I replied briefly to Quilliam’s lawyer’s letter threatening me with libel action:
I should be most grateful if you could send me a copy of the Quilliam Foundation’s accounts, which you say have in fact been filed.
That drew this response:
From: Rachael Gregory [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 4:39 PM
Subject: The Quilliam Foundation
Dear Mr Murray
Thank you for your response to our letter.
We are instructed by our clients to prosecute an action against you for libel. Full particulars are supplied in the letter that you have acknowledged.
Our client is not obliged to engage in correspondence with you about its accounts beyond the statement (made in our opening letter) that accounts have been prepared and have been filed at Companies House, in accordance with the law..
You may direct your request for a copy of the filed accounts to Companies House but in the meanwhile, our client requires a substantive response to the serious matters that are raised in our letter to you of yesterday’s date.
Clarke Willmott LLP
Clarke Willmott LLP
1 Georges Square
Bath Street Bristol BS1 6BA
tel: 0845 209 1394
fax: 0845 209 2519
email: [email protected]
To which I replied thus:
Thank you. Had you noticed that your clients filed their accounts six days AFTER I had posted my article saying that they had not filed their accounts? Just trying to be helpful. I would also point out that Mr Jagger telephoned me and lied to me about why he was telephoning me ?” see the latest article on my website.
It appears to me that, even for a libel lawyer, Clarke Willmott was acting with questionable ethics by writing to me saying that accounts had been filed, yet not disclosing that they were filed six days AFTER I published that they had not been filed.
On the substantive question of whether the primary effect of Quilliam is the enrichment of its cosseted directors, that certainly is the general tone of this piece from the Times. The Times says the Directors salaries are 85,000 pounds a year.
85,000 POUNDS A YEAR SALARY. From the FCO. That’s 20,000 pounds more than my salary from the FCO for the much more onerous, responsible and dangerous job of being British Ambassador to Uzbekistan. Remember Quilliam is funded from our pockets as taxpayers.
The Times says:
The foundation refused to discuss individual earnings.
They are going to find that in court we are going to discuss their salaries, pensions, expenses and emoluments in very great detail indeed.