Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Labour opposite number replies

I wrote a post on Monday about how I had written to the failed Labour candidate in my ward, Mr Peter de Vere, asking him to withdraw incorrect and misleading allegations in a leaflet Labour had produced and circulated in my ward.

Mr de Vere had claimed that Lib Dem Newcastle Council had rushed through a recycling scheme, then immediately abandoned it and in the process wasted millions of pounds. The whole story was made up by Labour and there is not even a fibre of truth in it. Mr de Vere is the "editor" of the leaflet, along with Ms Elaine Dobson, the candidate who lost to us in the neighbouring ward in May. Both are also according to the imprint, the promoters of the leaflet. By all counts, the buck stops with them regarding the ultimate responsibility for the contents. That does not mean others are not responsible as well and it is reasonable to expect them to account for the claims as well.

However, I can now reveal that Mr de Vere has written back to me, denying any responsibility for the leaflet and claiming it is edited by someone else. He also returned my letter to him.

That Mr de Vere is not good enough. Buck passing and denying responsibility for one's own actions are New Labour trademarks. I am not going to accept such nonsense. I will of course be explaining to my constituents that he has rejected my offer to publish in our focus newsletters a retraction by him of the completely incorrect claims he was so prepared to put his name to. I will also be telling my constituents that despite claiming to be the editor of the leaflet, it would appear Mr de Vere is running away from responsibility for the leaflet which bears his name.

Sent via BlackBerry


Paul Leake said...
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Paul Leake said...

Surely outside of election time, in the absence of a libel of identifiable individuals, the buck stops with whoever you can persuade the public should have known better?

If you look no doubt you'll find examples from all parties of 'Editors', even 'Promoters' who haven't had sight of press releases and leaflets put out in their name, but ultimately, that's the risk you take if you rely on someone else to produce and deliver your leaflets. Did Mr De Vere say who was the editor?

Jonathan Wallace said...

Yes, he has named an individual who is a councillor. We are in the process of consulting legal officers for advice on a case going to the Standards Board.

Nevertheless, Mr de Vere and his fellow editor Elaine Dobson must accept responsibility for what was done in their name even if one of them after the event has decided he wants to wash his hands of the whole matter.