Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Reply from West Mercia Police to my Freedom of Information Request for a copy of the 'Unless you die' email

Lucy Allan MP has implied that she passed a copy of the unpublished 'Unless you die' email to the West Mercia Police. I felt it was worth asking the Police for a copy of the email under the Freedom of Information Act . This was their response.

Dear Mr Phillips


I write in connection with your request for information which was received on 1st February 2016.

Please find below the response to your request:
Could I please receive a copy of the email sent to Lucy Allan MP which contains the words 'Unless You Die' believed to be passed to West Mercia Police by Lucy Allan on 4th December 2015.

REPLY: Your request for information has now been considered and I am not obliged to supply the information you have requested.
West Mercia Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds the information you requested as the duty in s1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply, by virtue of the following exemption:

Section 40 (5)   Personal information

Please be advised that any information released as a result of a Freedom of Information request, in effect, is being released into the public domain. Therefore, it could subsequently be published or would have to be made available to any member of the public if it were requested.
Any information that relates to an individual, or from which an individual could be identified, constitutes personal data and to release information that constitutes personal data into the public domain contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998. The information that you have requested pertains to personal data of a third party and therefore it is exempt from disclosure, the exemption that applies to this type of information is Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
In accordance with the Act, this letter represents a Refusal Notice for this particular request.
This action cannot be taken as confirmation or denial that West Mercia Police holds the information you have asked for.
Your attention is drawn to the below which details your right of complaint.
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write or telephone the Information Compliance Unit quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Mrs R Williams
Information Compliance Unit
Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police
PO Box 55
01905 331545 / 331565
West Mercia Police in complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information will not breach the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the enclosed information will continue to be protected by law. Applications for the copyright owner’s written permission to reproduce any part of the attached information should be addressed to The Force Solicitor, West Mercia Police Headquarters, PO Box 55, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SP.
Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the decision is incorrect?
You have the right to require West Mercia Police (WMP) to review their decision.
Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to discuss the decision with the person that dealt with your request.
Ask to have the decision looked at again -
The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to telephone the person named at the end of your decision letter.
That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and assist with any problems.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of WMP made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding access to information, you can lodge a complaint with WMP to have the decision reviewed. WMP must be notified of your intention to complain within 20 working days of the date of its response to your Freedom of Information request. Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:
West Mercia Police Headquarters
Information Compliance Unit
Hindlip Hall
PO Box 55
In all possible circumstances, WMP will aim to respond to your complaint within 2 months.
The Information Commissioner
After lodging a complaint with WMP if you are still dissatisfied with the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner please visit their website at Alternatively, phone or write to:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Phone: 01625 545700

Friday, 12 February 2016

Here is my letter to the Prime Minister about Lucy Allan copied to the Chairman of the Telford Conservatives

7th February 2016

The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

Dear Mr Cameron


I wish to make you aware of the damage that my MP Lucy Allan is continuing to do to the Party and urge you to take action.

I should immediately make it clear that until now I have always voted Conservative in elections. I have lived in Telford for most of my life and last year I voted for Mark Pritchard as I lived in his constituency at that time, but I supported Lucy Allan on social media and thought her success was well-deserved.  However, because of Mrs Allan’s lack of openness and accountability with regards to the ‘Unless you die’ email and because of her conduct towards me personally the Conservatives have now lost my support.

Mrs Allan is continuing to avoid questions about the source of the words ‘Unless you die’ that she added to a constituent’s email and published on her facebook page in December 2015.    

She claims that these words were taken from a second email that she has received but she refuses to publish that email (which she has confirmed was anonymous and non-threatening) or a relevant extract of it and she refuses to explain why she cannot publish it.

In the absence of any evidence to support Mrs Allan’s claim, the only logical conclusion that I and many other people have drawn is that those words did not come from a second email but that Mrs Allan herself made those words up before adding them to her constituent’s email.  If this is the case this would mean that the official statements that she has been making to members of public and the national media are false.

Last month Lucy Allan MP pulled out of a scheduled interview with the BBC because, as the BBC have officially stated, they ‘couldn’t agree to avoid questions on the ‘’Unless you die’’ email.’   
Last month I explained to the local Conservatives Association that I had emailed Mrs Allan concerning the ‘Unless you die’ email but had not received a straight reply from her. They were very helpful and advised me to contact Mrs Allan to arrange a surgery appointment to discuss my concerns. Later that day I received a shocking email from Mrs Allan in which she accused me of conduct that could be described as ‘stalking’ and she told me that any further contact with her office would be considered ‘harassment’.  I was appalled at receiving this email because all I had done was to correspond by email asking for clarification of the unpublished ‘Unless you die’ email. I immediately went to the police because if Mrs Allan was going to wrongly accuse me of stalking I was concerned that she might later wrongly accuse me of harassment.

Another constituent was last week refused a surgery appointment with Mrs Allan last week because he wanted to discuss the ‘Unless you die’ email.

Numerous people have asked Mrs Allan via social media why she will not publish the ‘Unless you die’ email and she has responded by ignoring their question and then blocking them.

I believe from speaking to people in Telford that Mrs Allan is losing a great deal of support because of her lack of openness and her blocking of voters who dare to question her.

Because the Conservative Party has so far taken no action against Mrs Allan many people have interpreted this as the Party condoning her actions.  Others have pointed out that Telford is a marginal seat and they believe that the Conservative Party will do anything to hang on to that seat and so will support Lucy Allan come what may.

In my view, if the Conservative Party continues to take no action there will be longer-term damage done to the Conservatives’ election chances in Telford and possibly further afield. However, if decisive action is taken now to distance the Party from the actions of Mrs Allan this can only reflect well on the Party as a whole.

Yours sincerely

Neil Phillips 

cc Mr David Wright, Chairman of Telford Conservatives