Skip to main content

Consultancy Fees and Malicious Falsehood

Something like 18 months after Labour ex-Councillor Tony Kennedy pushed Jim Pendleton into a wall at the Prince of Wales pub in Moseley the Judge has now produced a judgement in the "Malicious Falsehood" case brought against Lib Dem Councillor Martin Mullaney for sending an email saying "Tony Kennedy is going to be Arrested."

As a sort of Small Claims version of Libel none of the outcome is particularly surprising. In this instance Martin gets costs of £60 rather than the £6000 or so he should be due for the amount of work done. Jim Pendleton also gets £50 for loss of earnings.

The case has had its surreal moments like when the Chief Executive of the Pub Chain was suppoenaed to stand as a witness - as if he was there on the night.

A key part of today's press report which has more impact than a row in a pub is the following:
[Mr Kennedy] maintained ... attempts to set up as new business as an independent consultant to developers suffered.
Mr Kennedy said a number of clients backed out of contracts because they feared he would not be able to lobby the planning committee effectively given Coun Mullaney's senior position on it.
He also alleged he began to receive calls from people asking him "to help out in a fight".
Birmingham Post 4th Feb.

What this means is that he was expecting to get "consultancy fees" from developers wanting planning permission, but when Labour lost control of the planning committee they said they would no longer pay him.

Now planning is supposed to be a "quasi judicial" process where there is no party whip and decisions are made on the merits of the case.

Why then would it matter which party controls the planning committee?

I don't think this particular aspect of the case is finished yet.

Comments

Jez said…
What this means is that he was expecting to get "consultancy fees" from developers wanting planning permission, but when Labour lost control of the planning committee they said they would no longer pay him.

Alternatively ...

What this mean is that he was expecting to get "consultancy fees" from developers wanting planning permission, but when the vice-chair of the planning committee apparently bore some kind a grudge against him, they said they would no longer pay him.

I know nothing about this case beyond what's been reported in the papers or in Martin's press releases. The only thing I am pretty sure of is that no-one is giving an uncoloured picture.
john said…
Consultancy fees are fees for advice. There is no reason why anyone would know when he had been offering advice.

Fees for lobbying are an entirely different matter.
Jez said…
Consultancy fees are fees for consultancy, surely, which covers pretty much anything and everything.

Actually, I think providing consultancy services to developers sounds suspicious enough without needing any kind of extra innuendo. Now, if it were possibly to employ someone to make life a bit harder for developers ... well, I could probably get behind that :)
john said…
Giving advice is one thing, lobbying is another.
Jez said…
Of course, it is. What I'm saying is that pretty much any activity can end up on an invoice as "consulting services".

Nuancing on precisely what Tony Kennedy meant by "consultancy fees", when his evidence was seems to have been pretty thoroughly trashed by the judge, to imply potential malpractice seems a bit of a stretch.

If there was or is corruption in the council, then I want to know about it. However, rumour and hint and nudge-nudging serves only to feed cynicism of public office. I don't want that; people should be, and should want to be, engaged with government at all levels. As someone who has devoted a great deal of time and effort in elected office, I'd assume you don't want that either.
john said…
The essence is that advice would be OK, but then it would not matter who is in control of the authority.

Paid lobbying is not OK for Planning as no lobbying should work for planning because it is quasi judicial.
Jez said…
Ah, ok, I understand the point you're making now.

Popular posts from this blog

Statement re False Allegations Campaign

Many people will know that my family and I have been subject to a campaign of false allegations by Esther Baker for the past 4 1/2 years. Yesterday there was a court judgment Baker v Hemming [2019] EWHC 2950 (QB) which formally confirmed that the allegations were false. Esther Baker, who had brought a libel claim against me, dropped her defence of Truth to my counter-claim and was taken by the judge as no longer trying to prove her allegations. Due to Baker's various breaches of court rules and orders, she has been barred from further repeating her allegations even in the court proceedings. Further claim of mine in libel against Baker are ongoing. There is a good summary in the Daily Mail here.

This demonstrates the challenge in fighting false allegations in today's Britain. A substantial campaign was built up to promote allegations which had no substance to them. Various Labour MPs and in pa…

Service launched to reduce the pain of calling a call centre.

Click here to try the beta test call entre phoning service"John Hemming, who has created an internet Startup called Cirrostratus since he ceased being an MP, is launching a free online service to make life easier for people phoning call centres.   The service is provided by Cirrostratus, but the SIP backbone is provided by the multi-award winning business VoIP solution, Soho66." John said, "Many people find phoning call centres a real pain.  Our service is aiming to make things a lot easier.   One click on alink or the bookmarks list and our server will phone up the call centre and get through all the menus.  This is a lot faster than when people have to phone up and is less irritating." "Additionally the system uses WebRtc and the internet to make the call. This means that people don't find their normal phone system being blocked whilst they hang on the line waiting to speak to a human being." Marketing Manager from Soho66, David McManus, said: &q…

A grassroots uprising against terrorism

Original Date 26th May 2017

One thing I used to do when I was the Member of Parliament for Yardley was to call together meetings of all of the religious organisations in Yardley as a Yardley multi-faith group.  In many ways it is the creation of informal links between people that makes communication easier even if there is no formal decision making power.

Obviously this is something I would intend to do again if the people of Yardley ask me to take on the responsibility of representing them in parliament.

It highlights the sort of thing that politicians can do which arises from a leadership role within communities rather than any constitutional position.

I have already written in an earlier blog post about the principles of resolving conflict.  It can be summarised as "murdering innocents is wrong".

A number of local mosques have issued statements following the atrocity in Manchester and I think it is worth quoting from parts of them.

One said that the mosque "Unequivoc…