Row over 'poison pen letter' North Wales blog

Published date: 11 September 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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Guto Bebb MP has accused three people of connections to Thoughts of Oscar, two of which he named while speaking in parliament. 

David Jones MP has denied any involvement. 

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FORMER Secretary of State for Wales David Jones and his business associate have strongly denied involvement with an online blog accused of “vicious trolling”.

Dylan Moore, a lawyer at the Clwyd West MP's Llandudno-based law firm David Jones Solicitors, was linked to the now defunct Thoughts of Oscar blog after Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb hired a private detective to investigate the site.

Speaking in the House of Commons under parliamentary privilege on Tuesday, Mr Bebb said: “It is probably best described as a small-town poison pen letter blog, with an added interest in politics — mostly local politics, but it has a rather remarkable interest in Welsh Conservatives, wherever they may be located in Wales.

“Over the years the site has harassed, abused, libelled and generally targeted a series of individuals, businesses, council officials and local councillors.

“All that, as would be expected, has been done behind the cloak of anonymity.”
Both Mr Moore and Mr Jones denied any connection to the blog, while a Mr Nigel Roberts claimed sole responsibility in a final post before the blog closed earlier this week.

Ex Westminster cabinet member Mr Jones said: “To address any perceived ambiguity in Mr Bebb’s address to the House, I wish to make it clear that I was not involved in the authorship of the blog.

"I understand that the blog’s true author had already admitted, prior to Mr Bebb’s appearance in the House, that he had acted alone.”

Mr Moore invited Mr Bebb to make the accusation outside of parliament, where he would not be covered by parliamentary privilege.

He said: “I am appalled that any Member of Parliament, let alone my own MP, should throw an innocent constituent to the wolves in this way and hide under the cloak of Parliamentary privilege.

“Mr Bebb’s allegation that I am in any way, or have ever been, involved in the Thoughts of Oscar blog or, indeed, any other blog is completely untrue.

“Those who know me – family, friends and clients – know full well that the allegation is nonsensical.

“It is well known locally that I do not tweet, text or use a mobile phone.”

Mr Moore added that he had made several attempts to contact Mr Bebb since the allegations were made.

Mr Bebb claimed North Wales Police did not do enough to investigate when complaints were made about the blog.

Officers said they are now “examining in detail his concerns.”

DCC Gareth Pritchard said: “We have examined our systems and have ascertained that since 2009 there have been six complaints about postings on the Thoughts of Oscar blog, but none amounted to a criminal offence.

“Appropriate advice was given to the complainants.

“North Wales Police takes incidents of on-line crime very seriously and where there is evidence to support an investigation we will do all we can to prosecute offenders and bring them to justice, as our recent history demonstrates.

“Arrangements have been made to speak with Mr Bebb later this week to establish the full nature and background of his concerns.” 

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  1. Posted by: NeednewMP at 14:58 on 11 September 2014 Report

    Slight factual error - it was not Mr Bebb that engaged the private detective, but a family known locally as the 'Conwy mafia'. Common cause makes for strange bedfellows, it would seem.

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