The Wolchover Action Group was formed in September 2017 when a small group of concerned UK persons sought to bring about criminal investigation of alleged wrongdoing undertaken by senior government ministers. The charge was Misconduct in Public Office carried out in the government’s pursuit of Brexit. The “Action Group” approach was adopted in part because earlier isolated police complaints were easily dismissed and we hoped that multiple complaints would be more likely to result in investigation.
The primary aim of the campaign was to see government ministers investigated and ultimately prosecuted for the alleged crimes. Accepting the unlikelihood of prosecution, however well deserved, a secondary aim was to raise public awareness of the facts of the Referendum, Article 50 and the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017, and to highlight inconsistencies, deceptions and procedural gaps exploited by government ministers.
Most people taking an interest in the campaign were pro-EU, but the campaign was not aimed at stopping the UK from leaving the EU. It focused squarely on the criminal charges and on bringing alleged criminals to justice. Even if prosecuted and found guilty, the verdict in a criminal case would not in itself have had the legal or political force to reverse Brexit, and we were well aware of that.
The campaign ended in October 2017, and the Wolchover Action Group (WAG) on Facebook and Twitter has gone on to promote other worthy campaigns that seek to shine light on wrongdoing in the pursuit of Brexit. It continues to do so.
This “Campaign Results” page was set up to report our initial Engagement with the Metropolitan Police (MPS) where they refused to investigate, and subsequently our Engagement with Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) where they refused to prosecute. A third and final section now reports our Further Engagement with the MPS, and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the final chapter. Spoiler alert: They did not find in our favour.
Our further engagement with the MPS was to lodge a formal complaint against Commander Stuart Cundy’s decision not to investigate the criminal charges. Inspector Duncan Marriott ruled that our complaint was an “abuse of the police complaints system” on the basis that we were “driving a political campaign and attempting to use the police service … to stop the process of the UK leaving the EU.” As mentioned above, our campaign had no power to stop Brexit, was careful to avoid politics, and focused solely on the alleged crimes committed, but Marriott’s characterisation of our campaign as “political” allowed him to dismiss us. We then appealed to the IOPC, whose ruling is final; Assessment Analyst Alex Simms upheld the MPS ruling.
We believe our complaints were well articulated and the points well argued. We’ve found the MPS’s and the IOPC’s responses to be presumptuous, wilfully missing the points, and unconcerned with inherent contradictions. The process we’ve interacted with is the only process available for review of police conduct, and our experience of it has been woefully unsettling. The correspondences are in the sections below. You may judge for yourselves.
Signature taking concluded. Letter compiled and delivered to Commissioner Dick
Responses received from Commander Stuart Cundy of the Met. Individual letters sent to complaint letter writers, including a letter to our endorsement campaign email address.
Reply to Commander Stuart Cundy, in response to his letter of 27 November 2017.
Response received from Commander Stuart Cundy regarding our request to see his legal advice.
Letter written to CPS requesting they prosecute ministers for Misconduct in Public Office.
Response received from Frank Ferguson of CPS.
WAG response sent to Frank Ferguson of CPS (includes a summary of intervening mail sent to CPS by David Wolchover).
Response received from CPS.
Complaint raised against the Met decision not to investigate
Response received from Inspector Duncan Marriott. This crossed in the post with our letter sent the following day containing additional information about the complaint
Further information sent to the Met to clarify one of the points in the complaint
Response to Inspector Marriott's letter dated 8 March, providing additional information about the complaint
Inspector Marriott's decision to disapply (not continue) the investigation into the complaint
Appeal to IOPC of Inspector Marriott's disapplication:
I am appealing the disapplication of this complaint because Inspector Marriott has failed to address its substantive elements in any meaningful way. The responses I have received fall below the standard I believe I should expect from the police service.
IOPC response to our appeal