Graham Wilmer Letter – Subject: Complaint to Observer

Dear sirs
On 6th December 2014, you published an article by Daniel Boffey which contained inaccurate and misleading information about me. Mr Boffey contacted me the evening before publication to ask for my response to the claims being made against me by Andrew Lavery and his lawyers Leigh Day, which were that I had sent him unsolicited and threatening emails, which had caused him great distress.
As I was on a crowded train at the time Boffey called me, and because I was limited to what I could say anyway, because of the collective responsibility communications protocol I was under, as a then member of the CSA inquiry panel, I was unable to defend my position.
The story told to Boffey by Lavery was part of a wider campaign of malicious harassment against me and my family by Lavery and his colleague Ian Mcfadyen, whose sole aim was to disrupt the inquiry in order that they might have more influence themselves in the work and shape of the inquiry.
Now that the inquiry has been replaced with a new statutory inquiry, and the panel dissolved, I am free to speak out about this particular matter. I have therefore taken action against Leigh Day, Lavery and McFadyen, who stand accused of deliberately misleading the inquiry by making false allegations about me to the Home Secretary, the HASC and the media, including yourselves.
My complaint to you is that Daniel Boffey did not properly investigate the truth of the tale he was spun by Lavery, and his failure to investigate resulted in significant harm to myself and my reputation at the time.
The Guardian also continued this story line on 20th January, saying that there was an ‘ongoing investigation by Home Office lawyers’ into me over this, which was completely false. The Home Office have now confirmed to the Guardian that there is no such investigation, and never was. They will be printing an apology in due course.
The malicious harassment campaign against me by Lavery and Mcfadyen, which the Observer became part of, is now the subject of a formal complaint to the police by me, agreed with the Home Office, and other action is being taken to address the attempts by Lavery and Leigh Day to mislead the Home Secretary, the inquiry and the HASC.
I therefore request that the Observer publish a correction to the article published on 6th December, as it was inaccurate and misleading
Kind regards
Graham Wilmer MBE


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16 responses to “Graham Wilmer Letter – Subject: Complaint to Observer

  1. Bishop Brightly

    Having read the twitter feed of one of those names over the past few months it’s been obvious that the had a personal agenda fueled by bitterness and personal ego. A distasteful individual.

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  3. tdf

    “Those people were only the tools while the operator/s kept their hands clean.”

    Yes but everyone has ‘moral agency’. MacFadyen and Lavery use the fact of them having been abuse survivors to bludgeon any challenge or criticism of their behaviour. Tom Watson strikes me as a level-headed type, that ‘narcissistic bully’ tweet didn’t come from nowhere.

    • I can name 5 of the 8 panel members that were smeared and undermined by various means. Sometimes all it takes is to wind up a vulnerable person and set them off.

  4. Sabre

    It’s in the interests of those with most to lose to scatter the opposition.
    Drake split the Armada into bite sized chunks.

    • dpack

      elizabeth failed to pay her common sailors until after many of them had died of hunger or assorted sailoring related pestilences.
      the hand often has no respect for a stolen tool .

  5. Andy Barnett

    I’ve been suspicious of Lavery ever since he told me in a DM of “toxic” allegations against Tom Watson which were in the hands of his lawyers.

  6. nonnymouse

    I’m suspicious of all of them, which is awful but absolutely true. Their behaviour has been pretty bad for months, and its not the only spat going on either.
    I’m not at all sure they have been manipulated, I think they are responsible for their own behaviour – and I have always doubted the wisdom of having survivors with unresolved personal problems on the panel.

  7. Bishop Brightly

    “I have always doubted the wisdom of having survivors with unresolved personal problems on the panel.”

    I completely agree. I know it is unpopular in some quarters, but objectivity and balance is not usually born of extreme personal experience.

    • Andy Barnett

      I agree Bishop. However being a survivor shouldn’t disqualify someone from membership of the panel, if they are otherwise qualified.

  8. Gary

    I am sad, but not surprised to learn of the manipulation of the panel. These days it still happens but its much harder to keep it under wraps. When I think of the abuse inquiries and their chances of success I’m reminded of asbestosis. Many hundreds of thousands have been affected by or killed by this. They knew decades ago that it was deadly but admissions were never forthcoming and compensation and blame only came after the vast majority of the guilty and victims were dead. Only now, when there’s virtually no one left, is it accepted wisdom that asbestos is toxic. Such scandals have always existed, blown up and then forgotten from Cleveland Street in 1889 to The Cleveland child abuse scandal in 1987. They share something, after being discovered, confirmed and investigated there is a response, a backlash from those in authority either dismissing it entirely or playing it down before it damages too many people. Theyll discredit and sacrifice to save the VIPs but, for some reason, our politicians always act in the same way

    • dpack

      a small but quite interesting aside is that cyril smith was one of those who protected the interests of the asbestos industry and their insurers in westminster.

  9. I do not think its fair to assume survivors are the only people with unresolved issues that would make them inappropriate for inquiry boards the very fact that this inquiry is needed shows how dealing with child abuse objectivity is also an issue for people who didn’t experience it.

  10. Phil

    I think you can also get to the point where anyone can say anything about any public person and have people believe it just because theres such a general consensus that paedophilia is vile (obviously) and politicans are liars. It also seems that poeple who have suffered abuse think that they alone know how to expose the bastards behind it. WHich is understandable when everyone has stonewalled them, but dangerous when this kind of mudslinging starts.
    Of course someone putting ideas into teh heads of these men can’t be ruled out, it seems more likely to me that they are just vengeful men trying to get their own back on a political class who have cut them adrift and chucked them on the scrapheap.

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