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Media black mail and cover up. Tory Minister Wittingdale's real activities
Press cover up: the real story of Tory minister's sex scandal

April 13th, 2016

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's lengthy relationship with a dominatrix escort has been an open secret in Westminster and Fleet Street for some time. However, no major commercial paper had published a story about it until the Secretary was forced to reveal it himself on BBC Newsnight.
Over the last couple of weeks, the full story of this sex scandal' had begun to slowly turn heads after two pieces appeared on independent news sites. Not because of salacious tales about kink and fetish, but rather because they expose another story a new revelation about the cosy special' relationship between politicians and the media post-Leveson.
James Cusick, describing himself as political correspondent for The Independent "until recently", wrote an in-depth exposé for Open Democracy, in which he claims that several newspaper editors colluded to cover up the Whittingdale story. But Cusick is not too worried that the public interest' is without its sordid details. Rather that Whittingdale's private life known to several journalists and editors at some of the country's top dailies remained a secret for years because it created a bargaining chip that was in fact far more useful to them than hits and sales.
Cusick's timeline of deceit and suppression says far more about media corruption than about the Secretary's choice of sexual activity, and his claims potentially illuminate several more nails in the coffin for UK press freedom. Labour is calling for Whittingdale to "recuse" himself from being involved in any further decisions concerning media regulation.
Allegation, Allegation, Allegation
Cusick's story is as follows. He and another senior journalist at The Independent worked for five months uncovering details about the Secretary's relationship with an escort specialising in fetish and BDSM. The relationship lasted for at least a year, roughly from the end of 2013 to the beginning of 2015. Several papers were working on the story at various times, including The Sun, The Mail on Sunday and the Mirror Group's Sunday People.
Eventually, Nick Mutch reported the story at independent news site Byline on April 1st.
Over a period of two years, writes Cusick, each group of journalists investigating the story was told by an editor to drop the story at the last minute. While Cusick claims that his sources in Fleet Street and Westminster are convinced of their political motives, editors' official reasoning was either insubstantial or not given at all.
The Press Gazette has come to the defence of the tabloids saying that they also have an insider source, who claims that the real reason for the Whittingdale story being repeatedly dropped was:
  • He is not married
  • He does not appear to have broken the law
  • He has not portrayed a false image
  • He is not a figure who is high profile enough to ring many bells with readers
  • The relationship apparently finished in any case before he became a Cabinet Minister (he was chair of the Commons culture select committee at the time).
However, one smoking gun in Cusick's timeline is difficult to reconcile. Both Mutch and Cusick mention the Society of Editors Conference, at which Whittingdale gave a keynote speech:
The Editor of The Independent, Amol Rajan decided in October that he had made the decision to not run the story on editorial grounds'. The previous day, Rajan had met with Whittingdale and Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre at the Society of Editors Conference in October 2015. When Whittingdale delivered his keynote address, he stated that he was minded not to implement a major recommendation of the Leveson inquiry and passed by Parliament as part of the Courts and Crimes Act.
Cusick claims that the very same editors, and Culture Secretary, who demand that journalistic freedom be protected at all costs, are colluding to suppress stories.
After the extent of the press' widespread use of phone hacking was discovered in the revelation that the News of the World hacked the voicemail of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, thereby compromising the police investigation the Leveson Inquiry was launched. As well as taking testimony from phone hacking victims, and implicated editors and proprietors, the year-long investigation sought a clearer insight into "the culture, practice and ethics of the press."
By ignoring the many recommendations made by Sir Brian Leveson in his report and the legislation subsequently passed in the House of Commons, both the press and the government are ensuring that the cosy and mutually-beneficial relationship between them remains strong as ever.
Conflicts of Interest
As Culture Secretary, Whittingdale is responsible for the legislation of the press. He held a decade-long position as chair of the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport during the New Labour and coalition governments, and was previously Margaret Thatcher's political secretary. Since assuming his cabinet position at the general election in May 2015, he has been responsible for:
  • Planning to reform the board of the BBC by replacing executives with government appointees he will choose.
  • Threatening to cut the BBC's funding dramatically even after a deal was signed.
  • Blocking cross-party legislation even after it was passed in the Commons to compensate victims of press intrusion.
  • Supporting the press' self-regulation body IPSO, which does not comply with the recommendations made by the Leveson Inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal and culture of the press.
Both Hacked Off and the Media Reform Coalition, organisations at the forefront of the campaign for media accountability, have written about the failures of IPSO and its toothlessness as a watchdog'. One example of this was The Suns infamous, and disproven, headline claiming that 1 in 5 Muslims sympathise with jihad', which they were not required to retract, and IPSO even partly defended.
So papers signed up to IPSO had plenty to gain from keeping Whittingdale's private life out of the papers. He was sympathetic to their cause, and their information could have been used against him if he wavered.
However, perhaps more troubling for Whittingdale than a sensationalised publication of his private life, would be the claims that he exposed himself and the government to blackmail and serious security risks. Mutch claims that his sources know the escort to have links to the criminal underworld, and that Whittingdale has been seen with her and other escorts inside the House of Commons during events, which:
raises serious questions [about] event security and Whittingdale's judgment in bringing Ms. King to highly secure locations and events, and also with entrusting her with sensitive information. A senior Labour MP confirmed that he had seen Whittingdale with a prostitute at the House of Commons, although was unaware if it was Ms. King. When pressed on how he was aware of this, he told Byline that she was giving out business cards to other MP's.
Our tabloid source drew a parallel to the Profumo scandal of 1962, where the Minister of War, John Profumo, was forced to resign after the revelation of his relationship with Christine Keeler, an escort who was also dating a Soviet attaché.
Both Mutch and Cusick's articles display screenshots of internal emails from news offices about the story. They also detail that the MP travelled to the MTV Awards in Amsterdam with King, and failed to declare this in the Register of Members Interests. A lesser concern perhaps, but still questionable.
There's also a potential conflict for Cusick. Describing himself as "until recently" a correspondent for The Independent, he hasn't disclosed his reason for leaving the paper in his recent writing. The closure of the print version of The Independent could well have seen him made redundant, and potentially given him a motive to make false or exaggerated accusations. That doesn't mean that these accusations are fabricated, however, nor does it mean that he didn't quit because of the incident itself. Cusick was not available for comment at time of writing.
Reasonable Doubt
Cusick himself cites sources in Fleet Street and Westminster, some also involved in investigating the story, with conflicting accounts about why each paper's investigation was dropped. Thus far no other journalists have formally come forward claiming that they were ordered to drop the story, however the level of detail of the account, screenshots of emails and what we know of press corruption already don't bode well.
The Press Gazettes denial doesn't appear that robust when compared with the detail provided by Cusick, but makes points that could well explain the lack of publication. However, many questions remain unanswered on all sides.
Editors Amol Rajan (The Independent) and Dominic Mohan (editor of The Sun at the time they were investigating), deputy editor of The Independent Dan Gledhill, the Mail on Sunday and the Mirror group have all been contacted for comment. None have replied. Similarly James Cusick has been unreachable, though The Canary contacted Open Democracy for comment from him also.
The Sun newspaper did respond, however only to say:
We have no comment.
A Post-Leveson World
The press have not changed their tune since the £5.5m Leveson Inquiry and its preceding scandal caused a public outcry. The recommendations resulting from the year-long inquiry have been largely ignored, and no change in media culture has been felt at all. This is an all too familiar setup: a public outcry, a moral outrage, a bandwagon of no-less-real frustration, then no action that makes any real change. Corruption is rife amongst the powerful, and this month plenty of it has been revealed in our current government already.
A particularly notable observation stands out. Cusick writes:
[Whittingdale] said his decision not to bring into effect a law voted through by parliament, which both he and the Prime Minister had previously acknowledged was an important incentive, didn't mean he wasn't ready to do so. He said the uncertainty kept the press "on their toes."
When Whittingdale spoke to the Society of Editors last October he announced he had no immediate plans to sign into law any new financial penalties. He said he had listened to their concerns and would continue to review the matter.
The gathered editors and newspaper executives didn't sound as though they were being kept on their toes. They burst into spontaneous applause.

Until more Britons join the growing campaigns to seriously challenge abuses of power, they will undoubtedly remain. Governmental procedure is apparently not enough.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
We need to remember how protected Whittingdale's paedophile brother was. His brother is Charles Napier one of Britains most prolific paedophiles.
Quote:Abuse scandals probe widens: The man who may hold key to UK's biggest paedophile network ever

  • 09:11, 11 Nov 2012
  • Updated 13:50, 14 Feb 2013
  • By Keir Mudie

Charles Napier could provide vital evidence for police investigating a child abuse scandal spanning three decades

Newspics [Image: Charles%20Napier]
Inquiry: Charles Napier near his home on Friday In the picturesque Dorset town of Sherborne, Charles Napier is an upstanding member of the community.
He is known as a respected retired languages teacher, a playwright and theatre director.
Only last month he gave a lecture on William Shakespeare at the town's literary festival.
But Napier's sordid past threatens to drag him into the heart of new inquiries into a child abuse scandal spanning three decades.
Evidence now being examined by Metropolitan Police detectives links Napier to Peter Righton, one of Britain's most high-profile paedophiles.
Righton is now long dead. But Napier is not. Now 68 and living with his mother in the West Country, he could prove a vital witness to the unfolding police inquiry into child abuse on a massive scale in this country.
Both men were linked to a shadowy organisation called the Paedophile Information Exchange which campaigned in the 70s and 80s for what they called the age of "child love" to be reduced to four.
Righton was a founder of PIE, Napier its one-time treasurer. Righton, incredibly, was also one of Britain's leading child protection specialists.
But when police raided his house in Evesham, Worcs, in 1992 they found not only hard-core child abuse images from Amsterdam but a "quarter-century of correspondence" between paedophiles in Britain and around the world.
The probe led police to the kitchen of a flat in South London where they found a letter from 'Napier - who had a child assault conviction 20 years before - boasting of his life in Cairo as a"British Council teacher.
He bragged of easy access toyoung boys and how he could sendObscene images back to Britain indiplomatic bags.
The scandal erupted again when Labour MP Tom Watson raised the matter with David Cameron in the House of Commons last month suggesting a network of paedophiles working in the UK had links to high levels of Government.
He believes there was an Establishment cover-up of the Righton files and his claims are now being investigated by a Scotland Yard team.
Since Mr Watson's first dramatic announcement, dozens of victims have come forward with allegations of shocking abuse by paedophiles at care homes across Britain.
Several names of senior politicians have been put in the frame though, it has to be said, without any evidential corroboration. However, what is clear is that there are real concerns that more could and should have been done after Righton's 1992 arrest and subsequent caution for indecent assault of a boy 30 years before.
Even Michael Hames, then head of Scotland Yard's Obscene Publications Squad, who handled the Righton files expressed disappointment more was not done. Writing in 2000 of the Righton inquiry, he called for a national team to be set up to investigate paedophiles, adding: "I remain convinced that we have only touched the tip of a huge national and international problem."
The story of Charles Napier is an extraordinary one that shows how a paedophile was able to operate with impunity while holding down a thoroughly respectable lifestyle.
It illustrates how there was little or no safety net to prevent child abusers from returning to their sick ways. And it begins at Copthorne Preparatory School, West Sussex, in the late 60s.
This week, respected author and journalist Francis Wheen told the Sunday People how he was just 11 when Napier arrived at the school.
He says Napier, then in is 20s, charmed the youngsters with his sports car, dashing good looks and claims that he was a professional actor.
Mr Wheen said: "He recruited a few of us, saying 'spend more time in the gym' and appointed himself gym master. There was a room off the gym and that became his haunt.
"Four or five of us started regularly going down there, vaulting over horses and things like that, in our gym shorts in all our innocence.
"At the end of it he would take us into his room off the gym and give us beer and cigarettes - bottles of Mackeson's and Senior Service untipped.
"We thought this was terrifically exciting. Here we were, 11 years old, being given beer and fags - we were thinking he's on our side not like any of the other masters. cigarettes , nd king ot like asters.
"And of course this was for an ulterior purpose which very soon became clear when he stuck his hand down my gym shorts and I had to sort of fight him off."
Napier then revealed his terrifying technique for grooming the youngsters by trying to humiliate the 11-year-old Francis.
Mr Wheen said: "He said 'Don't be such a baby' and said I wasn't grown-up enough for that sort of thing. He would point to a couple of other boys, saying 'They let me do it. You just won't let me because you're so babyish.'
"I think he was hoping I'd say 'no I'm as grown up as them' and let him get on with it but I didn't. It meant I was excluded from his 'charmed circle' after that - but by then I knew where he kept his beer and cigarettes so I used to break into his room, steal them and go sit in the woods.
"I could enjoy them without being sexually abused."
Mr Wheen also described the culture of silence that grew up around the assaults, with youngsters reluctant to report the teacher, feeling they wouldn't be believed.
He added: "A year or two after I left, my younger brother - who was still at the school - came back from holidays and told me Mr Napier had been sacked.
"At long last one boy who had been sexually molested had been innocent enough to go to the headmaster and report him.
"There was a very hasty exit made by Napier. He had a flashy sp so up, speed and sports car and as soon as the game was up, he roared off at speed and pranged it on the school gates. I think I got away quite lightly - I can't pretend I've been scarred for life by it. But I'm sure there are children out there who have been badly damaged by Charles Napier."
In 1972, Napier was found to have indecently assaulted pupils at a Surrey school where he was working. After being banned from teaching, he left the country.
In 1978, he was working in Sweden where he taught at a junior school with pupils as young as 11 - and was visited by Righton.
Napier later surfaced in Egypt, where he worked as the assistant head of studies with the British Council in Cairo.
A letter from the time saw him boast to a friend that the city was "full of boys, 98 per cent of them available".
He also helped set up and run a school in Turkey. His picture appears on a website offering English as a Foreign Language, where he boasts: "Most of my posts have been in Europe, North Africa or the Middle East, and for the last eight years I've been in Istanbul, running my own school and writing a series of course books for Turkish students."
Back in England, Napier was jailed for nine months in 1995 for sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy he'd lured to his home in the 80s.
He befriended the lad, enticing him with lager and computer games - then abused him.
Prosecutors said: "It wasn't just a stranger grabbing a boy in the park. This was a slow insidious process. The boy was trapped - not forced."
Righton, a founder member of PIE, was at one time the UK's leading authority on the protection of children.
Yet he used his power to not only hide his paedophilia, but to help other child abusers - among them Napier.
The latter's ban on teaching meant he was added to List 99, a precursor of the Sex Offenders' Register.
And Righton - the subject of a 1994 documentary on paedophiles - used his influence to try to have Napier removed from the list so he could be allowed back into schools.
Risk Righton wrote to the Department of Education saying: "Mr Napier is a gifted teacher of both adults and children.
"I believe that during the years since his conviction he has acquired a knowledge and disciplined mastery of himself which would justify the conclusion he no longer constitutes a sexual risk to children in his charge.
"It would give me great pleasure - and cause me no anxiety - to hear the Secretary of State had reviewed his decision of October 24, 1972, in Mr Napier's favour."
In 1981, the ban was relaxed to allow Napier into colleges and universities. In 1990 he applied for the ban to be further relaxed - this time enlisting Dr Malcolm Fraser as his referee.
Dr Fraser was convicted in 1992 for possessing indecent photographs of children. His third conviction saw him struck off - and Napier remained on the banned list.
Mr Wheen thought he'd seen the last of his former teacher but their paths crossed again in 1977, when he was commissioned to write an article about PIE and its desire to lower the age of consent.
A senior group member told Mr Wheen: "You must speak to our treasurer.
He's very good. Very well informed about the issues."
And Mr Wheen was astonished to discover the expert he was being put in touch with was his former teacher - now PIE's treasurer - Charles Napier.
Mr Wheen added: "I didn't really want to speak to him. I couldn't believe what my old teacher had become."
Napier declined to comment yesterday.

Quote: Met's Operation Fairbank' arrests half-brother of top Tory MP

Scotland Yard's paedophile unit swoops on country house, as Exaro watches address

By David Hencke, Mark Watts, Mark Conrad, Tim Wood, Fiona O'Cleirigh and Mike Deri Smith | 26 June 2013

Pic: Exaro
[Image: Charles-Napier_3.jpg?itok=-sZ7gRH1]Arrested: Charles Napier

Pic: Exaro

[Image: Charles-Napier-led-away-police.jpg?itok=TLlYDNrq]Led away: Charles Napier, flanked by detective

Pic: Exaro

[Image: Charles-Napier-head-bowed.jpg?itok=rsUbX4cw]Bowed: Charles Napier, immediately after arrest

Pic: Exaro

[Image: Charles-Napier-police-car.jpg?itok=l9GbLM2D]Driven off: Charles Napier, on his way to local police station

Pic: Exaro

[Image: Charles-Napier-house-Sherborne.jpg?itok=QIrQ5wtx]Mother's house: scene of Charles Napier's arrest

Pic: Exaro

[Image: Sherborne-high-street.jpg?itok=RDZiSUBW]Picturesque: market town of Sherborne

I am extremely grateful for the dedicated team of police officers of the Met who are investigating a number of allegations

Tom Watson, Labour MP

Detectives investigating an alleged VIP paedophile ring this morning arrested the half-brother of a leading Conservative MP under Operation Fairbank'.
Four officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's paedophile unit travelled to Dorset to carry out a dawn raid on a house to arrest Charles Napier, 65. The detectives swooped at 8.30am as Exaro was watching Napier's address in the picturesque town of Sherborne.
Two detectives led Napier out of the house 40 minutes later, and took him away in an unmarked police car. The other two detectives remained in the house at the time of publication.
Exaro's exclusive pictures show Napier immediately after his arrest.
Scotland Yard said in statement: "Officers from Operation Fairbank have this morning arrested a 65-year-old man in connection with a historical allegation of sexual assault. The man was arrested at an address in Dorset and has been taken into custody locally."
It added this afternoon: "This arrest is part of a new strand of Operation Fairbank, entitled Operation Cayacos', which has now reached the criminal threshold."
Napier is the half-brother of John Whittingdale, the Conservative MP who chairs the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee. He is a former political secretary to Lady Thatcher when she was prime minister.
Whittingdale has headed the influential committee since 2005, overseeing investigations into the phone-hacking affair that ultimately closed the News of the World, and has been a key figure during the course of Lord Justice Leveson's subsequent inquiry into newspaper practices.
Whittingdale and Napier have the same mother, Margaret, but different fathers. Napier, a retired teacher, was arrested at the house of his 92-year-old mother where he has been living the life of a country gentleman. Napier and his mother bought the house for £500,000 in 2006, according to Land Registry records.
Speaking ahead of the arrest, a spokeswoman for Whittingdale confirmed to Exaro that Napier is the MP's half-brother.
Whittingdale's mother telephoned the MP to tell him about the arrest after police took Napier away.
The MP told Exaro today: "Obviously, she is in a state of some considerable distress."
"If allegations have been made, then I accept that they have to be investigated," he said.
He continued: "My principal concern is going to be my mother, who is pretty elderly, and he is very close to her. I have only had a brief conversation with her, but apparently the police have been very sympathetic and understanding. It is a terribly upsetting thing for somebody of that age."
He added: "I accept that it is a matter of public record, and people are entitled to report it."
Napier was questioned previously by an Exaro reporter on the doorstep of his large limestone house in the historic town of Sherborne, which is famous for its public school, two castles and an abbey.
Operation Fairbank was set up in the wake of the exposure last October of Jimmy Savile, the late BBC star, for sexual abuse on a huge scale.
Tom Watson, the campaigning Labour MP, told Exaro: "I am extremely grateful for the dedicated team of police officers of the Met who are investigating a number of allegations regarding child abuse.
"I am sure that people will appreciate that we should let them continue with their forensic and comprehensive inquiries into this area."
Meanwhile, in a separate line of enquiry, the detective chief inspector who runs the Met's paedophile unit gave Met commanders a secret briefing on his team's preparations to arrest a former Conservative cabinet minister.
Separate from that, Exaro triggered what has become a full-scale criminal investigation by the Met, Operation Fernbridge', which is examining allegations of a VIP paedophile ring centred on Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London and the nearby Grafton Close children's home.
Operation Fernbridge made its first arrests in February.
Exaro has run a wide-ranging investigation into the failure of authorities over allegations of child sex abuse, including claims against politicians and other VIPs. Last week, Exaro reported how it helped officers working on Operation Fairbank establish as false an accusation against Kenneth Clarke, a senior minister, that he had indecently assaulted a boy.
Update 5 December 2013: The Met confirmed to Exaro that Napier has been rebailed until February. A second man arrested under Operation Cayacos over historical allegations of sexual assault, Richard Alston, 69, has also been rebailed to February.
A spokesman for the Met said: "On June 26, a 65-year-old man was arrested at an address in Dorset. On August 20, a 69-year-old man was arrested at an address in Suffolk.
"They were taken into police custody, and later bailed to return pending further inquiries. Both have subsequently been re-bailed to return on a date in February 2014."
If you have information that might help our investigation, please contact us. Keep re-visiting Exaro for more on this investigation.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale caught in prostitution scandal

Nick Mutch photo
Nick MutchLondon, UK01 April 2016
[Image: nickmutch2_2rJ2sf8.png.600x600_q85.png]
Culture Secretary has questions to answer over whether he exposed himself to blackmail over his relationship with a dominatrix

Byline can reveal a year long relationship between a senior figure in David Cameron's government and a dominatrix which potentially jeopardized government security and left ministers open to blackmail. John Whittingdale, now Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport was involved in a long relationship between at least November 2013 and January 2015 with Olivia King, a well known escort who specializes in domination and sado-masochistic practices. It is unknown whether the relationship continues.
[Image: article1459544601.png]
[Image: article1459544845.png]

During this period, Whittingdale was accompanied by her at locations including the MTV Awards in Amsterdam in November 2013, the SportBall, attended by Kate Middleton, also in December 2013 and a New Years Eve party at the House of Commons in 2014/15. The photos below were taken the night following the SportBall. During this period, his movements and private conversations with her were well known by the tabloid press, allowing photographs of the couple to be photographed at these locations. They are a selection of the photos Byline has obtained, taken following the November Sports Ball:

[Image: article1459552909.png]
[Image: article1459543842.png]

As Culture Secretary, Whittingdale's brief includes press regulation, the BBC Charter and OfCom, including the implementation of press regulation based on recommendations from the Leveson report.
Whittingdale's relationship has been an open secret in Westminster and Fleet Street circles, and major tabloid and broadsheet papers including the Mail on Sunday and The Independent have undertaken extensive investigations and written stories, only to have the stories abandoned at the last minute. The Editor of The Independent, Amol Rajan decided in October that he had made the decision to not run the story on editorial grounds'. The previous day, Rajan had met with Whittingdale and Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre at the Society of Editors Conference in October 2015. When Whittingdale delivered his keynote address, he stated that he was minded not to implement a major recommendation of the Leveson inquiry and passed by Parliament as part of the Courts and Crimes Act.

[Image: article1459645002.png]

Whittingdale told the conference:
"The costs provisions in the Crime and Courts Act, when brought into force, will have the effect that publishers who are not members of a recognised self-regulator will normally lose the ability to claim back their own costs in libel and privacy cases whether they lose or win. This will be a serious and significant change for the industry. I know that it is a matter of particular concern to many small publishers who had absolutely no involvement in the abuses the Leveson Inquiry was set up to tackle.
I have to say that at the moment, I am not convinced the time is right for the introduction of these costs provisions."

[Image: article1459544061.png]
One senior source associated with a major tabloid newspaper said they believed the story had been withheld for political' rather than editorial reasons because of Whittingdale's significant influence over legislation related to the media.

Other internal correspondence from The Independent claimed that the paper could demonstrate that Whittingdale failed to declare a trip paid for by MTV to the company's annual music awards to the Register of Members Interests. However, Whittingdale did declare the trip on previous occasions, when Ms. King did not attend. The following email was written by the then News Editor.

[Image: article1459544070.png]
We can also reveal that while she was involved with Whittingdale, Ms. King was also involved in a relationship with a member of the London underworld, who has a previous firearms conviction. Whittingdale's relationships with prostitutes are said to be well known in the London underworld and could potentially leave him exposed to blackmail considering his senior position in the Government. While there is no evidence or suggestion that Ms. King ever attempted to blackmail Whittingdale, what is clear is that information about their relationship and movements was regularly conveyed to the press and other parties.
In particular, information about her visits to Parliament and the Royal Sports Ball, which raises serious questions event security and Whittingdale's judgment in bringing Ms. King to highly secure locations and events, and also with entrusting her with sensitive information. A senior Labour MP confirmed that he had seen Whittingdale with a prostitute at the House of Commons, although was unaware if it was Ms. King. When pressed on how he was aware of this, he told Byline that she was giving out business cards to other MP's.

Our tabloid source drew a parallel to the Profumo scandal of 1962, where the Minister of War, John Profumo, was forced to resign after the revelation of his relationship with Christine Keeler, an escort who was also dating a Soviet attaché.
These revelations mean that David Cameron has questions to answer on whether he knew of Whittingdale's relationship with prostitutes when he appointed him Culture Secretary in May 2015.
John Whittingdale has questions to answer over whether the possession of this story by a number of media publications ever influenced his political actions as Culture Secretary and when he was Chair of the Culture, Media and Sports Committee. In September 2011, then Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders stated that Whittingdale had warned MP's against calling Rebekah Brooks to testify before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, because of the risk of their personal lives being investigated. Whittingdale strongly denied this claim
This is the first instalment of a developing story. Byline has many more revelations to follow on the story and why it has so far been hidden from the public view, so stay tuned.

#whittingdale, #government, #culture secretary
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"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

The real Whittingdale scandal: a cover up by the UK press

James Cusick 10 April 2016

I spent five months with another senior journalist at the Independent newspaper investigating why other papers had shut down a story about the culture minister, only to see my editor shut the investigation down too. Here is the anatomy of a press cover-up.

[Image: whittingdale%20crop_0.jpg] John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport speaks during the Conservative Party Conference in 2015. Jon Super/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved.Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, under siege for his shifting account of the Panama Papers, is facing an imminent second front of attacks as a consequence of his decision to bring John Whittingdale into the cabinet last year.
The promotion of the former chair of the House of Commons Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee to Culture Secretary last year means that John Whittingdale's lengthy relationship with a professional dominatrix and fetish escort known to leading national newspaper groups who held back from publishing any detail left him increasingly open to potential blackmail.
Whittingdale, according to one Whitehall source, became "The culture secretary Rupert Murdoch dreamt of"
Although there is no suggestion that Whittingdale was explicitly coerced by any of Britain's newspaper bosses, questions inevitably arise as to whether concerns about publication of aspects of his private life influenced his policy decisions inside the Culture department.
As Culture Secretary, with a brief that includes media policy, Whittingdale has a powerful influence over press regulation, the mooted privatisation of Channel 4 and above all the future finances of the BBC.
So far his key policy decisions have included:
* Serial attacks on the BBC's independence and influence
* Backing for the Treasury's assault on the public service broadcaster's finances
* Unilaterally blocked legislation recommended by the Leveson Inquiry into the press, passed by all three major political parties in parliament in 2013
* Personal support for the press industry's new non-Leveson compliant regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, IPSO.
Whittingdale, according to one Whitehall source, became "The culture secretary Rupert Murdoch dreamt of, and the cabinet insider those who fought Brian Leveson's recommendations prayed they would get."
Keeping Whittingdale right where he is, rather than ousting him, perfectly suits those in Fleet Street who view Leveson as a commercial threat to business-as-usual.
[Image: Whittingdale.jpg] John Whittingdale. Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire
Sources in Downing Street say the Prime Minister initially offered the job of Culture Secretary to Boris Johnson. But after the London mayor refused, Cameron, who initially doubted Whittingdale's suitability, decided instead to give him the job after taking little or no counsel.
More than a year before the May 2015 election, Number 10, according to Westminster advisers, knew some of the raw detail newspapers held on Whittingdale's private life.
This should have rung alarm bells when the prospect of a cabinet job was mooted in the immediate election aftermath. Instead the danger was dismissed.
Number 10 was asked this week if Mr Cameron knew his culture secretary had engaged in a relationship with a prostitute, or if John Whittingdale had been open about it to the Prime Minister before he was appointed to the cabinet.
Downing Street said they would be making no comment on the matter, and as it related to Mr Whittingdale's private life, it was up to him to comment.
The same sequence of detailed questions were put to Mr Whittingdale and his advisers. There was no response.
With Cameron's reputation on the line over Panama and off-shore finances, and the outcome of the referendum on Europe looking far from clear, the political risk the PM took in appointing Whittingdale now looks like another serious misjudgment.
How Whittingdale reached the position he holds, and manages to sustain it, is an uncomfortable chapter that does little for the reputation of Britain's press, supposed to have cleaned up its act in the fallout from hacking.
The reality? The last chance saloon of press self-regulation, as famously described by David Mellor, has been given a convenient make-over on Whittingdale's supplicant watch.

Round One: Mirror Group and phone hacking

During a five-month long investigation at The Independent last year, it was discovered that several newspapers had got wind of Whittingdale's relationship with a dominatrix called Olivia King. There were rumours that she had connections to the criminal underworld, but they remain as yet unsubstantiated.
The paper which mounted the first serious investigation, and put what resources they had into uncovering what was regarded as a classic tabloid tale, was the Mirror Group's Sunday People.
In November 2103, the People's news editor, James Saville, was contacted by a woman who was a regular source of profile stories. She offered details of Ms King's regular job at a London sex club near Earls Court, the London Retreat, where she was alleged to use the name "Mistress Kate". The paper was told Whittingdale and King planned to attend the 2013 MTV Europe Awards together at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam that month. MTV were said to have paid all the travel and hotel costs with Whittingdale invited because he was chair of the DCMS select committee.
A Mirror Group newspaper exposing Whittingdale in 2013 therefore carried a risk that he could retaliate through his committee and start an Inquiry into Mirror Group Newspapers.
A well-known celebrity photographer is alleged to have organised a surveillance operation of the couple in Amsterdam and to have subsequently tried to sell a folio of photographs. He initially denied knowing anything about this. However, he later revised his explanation, saying the couple may have been followed, but that he had nothing to do with it.
Two weeks later the picture desk at the People used Matt Sprake, a photographer working for a daily shift-rate at the paper, to take pictures at a sports awards ceremony where Whittingdale and King were expected to attend together. The main guest at the SportsAid Ball was the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
[Image: backs.png] Culture secretary John Whittingdale photographed with prostitute Olivia King. Credit: Matt Sprake

Pictures of Whittingdale and King arriving and leaving together, hugging each other as they walked, travelling home on the tube, were taken. Ms King was also followed the next day, with pictures secretly taken of her outside the Earls Court club. A young reporter was told to investigate and dig up what he could.
Although Saville has subsequently downplayed the significance of Whittingdale as a tabloid target, the MP was no ordinary backbencher. He had been Margaret Thatcher's political secretary, and a special adviser to Norman Tebbit and Leon Brittan.
Between 2011 and 2014, the Department of Culture Media and Sport committee, which Whittingdale chaired, conducted an inquiry into the future of the BBC, conducted a lengthy and high-profile investigation into phone hacking at News International. The committee brought James and Rupert Murdoch to Westminster to answer MP's questions at a hearing which led to global news coverage.
The furore around the phone hacking scandal led to the year long Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press, which concluded in a report by Lord Justice Brian Leveson which recommended independent oversight of any new regulator which replaced the discredited Press Complaints Commission (PCC). A cross-party agreement, signed by David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, endorsed both by a Royal charter-based system, and a set of incentives passed by parliament.
However by October 2013 senior press figures had begun to resist any real change, stating they would not sign up and branded the proposed independent Charter oversight of self-regulation "state interference." Although Whittingdale initially backed the charter and its costs-incentives, his position, at the time the People were probing his private life, was changing.
In the Commons that month, he warned the then culture secretary, Maria Miller, that it would be "infinitely preferable" to achieve a system of press regulation that delivered the "objectives" of Lord Justice Leveson's report, but which also "commanded the support of as many newspapers as possible, rather than none of them".
Although phone hacking turned out to have been deep and widespread inside Mirror Group Newspapers, in October 2013, a year after civil claims were first launched, the company was still vehemently denying in public that there was any problem. It was only in September 2014 that MGN formally accepted liability for hacking and began paying any compensation to victims.
Although Whittingdale initially backed the charter and its costs-incentives, his position, at the time the People were probing his private life, was changing A Mirror Group newspaper exposing Whittingdale in 2013 therefore carried a risk that he could retaliate through his committee and start an Inquiry into MGN activity as they had done for News Group. That could have proved damaging, embarrasing and expensive for MGN executives.
The People, as part of their investigation, did gather potential reaction to their story. One senior Labour MP says that he was approached by the paper for his views on the allegations but was "not surprised" to see nothing was published.
Saville said MGN's lawyers did look at the evolving story. But he didn't know how high up inside the company the consequences of the Whittingdale investigation were discussed. He also said he didn't know for sure if the story had been explored by other MGN titles. The outcome?
No Mirror paper published anything.
At the top of MGN's legal chain was Paul Vickers. In 2012 Vickers became head of the press industry group that produced proposals to sideline Leveson and lobbied MPs and government against the new charter. He later chaired the Regulatory Funding Company, the body that went on to fund and control the Independent Press Standards Organisation(IPSO).
Those expecting that the People's expose would mean big bucks for their information were left disappointed.

Round Two: the Sun and the BBC cuts

The pictures of Whittingdale and King were nevertheless hard currency in the tabloid village. Sprake, with Saville and his source's permission, now had an agency, FameFlynet, which put the photographs on the market. He took them to Fleet Street's biggest deal-maker, Max Clifford, the now-jailed former king of kiss n' tell. Conference calls involving the Sun and the Mail on Sunday are alleged to have quickly been arranged. [Image: Dominic%20Mohan.jpg] Dominic Mohan. Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Archive

A potential deal with the Sun was explored. The pictures were shown to Dominic Mohan, then the Sun's editor. No money is said to have changed hands. And nothing was published.
Two - possibly three, if the People was not the first - UK national newspapers now had the Whittingdale story and access to the pictures, if they wanted them. It was suggested that £20,000 was the price tag. But still nothing was published.
In late 2013 Whittingdale was continuing his attacks on the BBC, warning the corporation that revelations about six-figure payoffs given the issue of a fresh inquiry "more urgency". He told the Financial Times his committee would be looking at every aspect of the BBC, its structure, the role of the BBC Trust, and how the corporation was funded . If the threats sounded familiar, that's because they had been said before often by James Murdoch.
The implied promise that the BBC would have its authority and power cut back, was delivered soon after the Conservative victory at the general election. Cameron's first meeting with his new culture secretary had one item on the agenda the BBC.
A few MPs who know Whittingdale well, said he was at times relatively open about his relationship with Olivia King, but not open about what she did. He is said to have taken her to the river terrace of the Palace of Westminster to watch the 2014 New Year fireworks over the Thames.
Whittingdale had given Max Mosley a moral lecture in 2009 during a Commons hearing of his select committee. He told Mosley: "You are a public figure and you know the British press. You know the appetite of the British press for stories of this kind. Had you not always felt this was a time bomb that sooner or later was going to go off?"
This was insight and advice he seemed incapable of using when it came to his own life.

Round Three: The Mail on Sunday - 'No holds barred'

New information given to the Mail on Sunday in February 2014 prompted an editorial rethink about how important the Whittingdale story was. A small team of reporters, including some specialist correspondents, was put together by the paper's editor, Geordie Greig.
According to Mail on Sunday staff, Greig made a moving speech to the gathered team, saying this was the type of political story that defined great newspapers, and if the MoS backed off, it had no right to call itself a newspaper.
Reporters were sent to the village in Essex where Ms King lives. Neighbours were spoken to, the Dungeon' club in Earls Court was visited, other addresses she used were checked.
The Mail on Sunday operation was described by one journalist as "serious no holds barred."
Another journalist involved said Whittingdale (or his close advisers) were told about the likelihood of publication and that Downing St had also been contacted. No formal response was received.
Greig made a moving speech [and said] if the Mail on Sunday backed off, it had no right to call itself a newspaper.
Months later, a friend of Ms King said Whittingdale had offered his partner an assurance that nothing would be published and all she had to do was essentially "sit tight" and do one important thing. He advised that she contact the press watchdog at the prime, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), and demand that the Mail on Sunday disclose what they had ahead of publication.
The Mail on Sunday lawyers received a call that was, in the circumstances, unusual. The PCC, led at the time by Tory peer David Hunt, did not usually get involved in stories till after publication. It had no power to intervene before stories were published, and could only question news-gathering techniques. During the Leveson Inquiry the press made much of the need to ensure that no regulator could impose "prior restraint". Sir Brian agreed. So this was a marked break with routine protocol.
Close to the Saturday deadline, with the Whittingdale-King story scheduled as the front page, an all-out effort was made to by-pass this legal hurdle: they needed to find King and secure a comment. To Greig's frustration she couldn't be found, and the story was pulled with a promise that the operation would resume the following Tuesday the first working day of the next week.
Greig simply told them the investigation was to stop. No further explanation was offered.
When the small team of journalists returned to the Mail's Kensington headquarters on the Tuesday they expected to redouble their efforts to track down King. Instead Greig simply told them the investigation was to stop. No further explanation was offered.
[Image: Northcliffe.jpg] Northcliffe House - the Kensington office block shared by the Mail and the Independent. Credit: John Stillwell / PA Archive
Over the next few days, some Mail on Sunday journalists claimed Greig had been told to back off by Asssociated Newspapers' editor-in-chief, Paul Dacre. Others said Dacre didn't need to lay down the law, that what he wanted was embedded in the DNA of the Mail Group. Another said Greig was simply told to drop the Whittingdale investigation by an executive higher up the Associated Newspapers chain.
Two years on, nothing critical has been published on Whittingdale's private life in any Mail title. When The Independent's editor, Amol Rajan, made a similarly abrupt halt to his paper's own Whittingdale investigation, he too offered no explanation. It was left to a senior editor at The Independent to say : "We've got no choice. We can't take an asset away from the Mail."

Round Four: The Independent and the new Cabinet minister

Throughout 2014 Whittingdale continued to attack the BBC, branding the licence fee "worse than the poll tax." He called the fee "unsustainable" and claimed it hit the poor hardest.
Whittingdale also appeared to know more.... than IPSO's chairman, Sir Alan Moses
By September 2014 Whittingdale was treating the industry-backed regulator, IPSO, with a high degree of respect. He called one difficult story a "test" of IPSO's credibility, saying "we need to give IPSO a chance."
By February 2015 the BBC was back in the cross-hairs. A DCMS report questioned the size and remit of the corporation, suggesting it should be cut and asked: "What is it [the BBC] there to do?" It objected to the idea of BBC One +1 channel because iPlayer was already a catch-up service.
Three months before the election, Whittingdale also appeared to know more about the inner-workings of press regulatory bodies than IPSO's chairman, Sir Alan Moses. He told one committee hearing that he knew Paul Vickers was standing down as chair of IPSO's industry-funding body weeks before it was formally announced. Sir Alan responded to Mr Whittingdale's insight saying "You have news that I do not."
One Senior Independent editor said "Whittingdale is the Mail's asset we can't take that away from them."
By the time The Independent began investigating the reasons why the Whittingdale-King story had never been published, despite being known to at least three national newspaper groups, the relationship had ended and Whittingdale was now inside the cabinet.
Key elements of the story however required confirmation. Did Whittingdale take Olivia King to Amsterdam and accept the hospitality of MTV? Matt Baker at Viacom International Media Networks [the parent company], confirmed in an email that return flights and hotel accommodation had indeed been paid by MTV and that Olivia King had travelled with the then chair of the DCMS select committee.
[Image: cusick3.JPG]
Whittingdale did not declare the trip in the Register of Members Interests. Under the Commons rules for MPs, if the trip's costs were less than one percent of a current parliamentary salary (£66,300) he didn't need to. Flights for two from London to Amsterdam, and an overnight in a swish hotel might indeed come under the £600 mark. But the basic rule, especially for members let alone the chair - of a high profile select committee, is set out clearly. It states: "If in doubt, declare it."
Asked to explain why he didn't disclose anything about the MTV-Amsterdam visit with Olivia King, Whittingdale has remained silent.
There was also a clear public interest in investigating a politician who was a member of the Cornerstone Group, a group of traditional conservatives with the motto "Faith, Flag and Family" . That doesn't sit easily with an MP who enjoyed a relationship with a dominatrix allegedly selling sado-masochistic services. Whittingdale's record in the Commons on issues relating to Britain's sex laws, including age of consent, sexual offences or prostitution, also saw him regularly voting against any greater liberalisation, this despite the secrets of his own personal life.
By deciding against joining IPSO, along with the Guardian and the Financial Times, The Independent had no obvious reason to help sustain Whittingdale as Culture Secretary.
Just as it did over phone hacking at News International and the Mirror Group, The Independent had always reported accurately any misuse of authority, including the subservience of the Chancellor, George Osborne, who met Rupert Murdoch in Downing Street before the BBC was told it faced severe budget cut-backs.
But as the investigation advanced nearer to publication, with the paper's lawyers backing the investigation's focus on a wider political and commercial cover-up rather than just the detail of Mr Whittingdale's personal liaisons with a prostitute, it became clear the editor, Amol Rajan, had a problem.
The Independent newspaper, before it was shut down, was housed in the Mail's Derry St building. It was a tenant of Associated Newspapers, relying on their IT services, canteen, security, building services, and other functions. The online version of the paper is still run from there.
In one meeting which discussed the investigation's progress, it was suggested we might write the story without naming the Mail on Sunday, or that perhaps the Guardian or the New York Times could be given the story, and a deal arranged to ensure they went easy on the The Independent backing off. One senior editor suggested that wasn't an effective solution because "The Mail know we are doing this and they'll know we leaked it."
There was no suggestion that the story itself was something the paper had moral difficulties with, or was a subject matter The Independent shouldn't be wasting time on. The plan to offload it to the Guardian or the New York Times suggested taste wasn't an issue and that several public interest factors namely Whittingdale's contradictory moral stance, his voting record in the Commons, the Mosley lecture, and questions over his expenses all justified publication.
Amol Rajan had a problem... The Independent was a tenant of Associated Newspapers
To complete a required legal element of the story before publication, it was important Olivia King be given the opportunity to respond. On October 19 last year "Mistress Kate" was scheduled to work at the London Retreat. Permission was sought from the editor to go the club and speak to her. The same day Amol Rajan was speaking at a Society of Editors conference. John Whittingdale was speaking at the same event just before him.
The following day Rajan sent this email:
[Image: Cusick4.JPG]
The "explanation" promised in the email never materialised. Executives above Rajan, at board level in IPL (Independent Publishing), knew about the decision to end the investigation. Those outside the company who asked what had prevented the story appearing, were told there had simply been a failure to stand it up - which wasn't true.
Over the next five months, till The Independent finally stopped printing, no explanation was offered by Rajan despite repeated promises. One senior editor however said it was the "least he could do" to explain. He said "Whittingdale is the Mail's asset we can't take that away from them. " He said it was a "ludicrous situation" to be the Mail's tenant, adding "But - that's where we are."

Feeling invincible: the Minister for Media

[Image: Dacre.jpg] Paul Dacre. Credit: Ben Birchall / PA Archive
So three newspaper groups, Mirror Group, Rupert Murdoch's News UK, and the Mail all had vested interests in keeping Whittingdale in place as the UK's culture and media secretary. The Independent's editor and proprietor had their own reasons. They were prepared to bury the Whittingdale story because they supposedly feared the wrath of a displeased landlord, or feared being ostracised by a larger conservative establishment. Between them all they managed to leave John Whittingdale, according to one of his Westminster colleagues, "feeling he must be invincible."
The power Whittingdale believes he is entitled to use, greater than any of his predecessors, is reaching elevated proportions
By stalling indeterminately a critical element of the law passed by parliament in 2013, related to the imposition of costs penalties on newspapers who fail to join a charter-approved regulator, Whittingdale effectively gave himself an unfettered executive power over the press. This was something that all sides at Leveson said should never happen. Although victims have complained of betrayal and broken promises made by David Cameron, Number 10 is currently staying silent and allowing Whittingdale free rein.
The power the Culture minister believes he is entitled to use, greater than any of his predecessors, is reaching elevated proportions. Whittingdale recently suggested he should appoint the members of the BBC Trust, rendering the corporation an effective "government-approved" broadcaster - a situation which would destroy its independence and erode public trust in one of the world's most respected institutions. A legitimate question to ask is therefore: who exactly would benefit from a BBC whose powers and reach have been severely attenuated?
He appears to have unilaterally decided to shelve the promised Part II of Leveson. His reasons? None have been forthcoming,
A legitimate question to ask is therefore: who exactly would benefit from a BBC whose powers and reach have been severely attenuated?
During a recent meeting with victims of press abuses, Whittingdale was quizzed on why he wanted to retain a unique executive power that allowed him alone to decide whether or not he would commence a provision on costs that parliament had passed into law 3 years ago.
His answers mentioned everything from the Convention on Human Rights, to the right to freedom of expression. He said he cared "very deeply" about the freedom of the press and was concerned about the impact of imposed "sanctions" and "penalties" on the newspaper industry.
He said his decision not to bring into effect a law voted through by parliament, which both he and the Prime Minister had previously acknowledged was an important incentive, didn't mean he wasn't ready to do so. He said the uncertainty kept the press "on their toes."
When Whittingdale spoke to the Society of Editors last October he announced he had no immediate plans to sign into law any new financial penalties. He said he had listened to their concerns and would continue to review the matter.
The gathered editors and newspaper executives didn't sound as though they were being kept on their toes. They burst into spontaneous applause.

Read Mary Fitzgerald, openDemocracy's Editor-in-Chief, on the story here.
Read James Cusick's comment here.
[B][B]Independent journalism brings you the stories others won't. Support Byline who published this story by James Cusick by clicking here.[/B][/B]
[B][B]Support the work of openDemocracy by clicking here.[/B][/B]

About the author
James Cusick was, until recently, the political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC.

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"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

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Looks like John Whittindale is very useful to the state indeed. Maybe several different states. So many buttons they can press to get him to jump.


Minister and the mysterious beauty from Belorussia with love: How Whittingdale enjoyed an intimate relationship with the daughter of a USSR military officer

  • John Whittingdale's fondness for ex-Soviet states extends beyond politics
  • He is often with East European women at events and previously dated one
  • Took Natalia Lokhanova to Brit Awards and another ceremony in Maldon
  • Thought to have stopped dating in 2013 but has since appeared with others
By Simon Walters And Glen Owen And Will Stewart In Moscow For The Mail On Sunday
Published: 07:04 EST, 17 April 2016 | Updated: 20:39 EST, 17 April 2016
[URL=""] 83
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John Whittingdale's boast to former lover Stephanie Hudson on their first date that he was an arms dealer fresh back from Ukraine has a curious echo of another aspect of his personal and political life.
Clearly, the arms dealer bit was untrue. But he does have a long-standing and passionate interest in the former Soviet states.
Whittingdale has been an active member of All-Party Parliamentary groups for Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Armenia and Moldova, giving him plenty of opportunities for travel.
Scroll down for video
[Image: 33402A3A00000578-3543695-John_Whittingda...122895.jpg]+7

John Whittingdale's fondness for ex-Soviet states extends beyond politics and he previously enjoyed an intimate relationship with Natalia Lokhanova (pictured), who lived in Belarus

Furthermore, he has links with Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian gas oligarch and ally of Vladimir Putin.
Mr Firtash owns a mansion in Knightsbridge and is wanted by America's FBI on bribery and corruption charges.
Mr Whittingdale has declared thousands of pounds worth of trips paid for by the Firtash-backed British Ukraine Society (BUS) to which the MP belongs in the Commons Register.
However, his fondness for countries beyond the former Iron Curtain extends beyond dry politics.
He has often been seen with East European women at public events in the UK.


It is not suggested that these friendships resulted in any breach of security.
As recently as four weeks ago, he went to a dinner at the French Embassy in London with a young blonde he is said to have introduced to fellow guests as Lithuanian.
Others at the event included Prince Michael of Kent. The identity of the woman is not known.
However, the identity of another of Mr Whittingdale's East European friends is known: she is Natalia Lokhanova, 30 years old when she dated the Culture Secretary four years ago.
He took her to the Brit Awards in February 2012 and she accompanied him three weeks later to a ceremony in his Maldon constituency in Essex when it was officially twinned with Brest in the former Soviet state of Belarus.
[Image: 3340205600000578-3543695-The_above_graph...858870.jpg]+7

The above graphic shows the Culture Minister's meetings and friendships involving East Europe

The striking girl with auburn hair stands out in a photograph of the event alongside Mr Whittingdale and other dignitaries, including the then Belarusian ambassador to the UK, Alexander Mikhnevich, and his right-hand man, First Secretary Dmitry Basik.
Natalia Lokhanova moved to Britain from Belarus, via Moscow, some six years earlier and went to Maldon as a friend of Whittingdale. Local party sources say they were baffled by who John's Russian friend' was at the event.
It is unclear how the two met, but it is known they were in a relationship when the picture was taken.
Natalia, now 34, grew up in the provincial backwater of Lida when Belarus was part of the old Soviet Union.
Her mother was an economist; her father, Nikolay, is believed to have been a USSR military officer.
Belarus has been run as a virtual dictatorship for more than two decades under President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Putin.
Natalia first became friends on Facebook with Mr Whittingdale at the end of 2011; shortly afterwards, she uploaded a picture of herself in front of the Commons. In January 2012, she set up a company called NNL Consulting Limited, specialising in public relations and communications activities', with her listed as the only director.
On February 21 that year, she and Mr Whittingdale made their first public appearance as a couple at the Brit Awards.
Onlookers said it seemed clear they were intimate.
[Image: 33402A3100000578-3543695-image-m-7_1460839632884.jpg]+7

[Image: 3340455200000578-3543695-image-a-6_1460839629573.jpg]+7

Natalia, now 34, grew up in the provincial backwater of Lida when Belarus was part of the old Soviet Union

The twinning event in Maldon organised by local Tory councillor Russell Porter took place on March 16 that year.
It is not clear how long the relationship between Mr Whittingdale and Natalia lasted.
By mid-2013, she had scaled back her social media activities and changed her contact details.
Although NNL Consulting Limited is still listed as Ms Lokhanova's current job on the LinkedIn business networking site, according to Companies House records the firm was effectively inactive in 2013.
The company's registered address, where Ms Lokhanova was living at the time, was a West London flat, coincidentally less than half a mile from the Russian embassy. The company was dissolved in 2014.
A neighbour said last week that Natalia had moved out of the flat two years ago without leaving a forwarding address.
She studied at the International Institute of Labour and Social Relations in Minsk, capital of Belarus, from 1997 to 2002. Russian-speaking Natalia left able to converse in English and German.
[Image: 33403CBE00000578-3543695-image-a-9_1460839668086.jpg]+7

Natalia is pictured above with her father in what appears to be a garden in Soviet-era Belarus

The Mail on Sunday could find no record of Natalia's movements over the next three or four years, though it appears she was in Moscow before moving to the UK in 2006.
She initially came to the UK on a student visa and studied at King's College London for four years before moving to Cardiff in 2010 for a year-long business degree.
After graduating, she worked briefly for BPM Consulting, a London public affairs agency specialising in work for Russian companies. A spokeswoman said she left several years ago and did not know her whereabouts.
The business information site Zoominfo lists her as an executive assistant' at Azurite Trading, a London-based hedge fund run by Russian businessman Andrei Tretyakov.
When this newspaper called Mr Tretyakov's office, a spokeswoman denied employing anyone by the name of Natalia Lokhanova. Her friends on Facebook include Arthur Martikyan, a former head of the London office of Rossotrudnichestvo a Russian state outfit which ostensibly functions as a cultural institute but is suspected of being a front' organisation for Russian intelligence designed to exercise soft power' in foreign countries. Some claim it also recruits intelligence agents. Mr Martikyan said last night: I met Natalia in London once or twice. I know nothing about her.'
This newspaper approached several of Natalia's Facebook friends asking to be put in touch with her, but they said they had either lost touch with her or declined to help. Mr Whittingdale remains her friend on Facebook and just four months ago she liked' a picture posted by the Cabinet Minister.
Four years after the Maldon-Brest twinning event, envoy Mikhnevich is now back in Belarus as a trusted adviser to President Lukashenko. At the time of the twinning meeting, then Foreign Secretary William Hague was an outspoken critic of the Belarus regime. In February 2012 just as the relationship between Mr Whittingdale and Natalia was blossoming Hague summoned Mikhnevich to the Foreign Office to reprimand him for the regime's appalling human rights record. Mr Whittingdale has also criticised the Belarus regime.
On March 21 this year, Whittingdale attended a glittering reception at the French Embassy in London to celebrate French cuisine. Once again, he was accompanied by a glamorous East European woman whom, according to a fellow guest, he introduced as Lithuanian.
[Image: 333FC23A00000578-3543695-image-m-17_1460839742408.jpg]+7

[Image: 33403EDA00000578-3543695-image-a-18_1460839749105.jpg]+7

At an event on March 21 this year, Mr Whittingdale (left) is said to have politely enquired whether his Lithuanian companion (right) could join him on the top table

Those at the top table with French Ambassador Sylvie Bermann included Prince Michael of Kent, Mr Whittingdale, fellow Cabinet Minister Stephen Crabb and Arsenal football manager Arsene Wenger.
According to one source, Whittingdale politely enquired whether his Lithuanian companion could join him on the top table. He was reportedly told she had been allocated a place on another table and the arrangements could not be changed.
Among others at the function were chef Raymond Blanc, Labour MP Tristram Hunt, Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell and French footballer David Ginola. Whittingdale's links to billionaire Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash were highlighted last year when his trips to Ukraine funded by the Firtash-backed British Ukranian Society were reported. Firtash spent a year in Vienna fighting a bid by America's FBI to extradite him to the US to face corruption charges.
British-based associates of Firtash have given tens of thousands of pounds to the Conservative Party in recent years.
Mr Whittingdale, a former BUS director, has denied being in any way influenced by Firtash and said his BUS-funded visits to Ukraine were to promote closer relationships between Britain and Ukraine'.
Mr Whittingdale declined to comment on his relationship with Ms Lokhanova, who did not respond to messages. The French and Belarus embassies declined to comment.
Mr Firtash did not respond to requests for comment.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

Peter Righton, Charles Napier, David Cameron & John Whittingdale

Another two comments were left on this blog by Tom Watson's source for his PMQ about "a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No. 10". Here are the comments in full:
Thank you giving me the opportunity to use your blog. You are playing a major role and it is so appreciated.
Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing Liz Davies getting a second chance to progress what she started 20 years ago. A truly remarkable and very brave woman.
Liz and I liaised very closely in the early 90′s and tried to expose so many links before the system beat us down . To give you one good example Peter Righton and his partner disappeared after Righton's convictions and were subsequently traced to Lord Henniker's ancestral home in Eye in Suffolk.
[Image: righton1.jpg?w=300&h=199]
The Chief Constable of Suffolk took it upon himself to visit and warn Henniker that he had 2 paedophiles with very significant national links on his property. Henniker was not in any way perturbed by this disclosure despite the fact that for many years he had had extremely vulnerable children holiday on his estate. He ran the Islington /Suffolk Project !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a scheme for disadvantaged children from Islington to have country holidays in rural Suffolk
If you google the late Lord Henniker you will see how influential a role he played in The British Council Righton's very close friend/fellow PIE member Charles Napier was employed as a teacher by the British Council in Cairo even though he was already on List 99 as a banned teacher after his early conviction.
[Image: charlesnapier1.jpg?w=300&h=199]
Righton and Napier groomed and abused numerous children in tandem.
Liz Davies never lost hope and now we all need to get behind her and champion her determination to get the Islington story out once and for all and then lots more dots will join up
I would like to use your site again in quick succession please Murun to see if any of your followers would be prepared to write a further letter, after so many of them are currently writing to their individual MP's re supporting Tom Watson in his efforts to get to the bottom of the true extent of powerful paedophiles networks linked to parliament or government or establishment institutions en masse.
I'm sure most people would agree that there should have been cross-party support for Geoffrey Dickens 30 years ago. Thanks to the Daily Mirror and your tight little team this is very much back on the agenda . Tom Watson is very much the current day Dickens and we must all ensure that he doesn't become ridiculed or sidelined like Geoffrey Dickens was. Tom has tabled his question in Parliament to Teresa May re what happened to the 50 page document presented to the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan . However she will have probably be able to delay matters by saying this is a big exercise to find such an old document.
I would like to propose a counter tactic to run alongside Tom Watson's official route and the Daily Mirror's efforts and would very much appreciate a few letters to accompany mine.
On the day of Tom Watson's PMQ on 24th October 2012 a few hours later David Cameron made this statement "The Government will do everything it can do, other institutions must do what they can do, to make sure that we learn the lesson of this and it can NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN "
[Image: davidcameron1.jpg?w=300&h=200]
He was actually referring to the Savile scandal engulfing the BBC, NHS etc at the time but his words must be applied to all institutions including Government/Parliament a far greater scandal than Savile.
My letter will be to John Whittingdale in his role as Chairman of the cross-party Culture Select Committee. After I explain why I see this as the most effective way of keeping the issue in the public psyche until the Police can do their job, I hope people will agree to write letters of support addressed to John Whittingdale as well.
The Culture Select Committee was set up to be an investigative process we witnessed the power it has during the Murdoch/hacking investigation and it is played out in public on prime time national TV. It can call politicians,police officers,who it likes really.
In his role as Chair John Whittingdale chose to take every media opportunity to criticise the BBC and particularly the Director General over their handling of Savile and he in not so many words demanded the head of George Entwhistle which was duly delivered. He therefore has proven he has the tenacity,will and more importantly the power to bring those deemed accountable or responsible to book. We now need to urgently ask him to apply the exact same standard to another institution ie his own Westminster and be seen to support his Prime Minister's words of 24th October ie a we will leave no stone unturned approach. This time members of the public,victims,people like myself can be called so that the public get their say.
Starting points for the Committee can be what happened to Dickens dossier, how do Parliament explain the risible decisions of Sir Michael Havers and Sir Thomas Hetherington, allegedly in that wonderful phrase "in the public interest " otherwise interpreted as "in the establishment's interest", not to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman who was a PIE member communicating with other paedophiles about the sadistic torture of children ,why was a prosecution of Cyril Smith deemed to be "not in the public interest, why does Westminster appear to be the safest environment of all to operate as a pedophile with the full protection of the security services and colleagues ( reference Edwina Currie's diary re Peter Morrison being known openly to fellow MP's as a predatory paedophile even before he was promoted to be Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party as well as Michael Cockerell's 1995 BBC Documentary where it was openly admitted that it was the role of Chief Whips to make an entry into their Dirt Books if an MP was caught " getting in to trouble with small boys" as opposed to making a referral to the Police)
The list of questions/issues for this powerful investigative committee would be limitless .
[Image: whittingdale1.jpg?w=300&h=168]
My second reason for writing to John Whittingdale in particular would be to short circuit what could be a torturous route to trace the Dickens dossier. Mr Whittingale became Leon Brittan's Special Adviser months after the dossier was presented to Brittan. (CLARIFICATION: I've checked this and Whittingdale didn't become Special Adviser to Leon Brittan until 1985 and that was in Brittan's role as Trade & Industry secretrary, not Home Secretrary. In 1984 he was head of the political section of the Conservative Research Department). I am advised that Special Advisers are the eyes and ears of their Minister boss. I am also advised that Mr. Whittingdale is a particularly brilliant brain,a MENSA member with an exceptional memory. As a young 20 something ambitious he might be reasonably expected on arrival in his new post where such an explosive and controversial document, the subject of intense media interest, might be in his new boss's system. Was it still in his in-tray,pending or closed marked no further action. He could be of great assistance and his committee have had similar expectations of people brought before them to recall highly significant documents even after several years .
My third reason for arguing that John Whittingdale is a very powerful and appropriate person to assist with answers and ensure that David Cameron's message about EVERY institution must be answerable to the public is a more personal than professional one.
Mr.Whittingdale's half brother is in my professional opinion one of this country's most dangerous predatory paedophiles .Charles Napier was the Treasurer of the early PIE organisation by definition a treasurer would have a full list of all members and had responsibility for payment of subscriptions in to their account at the Midland Bank in central London. He remained central to that organisation and I had the horrendous task of sifting through a huge collection of letters he wrote over the years to fellow paedophiles which showed him to be an evil coldly calculating individual who carefully groomed very young boys before abusing them himself and then sharing them with other paedophiles.
Mr Whittingdale will have the crucial insight into the family or environmental background that creates such a monster. Given his severe criticism of institutions like the BBC for failing to detect a similar monster (Savile) within their midst, Mr.Whittingdale is perfectly positioned to talk about the measures he and his family took to alert the relevant authorities whenever Napier took up a new post with access to children . When letters arrived from Sweden,Cairo and Turkey to family members during a period when Napier was banned from teaching and Mr.Whittingdale was firmly embedded within No. 10, what dilemmas did the family face, how did they deal with family loyalty as opposed to public duty expected of a powerful public figure. This experience and insight would be invaluable for the type of questions that need to be asked at a Culture Select Committee or Royal Commission to ensure that David Cameron's stated aim is achieved ie. " The Government will do everything it can do. …………… to make sure that we learn the lesson ………..and IT CAN NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN "
On 12th December 2012 David Cameron added " Collusion should never happen again". He added " the measure of our society is how we treat its most vulnerable members. ". Noble words now we need to demand action.
There are no more vulnerable members of our society than children who have been taken in to care and then re-abused by the very people charged with the responsibility of caring for them and protecting them, and even worse passed on for further abuse by the people who make the laws of this country and who are expected to lead the way on the moral compass.

I sincerely hope some of your followers would agree to support such a letter to John Whittingdale
If you want to write to John Whittingdale you can contact him here.
Just one clarification, it was actually the Sunday People who wrote the piece about the Dickens dossier, they are affilated to the Mirror so their work is included on the Mirror website. In my opinion they are to be trusted, if anyone has solid leads that they want followed up in the national media please write to Sunday People journalist Keir Mudie:
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
'I can't take much more of this': John Whittingdale faces mounting pressure to quit over fresh allegations by porn star lover... as his mystery blonde date is named as Kristina the Lithuanian glass-blower

  • John Whittingdale has admitted he could be forced to quit his Cabinet role
  • Minister is reeling over revelations surrounding his private and political life
  • Survival hopes suffers new setback after allegations from former porn star
  • Whittingdale also worried about link to pro-Kremlin oligarch Dmitry Firtash
By Simon Walters and Glen Owen and Abul Taher for The Mail on Sunday
Published: 08:01 EST, 24 April 2016 | Updated: 07:50 EST, 25 April 2016
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Embattled John Whittingdale has admitted he could be forced to quit the Cabinet over revelations about his private and political life.
Reeling from claims about affairs with a dominatrix, a former porn star and two Eastern European women, and about his MPs' expenses, the Culture, Media and Sport Secretary told a friend last week: I can't take much more of this.'
His hopes of survival suffered another setback last night with new allegations by former topless model and porn star Stephanie Hudson.
Ms Hudson whose affair with Mr Whittingdale, which ended last year, was revealed in last week's Mail on Sunday says he told her:
  • He secured his Belorussian student lover Natalia Lokhanova a £5,000-a-month job in Britain while he was in a relationship with her.
  • He feared his links to controversial pro-Kremlin Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash wanted in the US on corruption charges could lead to claims he was sponsored' by him.
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[Image: 337AA71600000578-3555597-image-m-12_1461447124631.jpg]+7

Left, former porn star Stephanie Hudson has revealed new insights into her former lover, while questions remain over whether Whittingdale secured his young lover Natalia Lokhanova, right, a £5,000-a-month job

The claims increased the pressure on the Minister, a member of two secret Cabinet security committees, to explain his East European connections. Mr Whittingdale, 56, who is unmarried, had an affair with Ms Lokhanova, whose father is believed to have been a USSR military officer, from 2012 to 2013.
Whittingdale told friends that, when his affair with Lokhanova, more than 20 years his junior, ended, she returned to Moscow. Her Facebook page showed photos of her on exotic holidays from Turkey to Thailand.
Ms Hudson told the MoS: John told me he got her [Natalia] a £5,000-a-month job with a wealthy businessman friend of his.' She went on to say that Mr Whittingdale had said that because she came from such a poor background, she was grateful for the opportunity.
The MoS has been unable to contact Ms Lokhanova, whose whereabouts are not known.

Ms Hudson said Whittingdale had also spoken of Firtash, a second-hand car dealer turned Ukrainian gas magnate who owns a mansion next door to Harrods in London. Ms Hudson said: John said the papers would be all over him because he had accepted some money. He called it "sponsoring" him.'
Firtash's critics in Ukraine claim he owns' Ukrainian politicians who support his interests. In 2014, he was arrested in Austria, accused of bribery and corruption by the FBI. However, an Austrian court refused to extradite him when he complained that the charges against him were politically motivated.
Firtash's UK representative, businessman Robert Shetler-Jones, has given tens of thousands of pounds to the Conservative party, but denies it had anything to do with Firtash. Firtash bankrolls the British Ukraine Society, of which Whittingdale has been a director. The MP has declared nearly £10,000 worth of BUS-funded trips to Ukraine in the MPs' register. He says they were to boost UK-Ukraine relations.
[Image: 337AA6F800000578-3555597-image-m-34_1461447859081.jpg]+7

The minister is said to be worried his links to controversial pro-Kremlin Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash wanted in the US on corruption charges could lead to claims he was sponsored' by him

He helped to organise a Days of Ukraine' event at the Commons, attended by Firtash's wife, Lada, to celebrate her husband's Dmitry Firtash Foundation charity.
According to a WikiLeaks document, Firtash reportedly had dealings with Russian gangster Semion Mogilevich, accused of racketeering, money-laundering and trafficking prostitutes though Firtash denied it. In 2012, there were reports that plans to appoint Tory former diplomat Dame Pauline Neville-Jones as David Cameron's National Security Adviser were blocked after her links to Firtash were disclosed by MI5. Her Lords office received £20,000 a year from Mr Shetler-Jones. Mr Shetler-Jones said he gave the money in a personal capacity'.
Mr Whittingdale is a member of two of the Government's National Security Council sub committees. He has a long-standing interest in Eastern Europe: he chaired the Commons all party groups on Ukraine and Russia and was a member of groups for Belarus, Georgia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova and Armenia.
His Essex constituency of Maldon was twinned with Brest, Belarus, in 2012. His lover Ms Lokhanova and the Belarus ambassador attended the launch in Maldon.
A spokeswoman for Mr Whittingdale said: John has never received any money or any other financial benefits from Dmitry Firtash or his associates.'
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards launched a formal probe into a trip John Whittingdale made to Amsterdam with Ms Hudson. Mr Whittingdale failed to declare the two-night, expenses-paid trip visit to the MTV Awards on the register of MPs' interests.
A source close to Mr Whittingdale said he did not need to because the trip's cost did not meet a £660 threshold.


Minister's mystery date spotted at French embassy banquet named as model turned glass-maker from Lithuania
By Simon Walters and Stephanie Condron
[Image: 337AB9C100000578-3555597-image-m-3_1461446737507.jpg]+7

Kristina Bobs with Mr Whittingdale at a London Film Festival party in October

The identity of the mystery blonde who accompanied John Whittingdale to a French Embassy banquet last month was revealed last night.
She is Lithuanian model turned glass-maker Kristina Bobs, who has an English husband, Nigel Bobs, and lives in Leatherhead, Surrey.
Kristina was with Whittingdale at a French Embassy cultural celebration last month where he was very keen to have her seated at his side. The Cabinet Minister asked if Kristina could be moved to the top table to sit with him and guest of honour Prince Michael of Kent, but was told she would have to remain on an outer table.
The pair were also pictured at a London Film Festival party in October last year.
Asked about her relationship with Mr Whittingdale, Kristina said: I have no comment.' Mr Whittingdale also declined to comment.
Jetsetting Kristina, who describes herself as a driven fun-lover who believes in taking risks', runs a successful hand-blown' glassware company, Svaja, which sells traditional Baltic luxury art glassware'. The name is derived from her middle name, Svajone, which means dream' in her native country.
Born Kristina Zvirblyte, she came to the UK, aged 25, when she studied Chemical Engineering at Leeds Beckett university, before switching to modelling.
She is 47, though it appears she once told an interviewer she was born in the 1970s, which would have taken several years off her real age. She married her husband Nigel 16 years ago and in 2005 he gave up his job as a car trader to go into business with her.
With his support, the glass-blowing business took off as Kristina added Arabic to the Lithuanian, English and Russian languages she speaks to help her boost sales on trips around the world.
According to the Electoral Roll, the couple, who have a 12-year-old daughter, live in a double-fronted detached home at Tattenham Corner on the edge of Epsom racecourse. On Friday, a white Mercedes with what appeared to be a personalised numberplate based on Kristina's name was parked in the driveway. Neighbours said she lived there with her husband.
Kristina's networking skills were in evidence when she and her husband were among those invited to a state banquet in Lithuania in honour of the Queen and Prince Philip. She also met Mr Whittingdale's political heroine, Margaret Thatcher, before her death in 2013 and has described the former Prime Minister as an iconic woman who made a huge global impact'.
[Image: 337AB9B700000578-3555597-image-a-4_1461446853371.jpg]+7

Top table: Cabinet member Mr Whittingdale (left) is pictured with Prince Michael of Kent (right) last month

Kristina has said: It's funny when I look back at how I arrived in the UK: a fresh faced young woman with no particular goals. Now I look at myself and realise how driven I am to succeed in business, while having a happy balanced family life.
A journalist asked me "If you were to do it all again, would you choose beauty or brains?" and my answer is, "Intelligence is beautiful."
My message to all women around the globe is: take risks, make your own rules and definitely have fun.'
Since 2013, she has also been the global ambassador for the Federal Association for the Advancement of Visible Minorities, a civil rights group. In 2011, the organisation's founder, Raphael Louis, was jailed for three years for trying to cheat the Canadian tax system out of almost £5 million. There is no suggestion that Kristina was aware of any impropriety.

He's raising eyebrows on the home front, too: Culture Secretary bills taxpayer for more than £66,000 in rent for Westminster flat barely half a mile from one he already owns
By Abul Taher and Glen Owen

John Whittingdale was last night accused of manipulating the MPs' expenses system by claiming rent from Parliament for a London flat despite already owning another taxpayer-funded property in the capital.
The Culture Secretary has billed the taxpayer for more than £66,000 in rent for a flat in Westminster barely half a mile from one which he already owns, on which he is pocketing about £20,000 a year in buy-to-let' income.
The Tory MP for Maldon, Essex, purchased his flat in London's Victoria in 2008, when MPs with two homes were able to nominate one as their main residence. Under the system in place at the time, they could claim back from the taxpayer the cost of mortgage interest payments on their second home', plus bills for furnishings and utilities. In the same year, Mr Whittingdale also bought a four-bedroom house in his Maldon constituency for £355,000 without a mortgage. He then nominated this as his main home, allowing him to make claims on his London property.
[Image: 337ABBB900000578-3555597-image-m-18_1461447331599.jpg]+7

[Image: 337ABBBD00000578-3555597-image-m-20_1461447355128.jpg]+7

Whittingdale's made £80,000 from renting his flat in London (left) while he claims £20,000 a year for his flat half a mile away

Fury over the MPs expenses scandal in 2009 when MPs were revealed to have played the system by flipping' the designations of their homes to maximise the amount of money they could pocket and claiming for spurious expenses' such as duck houses forced a crackdown by the newly established watchdog, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
In 2012, IPSA banned MPs from claiming back their mortgage interest bills from the taxpayer, but allowed them to continue to claim for rent. A number of MPs, including Mr Whittingdale, reacted by moving into the rented sector or taking hotel rooms.
Mr Whittingdale moved out of his flat in Victoria and into a rental property opposite Scotland Yard, on which he claimed rent of £1,700 a month. In 2014, he moved to a second rental property about a mile away in Vauxhall.
Although the mortgage-rent switch is within IPSA rules, the wheeze has been condemned as an abuse of taxpayers' money. Mr Whittingdale declares on Westminster's Register of Interests that he earns more than £10,000 a year' in rental income from his London home. But when it was last offered for rent, the property was marketed for £1,900 a month, suggesting that since 2012 he has earned more than £80,000 on a home on which the taxpayer paid the mortgage interest for four years.
Mr Whittingdale has also claimed more than £65,000 from the taxpayer to cover his rent bills between moving out in August 2012 and last October, when he stopped claiming.
Labour MP John Mann said: This doesn't look good, and it doesn't help Mr Whittingdale's cause. I congratulate Mr Whittingdale for terminating the rental claims.'
A spokeswoman for Mr Whittingdale said: John has fully complied with the parliamentary rules, with all expenses claimed in accordance with these'.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Mmm. I wonder if the post 6 above re the paedophile cover up in any way have impacted on Whittingdale's current troubles? Might he have become a leaky ship that needed ruining?

I'm just speculating here obviously, but it's the way or establishment works.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Yes, has to be considered. There are many strings they can pull on Whittingdale.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

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