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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Whittingdale - Profumo Parallel Plain

After the Mail On Sunday followed up its revelations about the dalliances of Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, not a great deal had been added to the narrative, although his circle of acquaintances had been shown to include Ukranian Dmitry Firtash, whose presence on US soil would not displease the law enforcement authorities there one bit. As with the breaking of this story, though, it was Byline Media that took it forward.
(c) Steve Bell 2016

As Zelo Street had previously told, when Whittingdale was in a relationship with sex worker Olivia King, she, as Nick Mutch confirmed, was also “in an on and off relationship with Ahmed Djoughdem, a self described gangster who goes by the name 'Gerrard' in underworld circles”. It was Djoughdem who was apprehended by the Metropolitan Police with a machine gun in the back of his car (he was subsequently convicted).

What is worse for those in the larger part of the Fourth Estate - that’s all the papers who spiked the story of Whittingdale’s relationship with Ms King and then claimed there was no public interest in it - is that not only did they know about the relationship, they knew about it through Djoughdem. It was he who touted the information around Fleet Street. It’s entirely possible Whittingdale did not know about Djoughdem. But the press did.

As Mutch says, “Ms. King reguarly informed Mr Djoughdem of their movements, including occasions where she accompanied Whittingdale on his Parliamentary business”, also stating the obvious: “These revelations that information was passing from Whittingdale to criminal sources will also lend extra weight to former porn star Stephanie Hudson’s allegations that Mr Whittingdale has poor judgement with sensitive material”.

It is here that the parallel with John Profumo, who was forced to resign from Harold Macmillan’s Government in 1963, emerges. Profumo was sharing the attentions of Christine Keeler with Yevgeni Ivanov, the senior naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy in London. The potential for sensitive information - Profumo was Secretary of State for War - to be passed into the wrong hands was all too obvious.

The variation with Whittingdale was that he shared Ms King’s attentions with a member of the criminal underworld, and that the MP “was unknowingly passing information about his relationship, parliamentary business meetings and movements to Mr Djoughdem via Ms King, who was attempting to sell this information to tabloid newspapers”. Worse still, “Djoughdem used to run [the] infamous high end nightclub Wall St. which was known for being a centre of cocaine dealing”. So how did Whittingdale get to become a Minister?

Getting access to cabinet level privileges - and the information that goes with them - should require candidates to have undergone what is called Developed Vetting (DV). The scale and depth of enquiries made during this process would have revealed Whittingdale’s relationship, and Ms King’s connection to Djoughdem. One round of questioning among the Government’s press contacts would - or should - have revealed what they knew.

Was the DV process by-passed for some reason? Did the press keep schtum and not tell Downing Street that they had the story, and that they got it from Djoughdem? Every time more is revealed about this affair, we are told that there is nothing to see here, and that we should move right along. And every time the press establishment is plain flat wrong.


Gweedo Fawkes said...


Just to let you know all know hic, the entertainment wont be quite the same. I've finally decided to stop hic, drinking

Yes, you did read it right.

I've stopped drinking Chablis and I'm going to start on the shots now !!!!


Anonymous said...

Of course DV was "by passed" (i.e deliberately ignored and lied about) by the "intelligence" services.

Whittingdale was/is somebody they wanted in position.

It's a quite "normal" process where MI5, MI6 and CIA Nazi goons are concerned.

One guess as to why they should want an utter dope like Whittingdale, er, on the job.

Anonymous said...

This iteration of the story has much more meat to it, but at the moment the insinuation that information was being passed to the gangster via Ms King is just that -- an insinuation. Stuff like: "He went to the Reform Club at lunchtime and had a drink with a mate from the Tote" isn't really sensitive information. If it turns out that state secrets, or at least sensitive material, is involved, then things will get very interesting. This is where the attempted Profumo parallel actually shows this story up as lacking in the necessary elements of a story of high intrigue.

Anonymous said...

DV is not an answer.

A DV check is expensive (£5k a pop is not an unreasonable estimate), and to do it properly takes time - six months is not untypical. No Prime Minister of any hue could possibly tolerate that sort of delay if they had an urgent reshuffle to make. Furthermore nothing that Whittingdale's department handles would justify it - you do not get a "just-in-case" DV clearance.

Anonymous said...

Protocol and privilidge can be hideously abused.

Look at the Leveson. Since when does a court room have legitimacy to allow a phone tap of an arms dealer?

That is an issue for intelligence.
Their green policies are extreme to say the least.

Stick to sandals and yogurt knitting.

Bob said...

"This iteration of the story has much more meat to it, but at the moment the insinuation that information was being passed to the gangster via Ms King is just that -- an insinuation."

The point, surely, isn't that this information is enough to prove that he was leaking sensitive information, but that the potential for such leaks was all too apparent. This is the point at which a responsible and trustworthy press would, you know, investigate the insinuation. But they didn't. That doesn't strike you as strange - that newspapers which were happy to use Guido teaboys posing as women online to ensnare politicians in petty scandals, and newspapers crying foul over their inability to report on celebrity infidelity, had a known gangster contacting them with information he can only have got via his shared mistress, and decided to do NOTHING with that? This is the scandal, not the passing of information regarding Whittingdale's movements.

Alexandria Wickham said...

I wasn't just posing as a woman. I really want to be one.

Gweedo Fawkes said...


This is your lucky day.

You know I love being asked to blow.

Go on, ask me honey buns.

I've been having a practise (USA lingo) on my bottle.


rob said...

Whether he was paasing sensitive information or not he was putting himself into a situation whereby he could be blackmailed into doing so i.e it was potential threst with which a PM shouldn't be taking a gamble.

But then Cameron has form with gambles. Like the Coulson appointment, being the second chance, knowing that he had been associated with some rather dodgy characters, some still at large today.

The big question is why Cameron has gambled or whether he has been coerced into making them knowing that they could back fire big time. What was the end result that was so important that normal vetting procedures appear to have been bypassed presumably at his request?