Saturday, April 18, 2015

William Wallace: Tories tried to rig government report on Europe

Tomorrow's Observer quotes the Liberal Democrat peer William Wallace's allegations that Conservative ministers and their advisers tried to rig the findings of a government report into the powers of the European Union:
In a devastating intervention, the respected Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman, Lord Wallace of Saltaire, revealed to the Observer that Tory cabinet ministers and their aides had attempted to impose a “Eurosceptic spin” on the Balance of Competences review because most of the evidence submitted by businesses, foreign governments and other interested parties portrayed the EU as a force for good, which was not what they wanted to hear. 
Wallace also said that Downing Street had repeatedly attempted to delay publication of the 32 reports that make up the review – and the evidence submitted to them – until MPs were not sitting, in order to minimise the attention that the press and public would pay to them.
The report quotes William Wallace as saying:
“The Conservatives wanted the review in the coalition agreement because they thought that the evidence would show a strong demand for repatriation of powers, and that it would provide the basis for a British renegotiation agenda. 
“However, the exercise demonstrated the opposite of what they had expected, so in some cases they tried to find more critical evidence and, when that failed, they did their best to bury the exercise.”
It goes on to say that Wallace singled out aides to the home secretary, Theresa May, who tried to block evidence they felt was not helpful to the Eurosceptic case ion the “free movement of people”.

The carrying out of the Balance of Competencies review was included in the Coalition agreement.

1 comment:

Helen Pender said...

Much more parochial but in your own back yard the Returning Officer is making some extraordinary decisions regarding the count in ?Rutland at this election.

The count for the County Council (DC) will start at 2 pm in the Victoria Hall on 8th May.

However there's to be a postal vote opening at 10pm on 7th May at Melton Cattle Market! That means boxes transferred to and from Melton, computer checking equipment to be transferred and then it all comes back to Rutland for the following day's count at 2 pm.

A local blogger can't be refused entry as a guest but he tells me that he is being told he may not blog or tweet from the count. He has also been told he has no right to attend the count. This despite the fact that he has been elected unopposed to the parish council.

All photographs and videos are specifically banned at the RCC and parish council count in Rutland on 8th May.

Now what possible explanation could there be for such anomalies to normal counting practices?

I'd urge all members of the media to apply to attend the count - both in Melton and in Rutland.

At the election in 2011 the local blogger was helpful in tweeting precisely what was going on - full report at

The electoral Commissioner wrote to me saying the returning officer had had a 'note attached to her file' following the electoral malpractices in 2011. Yet less than two years later they'd lost a copy of that letter and mine had gone missing. It would he been helpful in a court case.

My plea to the media is attend every single count - postal votes and all - follow the transport cars of RCC postal votes to Melton and back again on 7/8 May, be at the count and arrange for someone to watch the back and side doors of the the Victoria Hall - all night.

This count is getting curiouser and curiouser.