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Labour writes to Cabinet Secretary about details of Patrick Rock’s arrest

5 March 2014

11:38 AM

5 March 2014

11:38 AM

So it looks as though Labour is going to go for Number 10 over Patrick Rock’s arrest. Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Jon Ashworth has written to Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood with the following questions about the case:

Dear Sir Jeremy,

I am writing to you about the arrest last month of the Prime Minister’s senior adviser, Patrick Rock, on allegations concerning child abuse images. On the substance of the allegations themselves, I recognise that Mr Rock has not been charged with any offence, and it is vitally important that the police investigation is able to take its course and that no potential future trial is prejudiced.

However, given that Mr Rock had a senior role at the heart of Government and was privy to the most sensitive information, and that he has had a very close working relationship with the Prime Minister over a number of years, the way in which the news of Mr Rock’s resignation and arrest emerged raises a number of important questions for the Government which do not bear on the investigation itself.

I would therefore like to ask the following questions:

– When was No. 10 first made aware of allegations of Patrick Rock’s involvement in a potential offence connected to child abuse imagery? When was the Prime Minister first made aware of these allegations? When were you first made aware of them and what advice did you give?

– How much time passed between No. 10 first becoming aware of the allegations and a) Mr Rock being spoken to about them; b) the police being alerted; c) Mr Rock’s resignation?

– What contact have officials had with Mr Rock since his resignation?

– When were Mr Rock’s colleagues in No. 10 informed that he had resigned, and why was the fact of his resignation not made public immediately? What were officials in No. 10 and in other departments with which he had contact told about the reasons for Mr Rock’s absence from work?

– What was Mr Rock’s level of security clearance?

There have also been reports of at least one serious allegation of sexual harassment against Mr Rock, which had not previously been made public, even though it has now been reported that one such allegation led to a female member of staff being moved from No. 10 to another government department while Mr Rock remained in his post. I would like to ask the following questions:

– In total how many sexual harassment allegations have been made against Mr Rock, on what dates were they made, and in each case how were they dealt with and what was the outcome?

– Was there a formal process for dealing with the sexual harassment allegations against Mr Rock, and what was the involvement of the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Ed Llewellyn, in that process? What other officials were involved?

– In your judgement, is it right for a political appointee to handle a sexual harassment complaint made by an official about another political appointee?

– When were you, as Cabinet Secretary, made aware of any sexual harassment allegations against Mr Rock, and what was your involvement in dealing with them?

– Was the Prime Minister made aware of any sexual harassment allegations against Mr Rock, and if so when?

In view of the public interest in these matters, I am releasing this letter to the media.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Ashworth MP

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Show comments
  • Daidragon

    Interesting comments. The Daily Mail running interference for REAL paedos inside number 10 has partially worked. Using the NCA instead of the Met proves to me that there has been an orchestrated attempt to keep this out of the public eye.

    • ButcombeMan

      In all the circumstances, using the NCA was absolutely appropriate, their being called in proves nothing of the sort & It would obviously come out at some time as any fool would know.

      The allegations concern someone who had access to the policy and in a supposedly highly secure environment. Officers to investigate this should have Developed Security Vetting.

      The MetPol Officers who do this sort of work are highly unlikely to have that vetting. It is too expensive for the average plod.

  • Greenslime

    Anyone notice how quickly the BBC picked up on this one?

  • Ringstone

    The idea peddled by Labour that an individual arrested for this most heinous offence but UNCHARGED should have his or her name bandied about is a disgrace. Put yourself in their position, the stain would never wash off even if nothing came of it. Except in the most exceptional situations [and I’m looking at Code C Annex B PACE as guidance here] should an uncharged person be identified and their Article 12 rights violated. Prurient interest and political advantage doesn’t cut the mustard for ruining a person’s life and reputation pre-charge.

    • ButcombeMan


  • Thatcherite Lee

    Can we please not put this into perspective.
    He’s at this point only been arrested not charged nevermind tried and convicted therefore he is innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.
    This trial by media approach that always seems to occur in situations like this is unfair on many men that have been falsely accused and continue to be falsely accused.
    The fact is no one knows if he is guilty of anything or another innocent victim of the post saville era so please let justice run it’s course.

    • SgtVimes

      The issue here is not the allegations as such but how No.10 dealt with them.
      Why was the arrest, on the eve of a by-election, not public knowledge when in so many other cases it has been? And why was the victim of sexual harrassment moved from her post so the perpetrator could stay in his job? I’m all for the principle of innocent until proven guilty, but what is it when the victim gets punished?

      • Daidragon

        Spot on mate. There are none so blind as those who do not want to see.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    More than two. And don’t forget the Islington care Homes Scandal. People who live in glass houses …

    • SgtVimes

      Are you suggesting that these questions shouldn’t be asked? How are we to hold our leaders to account if asking questions relies on finding someone “who is without sin”?

  • Bert

    Labour should be eating humble PIE

  • ButcombeMan

    And the answer should be a raspberry.

    The opposition is not entitled to any of this information, for now anyway.

    The investigation should take its course without Labour trying to score points.

    The only problem is Sir Jeremy. the man who messed up the Plebgate inquiry.

    • SgtVimes

      I think you’ll find its perfectly proper for MP’s to ask questions about the propriety of behaviour in Downing Street. You seem to be confusing the investigation into the allegation that Rock had innappropriate images and the work by No.10 to ensure that the arrest remain out of the media spotlight on the eve of a by-election.

      • ButcombeMan

        Your last two lines are an unproven allegation. What work? Produce your evidence.

        It is right that the arrest DID remain out of the media spotlight while the initial investigations took place. Why would any reasonable person expect it to be immediately in the public domain? How is that fair to the arrested person? How does that help the investigation? Why would it have any effect whatsoever on a by election? Your whole post is ridiculous.


  • Peter Stroud

    Score so far: Cons 1, Lab 1. Both own goals.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    This is skin-crawlingly bad from Labour.

    • Tom Tom

      Hardly, it is evidence how pervasive this culture is……add a few judges, policemen, media types and you have a cross-section of kiddie meddlers

  • Mike Purves

    Given Harriet Harman’s well-documented, unregretted past sympathy for Mr Rock’s alleged predilections, will she be sending him a message of support?

  • Alexsandr

    So this is the labour party, who have 2 MP’s that supported paedophilia, trying to get the moral high ground over this. I would have thought, ‘get your own house in order before pointing fingers at the government’ would be an appropriate response.

    • telemachus

      What a ridiculous statement
      I clearly heard the 2 folks to whom you refer condemning paedophilia

      • Alexsandr
        • telemachus

          I did not know that and withdraw the totality of my post
          And apologise
          Paedophilia is a stain on our society and Dromey and Hewitt need to issue a statement urgently
          As for Harman
          She was simply the paid legal adviser charged to advise on the legality of actions and as such may be in the clear
          Which is not what we can say about Cameron. He now, needs to explain judgement in relation to both Coulson and Rock

      • Bert

        Yes, but they did not condemn it in the 70’s when these progressives gave us the permissive society that encouraged Saville and other mainly BBC untouchables to get away with their abuses.

        • telemachus

          Un connected

      • mike

        Labour are absolutely disgusting. There is a very clear difference between working for an organisation which openly supported PIE and employing somebody who it is later discovered was acting illegally. When I read the letter that Labour wrote it didn’t surprise me considering the revolting individuals at the heart of Labour. Somebody really does need to get some disinfectant and have a good clean out of all the scum in the labour party. They really are an awful bunch of vomit inducing cretins.

        • telemachus

          Not Labour
          2 individuals
          I agree Hewitt and Dromey need to issue statements urgently

        • Thatcherite Lee

          He hasn’t been charged nevermind tried and convicted so bit too early to make such a statement about acting illegally.

          • jack mustard

            It’ll be harder to get a conviction since he was obviously tipped off about his impending arrest.

            • Thatcherite Lee

              You have no evidence to back that up.

              • jack mustard

                No. But he was able to resign before he was arrested. I’m sure he spent the evening of 12 February watching Corrie rather than concealing anything that might incriminate him.

    • Daidragon

      Utterly moronic post. Cameroon really knows how to pick his friends doesn’t he? Coulson, Brookes and now this. What a wretched scoundrel he really is.