Liverpool council rejects Jake Morrison's complaint after the Alan 'Malcolm Tucker' Dean voicemail

By David Bartlett on Aug 24, 13 07:01 AM in Liverpool City Council

If a week is a long time in politics, it is also ample time to decide not to launch an investigation into Alan Dean's 'p*****d on chips' voicemail he left Jake Morrison.

The young councillor got a letter yesterday telling him it failed a number of tests it needed to meet to warrant any further action.

Below is the letter reproduced in full:

Dear Councillor Morrison

Complaint against Councillor Alan Dean

I refer to the complaint you submitted in relation to Councillor Alan Dean. I can advise you that, as part of the agreed procedures of the Council, your complaint and related information have been considered at the initial assessment stage, by the Monitoring Officer, Jeanette McLoughlin and Ms Pat Brand the Independent Person and who have determined that based on the agreed criteria of the Council that the complaint is not appropriate for further action by the City Council.

The complaint relates to a message left by the Chief group whip (Councillor Alan Dean)to your phone on 27 April at which time you were a member of the labour group .The Monitoring Officer and Independent person have determined that the following criteria are applicable to the complaint-

Question1: Have you contacted the member concerned directly to try to resolve the matter?

No information has been presented as to whether this has happened. You have submitted the complaint to the Monitoring Officer and then spoken directly to the press.

Question 5: the matter complained of clearly relates to an incident or issue when the member has been acting in his/her official capacity as an elected member - the complaint relates to duties of the chief whip within the political party which is a party political role

Question 9: Is the complaint about something that happened so long ago that there would be little benefit in taking action now?

You did not report the incident when it happened in April when the message was left and nearly four months has elapsed since then and the complaint being submitted.

Question 11: Does the complaint appear to be simply malicious, politically motivated or tit-for-tat?

You did not make the complaint at the time of the message was left and subsequently resigned from the Labour party (in June) to become an Independent member. As such it may be viewed as a complaint that may have political motivation particularly given the fact that at the same time it was given to the Monitoring Officer it was given to the press. Complaints are usually kept confidential by both parties whilst the process and procedures agreed by Council are followed.

Question 12: Does the complaint relate to the production of or a statement made on a political leaflet and personal blogs (private social networks) or at political meetings?

The message was left by the Chief Whip acting in his capacity as chief whip. It was not made at a public meeting and it is yourself who has made this matter public. The matters relating to the political framework and internal political arrangements of parties have their own internal regulatory procedures and are not a matter for the council to consider, unless it relates to -

• the Council's facilities or resources having been used to produce a political leaflet
• An allegation that confidential information obtained by a Councillor in their official role had been used and published to the public in a leaflet and/ or a social network which may then breach the code of conduct in respect of confidentiality

There are other avenues of recourse within the political groups themselves and/or the laws of defamation, public order, discrimination and electoral and criminal law and these are not a matter for the Council.

Therefore following initial assessment against the agreed criteria, the complaint is not found to be appropriate for Council consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Walsh
Deputy Monitoring Officer

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

City editor of the Post and Echo covering politics, regeneration, and urban affairs.
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