Gould-Werritty – the Dodgy Diaries and Deleted Documents 110

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

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110 thoughts on “Gould-Werritty – the Dodgy Diaries and Deleted Documents

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  • Rob

    I̶n̶t̶e̶r̶e̶s̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶d̶e̶v̶e̶l̶o̶p̶m̶e̶n̶t̶s̶ ̶M̶r̶.̶ ̶M̶u̶r̶r̶a̶y̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶n̶k̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶k̶e̶e̶p̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶u̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶f̶o̶r̶m̶e̶d̶.̶

  • Jon

    Good stuff Craig, carry on sleuthing.
    I wonder whether more emails like the one you’ve uncovered haven’t actually been deleted, just “accidentally not found” for the purposes of your FOI request. On that basis, now would be a good time for someone working for the IT department to take a copy, and to accidentally post a copy to you…
    It’s worth bearing in mind that the older an email is (especially on an important system like the FCO), the harder it is to summarily delete. Email archives get transferred to backup tapes and offsite storage facilities, and so it can be a nightmare deleting every copy. (This is why privacy requests to delete Facebook accounts and the like can be so onerous for the systems administrator – and usually come with a proviso that only immediately accessible personal data will be removed – since it can sometimes be an intensive task to do completely.)
    So, even if emails appear not to be available for the purposes of FOI, they probably still exist somewhere. All you need is a friendly mole!

  • mike

    Very timeous, Craig. Syria will have to do as a main course, now that Iran appears to be off the menu. Russia and China seem to have other ideas, thank fuck.
    Libya was the starter (were Iraq and Afghanistan a different banquet entirely?) and I have to ask: where are the BBC and CNN? They were crawling all over the NTC before Gaddafi was murdered and the war “ended”. Libya is turning into a lawless mess and now there’s no sign of John “Liberator” Simpson!
    Let’s have another dispatch from the Malabar Front and another four Muslims banged up for LOOKING AT the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben!!

    Note: Big “atrocity” in Homs just before the UN security council vote. Hmmm…

  • AlexT

    As yourself in a precedent post I am quite surprised that the FCO actually considered your FOI request. It would seem that there are still some honest public servants left, which is most unexpected and welcome development.

  • craig Post author


    All in favour of booting the occupants out but demolish the buildings? George Gilbert Scott, same architect as StPancras, and beautiful to me.

  • Yonatan

    Mike wrote: “Note: Big “atrocity” in Homs just before the UN security council vote. Hmmm…”
    From Pepe Escobar’s blog
    “So what’s really happening on the ground in Homs? Here are sections from a crucial e-mail sent by a trusted Syrian Christian source:
    Many Syrians are ecstatic about the double veto but Homs is very worrying. The opposition spread news about a massacre just before the vote and they quoted numbers in the hundreds … unbelievably quoted by all news channels (all based on “activists”) without any verification, only to bring the number down to something like 33 later. They never showed any bombing or taking people under rubble or any injured people … just clean-bodied men with their hands and feet tied up and shot mostly once and only in their underwear. Whatever the Syrian government has in its arsenal it seems there are very intelligent bombs that can strip and tie up people then shoot them in the head!!

    What many believe now is that the bodies shown tied up and shot in Khalidiya and which are alleged to be “men, women and children” killed by a bombardment of the Syrian army were nothing but kidnapped Syrian soldiers. Add to them kidnapped Alawites who were not liberated (or actually exchanged). When the FSA kidnap some people, Alawites started to kidnap in return to exchange the prisoners. This doesn’t always work and some people who weren’t “exchanged for” turned up dead in Khalidiya”
    Very messy. Fortunately we have paragons of integrity such as government ministers and MSM reports to reduce this complexity to some thing mere mortals could understand.

  • Iain Orr

    It will take a good journalist [if you don’t secure sufficient media access yourself] to spell out the subtleties of your excellent forensic work in a way that grabs wider attention.

    Is it worth asking the information Commissioner to look at this saga of protracted tooth-pulling as an example of the value of the FOIA; but that it would be of much greater value if Whitehall did not go to inordinate lengths to obfuscate, in defiance of bothe letter and spirit of the law.

  • Yonatan

    Interesting looking into werritty’s email address.
    The DNS records werritty.com are hidden behind an intermediary in the US. Werritty.com is now possibly out of use.
    The mail server mail.werritty.com is hosted on cmlapp07.csee.securepod.com which is based in the US. So email between Werritty and Gould was passing through, and possibly being stored, in the US.
    It is mildly amusing to see some of the other domains hosted on the securepod machine:
    mail.slickside.com, … mail.gaystraightandbeyond.com, mail.pornlinking.com
    Others include mail.ericpickles.com (!!!)
    Strange unintentional bedfellows!
    Ooops the source:

  • Barkbat

    Brilliant work Craig. Your blog is stupendous and prised open my eyes to the deficiencies of the mainstream press.

    You are the OB1 Kenobi of the Information Wars. Keep doing what you do so well.

  • Jon

    @Giles – I noticed that, but the transcription from the image is wrong. Should be ‘gov’, of course!

  • Jon

    In relation to Iain’s point, I think it is worth writing to the Information Commissioner. I normally find them quite toothless, and their pronouncements quite timid, but there is sufficient evidence here to mount a FOI prosecution. Leading right up to O’Donnell too, though I doubt they’d go that far!

  • Fedup

    I need to digest this latest revelations. Wholesale redactions of the diary appointment, ffs it is not minutes, but the stuff is censored all the same.
    Democracy, duncyou love the smell of it in he morning?
    Who was/were attending these meetings, and what was Werrity trying to pick up? I assumed he only did that with Fox.
    Thanks Craig, for all your hard work.

  • David H

    What a can of worms! Craig, it’s impossible to over-state the importance of what you are doing here, especially as the main stream media are so obviously derelict in their duties and the government opposition is not worthy of the name.

  • oddie

    8 Feb: YNet News: Israel embassies preparing for Iran strike?Diplomats statione in Israel request gas masks, prepare contingency plans in case of missile attacks; envoys fear that thousands of dual-citizenship Israelis will seek
    In the framework of the preparations for possible fallout in case of an Israeli strike on Iran, foreign diplomats stationed in Israel requested that the Foreign Ministry equip them and their family members with gas masks…

  • Sing If Your Proud To Be Goy

    “@Giles – I noticed that, but the transcription from the image is wrong. Should be ‘gov’, of course!”

    Ha! Not just a Freudian slip by the chosen ones then? Oi vay, I’ll get into trouble for saying that.

  • DownWithThisSortOfThing

    “All in favour of booting the occupants out but demolish the buildings? George Gilbert Scott, same architect as StPancras, and beautiful to me.”

    It’s a small price to pay considering the desire of many of the occupants to March lockstep with the Israeli controlled US towards global domination, which will only lead to nuclear conflict with China and Russia, turning most of London into smooth green glass.

  • Test

    What’s wrong with having paragraphs on this commenting system? Paragraphs are vital for readability. Well annoying.

  • Happy & Sneezy

    Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Of To Work We Go
    in a study published last year, researchers found that Israeli judges making the difficult and sensitive decision of whether or not to grant parole opted to do so in roughly 65% of cases after lunch, and hardly ever just before.
    From an irrelevant Guardian article – /lifeandstyle/2012/feb/07/why-willpower-matters
    Here’s a relevant one:
    Funny how the establishment media made an exception for Iraq…sort of….

  • ToivoS

    I have a question as someone from the US. What if Werritty is an MI6 agent? Doesn’t that mean any reference to his activities as an agent is protected by one of those Brit state secrets acts? If so, doesn’t that mean that Craig really has no access to anything he might have done? Doesn’t the FROI act exempt any of his activities from exposure?

    sorry I am an outsider but it seems that there is little Craig can do if Werritty is an official spook.

  • nuzothie

    “Dear Freedom of Information customer,

    considering your latest purchases, maybe you will be interested in the following offers:
    Paper refills for Filofax organisers
    Read our customer reviews:
    – Great value, loads of sheets in one go!
    – Very happy with the quick delivery, also the dates on the pages are in the future
    – The Filofax paper does everything the Freedom of Information paper does, except you have to scribble the names of the civil servants you fancy having on your agenda yourself

  • Mary

    Of course they are beautiful buildings Craig. When I was standing about five feet away from you when you were speaking at the rally against the Mavi Marmara atrocity, I looked across at where you used to work and thought that the gleaming government buildings, made from Portland stone quarried by humble Dorset men, were just like impenetrable fortresses for the establishment, an impression reinforced by the high security gated entrance to Downing Street.
    I thought the same about the Royal Courts of Justice (opened 1882 – George Edmund Street architect) when we were there for the Dr Kelly inquest case. When you enter after going through airport style security, you enter a massive and empty cathedral size space. Little winding stone staircases led to the gallery of the court allocated and not large enough to accomodate the members of the public who turned up. These buildings were all designed to intimidate the little man and to prop up the masters at the time when the British Empire was predominant in the world. Things have changed but the systems and the buildings have not.
    Don’t demolish them then. Turn them into homes. Put the gangsters in charge in warehouses on industrial estates and give the MPs portacabins instead of their second homes. 🙂

  • Iain Orr


    I’m glad that Craig has persuaded you that demolition of a fine Geroge Gilbert Scott building is not an acceptable option. Indeed, it would be completing nefarious plans for just that by Sir Geoffrey Howe, which were only resisted with considerable difficulty.
    I entirely agree with you about the gated entrance to Downing Street, on which I can vouch personally for the following anecdote.
    In the early 1980’s (after the gates had been installed) David Gentleman published a fine collection of watercolours of many sights in London. These included the gates; and with his expressive skill, the artist was able to convey his detestation of the gates. When working in the FCO on China 1984-87 I had to reccomend official gifts for senior Chinese leaders on several occasions. For Hu YaoBang’s visit to No 10 during his visit to the UK, I recommended the David Gentlemen London volume. In contrast to all my other suggestions, this was rejected and I learned that the reason was that the artist was on Mrs T’s black list, precisely because of his depiction of the gates to hinder access to Downing Street

  • dunwich

    Been looking forward to this. But a couple of days ago Craig flagged something else that was going to be explosive news, but which he was going to hold back until he got the stuff from FCO.

    Not clear what in the above is the explosive news.

    All quite interesting and worth further digging, but a lot more work to do I suspect.

  • Mary

    Thanks for that anecdote Iain. David Gentleman now 82 I see is an amazing and brilliant artist with a fine body of work some of which is known to me. However I did not know that he designed the Bliar poster with the bloodspots and some of the 2003 protest posters. Included on this Google images page.
    I am also glad that you have recovered from your surgery.
    Re the FCO redaction, I am told by someone who was sent redacted material on a pdf from a government department, that, when he copied it on to Open Office, the redacted items miraculously appeared. Was that a fluke and would this work for the stuff sent to Craig?

  • Jon

    @dunwich – isn’t it explosive news that in answering the FOI request, either someone lied (about the existence of emails) or someone deleted them (a criminal offence in itself). That’s pretty substantial, in my view – and Craig has plenty of threads now to pull at.

  • kashmiri

    Messages get purged from the FCO system, normal. However, in many institutions/businesses, backup copies of all system databases are created daily (or 2-3 times a day) and may be archived for many years. I see big chances this is also the case in FCO, and backup copies are kept somewhere by security services. Did you explicitly mention backup databases in your request? Or, as the “data holder” might not be FCO in this case (I imagine, MI5, etc.), a separate request under FOI Act needs to be filled?

    Still, I imagine combing through hundreds of database copies which each has to be separately loaded onto a clean system can be time-consuming…

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