the Mayor of London announced the acceptance of my resignation on television."
A. Yes.
Q. So we understand the sequence of events, had you communicated the fact that you were intending to resign to anybody?
A. Yes, I had.
Q. To conclude the evidential picture in relation to the Green investigation, Mr Yates succeeded you as head of ACSO, or as ACSO, I should say, but the Director of Public Prosecutions gave a report, which we have seen, stating that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of convicting either Green or Galley with any criminal offence. But he made it clear in paragraph 37 of his report that: "Unauthorised leaking of confidential information is not beyond the reach of criminal law and once the pattern of leaks was established in this case it was inevitable that a police investigation would follow. There's been a thorough investigation. Without it, I would not have been able to reach a conclusion on the particular facts of this case." So impliedly or expressly he's making no criticism of what you did, it's just his conclusion on the evidence which he had. Is that fair?
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. Then there's a Home Affairs Select Committee report that suggested something different, but didn't have the benefit of the DPP's views?
A. Yes.
Q. In the summer of 2009 this is paragraph 101 Sir Denis O'Connor was commissioned by the Home Secretary to produce a report on lessons learned, and his report made findings which were really predicated on Mr Johnston's findings. He didn't second guess them; is that right?
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. And so in the same way as you disagree with Mr Johnston's reviewed findings, you disagree with Sir Denis O'Connor's, as night follows day, really?
A. Essentially the Johnston review I feel was omitted far too much material that was relevant to the decision to arrest Damian Green, so I felt Mr O'Connor's or Sir Denis O'Connor's report seemed to rely heavily on that, but I guess most important of all in relation to my comment about Sir Denis' report, and Sir Denis is someone I know very well and have huge respect for, but I think there was a proposition in the report that the police have to try and anticipate the outcome of an investigation, and in effect should be prepared to stop it in appropriate cases, which I would agree with in less serious cases, but in serious cases I think it's a very dangerous proposition because in the end the police can't read people's minds, they can't see into the future, and I think the police have relied upon a system of jurisprudence which is built around the legal process and procedure and where thresholds are met thorough investigations follow, and I felt this was potentially a difficult proposition, and I notice my former colleague John Yates cited it in partly in his evidence as being something that led him to not investigate the phone hacking allegations. Well, my point my challenge around this, at the time, back in 2009, was that I think it's just too risky for the police. Police, in my experience over the last 32 years, have operated to a system, a set of procedures that are very well defined, and they can be unpopular and protracted but they are thorough, and in more serious cases I think it's probably better to investigate thoroughly rather than try and second guess the outcome of an investigation. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Could you help me, please, Mr Quick. It may be that I'll be able to find it all out by close study of every word of this report. Was Sir Denis reviewing this incident on the basis that Sir Ian Johnston's view was correct or was he also reviewing the underlying material which Sir Ian Johnston had reviewed so that he could come to his own conclusion? Do you understand the point I'm making?
A. Yes, sir. I think my recollection is in a conversation with Sir Denis he was appending LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, he did append it.
A. He did append the report but made no judgment or comment on it, it was supporting material. But my belief is he was commissioned to report on lessons learned from the Home Office leaks investigation by the Metropolitan Police, so I think it was closer to your second proposition, sir. But he came to his own views on the work that he and his staff did in reviewing the inquiry. MR JAY My reading was closer to the first than the second, but maybe it doesn't matter hugely. There was evidence about this which you gave to the House of Commons committee on privilege.
A. (Nods head).
Q. There was a direct conflict between what you told that committee and what Mr Green told that committee, which it's probably not necessary for this Inquiry to consider because it's travelling outside the terms of reference. As regards more general matters and your personal contact with the media, paragraph 104 and 105, you didn't maintain personal contacts with journalists, is this right, so you didn't engage with them socially or semi socially?
A. No.
Q. Is that also right?
A. No, I think in common with some other evidence you've heard, my approach was to keep relations formal and businesslike, transparent, diaried, presence of a press officer, and organised through the press office. Indeed, when I returned to the Met as Assistant Commissioner, I was asked to participate in a series of briefings with CRA journalists about counter-terrorism, and I was briefed to the effect there had been an established relationship between my predecessors and the CRA journalists, not all of them, but those that specialised in counter-terrorism reporting, and they would meet periodically as a group and invite ACSO to join them, sometimes over lunch, to talk about the very complex background to the current plethora of counter-terrorism cases that were running, and so I agreed to participate in that from time to time, and that was probably the extent of my contact with journalists at that time.
Q. Paragraph 107, you recall that on at least two occasions you were invited to drinks at a wine bar local to Scotland Yard and you saw Stephenson, Yates and Fedorcio: socialising with people I know to be journalists, including Lucy Panton of the News of the World and Mike Sullivan of the Sun." On other occasions you recall seeing Yates in social situations with Stephen Wright. Can you help us, please, those social situations, anything about them you can remember?
A. Yes. This was early into my time back in the Metropolitan Police and I sensed some unease about this only because it crossed my mind that these journalists have homes to go to and families, I'm sure, and I found it surprising that there was this level of social engagement in local wine bars or pubs, I witnessed it occasionally, and it wasn't something I, and I think many of my other colleagues, would involve themselves in. I think it has got risks and it crossed my mind as to why are they there if there isn't something accruing from that type of relationship.
Q. You're hinting at that, aren't you, a bit further on because you say you were aware that Wright was responsible for a large number of Daily Mail articles that were repeatedly critical of Blair during his tenure as Commissioner. Are you suggesting that Mr Wright was being briefed by Mr Yates?
A. I wouldn't suggest that, because I simply don't know. What I'm suggesting is it seemed unwise and it really struck me in the case of Mr Wright, who I was aware had been author of a whole range of articles that were highly critical of the Met, sometimes quite viciously so, and of its Commissioner, so that really surprised me. There could be all sorts of explanations for that, but it struck me that that was a had the perception of looking inappropriate.
Q. You say: "I did not mix with journalists in this way." Why not?
A. Well, I think there is a recognition, I think, amongst most of my colleagues that journalists have a very difficult job, they're under huge pressure. The police have information that they would dearly like to access. Some of it of course they can, but some of it they can't, and you have to be guarded, and I think there's a psychological distance you need to have so that you're not compromised, or the perception created that you may be giving them more favourable treatment than they deserve.
Q. Paragraph 123 of your statement you're going back to your time at Surrey, you state that your judgment was that Surrey Police personnel were vulnerable to approaches to bribe them by journalists from time to time. What evidence was there to support that judgment?
A. Well, Surrey had experienced a number of very high profile events and cases. There was the tragic case of the Deepcut Four, the soldiers who died at the Deepcut barracks. There was of course the Milly Dowler abduction and murder case and there were many others. It's a force very close to London, it attracts events and incidents that are widely reported, and of course I knew from my own experience in the Met in the counter corruption world of this risky interface between the police and journalists who are in a very commercial environment, a fiercely commercial environment, seeking scoops, exclusives and stories.
Q. Then your conclusions, Mr Quick, paragraph 128. I think you've already addressed the point on the O'Connor report. To be clear, this is the O'Connor report which we've just been looking at, not the broader O'Connor report of December of last year, which we were looking at here on Monday and we'll be looking at next Monday. Can I ask you, please, about your comment on the report by Elizabeth Filkin, where you say: "I do not think this report has identified the unique role of the police in our democracy and the full potential for, or implications of, collusion or other malpractice." What are you getting at there?
A. Well, I think it was a very good piece of work and I think it picked up lots of important issues. I think from my perspective and perhaps some of the unique insights I was able to obtain in my earlier career, I think the police are in a unique position because they're an institution that can be called upon to investigate any other part of the establishment machinery, if you like, at any time, so in a sense they have to stand slightly apart, and that psychological distance between other institutions and the police. That doesn't mean to say you can't have completely cordial relations and high quality engagement with other professions and other institutions, but at the same time I think the police are that organisation who can sometimes be called upon to investigate, and therefore the need for transparency, the need for accountability, is very high, quite properly, and I wasn't entirely convinced some of those risks were identified and perhaps relevant to some of the issues that the Inquiry is looking into.
Q. Had you remained in post, instead of telephoning Mr Yates on 9 July 2009, Sir Paul Stephenson would have telephoned you to conduct or at least to establish the facts. It's very difficult without using hindsight, but do you have any comment on what happened, trying to remove hindsight from the equation?
A. You're correct, sir, it is difficult, but my interpretation of those events were that the Guardian were challenging very strongly the first investigation and therefore I like to think I would have concerned myself with understanding in detail what the first investigation had and hadn't revealed, and whether there was any substance to these allegations. So it is very difficult to comment, because it can only be in hindsight, but I certainly had some concerns at the time that the inquiry was ruled out at such an early stage. MR JAY Thank you very much, Mr Quick. There may be some more questions. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON When you say "at the time", do you mean in July 2009?
A. Yes, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Reading the newspapers, obviously, because that's what you were doing.
A. Yes, sir, indeed. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much, Mr Quick. Thank you.
A. Thank you, sir. MR GARNHAM Sir, there is one question and I ask your permission to ask Mr Quick a question. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON On what topic? MR GARNHAM The meeting on 1 December 2008 at which, according to Mr Quick, Sir Paul Stephenson indicated he was planning to resign. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. Questions by MR GARNHAM MR GARNHAM Just one matter, Mr Quick. You recall what you've said about that. Would it not be more accurate to say that Sir Paul Stephenson indicated to you in that conversation not that he was going to resign but that he was not intending to renew his contract the following April?
A. No, that's absolutely not the case.
Q. And that he had a piece of paper upon which he'd written out what he was going to say about that?
A. He told me he had written his resignation out, and I took it at face value to mean he'd written his resignation out, not at some future date but there and then.
Q. So if I were to say to you that all that paper said was that he might not renew his contract the following April, you would say that was inconsistent with what he'd said?
A. I would say that, yes. MR GARNHAM Thank you, sir. We'll produce that piece of paper. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Very good. But just reflect on that for a moment, Mr Quick, because there may not be an enormous difference, because, as I understand it, at that stage had the appointment to the new Commissioner been made?
A. It had not at that stage, sir, no. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So if he was indicating that he wasn't going to renew in three months' time, that really was meaning he was dropping out of the whole thing, because not renewing means I'm not applying for the job of Commissioner?
A. Quite. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I just wonder whether actually between the two of you there is not a possibility that there are slightly wires crossed.
A. It's quite possible. I haven't had a protracted conversation about it with Sir Paul, so my understanding was he had written a document out I think I was led to believe he was about to resign, and we had a conversation about him not resigning, because he hadn't done anything wrong and neither had I. If I misconstrued what he was saying, then so be it, but that's my recollection, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Right, very good. Thank you very much indeed, Mr Quick.
A. Thank you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Mr Garnham, of course produce it. I'm not sure it takes me very far. MR GARNHAM Sir, you'll understand why (overspeaking). LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I understand, but I wouldn't want anybody to think that I was going to be focusing upon it. MR GARNHAM I can't imagine you'll be hugely exercised by it, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much. Right. MR JAY Sir, may we have our short break? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, that's a good idea. (3.23 pm) (A short break) (3.32 pm) MR JAY Sir, the next witness is Mr Tim Godwin, please. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MR TIMOTHY GODWIN (sworn) Questions by MR JAY LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I have made clear that when Mr Godwin was an Assistant Commissioner and I was the presiding judge for England and Wales, we worked closely on a number of criminal justice issues. He is presently a member of the Sentencing Council, of which I am the chairman. MR JAY Mr Godwin, you've kindly provided the Inquiry with a witness statement dated 27 January of this year, signed by you, statement of truth in the standard form, so this is your formal evidence to the Inquiry; is that right?
A. That's right, sir.
Q. As for your career, you started off in the Sussex Police. You worked your way up the ranks, transferred to the Metropolitan Police in 1999, promoted to the rank of Commander, promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2002, and then Deputy Commissioner in July 2009; is that correct? You've been Acting or Temporary Commissioner on two occasions, and you retired from the MPS on 5 January 2012, is that a fair summary?
A. That's a very fair summary, thank you.
Q. First of all, please, some general points, and this chimes with evidence we've already heard. Paragraph 7, following the MacPherson Inquiry your perception was the MPS was perceived by the media and the public as a closed and secretive organisation, so strategically it was thought necessary to be far more open and transparent as an organisation, and that strategic direction came from the top, from Sir John Stevens as he then was; is that right?
A. That's correct, sir.
Q. Did you generally agree with that strategy?
A. I did.
Q. You make an interesting point in paragraphs 8 and 9, the shift in media focus from the MPS being conceived as an organisation as a whole to particular individuals, but especially those at the top of the MPS, an almost sort of presidential approach, to adopt a political analogy, and you say that that was derived from the States, really, the celebrity police chief notion. Is that a shift in emphasis which you approved of or deprecated or were just resigned to?
A. That's an interesting question. I think it's an observation rather than any thought-through evidence that the evidence of the celebrity police chief in the USA, the credibility that was then given, meant that we saw a similar evolution of media coverage over here. I thought that that actually undermined the efforts of lots and lots of people who were doing great things and that generally an individual wasn't in themselves able to bring about things like crime reduction in a city like London.
Q. Paragraph 11, please, Mr Godwin. You say it seemed to you that this was the result "this" being the emphasis on more personalised, individualised focus by the press of the press having greater access to individual high profile police officers rather than being limited to obtaining information through the DPA. It may be invidious to name or identify individual high profile police officers, but is this right, that if anyone has been following this Inquiry, one would be able to know who those were? Is that fair?
A. I think that would be a fair account, and it was very much depending upon the roles that they were doing at that point, and so obviously serious crime, et cetera, became more interesting than some of the other areas of our business.
Q. But underneath this there may be a judgment here whether the press having access to individual high profile police officers is a good thing or a bad thing. Let me ask you, please, you've now left the MPS, what is your judgment as to whether it's a good or a bad thing?
A. I think it was a natural progression of opening up the Met in terms of being more accountable, having that responsibility to answer questions, created that more open relationship, and I think ultimately we're here today and I think ultimately it was it didn't play well for us.
Q. But the last bit, "ultimately it didn't play well for us", which parts didn't play well and why?
A. I think it became more focused on the individual than the merits of the Metropolitan Police Service and what they were doing with partners to reduce crime, and we had some good records in crime reduction in that period.
Q. Was it also though a question of what certain individuals were doing in their relationships with the media which gave rise to difficulty?
A. I think there was tittle-tattle and gossip which came out as well. Where that came from would be very hard to say.
Q. It's clear from your evidence and we'll come to this in a moment that you did very little entertaining, if I can put it in those words. Your contacts with the media were formal, were not over dinner, were certainly not over alcohol, were usually in an office; is that right?
A. Yes. The normal events would be a media interview arranged by the press office in my office.
Q. If someone had suggested to you that it would be appropriate to have interactions with the press in a more social environment, would that have met with your approval or disapproval?
A. I used to attend the Crime Reporters Association Christmas party and some of the events hosted by our press office, the media, some bravery awards, for example the Evening Standard Thousand Influential People Award, so I used to attend those, and I didn't I had no problem with that. I just was concerned on occasion that the perception of a close relationship in that way might actually be misinterpreted.
Q. I think you're saying it meets with your disapproval for perceptual reasons if no other; is that right?
A. I think for me I wouldn't suggest that I'm right. It was a different path to the one that I went down in terms of my relationship with the media. Namely there are two schools of thought. One, it's better to have a good relationship with the media where you can set the context, you can explain events, as opposed to mine, which was arranged interviews in the office, et cetera, et cetera, and I just took that particular path and others thought it was better to actually be able to have those debates so that it set the context right in terms of the media reporting of what we were trying to do about reducing crime in London. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But it's not right to suggest, is it, that you were agnostic about what others did? At least we heard, I think, from Mr Yates that you actually had words with him about the subject.
A. Yes, that's correct. In terms of I thought at a point when, having become the Deputy Commissioner, I thought the frequency of those meetings and the manner of those meetings could be misinterpreted and the perception would be wrong, and as a result I did disapprove at that point. MR JAY When you had those words with Mr Yates, were you aware in general terms of the nature of his social interactions or did you have as much detail as this Inquiry has heard?
A. I didn't have as much detail as has come out in the Inquiry, no. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON What do you think about that? What do you think about that?
A. I think as you go into the individual accounts in terms of what appears to be excesses in certain areas in terms of the hospitality, I think that's embarrassing and unfortunate, so that sort of thing, I wasn't aware of that sort of level of hospitality. In terms of the events themselves, I just felt that we needed to have our constitutional separation a bit. MR JAY In terms of the gifts and hospitality register, there's nothing of interest there to discuss with you, Mr Godwin. Can I move forward to paragraph 26 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm sorry, the fact that there is nothing the fact you put it like that means that it is of interest. What do you think about the idea that you might have one set of values and your colleagues, in extremely senior positions in the Met, might have quite different sets of values? I mean, how does that come about, and should it?
A. I think, sir, to be fair we pretty much had common values about honesty, integrity in terms of conduct. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, I'm not suggesting that
A. I think the difference, with respect, would be that there was one style that was favoured by some members of the management board of the Met and there was another style, which was my style, where I didn't feel comfortable in that environment. So I wouldn't say it's a values difference, it's a difference of style. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, is it appropriate for senior, very, very senior police officers each to be able to follow their own perhaps conflicting style or does there need to be rather more around the concept of a common approach? Or am I being too analytical?
A. No, sir, I think that as a result of this Inquiry and as a result of the events as they unfolded last year in the Metropolitan Police whilst I was still there and as the Acting Commissioner, we did actually take action to make sure that we had a common style in terms of our interaction with the media. I think in those days about openness, transparency, not wanting to be seen as in a siege mentality scenario, as had been the case in the past, I think there were different styles as to how we could be open, transparent, approachable, accountable, and as a result of that, there were different styles that developed. But the values of the organisation were still the same in terms of honesty, integrity, value human rights, et cetera. MR JAY Maybe, Mr Godwin, the fact that you felt uncomfortable or would have felt uncomfortable had you enjoyed similar social interactions, is that not an indication that your value system was, as it were, giving you warnings that this was or might be seen to be inappropriate?
A. I think I was more concerned about the perceptions where you have media stories that are gossip stories or embarrassing stories or leaks, then the sheer fact that you've engaged in that sort of behaviour does make you vulnerable to being accused of misconduct, et cetera, so I thought that that was probably not the right environment, but that was purely a style issue for me.
Q. So there's certainly a perception then that if gossip is reported in the press, the source of the gossip may be the sort of person who does or is seen to be in close proximity with the press and therefore might be the gossip?
A. Naturally it would follow that those that are frequently meeting with the press, frequently engaging in social events with the media, would be the ones that would automatically be looked at as potential sources, yes. But obviously they may well not be, of course.
Q. Although the field would be limited logically to those of similar mindset who are also having similar social interactions with the press. Would you agree with that?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. You tell us in paragraph 26 that since July 2011 the record of all media contacts by members of the management board has been the subject of an auditing process through the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Professional Standards. First of all, was that something that you introduced when you were temporary Commissioner?
A. It was.
Q. The purpose is probably obvious, but spell it out anyway, Mr Godwin. What was the purpose of this?
A. The purpose was to respond to the concerns being raised in a number of quarters about the perception of our conduct and our relationships with the media and as a result of that I think it was a member of the Police Authority said let a light shine in and then actually that restores confidence significantly. So for me it was about letting a light shine in as to what that connectivity, what that contact was.
Q. Can I just be clear, when you refer to the record of all media contacts, is that the gifts and hospitality record or some different record?
A. That's an additional record in terms of the contacts that are outside of the hospitality.
Q. Okay. So it's a record we haven't yet seen because it postdates it doesn't postdate what the Inquiry is looking at, but postdates most of the events we've been looking at?
A. It comes, I believe, from the diaries. It's the diaries of the various senior people.
Q. Oh right, so we have seen some of them, yes. Paragraph 37, Mr Godwin. A lot of your statement we're simply taking as read, if you don't mind. This is page 06949. You say: "There are also instances where a few members of the media seek contact from MPS staff for less appropriate reasons. These can range from attempts by the media to either embarrass or attack MPS staff to apportion blame, or get operational information that is at that time confidential and, if disclosed, may be harmful to ongoing police operations." Do you have personal knowledge of any of this?
A. We have a number of inquiries that we launched to try to get to the bottom of some of those, but in terms of personal evidence against individuals, no. Specific individuals.
Q. But the individuals involved are those, is this right, who are having the closer social type engagements with the press?
A. No, I have no evidence to suggest that that would be true, it's just that the perception, as I said earlier, the perception of that conduct may leave rise to making them more vulnerable to that accusation.
Q. Paragraph 39 you make clear the contact with the media is more broadly recorded by the DPA. Do you know in what form that's done?
A. I can't tell you exactly what the system is in the DPA.
Q. Okay, we'll wait until Monday. The whole issue of leaks, paragraph 44, page 06952. This is the use of the term "police source". As you opine, it's open to debate whether the police source is a police officer at all: "The current MPS policy sets out that if you are qualified to give a view on a police matter then you should." First of all, when you say "then you should", do you mean then you may or do you mean then you ought to?
A. "Should" is not a good word in the evidence there, I'll take your point. In terms of openness and transparency, one of the underpinning philosophies of the Metropolitan Police Service that came in at that point in 2000/2001 is that we shouldn't be hiding away from being held to account and if asked a reasonable question we should be able to answer it if you're in a position to have that knowledge and be able to answer it. In those circumstances, that's what I mean by the "should". It's not about things that are not within your purview, gossip, tittle-tattle or giving away operational information that might impact on our ability to perform our responsible operations.
Q. So when the media use "police source", they very often may be referring to someone who's given them an anonymous off-the-record briefing or they may be referring to the source not being a police officer at all, either because they've made it up or because it's someone close to a police officer but not actually a police officer; is that correct?
A. That is correct, sir.
Q. Leak inquiries, your evidence is the same as others: extremely difficult to conduct them. You make it clear in paragraph 47 that you have launched a number of leak inquiries within the DPS. Very difficult to pursue and prosecute. Would you agree that the very fact of the leak investigation taking place does act as a form of deterrence?
A. Yes.
Q. Can I ask you about paragraph 48. When you refer to accessing police databases, I've been asked to put to you this question: do you think that access to the Police National Computer is open to abuse, particularly by unscrupulous journalists?
A. One of the key challenges for any organisation is to protect its data and to avoid the mishandling of data. We have processes in place through our professional standards to monitor the use of PNC, to identify those that we identify to be misusing PNC and to deal with them appropriately.
Q. There are various techniques which are designed I'm sure you don't want to share them with us to seek out anomalous behaviour and then pursue those further; is that right?
A. That is correct.
Q. Thank you. We're going to take that issue up possibly with other witnesses. Paragraphs 57 and 58, please, Mr Godwin. And 59. You make it clear that you had no inclination to speak to journalists other than through the DPA, but you state that on occasion you have received telephone calls on your mobile phone from journalists to whom you haven't given your mobile phone number or indeed given permission to anyone else to do so, and then the natural reaction indeed you pursued this was to bat off the questions. Do you happen to know how the journalists might have got your number?
A. I can only make assumptions on that. I don't know how they got my number, but obviously somebody who had it gave it to them.
Q. Yes. Someone from within the DPA, is that the most likely possibility?
A. I wouldn't even like to speculate.
Q. Obviously the last thing you want is a journalist calling you on your mobile at whatever time of the day or night?
A. Yes.
Q. In terms of looking at the future, paragraph 70 of your statement, you say you think there should be "greater transparency between the media and the police", the relationship is "vital", there should be "consideration of having an arrangement with the media to enable the MPS to pursue leaks", et cetera. So by transparency, I mean the word is self-explanatory, but in practical terms what are you looking at there to achieve this greater transparency?
A. I think we started the process with the publication of all corporate hospitality and our wider publication of the various interactions. We learned lessons from people like the GLA and others, and I think the more we're exposed to scrutiny, the better it will be.
Q. In terms of recording contact between police officers and media, the point might be made: well, we shouldn't burden this with bureaucracy, and that too much information is going to achieve nothing. Do you agree with that or not?
A. I think personally I'm not sure how much bureaucracy would require to actually put those in. There's normally a diary contact and hence the stuff that we're doing anyway in London, and so I don't see it as a bureaucratic problem.
Q. The Inquiry has just heard some evidence from Mr Quick in which you appear, but not centrally. I just put a number of points to you. If you feel that you can't deal with them now because you haven't had sufficient notice of them, tell us and we'll deal with them in a different way, but it may be possible that you can deal with them now. Mr Quick told us that on 1 December 2008 and this was the context of the Damian Green operation there was a meeting in his office and you were present and obviously Mr Quick was present. According to Mr Quick, Sir Paul Stephenson looked very anxious and told Mr Quick he'd written out his resignation. Do you recall that or do you recall something different?
A. I recall the Commissioner reading out a press statement that related to not standing for Commissioner and ultimately at the end of his tenure and seeing in a new Commissioner for retiring at that point from the Metropolitan Police.
Q. Thank you. Were you in the room, Mr Godwin, when Mr Quick was asked a question about this by Mr Garnham or not?
A. I wasn't.
Q. I'm not going to ask you anything more about that since it may or may not link in with evidence we've heard. Paragraph 61 this is of Mr Quick's evidence. This was a meeting on 6 December 2008 that you, who were then the Acting Deputy Commissioner, asked Mr Quick to attend a meeting at New Scotland Yard, and Mr Johnston and you were there and Sir Paul Stephenson. And Sir Paul Stephenson's Chief of Staff was also there. At that meeting Mr Johnston, who was carrying out a review into the Damian Green operation, expressed a preliminary view that was along the lines: although the arrest was unlawful LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It was lawful. MR JAY It was lawful, pardon me on balance he felt that it was disproportionate in that he should have been invited in for interview. Do you recall that occasion?
A. I do, yes.
Q. At that meeting, did Mr Quick strongly challenge Mr Johnston's view?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. Who got the better of the argument, insofar as it's possible to say as in your case an impartial observer?
A. Both arguments had some merit, as I happened to accord more with the Ian Johnston view, but there were still lines of inquiry that needed to be followed at that point. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Would it be appropriate to treat potential suspects differently? I mean, Mr Galley, was it, had been arrested. Would there be a view that actually one ought to be consistent in one's treatment of those suspected of crime?
A. I think necessity and proportionality is something that you have to review and question yourself as the information unfolds, and one arrest might lead to more information that changes your perception of what needs to be done to the next suspect in the same inquiry, so you have to constantly revisit and challenge yourself and that was the point I think that Ian Johnston was making. MR JAY According to Mr Quick, you and Sir Paul Stephenson seemed very preoccupied during the meeting about the negative media attention the MPS would receive if this investigation continued. Is that right or not?
A. I don't think it was right in that context. Certainly we were taking a significant battering in the media about straying over constitutional lines, et cetera, and naturally an organisation likes ours, that is a matter of concern.
Q. The last point that Mr Quick made insofar as it relates to you, you may recall, Mr Godwin, an article in the Mail on Sunday which related to Mr Quick's wife's business. Do you recall that?
A. I do.
Q. There were two articles. The first one caused particular concern. I think that was on 21 December 2008. According to Mr Quick, he made a number of telephone calls throughout the day to various people, including to you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Did he say that? MR JAY Yes, first line of paragraph 77 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MR JAY of Mr Quick's statement. Do you remember anything about those calls and what he said?
A. Yes. I can't recall exactly what was said, but obviously he was extremely distressed and he naturally had his family there, it was coming up to Christmas, and he was getting a lot of personal attention and his family were getting personal attention that was not welcomed and was actually having a big impact on his family life.
Q. Was Mr Quick asking you to do anything in particular?
A. I can't recall him asking me to do anything particularly. I recall getting the press office to make contact with him and various other bits but I can't recall anything else.
Q. So you assisted him to the extent of getting the press office in contact with him and then the press office would do what they could with the Mail on Sunday; is that right?
A. Yes, and equally to actually try to support him in terms of what was a dreadfully challenging time for him and his family and actually to see if there was anything else that we could do to help.
Q. I've been asked to put to you these few questions in relation to the referral of Mr Yates' conduct to the MPA's Professional Standard Cases Subcommittee, which was in June and July of last year. Do you recall making two misconduct referral reports to that subcommittee?
A. I made them through the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Professional Standards, Mark Simmons.
Q. One of these related to the Shami Media issue, the other to the Amy Wallis issue, do you remember that?
A. Yes.
Q. In making those referrals, did you form any view as to whether there was evidence to substantiate the allegations or was it more a formal matter that the issue had been raised, therefore it was appropriate that the relevant body, the PSCSC, should investigate it?
A. The latter.
Q. Thank you. I've been asked to ask you this: whether during your time as Deputy Commissioner you have made a formal misconduct report involving an ACPO rank officer directly to the PSCSC on any other occasion?
A. I can't recall doing that, no. Not personally.
Q. And therefore, then, this final question: whether you're aware of any other occasion on which your predecessors as Deputy Commissioner have made any such report directly to the PSCSC?
A. I believe they have. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON They?
A. Deputy Commissioners in the past have referred other Assistant Commissioners for other matters. MR JAY But the fact of the referral is not you passing a judgment; it's often if there's a matter of public concern, it's fit to be investigated and the fact that it's investigated and the officer eventually exonerated is in the public interest and may be eventually in the interests of the officer?
A. Exactly.
Q. Is that broadly
A. Exactly. It's to make sure that it's seen to be done and independently done. MR JAY Thank you. Mr Godwin, those are all the questions I have for you.
A. Thank you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Mr Godwin, you've seen the reports both of Sir Denis O'Connor and also Dame Elizabeth Filkin, and you comment upon them in a sentence or so. But I would be grateful for your help in a little bit more detail than that. I've asked others who have achieved the very highest rank in the Met of Commissioner, and I'm prepared to include in this regard the Deputy Commissioner, to provide me with the benefit of their experience in how proportionately recommendations could be framed which allow the Metropolitan Police to do the job in an open and transparent way, but do not create such a rigid structure that the result is, if not paralysis, a lack of ability to respond appropriately to events as they transpire. It is to learn from what has happened, and of course I've not only got the benefit of what Sir Denis has said and his investigations and the benefit of what Elizabeth Filkin has said and her investigation, I have now trawled over some of the same territory myself and received a rather wider and broader picture across a wider timeframe, which you may or may not have had the ability to see for yourself, as it's emerged in this public Inquiry. So taking all that into account, if you do have views as to what would work, both for the Met and other forces because I see no value in different systems across the country, personally; I understand the different position the Met is in, but I think it's rather odd if different forces have different approaches; they may require a different calibration, but that's a different point and also what would work to cope with the issues that have arisen in all these three inquiries. I don't ask you to do that now, but if you've thought about it and are in a position to give me your views, you're very welcome to do so, but what I've said and I did not say it to Sir Paul Stephenson, but I will write to him and ask him to do so, it's a thought that I obviously had after he gave evidence and have thrown at Lord Condon, Lord Stevens and Lord Blair, I would be very grateful to receive them. I don't know whether you do have any views on that or whether you'd want to think about them?
A. I do have views, but I think in terms of the challenge that you've laid out, I would like to think about that and to write in formally about that. I think the key concern that I have is that at the end of it we do not want the police to become hidden and secretive again in basis of the systems and instructions that are put in place. I think actually openness and transparency has many benefits, and equally I think there is an issue about the perception that this is the conduct, in terms of corruption, in terms of the corruption investigations, where arrests have been made, that that is actually wholesale of what goes on in the Police Service. The vast majority of men and women in public services do not get involved in that sort of activity. So it is about balance, it is about getting it right, it is about having certain standards and values, and I will write to you formally if I may, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I ought to say that in exactly the same way that I have said, that the vast majority of journalists do their job entirely appropriately and perform a very valuable service, exactly the same is so for the police, and nothing that I've said should be construed to the contrary. None of the concerns I have expressed should be taken as expressing a more general view about the police, or the Metropolitan Police in particular, to a contrary effect.
A. Thank you, sir. I shall take up that invitation and I'll write to you, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I ought to make it clear, and I didn't quite say this to the others but I'm sure they'll learn it, that of course whatever I receive will become public.
A. Yes, sir. MR JAY I missed out one short point in Mr Quick's evidence. Do you recall, Mr Godwin, the DPP chairing a case conference and indicating that in his view it was in the public interest to continue the investigation? This was before he subsequently came to the conclusion that the investigation would not be continued.
A. I didn't go to any case conferences with the DPP. But I am aware that he was continuing it in terms of there were some issues around parliamentary privilege about materials that had been seized.
Q. Exactly. Do you remember being briefed on that together with Mr Quick by Commander Sawyer?
A. I can remember being briefed. It probably would have been Commander Sawyer.
Q. According to Mr Quick, you remarked that Sir Paul Stephenson "would go ballistic and would pull the inquiry anyway". Did you say that or something like that?
A. I can't recall the "pull the inquiry" part. I can't I'm not suggesting that I didn't say that he might go ballistic. I think one of the issues for us at that point was the amount of time it was taking. There were a number of people involved and it needed some answer to be made around public interest, about constitutional separation, constitutional powers, and it was going on an inordinately long amount of time. That was about the amount of time it was taking as opposed to anything else. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The position wasn't quite as Mr Jay said it. The DPP advised the investigation should continue; he didn't ever stop the investigation. After it had concluded, he reached conclusions about prosecution, but as I understand it said nothing adverse about the fact of the investigation.
A. Absolutely. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Right. Mr Godwin, thank you very much indeed.
A. Thank you. MR JAY It's 10 o'clock Monday. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, I'll remember it this time. 10 o'clock Monday. (4.13 pm) (The hearing adjourned until 10 o'clock on Monday, 12 March 2012)

Witnesses

Gave a statement at the hearing on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 (PM) ; and submitted 2 pieces of evidence
Gave statements at the hearings on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 (AM) and Wednesday, March 7, 2012 (PM) ; and submitted 25 pieces of evidence

Themes

Understand all the key topics and the context behind the Inquiry's findings

Journalism & society
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Regulation
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Politics
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Future of journalism
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Background & history
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Subsequent developments
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Ethics & abuses
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