Letter to the Home Secretary regarding payments from NDS to Surrey Police

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Home Secretary
Home Office
2 Marsham Street

29 March 2012

Dear Theresa,

You may be aware that the Australian Financial Review has recently published a sample of 14,400 emails on its website, originating from a laptop hard drive, in which is it revealed NDS, then a subsidiary of News Corporation, had a special account for making payments to British police and informants.

One of the emails titled “Cheque for Police” shows that NDS paid Surrey Police £2,000 in September 2000. It was sent by NDS’s then deputy head of Operational Security, Len Withall, to “Joan” with a request that the payment be authorised by Ray Adams, the company’s former head of Operational Security in the UK. I understand Mr Adams is a former senior police officer at the Metropolitan Police. A copy of the email referred to is enclosed for your reference.

As Home Secretary, I am sure you would wish to establish the full facts of this case. It is a cause for concern that an employee of NDS, a subsidiary of News Corporation, can apparently claim, in an email, that the company had a special account for making payments to British police and informants. Such an arrangement, if found to be true, raises many questions about policing priorities, probity, transparency and relationships with big business.

I am sure you will agree, particularly with this development coming on top of the Dowler revelations last year, that there is a clear public interest in this matter being investigated outside the internal mechanisms of Surrey Police. I have copied this letter to the Chief Executive of the IPCC, the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee and Lord Leveson.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Tom Watson
Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East

Cc Ms Jane Furniss, Chief Executive of the IPCC
Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee
Lord Justice Leveson, The Leveson Inquiry

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Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 04:32:57 EDT
Subject: Cheque for Police
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From: LWith520@aol.com
To: Jjackson@ndsuk.com
Date: 6/9/2000 7:32:58 PM
Subject: Cheque for Police
(Doing this from home.Please send reply to works email)
Over the last six months I have been doing some work with the Surrey Police.
In our budget under code 880110 there is an amount of money set aside for
payment to Police/Informants for assistance given to us in our work.
With Ray’s authority could you please make out a cheque in the sum of £2000
(two thousand pounds) payable to the SURREY POLICE and forward it to my
office. When passed over to the police I will let you have the receipt.
Many thanks


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