I’m happy to post material from any source that is prepared to stand behind its claims. Dick
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From DB 25th November 2009
The MMR/MR litigation collapsed in September 2003 when the Legal Services Commission (LSC) withdrew funding following the statement by three QCs that as things stood they could not show a causal link between MMR /MR vaccines and autism. The three QCs – Augustus Ullstein, Simeon Maskrey and Jeremy Stuart-Smith had been appointed by the lawyers chosen by the LSC to represent the claimants.
The initial contracts for the litigation had been drawn up in the mid-90s and over £15m of public funding was spent supporting research to bolster the claim that MMR/MR caused autism/IBD, only to have the legal team advise that they could not make a case. Parental anger at the collapse of the children’s cases should have directed at obtaining an answer to the question of why after years of scientific research by experts, years in court and millions in public funding, the case had collapsed.
The law firm that had overseen the research then suggested that in order to have been accepted the research should have been carried out by independent scientists and should have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. One must ask why that law firm had not fulfilled its own requirements. Wakefield was not an independent scientist. He, and others involved, were deeply conflicted, not only by the money they received from the lawyers. But if that conflict invalidated the research on which the litigation was based, the whole of the public funding was wasted from the outset, and the QCs should have known it, as should the Legal Aid Board.
The waste of public money bothered Lord McColl of Dulwich when in 2008, he asked the English House of Lords to consider whether it was “an appropriate use of public money” and if there were any plans to investigate “the decision making process” whereby the MMR/MR litigation had been funded by the Legal Aid Board. He further asked the House to consider whether the over £1.5m paid to the three QC’s , Augustus Ullstein QC, Simeon Maskrey QC and Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC was an “appropriate use of public money”.
(Lord McColl of Dulwich asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Whether they have any plans to investigate the decision-making process by which the measles, mumps and rubella and measles and rubella vaccines litigation received legal aid funding; and [HL975]
Whether the legal aid funding of the measles, mumps and rubella and measles and rubella vaccines litigation was an appropriate use of public money; and [HL977]
Whether the payment of legal aid fees in excess of £1 million in connection with the measles, mumps and rubella and measles and rubella vaccines litigation to Augustus Ullstein QC, Simeon Maskey QC and Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC was an appropriate use of public money. [HL978])
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200708/ldhansrd/text/80107w0006.htm
Lord McColl’s thinking on the entire matter, became clear when he asked what plans had been made to recover fees paid for the research funded by Legal Aid. He was told that there were no such plans.
Five years earlier, 1st October 2003 the LSC had issued a Press Release advising that the Funding Review Body had upheld their decision to remove the funding. In the same Press Release, Claire Dodgson, Chief Executive of the Legal Aid Board(later renamed the Legal Services Commission) said “All the research paid for by the LSC will be sent to the Medical Research Council who are investigating the causes of autism”. Lord McColl asked whether the research had been sent to the MRC and was told that despite the assurances of the Legal Services Commission this had not happened.
Lord McColl of Dulwich asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Whether the Legal Services Commission, in accordance with its press statement of 1 October 2003, has sent to the Medical Research Council research paid for by legal aid in connection with the measles, mumps and rubella and measles and rubella vaccines litigation. [HL976]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Legal Services Commission has not sent the research in the MMR/MR vaccines litigation to the Medical Research Council (MRC). It was proposed to release the research to the MRC. However this can only be disclosed with the consent of the clients, or the solicitors acting on their behalf. I understand that such consent has not so far been forthcoming.
The explanation of why the research, paid for out of the public purse, has not been transferred to the MRC for archiving is that consent is required from either the clients in the case or their lawyers and no such consent had been received. But there is no evidence that the claimants in the action were ever asked to consent to the research to be released.
The Scottish Sunday Post of 23rd August 2009 ran a story of how the mother of one of the claimant children in the MMR litigation had struggled to obtain a copy of the 1999 report by Dr Wakefield that had been the basis for the entire litigation. She found that not only was the Medical Research Council denied access to the report but so were claimants in the litigation! Despite this, the Legal Services Commission had sent a copy of the report to the General Medical Council without the consent of the claimants or their solicitors.
The Medical Research Council is not permitted access to the research without the consent of the claimants. But the claimants themselves are not permitted access to the research! The MRC does not seem to be pressing for access to the research, perhaps because of the obvious – that the research which had cost over £15m was worthless. That is why the public and the claimants are not allowed access to that material – it would reveal the giant swindle that had been perpetrated on the public and the damaged children.
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From MW, November 27 2009
Erasmus refers to “a lawyer and his girlfriend” – that would be Richard Barr and Kirsten Limb. Barr had a wife when Kirsten Limb joined his firm, Dawbarns. He divorced his wife and married Limb. But Erasmus should note that lots of lawyers were involved in the MMR litigation. Dawbarns shared the Legal Aid Board contract with Freeth Cartwright, where Paul Balen was in charge, although he seemed not to know what was going on.
Richard Barr left Dawbarns , a small firm in Norfolk, in mysterious circumstances and moved his team from to Hodge Jones and Allen in London. The MMR contract moved with him even though Hodge Jones and Allen never tendered for the contract. That’s a breach of Legal Aid Board and European Union rules. Funnily enough, the Deputy Chairman of the Legal Aid Board at the time was Henry Hodge, senior partner of Hodge Jones and Allen and husband of Blair government minister Margaret Hodge. Henry Hodge’s partner at Hodge Jones and Allen was Patrick Allen. Both were close friends of Tony Blair and Cherie Booth. Their firm had given Cherie Booth her first briefs as a barrister. They had persuaded Blair and Cherie to join them in Islington and then held strategy meetings for the development of New Labour in each others homes. Hodge, Allen, Blair and Booth were also linked through the Society of Labour Lawyers and Labour Party control of Islington Borough Council. That Council was notorious for the abuse of children in its care and for the way in which Mrs Hodge diverted inquiries into that abuse. Shockingly, she went on to be Minister for Children in the Blair Government. The diversion of the MMR contract, and other lucrative items, to Hodge Jones and Allen took place just months after Labour had come to power.
There were complaints over the way in which the Legal Aid Board had handed contracts to its Deputy Chairman’s firm and these complaints led to a hearing chaired by Hugh Glancy QC. Glancy’s report has never been published and the Legal Aid Board denied there had been a report or even an inquiry. But Patrick Allen claimed publicly that Glancy’s inquiry had concluded that Hodge had done no wrong, contradicting the Legal Aid Board’s claim that there had been no inquiry! Patrick Allen’s claim was weird because the inquiry was not into Henry Hodge’s behavior but rather into the conduct of the Legal Aid Board itself, conduct that involved breaches of its own rules and those of the European Union.
A way out of the scandal was found; Henry Hodge left Hodge Jones and Allen because he was made a judge! That involved another of the circle of cronies, Lord Irvine, who went on to appoint Hodge as Chief Immigration Adjudicator, where Hodge presided over Labour’s secret policy of boosting immigration to aid the Labour Party’s electoral chances.
John Major’s Conservative Government lost power in 1997 and was replaced by Labour which Tony Blair promised to be purer than pure and white than white. But Labour showed that it had come to power with a programme of corruption already in place. Soon after coming to power Blair reneged on a manifesto promise and made a deal over Formula One advertising gaining a massive contribution to party funds in return. But there was also a deal with the pharmaceutical industry. Ivor Richard was a Labour Party grandee and his period as Lord Privy Seal in the Blair was described by his wife, Janet Jones, in her book “Labour of Love”, published by Politicos Publishing and available from the Labour Bookshop. At the top of page 138 is a section that describes events on Sunday 16th November:
………….“Ivor has a phone call from Sigismund Sternberg. A warning. Sigismund has heard that the pharmaceutical industry is in and out of Downing Street. And the industry is giving money to New Labour. Ivor has a word with Margaret Jay.
“Yes,” she says.”
Sternberg was a significant Labour donor. Journalists were apparently aware of this arrangement and believed that Nicholas Soames was the go-between in the deal. Soames has close connections with the pharmaceutical industry, particularly the manufacturers of the tablets that were implicated in Gulf War Syndrome. Soames, is a Conservative grandee and a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, but also a pal of Blair.
The decision to appoint Henry Hodge a judge and Chief Immigration Adjudicator was made by Blair crony Derry Irvine, then Lord Chancellor. Irvine became the subject of ridicule when he compared himself to Cardinal Wolsey, a Sixteenth Century Lord Chancellor who had died while awaiting trial for treason. But “The Independent” of 21 February 2001 contained a much more serious allegation – that he had solicited donations from lawyers whose careers he could promote. The Lord Chancellor had control over the career of barrister. The Legal Services Commission also came within his ambit and the LSC controlled the torrent of money to solicitors and was able to control which cases were funded and on what basis. In the case of MMR all of the money was directed towards proof of causation of autism thus dodging the damage known to have been caused by some MMR vaccines.
Barr and Limb were apparently working at Hodge Jones and Allen in London by April 1998. In fact they didn’t leave Norfolk, they worked from a cottage there while being on HJA’s books. By 1999 they had ensured that the entire MMR litigation was based on the gut-autism theory even though many of the claimants had no gut trouble and were not autistic. The known damaging effects of MMR were to be ignored and the litigation was to be based on a theory that had no supporting evidence and which made no sense at all. The manufacturers and the Government that had introduced unsafe vaccines were delighted as Hodge Jones and Allen had ensured that the litigation would fail. All that was left was to pay the lawyers to pervert justice. The money would come from the Legal Aid Board and much of it would end up in the coffers of Hodge Jones and Allen with its close links to Blair and Irvine.
The basis for the swindle was a report written by Wakefield and submitted to the Legal Aid Board in 1999. There is no indication that Wakefield knew the nature of the swindle that was being arranged. That report and its use by Hodge Jones and Allen is a big secret. Remarkably, when claimants’ parents asked the Legal Aid Board for sight of the report it was refused. Claimants in English Group Actions are not allowed to know the basis of the litigation they are involved in!
Barr first appointed as Counsel his old school pal – Augustus Ullstein QC. Later he was joined by Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC and Simeon Maskrey QC, and later still by Robin Oppenheim. So although money was being poured into Wakefield’s nonsense, even more was being poured into the lawyers. And all along there was no evidence.
But soon after Hodge Jones and Allen had submitted the Wakefield report as a basis for future funding Patrick Allen initiated disciplinary action against Richard Barr. The upshot was that Barr took his team and the contract to Alexander Harris, an Altrincham law firm that was opening an office in London. Again the contract moved to a firm that had not tendered for it! Strangely, the LSC was content for the litigation to remain under the control of a solicitor who had escaped disciplinary action by jumping ship. Even stranger was that Hodge Jones and Allen who had clients in the action were apparently content for Barr to continue to control the litigation.
The litigation was now heading for the rocks, directed by the Legal Services Commission’s chosen swindlers.
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