HC Deb 20 December 1985 vol 89 cc671-2 9·35 am
Mr. Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby)

I wish to present a petition

To the Honourable the Commons in Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. The Humble Petition of Chief Inspector Brian Woollard of the Metropolitan Police. Sheweth That as a Detective Chief Inspector in the Metropolitan Police Public Sector Corruption Squad of the Company Fraud Department, I was engaged in investigations into, inter alia, corruption in the Permanent Miscellaneous Street Properties (P.M.S.P.) contracts for the renovation and decoration of street properties of the London Borough of Islington. When these inquiries began to indicate a connection between corruption and Freemasonry, I was removed from the inquiry, then from the Company Fraud Department and the Criminal Investigation Department, by officers who were themselves Freemasons. As a result of my transfer to the Uniformed Branch in April, 1982 my career has been effectively shelved. All attempts to complain about this treatment, to secure the renewal of the inquiry by an investigation entirely independent of the Metropolitan Police, or to rectify the injustice to myself and my own career prospects within the Police Service, whether made to the Commissioner of Police, Home Secretary, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Prime Minister, have merely been referred back to the officers against whom the complaint was made in the first place. There is no provision for any genuinely independent review of complaints from within the Police Service and no independent inquiry free of Freemasonry associations … has been proposed—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but he should summarise the petition and the material allegations in it.

Mr. Mitchell

I come to the burden of the petition: All other means of redress have been exhausted since February 1982 to the present date and my only hope for protection and redress, therefore, lies with Parliament itself. Wherefore your petitioner prays that your Honourable House will institute an independent inquiry into his case, his treatment by the Metropolitan Police and the frustration of his inquiries and career by the influence of Freemasonry and make provision for the introduction of an independent complaints procedure for internal complaints within the Police Services for England and Wales, so that complaints by serving members and those conceived to have been constructively dismissed, shall not be frustrated by the senior officers against whom complaint is made. The petition is signed by Brian Woollard.

When all else fails, it is the responsibility of Parliament to provide justice. Chief Inspector Brian Woollard has waged a gallant campaign to secure it and I hope that the House will provide it.

To lie upon the Table.