Pressure to 'change' my personal election statement

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Pressure to 'change' my personal election statement

Post  Admin on Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:02 am

I received a call today (Tues Feb 2nd) from a Senior Governor Support Officer
at Newport City Council today. He told me that the 'legal team' had advised that the Council and myself could be under the danger of legal action if my personal statement was published, specifically because of the Samaritan's Purse charity. He asked me to change it, highlighting what I "could bring to the Board of Governors" in terms of "skills and experience".

Needless to say, I was astounded and refused to make any changes. I told him that his 'legal team' should do their job and check the facts I have written about Samaritan's Purse which are available in the public domain and have been published before, by the Guardian, for example.

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Re: Pressure to 'change' my personal election statement

Post  Admin on Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:21 am

I have received a further call today from the same Senior Governor Support Officer
at Newport City Council today. After refusing to change my statement, he said that his legal dept had said they could not publish two whole paragraphs about Samaritan's Purse. I spoke to the Chief Legal Officer who seemed to contradict what I was told - he revealed that he had in fact not read my statement and was simply asked whether the council could refuse to publish something that may be defamatory and expose the council to legal action.

Of course, something that is truthful cannot be defamatory. Regarding what I had written, I asked , "if true, would you agree it shouldn't be censored". The Chief Legal Officer said he agreed. He said that the council was under "no obligation to publish" my statement but agreed that if other parents' statements were published this would be "unfair".

So, the Senior Governor Support Officer conveyed "concerns" to the Chief Legal Officer but made no elaboration. Why has a council official taken it upon himself to decide what is true or false and what can or cannot be published?

I am expecting a reply but I will seek advice from Paul Flynn tomorrow.

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