David Miliband and William Hague are implicated in three entirely new Adam Werritty/Matthew Gould meetings admitted by the FCO in response to one of my FOI requests. Gould’s meetings with Werritty, in his capacity as Principal Private Secretary to first Miliband and then Hague, were entirely left out of Gus O’Donnell’s “investigation” into Werritty’s activities.
I have now received the following FCO response to my Freedom of Information request on Gould/Werritty:
Thank you for your email of 24 November 2011 asking for “all communications in either direction ever made between Matthew Gould and Adam Werritty, specifically including communications made outside government systems”. I am writing to confirm that we have now completed the search for the information which you requested.
I can confirm that the FCO does hold some information relevant to your request.
There are entries in diaries indicating that there were two meetings at which Mathew Gould and Mr Werritty were both present while he was serving as Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary on 8 September 2009 and 16 June 2010.
Since Mr Gould was appointed as HM Ambassador to Israel on 11 September 2010 there were three further instances on 1 and 27 September 2010 in London and a dinner on 6 February 2011 in Tel Aviv. The meeting on 1 September and the dinner on 6 September are already matters of public record as they are included in the report by the Cabinet Secretary “Allegations against Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP” published on 18 October 2011. Mr Gould attended the Herzliya Conference in his official capacity. Mr Werritty was also a participant. This is already a matter of public record.
The FCO holds no information relating to written communication (either electronic or mail) between Matthew Gould and Adam Werritty at any point.
So Gould attended one meeting with Werritty as David Miliband’s Principal Private Secretary, and one as William Hague’s Principal Private Secretary. Private Secretaries in the civil service do not hold meetings on their own account. It would be very peculiar indeed for a Private Secretary to meet an outside lobbyist on his own, or to formally meet on business anyone outside the civil service without his minister’s permission. Even then, I cannot stress too much how rare this would be; the FCO has batteries of civil servants covering all subjects and geographical areas; private secretaries do not normally meet outsiders except when accompanying their minister.
What was Miliband’s business with Werritty? Does it relate to the later meeting between Werritty, Gould, Fox and Mossad at the Tel Aviv meeting? Does David Miliband’s involvement with Werritty explain the ludicrous charges of anti-semitism levelled at Paul Flynn from within his own party when he tried to dig deeper into what Gould and Werritty were up to?
Those who can count will realise that the FCO letter refers to two instances where Gould met Werritty before he became Ambassador to Israel, and three after being appointed Ambassador, but actually lists four not three – 1 and 27 September 2010 and 6 February 2011, plus the Herzilya Conference from 4-6 February 2011 (this is not the same event as the Tel Aviv dinner as it took place in a quite different town).
Either the meeting on 1 September or 27 September is a new admission. The O’Donnell report refers to only one September meeting, the infamous “briefing meeting” for Gould in the MOD between Gould, Fox and Werritty. Just before Christmas, Caroline Lucas obtained a parliamentary answer that stated there was no MOD official present at that meeting and no record was taken. The FCO letter above is the first admission of a second September meeting.
The FCO list omits the “social occasion” in summer 2010 to which Fox invited both Gould and Werritty, despite the fact that this had already been revealed in a parliamentary answer to Jeremy Corbyn. Presumably it is omitted from this Freedom of Information request because there is no written record of it within the Foreign Office. That might also explain the extraordinary omission of the “We Believe in Israel” conference in London which Fox, Gould and Werritty all attended shortly after the Herzilya Conference in Israel. In this context, am I the only one to find the formula: “The FCO holds no information relating to written communication (either electronic or mail) between Matthew Gould and Adam Werritty at any point” somewhat unconvincing. Have they even asked Gould about communications outside the FCO system?
We now have these Gould/Werritty meetings:
1) 8 September 2009 as Miliband’s Principal Private Secretary (omitted from O’Donnell report)
2) 16 June 2010 as Hague’s Principal Private Secretary (omitted from O’Donnell report)
3) A “social occasion” in summer 2010 with Gould, Fox and Werritty (omitted from above and omitted from O’Donnell report)
4) 1 September 2010 in London (only one September meeting in O’Donnell report)
5) 27 September 2010 in London (only one September meeting in O’Donnell report)
6) 4-6 February 2011 Herzilya Conference Israel (omitted from O’Donnell report)
7) 6 February 2011 Tel Aviv dinner with Mossad and Israeli military
8 15 May 2011 “We believe in Israel” conference London (omitted from above and omitted from O’Donnell report)
Only two of these eight were recorded by Gus O’Donnell in his pathetic “investigation” into the Fox Werritty affair.
It is simply impossible that Matthew Gould, a senior British diplomat, attended all of these meetings and events, yet no formal minute or note of any of them exists. Yet that is what the FCO appears to be claiming. In particular the meetings as Principal Private Secretary on 8 September 2009 and 16 June 2010 simply must have been minuted. The FCO admit they hold diary entries detailing participation, but so far have not responded to my request to release them.
I have no doubt that the near total blackout on serious media investigation into what Werritty was really up to, relates directly to the fact that he was meeting with Gould as Private Secretary to both Miliband and Hague, in this sense. There is a silent cross-party agreement among the political establishment to ally the UK strongly with the interests of Israel (and thus against the interests of the Palestinians). Werritty’s activities were therefore countenanced by both New Labour and Conservative leaderships, and the nebulous “Establishment”, including the mainstream media, have closed ranks around this.
My sources within the civil service remain adamant that the purpose of all this activity was diplomatic preparation for an attack on Iran. When those sources first contacted me, and told me to look at Gould Werritty, I genuinely had no idea that Gould and Werritty had any connection. Getting the information has been extremely difficult, but I have proven that the Gould/Werritty connection was indeed far more extensive than the Establishment were prepared to admit, and directly implicated Miliband and Hague with Werritty. It was deliberately underplayed by Gus O’Donnell’s report, in a blatant act of political lying by the then Cabinet Secretary.
I still do not have positive evidence that the purpose of this activity is an attack on Iran, but I trust my source and his or her tip-off that the place to dig was the Gould-Werritty relationship has proven to be entirely accurate. It ties in with information I have received from another source, this time a senior journalist whom again I trust, that Werritty met with Robert Gates on two occasions. I would be grateful if any of my US-based readers could try to track that down using FOI.