Planning applications validated by EDDC for week beginning 2 May

Comment on Police handling of Humphreys’ police bail condition

Owl believes this comment posted by “Tim” on the recent post: Exmouth journal prints “no comment” photos, deserves a post in its own right. 

From “Tim”

This extract on what the police can do with police bail (rather than court bail) is relevant and fits in with my own recollections but comes from the authoritative website of slaterheelis:


Police can, however, impose certain conditions on the bail.

“Bail Conditions

If a suspect is released on bail before they are charged, the police may restrict what they can do.

For example, if a person is being investigated for assault, the police may enforce restrictions stopping them from interfering with the victim. Similarly, if the investigations involve crimes against children, the suspect may be restricted from being alone with children under the age of 18 or entering a specified radius from schools and nurseries.

Another example would be investigations of repeated theft in a shopping centre. The suspect may be restricted from entering this area. If such conditions are breached, the police have the power to arrest the suspect.”

End quote.

Thus it is rather surprising to see evidence of Humphreys apparently carrying on his ‘normal’ business whilst on police bail. I remain very concerned about many aspects that his victim mentioned, not least the allegations of threats from certain unnamed police officers as to the wisdom of not upsetting powerful people.

I find it very difficult to understand why Humphreys would have been released (on what was known as S.43 bail in my day) without conditions. He faced serious allegations and frankly , as well as protecting the public, it would be in the self-interests of the police to have bail conditions restricting his opportunities for repeat offences.

The crowd at the college must be very pleased with themselves and their selection of Mr Jupp. For all his supposed local connections it was an unfortunate choice to be left with opting for an offer of accommodation from Humphreys. Where were the family with these strong local connections?

MP Neil Parish will ‘have nightmares’ over porn scandal

“Part of me has always wanted to be independent, and I’ve been quite an independent Conservative.”

Sweet dreams! – Owl

Lewis Clarke

Former Tiverton & Honiton MP Neil Parish, who quit after being caught watching pornography in the House of Commons, has told Devon Live that he will ‘probably have nightmares’ for the rest of his life. Mr Parish said in the two weeks since his resignation, he has been thinking about the ‘sheer madness’ of what he did and apologised again to his wife, who was ‘picking up the pieces’.

He admitted he had twice watched porn on the Commons benches. The 66-year-old, a farmer by trade, claimed the first time was accidental after looking at tractors online, but the second was “a moment of madness”. He spoke about his achievements over the 12-years he has been an MP, what it is like to be thrust into the national spotlight and his hopes for the constituency’s future.

He said: “I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support I’ve had in this constituency and how much of an honour it has been to represent Tiverton & Honiton for 12 years. For me, the highlights of being a member of Parliament for the area has been finally to get Cullompton Railway Station plans going when I thought for a long time it would probably never happen.

“There’s still the fight to get Tiverton High School, and I wish my successor all the very best to try and get that. Bypasses are needed in Cullompton and Axminster. We need to fight for our community hospitals at Seaton, Axminster, Honiton and Tiverton; we must ensure all these facilities are maintained. I shall look forward to watching what happens in the future.

“I hope the next candidate will fight for a new school for Tiverton as a top priority. Then, as I said, we need these bypasses and others. But if there were one thing I would say to my party, a new school for Tiverton is necessary. It would do the town a great deal of good and help raise aspirations in Tiverton. We need better education, and we need more aspiration.”

He continued: “I have worked very hard in this constituency, and I have had great support from councillors, activists and parish councils. All sorts of people have supported me, and I have enjoyed it. Of course, I have also had a great deal of support from the farming community, which I have represented extremely well in Parliament, if I do say it myself, as chair of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee.”

In an interview with the Telegraph last week, Mr Parish said he was considering standing as an independent candidate in the forthcoming by-election, of which the date is yet to be announced.

“What I want to see my own party make sure that they bring in a good local candidate, which will be good in Parliament and the constituency. Being a constituency MP is hard work, and it should be, so I don’t want just anybody foisted upon us. I haven’t made up my mind one way or the other,” he added. “I’m still taking soundings.

“I do not want to upset all the people that have been so loyal to me in my own party. If I did stand, it wouldn’t be for any other party; it would be an independent. Part of me has always wanted to be independent, and I’ve been quite an independent Conservative. The trouble is, if I was trading on the stock exchange now, I think my value would be quite low because of my actions, and I apologise again for them. That’s why probably I won’t stand, but I don’t rule anything out at this stage.”

He continued to say he will miss meeting people and being part of the community of Tiverton & Honiton now he is no longer an MP. “We’ve had some good fun over the years,” he said. “I remember The Tiverton Gazette photographed quite a large Neil Parish going down an inflatable slide and all sorts of other things.

“I’ve never been a pompous MP. I’ve always rolled up my sleeves, and we’ve had lots of good fun, and I shall miss the camaraderie. I am coming up to retirement age, I’ve probably retired a little sooner than I was expecting, but I did enjoy it. I enjoyed Parliament and notably chairing the select committee. I shall miss my friends in Parliament; we had plenty of banter.

“Of course, the ridiculous part with me is that I have blotted my copybook so terribly but behaved very well in Parliament generally. I am sure the national press were doing their best to find somebody to have a story on me, but I don’t think they could find them.”

On being the focus of a national scandal, he added: “I suppose I shall have nightmares for the rest of my life because, my God, is it something. For all my faults and sins, I managed to hold onto my temper. I made a mistake, but my goodness me, the national press are like nobody else you’ve ever come across. They’ve got a job to do, but I think it’s pretty harsh. You are, however, in politics; you put your head above the parapet, you make a mistake, and you pay the price.”

He discussed his plans for the future, adding: “I intend to build up some more farming and probably look at one or two other little business projects. That’s very much in my own gift to go on and do those. I would still like to put the knowledge I’ve gained, especially in the food, farming and environmental side, to good use.

“I also would like to work with the Farm Crisis Network charities. We had just been finishing, when I was previously the chair of the select committee, an inquiry on farmers’ mental health. The Farm Crisis Network rang me on Sunday evening when this was happening to check how I was. I very much thank them for that because one is not at one’s best place at that time.

He added: “What I would say to my national party is that whatever mistakes an MP makes, you need to try and give them a little bit of help in a crisis, not just leave them to it. I drove to Plymouth to resign, and it was all fine with Martyn Oates and my BBC interview, but it could have been very different.

“I’m not saying I would do anything stupid because I’m not like that, but I think they need to care for you a little better in a crisis. Not just looking at me as a very hot potato and hoping I’d just disappear.”

On the candidate he would like to see replace him, he said: “I am still a member of the Conservative Party. I hope to remain that. My message to voters is to be very careful. Look at the candidates, and all being well, the Conservatives will put up a good local candidate. I would ask voters to give that due consideration, and hopefully, they can still vote Conservative. I have represented them well in the past, and I hope the new representative and the Conservative Party will do the same.”

Calling all tractor enthusiasts! Conservatives desperate for a candidate to beat the LibDems in Tiverton and Honiton…

Not much time left for Tories to apply to try to fill Neil Parish’s boots – Owl

Anthea Simmons 

Well, well! The ConservativeHome website makes for a fascinating visit. It seems applications are now open for a candidate to replace disgraced former MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, in the upcoming by-election. Anyone interested in standing needs to apply by 18 May.

William Atkinson, the site’s assistant editor, writes:

“Though traditionally safe, the voters of Tiverton and Honiton are apparently not best pleased with Government at the moment. Anyone wishing to prevent a Lib Dem victory, please apply – even if you are in the House of Lords.”

The HoL hint has prompted comments from readers of the post to exhort Lord Frost, the man who has forgotten that he ‘negotiated’ the oven-ready Brexit deal (albeit without ever reading or understanding the ingredients list) to stand in this assumed-to-be-safe safe. But it also elicited this insightful response from someone not so enamoured of the amnesiac Lord:

“This man, responsible for the impasse and present blockage in Northern Ireland, willingly accepted a peerage to become a member of The House of Lords. It would surely be the height of cynicism and political manipulative opportunism if he was now allowed to renounce this to again become a commoner. It is these types of manipulations and skullduggery which have led all those in public life in general, and the Conservative Party under its present leadership in particular, to be held in such contempt by the general population.”

Well said, sir!

The Frost fans will have none of it. Frostie is apparently well within his rights to renounce and stand, especially as he is seen as someone to get the party back on track with its agenda of alienating allies and destroying the Union.

The fly in the ointment is that Neil Parish allegedly intends to stand again himself – as an independent. As one justifiably cynical observer points out, were he to win, Johnson would probably have no scruple or hesitation in re-admitting him to the Tory fold.

It would be nice to think that Mr Parish would keep dishing it to the government on its execrable trade deals and betrayal of farmers and fishers, not to mention its careless disregard for food and animal welfare standards IF, and it’s a big if, he were to hang on to his seat. It might have been Mr Parish’s dogged arsiness and refusal to drink the Brexit Kool-aid that did for him in the first place and we’re told that Johnson never forgives – which is mighty strange since he very often (conveniently) forgets…!

What larks!

#ProgressiveAlliance #ElectoralReform #MakeVotesMatter

Lib Dems ‘already campaigning’ for Tiverton and Honiton byelection

The Liberal Democrats have already begun campaigning for the Tiverton and Honiton byelection before its date has even been set, Ed Davey has said, calling his party “an anti-Tory campaigning machine” which is key to removing Boris Johnson from power.

Peter Walker 

Winning the Devon seat vacated by the long-serving Tory Neil Parish, who resigned for watching pornography in the Commons, would be another huge coup for the Lib Dems.

Davey said that, while taking the seat would be a huge task, the Lib Dems’ success in last year’s North Shropshire byelection – another rural seat formerly held by a disgraced Tory – showed it was possible.

A further boost came in the local elections where, among the near-200 seats gained by the Lib Dems, they took control of Somerset council from the Conservatives, indicating the party is making a resurgence in its former stronghold of south-west England.

At the next general election, Davey said, the fact that his party was competitive in Conservative-held areas, many in the so-called blue wall of commuter belt seats, meant they would be at the centre of any electoral path which saw Johnson lose office.

“I can’t remember a time when the Liberal Democrats were more important to getting the Tories out of power,” he said. “We’re on the march. We are scaling that blue wall. My sense is we’ve got real momentum now.”

He added: “In the seats where we have a good chance of winning next time, they’re almost all held by the Tories. We are becoming an anti-Tory campaigning machine.”

Tiverton and Honiton will be another major test. While the wins in North Shropshire and, earlier in 2021, Chesham and Amersham, have made the Lib Dems the immediate bookmakers’ favourites, they came a distant third in the seat in the last two general elections.

Lib Dem activists are already in the constituency, knocking on doors, with Davey likely to join them this week. Campaigning will focus on ultra-local issues such as ambulance waiting times and GP numbers.

“We’re definitely the challengers,” Davey said. “And after North Shropshire we’ve proved that in these sorts of rural communities we’re the ones people will turn to.”

“But it’s a bigger mountain than North Shropshire, actually. It’s a tougher gig. We’ve got the Somerset result on our side, so we’re going to give it a good fight. But the Tories will know that we’re on their case,” he added.

One advantage for Davey could be if, as he mooted last week, Parish stands as an independent candidate, thus splitting any Tory vote.

An arguably even greater factor is the unspoken decision by Labour to most likely devote minimal resources to Tiverton, instead focusing on the Wakefield byelection, which comes after the Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan was convicted of sexual assault.

Davey dismisses the idea of a pact between his party and Labour, a theory already raised by the Conservatives.

“It’s what I call rational behaviour. You don’t throw money or resources into seats where you’ve not got much chance of winning,” he said.

“I certainly think that voters are very focused on getting rid of the Tories. They can just read the numbers. Increasingly, you knock on the doors of people who would otherwise vote Labour or Green and they’re saying, ‘Yes, of course we’re going to vote for you.’”

The Lib Dems are also seeing increasing numbers of more liberal Conservatives turn to them, something Davey acknowledges comes from both his party’s efforts and, more significantly, an increasing distaste for Johnson after the mass of fines for illegal parties in Downing Street.

“If I was the Tories, this is what I’d be most worried about,” Davey said. “The voters have just woken up. In North Shropshire and Somerset they didn’t need persuading. And I don’t think in Devon they’ll need persuading. They know that to get rid of the Tories, you get behind the Liberal Democrats.”

Many such people, Davey says, are “embarrassed” to have Johnson as PM: “They’re patriots and they want their prime minister to be someone they can respect.

“I’ve respected prime ministers of all political persuasions. I might disagree with them, but I didn’t think they were putting their own personal and party interest, always and everywhere, above the national interest. I think we have a prime minister who doesn’t care about the national interest. I think people are seeing through that, and they don’t like it.”