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Scotsman.com
 
Monday, 28th May 2007

Politics

The Scotsman Wed 24 Jan 2007

Now Holyrood election chief quizzed in peerages inquiry

GERRI PEEV

A LABOUR election chief has become the latest person to come under suspicion in the cash-for- peerages affair after it emerged that he had been interviewed twice by police, once under caution.

John McTernan, Tony Blair's director of political operations, who has been called in to save Jack McConnell's campaign, had been dragged into the inquiry by the Metropolitan Police.

Those close to him have insisted he would not quit if he was arrested over the allegations. It is understood a Labour Party lawyer was with Mr McTernan, 47, when he was interviewed under caution by officers from the Met in London last week.

Mr McTernan has been political secretary to Tony Blair since May 2005 and is usually based in Downing Street. He was a head of policy under the former First Minister, Henry McLeish.

The news came after it was confirmed that the First Minister himself was interviewed by police over his nomination of Colin Boyd for a peerage - a move said to have irritated Mr McConnell as the elevation of the lord advocate to the House of Lords is common.

Angus MacNeil, the SNP MP who triggered the inquiry, said the news about Mr McTernan would rock Labour's campaign in Scotland to its core. He said: "John McTernan was sent north by Blair to run the show and now Scottish Labour look like being engulfed by the crisis".

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This article: http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=123682007

Last updated: 24-Jan-07 02:01 BST

Comments

1. Bill, Dunblane / 2:49am 24 Jan 2007

Ever closer.....

Bliar - your day is coming, one way or the other!

So where is the money coming from to run the Labour campaign in May? A question that should be asked on every one of the next 100 days.

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2. Jmhzx, BRIGHTON / 8:36am 24 Jan 2007

Chickens coming home to roost. They've disgraced themsleves now they're bringing disgrace on the Scottish Parliament. Shameful. I'd rather have John Major's Tories back with their brown envelopes than McConnel/Blair et all

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3. Alastair the First / 10:15am 24 Jan 2007

How are Labour going to run an election campaign from the Bar-L?

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4. WW, Scotland / 10:40am 24 Jan 2007

Why did it take an SNP MP to raise this disgusting issue? Answer:- because the rest of them are all party to the cash for honours system that has been going on for a long time. Now that this criminal practise has been uncovered all the sleaseball politicians are running for cover under the stones they crawled out from. On the only day in May when real democracy is available to us, use it wisely and make sure that the liars and deceivers get what they deserve. The UK parliament is a sick institution where warcriminals lurk and where truth and justice are hard to find.

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5. Calum10 / 11:45am 24 Jan 2007

No smoke without fire. Police are evidently flagging up that John McTernan has a case to answer.

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6. Kenmac, Oban / 12:44pm 24 Jan 2007

As this story develops it would seem that the Labour Party campaign for the forthcoming Scottish elections will be financed by wodges of dodgy finance.

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7. Jimmy Choo / 12:53pm 24 Jan 2007

I know this is not connected to this story, but can anyone find anything about JMcC defending the Scottish /UK approach to Europe?

Not surprising if you don't---The North Briton can't print a piece defending a situation which it didn't print in the first place!!!

"All the news fit to print"--except when the NB decides we're too stupid to be allowed to read it and draw our own conclusions.

EDITORIAL CENSORSHIP I call it. The decline of The Scotsman continues.

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8. Eve, Scotland / 8:12pm 24 Jan 2007

"Now Holyrood election chief quizzed in peerages inquiry"

What there's curuption there too!!!!

How do we know that we get what we vote for?

(I know that the conts are done in the constuncy that the votes take place)

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9. CHIC / 11:55pm 24 Jan 2007

CASH FOR HONOURS

more like

CORRUPTION FOR HONOURS

Colin Boyd resigned because of his & his departments incompetence in relation to the Shirley McKie fingerprint case. His attempts to cover up the mistakes are being exposed.
McConnell claims that Boyd was first nominated in 2004, but due "to the 2005 election" it was postponed.
Co-incidently in late 2004 McKie was given permission to sue the Executive.
Just after McConnell used taxpayers money to settle out of court with McKie for £750,000 in February last year, Boyd's nomination is made public.

Why did McConnell wait till so long after the election to nominate Boyd?

If Boyd or the Exec' had given us the Judicial Inquiry which the Fingerprint officer's who correctly identified Shirley McKie demand, what would we have found out?

Answer

1. Shirley McKie committed PERJURY during her perjury trial.(Would the jury still have found her not guilty if they knew she had lied to them?)

2. The American fingerprint examiners called by her defence team did not use the same images as the Glasgow experts who correctly indentified her print.

3. When William Taylor HMIC carried out an investigation into the McKie case he used an old pal from Interpol to assess the identification. He allowed Arie Zeelenburg to use the 'flawed' defence exibits to criticise the SCRO. Taylor knew that Zeelenburg had also formed an opinion before he was choosen to 'independantly' assess the identification.

4. American expert Pat Werthiem (who is responsible for creating the flawed images that helped to get Shirley off) claimed that the same Glasgow experts made another mistake. This time a convicted murderer was freed pending appeal.

5. Despite being in posession of further fingerprint analysis confirming the evidence from the murder trial & a police report which recommended extra DNA testing on blood evidence that matched the victim's blood group, Colin Boyd allowed the KILLER to be freed without contesting the appeal.

6. Ever since Shirley's perjury trial the politician's have been reacting to the headlines in the newspapers or BBC Scotland's many, many news reports and documentries.

7. The fingerprint officers have been gagged by their bosses. Their bosses answer to the Executive.

8. McKie's campaigning father is a retired police Superintendant, formerly Strathclyde Police's Media Relations Officer. 1 week after his daughter was identified he was in the Divisional Commander's office protesting his daughter's innocense. He has spent years ruthlessly pursuing those who challenged his daughters honesty to protect his OWN ego!

Boyd resigned just after he gave evidence to the Justice Committee's fingerprint Inquiry. Newspapers have recently reported that he will be heavily critised .....

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10. CHIC / 11:55pm 24 Jan 2007

..... in their report.

Boyd resigned as Lord Advocate 10 hours before a deadline which required him to submit the aforementioned DNA evidence for further analysis.

It is now almost 5 months since the day that Boyd gave evidence to J1. On that day the media claimed that 6 of the fingerprint officers were to be kicked out of their jobs.(because of the McKie identification) These officers have still not received any notification from their bosses that the claims are true or more worryingly any reassurance that their jobs are safe.

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