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The picture on the right is a Surrey Constabulary view of Chertsey Road, Woking taken in November 1962.  It shows a smiling 19 year old PC Colin White on patrol and was taken by colleague Paul Holt.  Is it not a frightening thought that this picture is now over fifty, yes 50, years old?

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Let’s call time on French‑bashing

There is no truth to the story about a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria.

The French are angry. Usually, they ignore what the perfidious British write about them. This time they are very angry. According to an absurd story going viral on the internet, French office workers have been given a legal right to ignore work emails and phone calls after 6pm.

Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999

Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999

There is no truth – not even much suspicion of truth – in this story. It began with a column in The Guardian, whose author has since admitted that she made a mistake. It was taken up, with further embellishments, insulting commentary and no fact-checking, by the Daily Mail. It has since spread rapidly online.

The Mail wrote: “Workers in Socialist France can now ignore telephone calls and emails from their bosses when they are at home. It is all part of a new legal agreement which confirms President François Hollande’s country as arguably the laziest in Europe… The law specifically makes it illegal for workers in the digital and consultancy sectors … to respond to emails or phone calls after 6pm.”

There is no such law. There is no new law at all. There is a convoluted agreement between bosses and unions, which affects 70,000 senior white-collar workers. It allows them to continue to work from home while respecting, in annual terms, the French 35-hour week and the European Union law on minimum rest periods.

I have read the text. There is nothing in the agreement which “specifically makes it illegal” to answer emails or empowers workers to “ignore telephone calls”. It suggest that employees can “disconnect electronic devices” during the EU-decreed rest periods of “11 consecutive hours per day and 35 consecutive hours per week”.

In other words, it allows 13-hour days. There is no mention whatsoever of a 6pm cut-off. Similar agreements already exist in Belgium – and even in hard-working Germany.

Perhaps we should paraphrase the Mail: “This episode is part of a pattern which confirms some British journalism as arguably the laziest in Europe – and the most gratuitously aggressive on anything remotely connected with Europe.”

The French anger is partly explained by the sensitivity of the subject: in other words, France’s allegedly lackadaisical and reluctant working habits; the 35-hour working week; competitiveness and jobs. Many French people would agree that the 35-hour working week, introduced in 1999, was an error. It is not solely responsible for the poor state of the French economy. On the other hand, it has not reduced unemployment by sharing jobs around, as a previous socialist government promised that it would. It has made life fiendishly complicated for some employers, not least the state health service.

All the same, there has been a pattern recently of articles in the US and British media which exaggerate and misrepresent France’s economic problems and attractiveness to foreign investors.

Emma Röhsler is a British lawyer at the Paris office of Herbert Smith Freehills and an expert on British and French employment law. She said: “Some of the reporting on this so‑called 6pm law has been French-bashing at its worst. People here are angry and I understand why. This kind of thing can affect decisions by companies, especially American companies, who are thinking of investing in France.” Ms Röhsler points out that, despite the 35-hour week, the average time worked in France is about 39 hours, compared with 40 hours in Britain. How can that be?

The original 35-hour law has been much amended but, significantly, never abolished by successive right‑wing governments between 2002 and 2012. Unions and employers can, for instance, negotiate exemptions locally to improve competitiveness and save jobs.

The 35-hour week is either a legal quagmire or an opportunity for creative agreements at local level. The agreement which has caused such unjustified merriment in Britain was a response to a French court ruling in 2012.

Some white-collar employers and employees are allowed to implement the 35-hour week loosely with annual or monthly averages and extra rest days. The court said that this was fine but must also take account of the EU directive – from which Britain has an exemption – on minimum daily and weekly “downtime”.

Into this legal morass, enter the Swedes. The city of Gothenburg is considering an experiment to allow some municipal workers to switch to six-hour days, instead of eight. The main Swedish centre-left party is proposing that the whole country introduce a 35-hour week.

In both cases, the argument runs as follows: workers are more productive if their day is shorter. A shorter week can both increase individual output and create more jobs. There may be some truth in this. Daily Mail readers look away now.

French workers, in terms of wealth generated per hour, are among the most productive in the European Union. They come fifth. Germans come seventh. Britons come 12th. All the same, the French experience does not support the argument for a centrally imposed 35-hour week. France has a narrow band of people who do work. It has high unemployment (10 per cent), many perpetual students and a great deal of early retirement.

The business of creating wealth, and paying taxes, falls on a relatively small proportion of the French population. There is a huge state sector. The 35-hour week has further narrowed the work base on which the French economy rests.

This has not proved to be a formula for economic dynamism.

Maybe the idea would flourish better in Sweden. The French experience suggests, however, that working time is something best left to negotiations between workers and employers – of just the kind that did not ban work emails after 6pm.

Let’s call time on French‑bashing

East London arsenal one of biggest hauls, say police

One of the capital’s biggest gun hauls has been made in east London, the Metropolitan Police have said.

The 30 firearms seized from an address in Leyton include assault rifles, sawn off shotguns and a Thompson machine gun.

A large amount of ammunition was also seized in the raid on Wednesday morning.

Acting Det Supt Gary Bruce said the size of the haul was “exceptional”.

He added: “The danger of these weapons in the wrong hands cannot be overestimated.”

A 51-year-old man was arrested by the Waltham Forest Gangs Task Force and remains in custody, the police said.

The Met said Operation Trident detectives were investigating.

The force said in the past two years shootings in London had been reduced by 40%.

Officers have seized more than 320 firearms since April 2013.

PC Keith Blakelock murder trial: Even family of key witness did not believe him

A key prosecution witness at the trial of the man cleared of killing PC Keith Blakelock was not even believed by his family, it can be revealed today.

Prosecutors will face fresh questions over their decision to bring charges against Nicky Jacobs after it emerged that the witness – known only as Q – had a long history of criminality and had received cumulative jail terms of more than a decade.

PC Blakelock was attacked by a mob of up to 20 people during rioting on Tottenham’s Broadwater Farm Estate in October 1985 and was fatally stabbed. Seven men have been put on trial in the intervening three decades but all of them have been cleared.

Prosecutors have defended their decision to put Mr Jacobs on trial for the murder in a case based in large part on the evidence of three witnesses including Q. He had not told police that he had seen the attack until 24 years later.

The three all had extensive criminal backgrounds and two – who came forward in the 1990s – were “kickers” who were involved in the attack. Because they did not wield a knife, they secured immunity from prosecution in the 1990s in return for helping with a police inquiry.
The third witness, Q, came forward only in 2009 but The Independent can reveal that even his family cast doubt on his ability to tell the truth before the case came to trial.

“Even his former partner said what he said should be taken with a pinch of salt and that you can’t believe anything he says,” said a source. “She said that he will say anything to get attention and always wanted to be the centre of attention.”

Q told the Old Bailey trial that he saw Nicky Jacobs stab the officer during the 1985 riots after the officer tripped and was surrounded by a group armed with knives, a metal bar and a machete.

The witness is believed to have a long history of offending that includes theft and obstructing a police officer that led in some cases to long prison sentences. The trial heard that he was a long-term drug and alcohol user. Mr Jacobs’ legal team accused him of suffering from delusional fantasies, which he denied.

After a jury cleared Mr Jacobs of murder, Jenny Hopkins, the deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said the decision to charge him followed a review of three police inquiries over 20 years and “it was right that all the evidence in this case was put before a jury and we respect its decision”.

The Metropolitan Police also defended its use of the witnesses. Senior officers said that unimpeachable witnesses were unlikely to be found in the middle of a riot.

From the Independent

Police whistleblower confronts Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe during radio phone-in

A police whistleblower who resigned after raising concerns about the massaging of crime statistics has confronted the Metropolitan Police Commissioner during a radio phone-in.

PC James Patrick asked Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe during an appearance on LBC whether the force will change the way it deals with whistleblowers after his experience.

He told Britain’s most senior police officer: “I feel very, very let down by the senior levels of the Met and I wanted to take the opportunity to say that. I sincerely hope that people who want to expose wrongdoing in the Met get a less raw deal in the future.”

Mr Patrick will leave the force next month having been threatened with further disciplinary action after a radio interview to discuss the issue of whistleblowing. He had already been given a final written warning, and is appealing against that decision.

Sir Bernard said he would be willing to meet Mr Patrick. When asked whether Scotland Yard will review procedures, he said: “In each case, sadly, it’s not straightforward. We will always be prepared to look at that and if there’s anything that comes from it we will try and learn. It’s a difficult balance to strike.”

Sir Bernard also said he has not contacted his predecessors over the “mass shredding” of sensitive intelligence relating to a corruption inquiry. He said 20 people have been interviewed about the destruction of records from Operation Othona – an anti-corruption initiative within the Metropolitan Police.

From the Independent

On the 30th anniversary of her murder – MI6 agents Yvonne Fletcher suspect ‘under surveillance’ in Libya

British agents have put relatives and associates of a suspect in the murder of police officer Yvonne Fletcher – shot dead outside the Libyan Embassy in London in 1984 – under 24-hour surveillance in Libya, according to a report.

MI6 officers have reportedly been talking to officials in Tripoli about the suspect, a former Libyan official, believed to be in his late 50s, following the downfall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. It is thought he may be hiding in Egypt.

A source close to the investigation told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “This is a very significant development in the inquiry.

“The MI6 officers’ task is to liaise with local people to find the killers of Yvonne Fletcher. The Yard wants it settled and to announce the coup by the end of the year since it has gone on for so long.”

The Foreign Office confirmed that British police had also been to Libya to talk about the case and said developments were expected.

“Helping the Metropolitan Police Service take forward their investigation into the murder of PC Fletcher is a priority. We continue to provide the police whatever support we can,” a spokesman said.

“We are pleased the Metropolitan Police Service were able to return to Tripoli earlier this year to continue building cooperation on this case with the new Libyan authorities.

“We expected to see follow-up soon.”

The police officer’s mother Queenie, 80, told the Mirror that “things are happening”.

“The Government knows the names of the people involved. I worry about them getting proof and that the proof will still be there.

“I have waited a long time. We shall see if they get it. I want justice.”

A memorial ceremony will be held today for PC Fletcher to mark the 30th anniversary of her death.

“It has been 30 years, but I still remember the day like it was yesterday,” her mother said.

From the Independent

Fellow Pensioner Vic Copus sadly died on the 8th April 2014

Fellow pensioners

The following was received from pensioner Kevin Deanus and circulated by Tony Forward

“I have been informed of the sad passing of Vic John Copus on the 8th April 2014.
Vic served with the Surrey constabulary as a Constable from 1950 to 1980. He was a well known and respected officer who spent a huge amount of time policing his beloved village of Alfold.
His funeral is being held on Wednesday 23rd April at St Nicholas Church in Alfold at 12 noon followed by refreshments at the Alfold Sports and Social Club.
All who knew Vic will be welcome to attend and pay their respects.”

Condolence cards may be sent to his son, Gerald Copus (Address available on request) No charity has been nominated for donations in his memory.

Vic Copus

Vic Copus early 1970 Cranleigh office

NCA weak spot ‘at mercy of criminals’

Compromise must urgently be found for agency to work effectively in Northern Ireland, says secretary-of-state.

Organised criminals will be the winners unless political differences are put aside and the National Crime Agency is rolled out across the whole if the British Isles, it has been claimed.

Delivering a speech in Belfast, Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said that she remained concerned that the new law enforcement body was still being denied the opportunity to operate effectively in the province and this needed to be urgently addressed.

She admitted that she shared the concern of many senior policing professionals that the gap in the Agency’s coverage was being exploited and the “ability to fight despicable crimes weakened”.

Ms Villiers went on to point out it was “deeply regrettable” that wrangling between political parties was preventing the full roll-out of the NCA – despite the Home Office offering flexibility and making it clear that the the chief constable would have “primacy” for law enforcement.

She added: “It may have ‘national’ in its name but the UK government completely accepts the crucial importance of ensuring the NCA’s operations in Northern Ireland are consistent with the devolution settlement.

“This is why the Home Secretary has agreed a number of significant changes to provide the necessary assurance and guarantee the primacy of the chief constable.”

The NCA was rolled out to the mainland UK in October last year. Headed by the former Warwickshire chief Keith Bristow, it is formed of four commands dealing with organised crime, border policing, child exploitation and economic crime.

But it only has a limited remit in Northern Ireland after Sinn Fein and the SDLP blocked a move to give the Agency full powers amid concerns that it could be unaccountable.

The NCA is responsible to Home Secretary Theresa May but policing in the province is accountable to the Northern Ireland Policing Board under the Belfast Agreement. The consent of the province’s Executive would be needed for it to fully operate there.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has said the NCA could only work alongside the force in the province – with final operational control resting with the chief constable.

The force is also on record as saying that there needs to be “complete transparency” of the NCA’s intelligence and investigations as well as operational activity. This would enable the chief to be held accountable for Agency operations through the policing board.

Ms Villiers added: “I believed it is now time for the Northern Ireland Executive to press ahead on the NCA and put common sense and the interests of the public above idealogy, so that the NCA is allowed to work properly in Northern Ireland for the good of all citizens.

“To me, it is deeply regrettable that despite months of talks and a willingness by (Northern Irelanmd Justice Minister) David Ford and the Home Office to be flexible, some parties remain opposed to the Assembly legislation needed to allow the NCA to operate with its full range of powers.”

From Police Oracle

Crime statistics ‘are not the final word in policing’

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) should not have to resort to parading statistics such as crime figures at re-election if their role is properly understood by the public, it has been suggested.

Law enforcement analysts believe the public are likely to become even more sceptical of statistics in the wake of recent controversies and that they should not be the only measure of an elected commissioner’s success.

Analysts suggest that the public will look at the overall approach of commissioners and their engagement with them.

They were speaking after an academic paper suggested commissioners may resort to using numerical targets to bolster their standing in the run up to the next elections.

In her research paper for the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Marian Fitzgerald said that PCCs could up the ante for results – and strong statistics – if they stood for a second term.

Professor Fitzgerald, a Visiting Professor of Criminology at the University of Kent, said MPs need to look at the underlying causes for a prevailing “targets culture”, which she claimed was forcing many seasoned officers out of the profession.

But Bernard Rix, Chief Executive of PCC monitoring service CoPaCC, said the communication and management acumen of commissioners – rather than crime figures – would be the key focal points come election time.

He added: “In terms of crime statistics, you could perhaps look at the approach of Ann Barnes in Kent – she commissioned Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to come in and examine the way crime was recorded in the force area.

“As a result, there were some significant issues identified and crime rates rose because of better crime reporting – she is in a position where she can take the standpoint that the figures are now much more reliable than they were and now fit for purpose.”

Jon Collins, Deputy Director of the Police Foundation think-tank, said there would always be “pressure from a range of places” for crime to be brought down.

He said: “It is right that there should be an expectation, not just on the police but on other agencies, for crime to be reduced but it may be police recorded crime is not the best measurement tool.

“It is also true that people base experiences on what is happening around them, and the service that the public receive as the victims of crime is also extremely important.

“If PCCs want to achieve public satisfaction and confidence they must account for this.”

From Police Oracle

Family liaison officers ‘at breaking point’

Family liaison officers have warned they are being stretched to breaking point as cuts to police officer numbers begin to hit this specialist role.

There are some 3,500 family liaison officers (FLOs) in England and Wales, trained to offer immediate support to families during a period of great anxiety and grief, while simultaneously investigating and gathering evidence in often high-profile cases.

But officers carrying out the job have told PoliceOracle.com that cuts to officer numbers are seeing them working off duty in the evenings, at weekends and days off.

A detective constable from a south east force who did not want to be named, said in the four years she has done the job it has become much more stressful.

She said: “The role has changed. When I first started, everything was very textbook. You always had a key family liaison officer on the case and then someone else to assist them and pick up when they weren’t there.

“Now there are not enough of us to do that throughout the investigation, even though the force tries very hard to make sure you have all you need.

“Emotionally it’s very difficult – especially when you are dealing with murders. The families have a lot of different needs and they need to speak to you outside normal hours.

“As a family liaison officer, you are dealing with the investigation and then you need to speak to the family on top of that.”

The officer said the demands of the job mean that she has to take calls around the clock. She added: “The role has become more stressful – I am often doing things outside my normal hours. That is stressful, in terms of the time you give the family. You cannot leave it behind.”

A detective constable, from Greater Manchester Police, added: “I love my role and I care for my families with a passion, but with all the cuts, it makes it harder to spend more time with them, and constantly being nagged to go back to your ‘day job’.”

Paul Ford, Secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales’ National Detectives Forum, said 3,500 family liaison officers is “a good number”, but acknowledged that like the rest of the service, the role is experiencing a squeeze.

He added: “One of the issues we have to contend with as a service is that we are 16,000 police officers lighter across the board. The role of the family liaison officer is critical.

“They provide outstanding support and are one of the most important roles. I have deployed family liaison officers as an investigator and the feedback from families is tremendous. It is a hard job and a very intense one. They are so committed, flexible and professional.”

Graham McNulty, the national lead for family liaison officers, said: “We don’t recognise any reduction in family liaison officers generally across the country, and certainly not in terms of budget cuts.

“FLOs perform crucial roles in supporting families at the highest level in the most serious of circumstances.

“Most detectives realise that it’s critical for a successful inquiry for that role to be in place and support to be provided.”

Watch out for a full feature on the work of the family liaison officer soon.

From Police Oracle

Fewer officers volunteering for public order

Police Federation lead warns that long hours are taking their toll on the specialist discipline in the wake of HMIC report.

The strains of long working hours on officers are taking their toll on the numbers of personnel volunteering for public order duties, the Police Federation lead on the topic area said.

Rick Nelson said the upshot of years of austerity measures were now having an impact – with some officers reluctant to put themselves forward, particularly among the inspecting ranks.

“One of the problems that we have is the numbers of officers trained in public order,” admitted Mr Nelson. “In particularly, the inspecting ranks have so many responsibilities now.”

The Fed lead was speaking after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) voiced concerns that some forces were having difficulty in conducting mobilisations of personnel – which could delay the deployment of boots on the ground.

In its report on the Strategic Policing Requirement, it was found that only a third of 18 forces in England and Wales that were tested by HMIs responded effectively in mustering trained and equipped personnel.

There were also concerns that a handful of forces did not have required leadership resources – which could put them on a back foot if there was major disorder – as well as fears that some equipment was not compatible with kit in other forces.

HMIs said unannounced visits to force control rooms showed “significant failings”, and that the other two-thirds of forces in the muster test had “unacceptable delays” in locating the required personnel.

“This is not satisfactory,” the report from the Inspectorate pointed out. “The Police Service must be able to respond swiftly to the requirement for national mobilisation.”

The document added: “Our analysis of data returned by forces indicated that sufficient levels of accredited public order trained commanders to provide cover during widespread disorder were not always in place.

“For example, three forces only had one trained and accredited gold commander, and these forces were at risk of not having the necessary command capability should an incident occur. Also there was not a formal agreement in place for how forces should requires assistance from other forces.

“In the 18 forces we visited, we checked the public order equipment used in Police Support Units (PSUs) and found they had the necessary equipment. However, we found different specifications meant it was not always compatible with equipment from other forces.”

Despite the criticism, Mr Nelson said he was confident that the system for mutual aid arrangements under National Policing Co-ordination Centre was set up well and was fit-for-purpose.

He accepted that changing shift systems and rosters put in place by forces to address budget cuts had made it more challenging to establish the whereabouts of officers. However, he believes the system is becoming better. In addition, he said there was a national programme to enhance the consistency of kit.

Mr Nelson added: “HMIs also identify some issues with command, but I think regional collaborations that we are now seeing can help address this to some extent. Generally I believe public order is an area we really do as well as we can.”

From Police Oracle

‘Internal revolt’ could erupt if Federation ignores reform

There are warnings that Police Federation members could lash out if review recommendations are not implemented.

An “internal revolt” among Police Federation members could break out if senior leaders fail to implement the recommendations of the Normington review, it has been claimed.

Internal tensions over the pace of change, leadership and the current state of the staff association could spill into the public domain if members of the Joint Central Committee (JCC) ignore the core recommendations of the review according to the report’s architect, Sir David Normington.

Sir David warned that there is a strong appetite for reform, especially amongst the 43 branch boards, and that leaders could face a backlash if they did not acknowledge and act upon it.

Speaking about the implications of the organisation ignoring the recommendations Sir David said: “One possibility is that there is some internal revolt. There is great dissatisfaction and a great movement for reform among members and that could burst out into the open.

“Most of the Federation’s statutes are in legislation and regulation. It is in the gift of the Home Office and the Home Secretary to change the Federation themselves. My message has always been it’s much better for an organisation like this to change from inside because the worse thing would be for the government to change you. But that is an option.

“There is a great deal of concern among the public, which is represented in Parliament, about the situation that the Federation faces. In these circumstances there is quite a demand for reform and Parliament is quite aware of that.”

Some of the core recommendations within the review suggest scrapping the rank committees, significantly reducing the JCC and cutting the subscription fee by a quarter.

Director of the Independent Review, Anthony Painter, told PoliceOracle.com that there appeared to be more resistance within the JCC to the reform recommendations than from the branch boards because some of the significant changes would directly affect them.

He said: “The recommendations are as much about behaviour as they are about structure. They both need to change in tandem.”

Sir David also criticised the current culture within the Federation, which he said does not encourage women to sit within the JCC.

He added: “I don’t see why many women would want to represent people in this organisation in this present culture frankly but if they could I think it would change.

“There needs to be some serious work in nurturing not just women but black and minority ethnic police officers.”

Mr Painter said that the current structure of the Federation is reminiscent of the circumstances in which it was created in the early 20th century.

He added: “The organisation was set up at the end of 1910s in the context of a police strike and severe conflicts between the Police Service and government.

“It was created to manage these tensions and it has not been purpose built for the modern needs of a staff association.

“It is a very complex association where there are pockets of power and money which can be exploited in a divisive way.”

From Police Oracle

See also PFEAW reforms and those resignations!

PFEAW reforms and those resignations!

Taken from Facebook, supplied by Kieran Diamond on the Surrey Police Group Page.
Internal letter to Fed’s Joint Central Committee reveals the ridicule and verbal attacks which left chairman humiliated as reviewer acknowledges culture of some bullying.
Date – 9th April 2014
By – Jasmin McDermott

The Police Federation is in a “moment of great danger” as it has been revealed that Chairman Steve Williams suffered verbal attacks and cruel bullying from senior members against the organisation’s independent review.
An internal letter from Mr Williams to members of the Joint Central Committee (JCC) reveals the scale of bullying, ridicule and personal attacks directed at the senior official following his decision to launch the review.
The letter states that Mr Williams endured more than a year of “continual criticism and ridicule” from some members he considered to be friends before he spoke out on February 1.
The document was released the day after Mr Williams and the Fed’s General Secretary Ian Rennie announced their intention to retire following the annual conference in May.
Sir David Normington, Chair of the panel that independently reviewed the Fed, said that “this is a moment of great danger for the Federation” as he told MPs that Mr Williams has been under “sustained personal attack from the moment he decided to set up this review”.
Giving evidence before the Home Affairs Select Committee, Sir David said that the chairman had been worn down and that “there comes a point when you wonder whether it is worth it and it has taken a toll on your family”.
The document written by the chairman was handed to the Committee by former head of communications Fiona McElroy.
It said: “I seriously need you all to know that the behaviour from some, recently directed publically and critically towards me, in my opinion is totally unacceptable and for me personally a straw that edged on breaking the camel’s back.
“This type of conduct is one of the very things that we as police officers should seek to eradicate from the Police Federation and why the Independent Review needs to be embraced.”
Mr Williams also suggested that late Federation chairman Paul McKeever suffered from similar treatment within the staff association.
“We all saw what happened to our friend and colleague Paul McKeever and with a young family I do not intend to let the same thing happen to me.
“I know some of you have described what has happened as ‘venting the spleen’ exercises or ‘a little bloodletting’ but it is simply wrong and is not how we should treat colleagues or indeed as I like to think of many of you, a friend.
“Whilst accepting emotions are running high in the advent of inevitable change, at times I have genuinely felt that I have been gratuitously and cruelly bullied and humiliated.”
Sir David told MPs that before he embarked on the review he was told there were examples of “bullying of staff members and the targeting of some public figures”.
He added: “A culture had grown up of some bullying and targeting of some individuals.
“What is so dismaying about all of this is that it happened immediately after we had published a report in which we said that it was the tendency of Federation reps, some of them, to target individuals rather than to argue about the issues.
“It is a small number but they do target individuals and they have a history of targeting individuals.”
He also warned that the next election could result in the Federation’s reforms being blocked by those opposed to them.
“The danger is, well this is a very dangerous moment for the Federation. It could be that the resignation of these two people will allow the people who want to block reform to be elected,” he said.
“It could have completely the opposite effect.”
“They should elect their chairman by all members but have to put in place a mechanism for doing that.
“They ought to think hard about whether they want to elect the next chairman in exactly the same way as the present one which is an election of the 30 members of the JCC. That will just reinforce a sense that council is distant from its members.
“However, there are a lot of people within the Federation who want to change it.”
The Federation’s Treasurer Martyn Mordecai said that Mr Williams was under an “awful amount of pressure” and that he was aware that Mr Rennie was “tired and felt he did not have the support of the JCC”.
Earlier in the hearing Home Secretary Theresa May said she was sorry to hear of Mr Williams’ departure and credited him for the important job of initiating the Normington review.
She said: “What is important for the Federation is they elect a new chairman to take the reform forward.”

See also
‘Internal revolt’ could erupt if Federation ignores reform

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