When is a police investigation not a police investigation?

When it’s Ken Livingstone it would seem.

The story so far: Ken Livingstone says he’s called in the police to investigate allegations against Lee Jasper and, as a result, has suspended him. He also says the allegations against Jasper are nonsense, which did cause a few people to ask the question of why he was reporting someone to the police when he didn’t think they’d done anything wrong…. (wasting police time, anyone?). But anyway, he says that someone under police investigation has to be suspended for their job, so suspended Jasper was.

And now: the police say actually, despite Ken’s comments, they aren’t investigating. As Brian Paddick put it:

Last week, Ken Livingstone suspended one of his closest aides, Lee Jasper, saying he wanted to enable the police to investigate the allegations of malpractice and corruption made against him.

“We now learn from Scotland Yard that there is no such police investigation taking place. It begs the question why was Lee Jasper suspended in the first place?”

Meanwhile, Lee Jasper is in trouble over yet another incident – this time his interview with The Voice newspaper backing Ken Livingstone in the London Mayor election, saying he is “the candidate of choice”.

The problem with this? Lee Jasper is employed by the GLA in a politically restricted job. The GLA’s rules on what politically restricted staff can’t do include this bit:

e) Speak to the public, at large or to a section of the public, with the apparent intention of affecting support for a political party.  • This is allowed to the extent that doing so is necessary for the proper performance of the person’s official duties. • “Speaking to the public” includes giving an interview, which to the knowledge of the person giving it, is likely to result in the publication of statements made, or opinions expressed, during the course of the interview

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7 Comments

  • Chris Paul,

    So why did Livingstone suspend Lee Jasper? Nobody EXCEPT the Mayor (by referring this matter to the police) has ever accused him of criminality, its the way that Mr Jasper used his highly influential position to exert improper pressure on the London Development Agency and it’s grant giving procedures that is being called in to question.

    Stupid Tories have muddied the water by talking about “tides of corruption” within the LDA. Given 6 LDA projects are being looked at by the police, they might have been better to use the phrase “small wave”, but even the Tories haven’t accused Lee Jasper of being corrupt.

    Livingstone’s defenders will instantly dismiss what I am about to recommend, but for those of you with a more open mind do take a look at Andrew Gilligan’s piece in today’s London Standard – http://tinyurl.com/2gwvcu

    As Mike Tuffrey put it yesterday; “if the Mayor believes Lee Jasper has done no wrong, he is wasting police time – http://tinyurl.com/yvpg99

  • Tony Greaves 21st Feb '08 - 5:06pm

    When they pretend they are investigating Labour postal vote fiddling in Lancashire.

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