Friday, 6 July 2012

Barnet Council Deputy Leader Daniel Thomas backs Police investigation of Helen Michael

The email exchange below is between the Dr Julia Hines - a Barnet resident and Councillor Daniel Thomas who is the Deputy Leader of Barnet Council. Councillor Thomas comes out fully in support of the Police investigation of Helen Michael, Leader of Barnet Traders and seemingly accuses Dr Hines of hypocricy in suggesting that she sets one standard of behaviour for the Council and one for individual.

One wonders whether Councillor Thomas has issues with reading. He clearly doesn't understand the point made by Dr Hines. She doesn't refer to wrongdoing by the Council, she refers to flyposting by the Conservative Party. It seems that Councillor Thomas wants to ignore this. What Dr Hines also neglects to mention is the Brunswick Park Conservative leaflet, which Mr Nick Walkley, Barnet Council CEO noted breached election law, has not been persued. Mr Walkley was the person who complained to the Police about Helen Michael.

Whilst Councillor Thomas is happy to act as a rather blunt tool for Nick Walkley, the Barnet Eye is of the opinion that this rather shallow and ineffectual councillor should not throw stones at Dr Hines, whilst in his own glass house of hypocricy. The Barnet Eye is of the opinion that the police investigation into Helen Michaels is a complete waste of time and resources. Up until now, we had taken the same view about a police investigation of the Conservative Party and their Brunswick Park Leaflet.

It has become apparent that the Local Conservative Party are of the opinion that Helen Michael deserves investigation. As such, the only logical conclusion is that they would also support a Scotland Yard investigation of the Brunwsick Park Leaflet.

As such, I have sent the following email to Councillor Thomas and copied the Leader, Mr Nick Walkley CEO of Barnet and Jeff Lustig, Head of Legal

Dear Councillor Thomas,
Having read with interest your response to Dr Hines, as a resident of Barnet, I am formally requesting that in your role as Deputy Leader oif Barnet Council, you instruct the returning officer, Mr Nick Walkley, to formally issue a complaint to the Metropolitan Police concerning the leaflet issued by the Conservative Party during the Brunswick Park By - Election. Mr Walkley has already deemed the leaflet to breach election rules.
Whilst I personally believe that nothing useful will be achieved by such an investigation, applying the logic you set out below, I believe you have no option but to ensure that the matter is fully investigated.
Any failure to do so, will open the council to charges of harrassment, bias and lack of impartiality. It is also clear that if a single individual with no background in election law can be investigated for a breach clearly brought about by lack of knowledge of the law, a breach by a political party, who have training for agents in such matters, is clearly a far more serious issue.

As you are keen for all breaches to be investigated, I believe you will be in dereliction of your duties as deputy leader unless the Brunswick Park leaflet is dealt with in exactly the same manner as the Helen Michael poster. It is worth noting that many thousand leaflets were distributed, wheras the Helen Michael leaflet was limited to a few dozen.
Roger Tichborne

The email below details the exchange between Councillor Thomas and Dr Julia Hines.

From: Councillor Daniel Thomas
To: julia hines ; "Old, Cllr Graham Conservative" ; "Greenspan, Cllr Eva Conservative"
Sent: Thursday, July 5, 2012 9:11 PM
Subject: Re: Helen Michael

Dear Julia,

Thanks for the note.

I cannot speak for the person who has lodged a complaint and the Police who decided to pursue it.

On a general point, it appears to me that those who are quick to criticise the Council when they believe it has broken rules/laws (and there's nothing wrong with that!) prefer the enforcement of rules to be more lenient for individual members of the public.

Kind regards,

Cllr Daniel Thomas

Finchley Church End Ward

Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance

London Borough of Barnet

From: Julia Hines
To: Old, Cllr Graham Conservative; Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative; Greenspan, Cllr Eva Conservative
Sent: Thu Jul 05 19:11:06 2012
Subject: Helen Michael

Dear Graham, Eva and Dan

What possible purpose is served by Helen Michael being interviewed under caution about her posters?

If you do not know Helen personally, you can see her here. It is a really moving piece I think.

As I understand it, she produced posters which said Vote Boris, Sack Brian, but failed to put her name and address or the name of the printers on them, a breach of election law. As soon as she was warned about this, she took them down and reprinted. I understand that a small number of her posters were flyposted (but not by her). 

Official Conservative party election posters were photographed having been flyposted on bus stops during the same election by Dan Hope. 

With best wishes



Don't Call Me Dave said...

As far as I am aware, there is nothing to prevent any member of the public making a complaint to the Police about the Conservative election leaflet. You don't have to rely on Nick Walkley to do it.

Rog T said...

You've missed the point. I actually think reporting Helen or the Tories to the police is a waste of time, but if Walkley and Thomas think it isn't a waste of time reporting Helen, then they are surely duty bound to report the local Conservative Party as well.

They can't have it both ways

Don't Call Me Dave said...


I agree that it is a complete waste of time. But you can’t expect the council to be anything other than hypocrites - it is in their DNA. You have to fight fire with fire. As Sean Connery said in The Untouchables: "He sends one of yours to the hospital. You send one of his to the morgue."

Jaybird said...

Just to say that apparently I was mistaken about Dan Hope posting or taking the photo I mentioned. Sorry Dan.