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Public Prosecutions protestations

We noted here earlier the controversial proposed appointment of a new Director of Public Prosecutions. Today’s Telegraph reports that Britain’s Conservative Opposition are continuing to making an issue of this:

The appointment of one of Cherie Blair’s “cronies” as the new Director of Public Prosecutions is a “matter of deepest concern” because of his work on terrorist cases, Michael Howard, the shadow chancellor, said yesterday.

Mr Howard suggested that Ken Macdonald was not fit to serve as the country’s top prosecutor because of his views on the motives of those charged with terrorism.

Mr Howard, a QC, singled out Mr Macdonald’s website at Matrix Chambers, where Mrs Blair works as a public law barrister, and his use of the phrase “political violence”.

A website? Yes, this one.

The website detailing Mr Macdonald’s work as a criminal lawyer says: “He is very well known for his work in cases where serious allegations of political violence are made against Irish republicans, Sikhs, Palestinians and Islamists. He is especially interested in fair trial issues arising out of recent anti-terrorist legislation in Britain and abroad.”

Although Mr Howard stopped short of suggesting that Mr Macdonald was sympathetic to the cause of terrorist groups, he said the concept of “political violence” was not recognised under English law.

This is an argument that will presumably divide White Rose readers along political lines. But it is very White-Rose-relevant, as I’ve been saying of a number of stories here.

Howard admits that if Macdonald hadn’t had that Blair connection he wouldn’t be making so much fuss. Fair enough. Neither would I. As it is, says Howard, the appointment should be closely scrutinised. Here’s what is probably Howard’s most telling punch:

“If you engage in that kind of scrutiny, you discover that this is a man who has no experience of prosecution at all. He’s never prosecuted a single significant case in his career.

If you want to get stuck into Michael Howard, the Telegraph also supplies the link to his website.

1 comment to Public Prosecutions protestations

  • mark holland

    There’s also the fact that he’s a defence bod and not a prosecutor that would, under normal circumstances. you’d think be drawback to someone become head of public prosecutions.