Daily archives: February 7, 2012

Gould-Werritty – the Dodgy Diaries and Deleted Documents

Diary entry 27 Sep 2010
Diary entry 8 Sep 2009
Diary entry 6 Feb 2011

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has finally, this evening, released the Gould/Werritty diary entries under the Freedom of Information Act. The three links above are the diary entries for their meetings on 8 September 2009, 27 September 2010 and 6 February 2011. You may have to click a few times to get the full size image. The lines across the page usually run right across the main right centre column. The entire column, with all the details on the Adam Werritty meeting, has been redacted – literally cut out.

The same is true of all eight of the diary pages I have been sent for Gould’s meetings with Adam Werritty – all information has simply been censored. We can only speculate what is there, who else was present and the subject of the meetings.

If anyone doubts there is a cover-up of massive proportions on what Werritty was actually doing, doubt no more.

But there is one item the very existence of which is entirely damning of the FCO. An email exchange between Gould and Werritty. The emails themselves are bland and avoid mentioning the subject under discussion. But the email exchange was with Matthew Gould’s official email address on the FCO system. My initial Freedom of Information request received the reply that there was no material relating to Adam Werritty on the FCO system. These emails had therefore been deleted off it.

Fortunately, whoever deleted them had forgotten something – the FCO system allows you to attach relevant documents to your electronic diary entries. That created a copy which survived after the correspondence was deleted everywhere else on the system.

That opens up a massive question – who deleted the correspondence, and why, and how much other Gould-Werritty correspondence has been deleted from the FCO system which did not survive by chance attachment to a diary entry?

There is a further question – did the deletions happen after my Freedom of Information inquiry – which would have been a criminal offence?

I have always held it to be impossible, for example, that not one of the eight Gould-Werritty meetings was minuted. If an FCO official has a substantive meeting with somebody outside government, it is standard procedure to record it. One of those meetings even included Mossad officials. The email correspondence which survived on the diary entry but had been deleted everywhere else, shows at least some Werritty material was deleted from the FCO system. Is this what happened to the minutes and records of meetings?

The surviving email exchange is bland, but it still tells us quite a lot. It shows that Gould and Werritty were on first name terms in June 2010, when Gould was Hague’s Private Secretary, that Werritty had Gould’s mobile phone number and that Werritty was sufficiently established to be able to phone up the Secretary of State’s Principal Private Secretary – an extremely busy man – and book him for coffee and a chat on his own recognisances, without feeling the need to reference any organisation or subject of discussion:

From: Matthew Gould (Restricted)
sent: 11 June 2010 14:51
To: Adam Werritty
Subject: RE: Hi
Adam -yes, I did get the message, and asked [my PA -name redacted] to set something up for us. She will eb in touch this afternoon.
Looking forward to seeing you,

Matthew Gould
Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH
I2J email: [email protected] til telephone: +44 20 7008 2059 ()) ft.n: 8008 2059
Q uri: MailFilterGateway has detected a possible fraud attempt from “blocked::http:” claiming to be www.fco.gOY.uk

From: Adam Werritty [mailto:[email protected]
sent: 11 June 2010 14:48
To: Matthew Gould (Restricted)
Subject: Hi
Hi Matthew
I trust that you’re keeping well. I texted you yesterday on a mobile number I had for you but I’m guessing that you’re no longer on that number. I wanted to check if we could arrange for a chat next week over coffee as I’m keen to pick your mind on something. Could you let me know if you’re going to be around and when would suit?
As ever
Adam Werrity
M: +447921577884

Diary entry 16 Jun 2010 – email exchange

View with comments

The Invention of Terrorism

I was awoken just before 8am this morning by LBC asking me to contribute to the Nick Ferrari show. I had time to brush my teeth and then I was on. I greatly dislike these formats that give you a minute to express a view, and I frequently turn down LBC requests. However they generally contact you the night before, and the poor researcher sounded desparate to find anyone who would defend the release of Ibn Qatada.

I made a couple of points. A Tory MP whose name I did not catch referred as always to unelected judges in Strasbourg. This is a standard Tory catchphrase and rather ignores the fact that all our judges are unelected. But I also pointed out that Qatada has not been convicted of anything in this country and that if, as Nick Ferrari was claiming, he had been calling in this country for the killing of Jews, that would be an offence for which he could rightly be tried and jailed. Because the tabloids say something doesn’t make it true. In the six years he had been held in jail, the state had found no evidence against him that would stand the scrutiny of a court.

The Tory MEP (whose name I did not catch) then interjected that our anti-terrorism laws were not that strong, because there had not been a single conviction for terrorism last year. I did not have a chance to return, but that seemed to me to reveal the very heart of the problem. For those in power terrorism must exist. It is a justification of much of their power and a great deal of state apparatus, not to mention a great deal of private profit. If nobody is being convicted, it is not because there is no terrorism – despite the fact that, plainly, there isn’t, nobody has been killed by a terrorist in mainland UK for seven years – it is a sign that the system is not working.

Now if nobody had been convicted for burglary last year, I would worry. There are lots of burglaries. But that nobody has been convicted for a crime that did not happen, seems to me a good thing. What is deeply, deeply worrying is that we have politicians who think there should be a regular flow of convictions for terrorism, whether there is any terrorism or not.

On which subject, I am troubled by the current large terrorism trial in Woolwich. The defendants entered a plea of guilty after being told that they would then face a maximum fifteen year jail sentence, and would probably serve just another six. If they pleaded not guilty and lost, they could serve twenty five years.

Forget that the charge is terrorism – I deeply resent the effective introduction of plea-bargaining into our justice system, with the obvious danger that innocent people will take the less risky course. For what it is worth, my impression from the evidence in this case is that these were fantasisers about terrorism who were unlikely actually to become dangerous, but were rightly pulled up. It is very wrong that they were dissuaded from having the evidence against them tested by a jury. There is a particular danger that more detached individuals were induced by group psychology or pressure to join the others in this guilty plea, but may have been cleared.

View with comments