Saturday, 20 November 2010

The death of David Kelly - Was ACC Page formerly in Special Branch?

The following quote makes me wonder if Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page was formerly in Special Branch.

The quote also confirms the presence of members (plural) of Thames Valley Police Special Branch at the Kelly house.

The quote is from Page 32 of Assistant Chief Constable Page's evidence given on the morning of Wednesday 3rd September 2003:

3 Q. That is the scene. We have also heard about Dr Kelly's
4 offices. What searches were carried out at the house?
5 A. The house was subject to a full search by search trained
6 officers and by members of Thames Valley Special Branch.
7 Their presence I felt necessary again because of
8 Dr Kelly's background. Should we come across any
9 documents of a secret nature, those officers are cleared
10 to handle those documents. That is why they were there.
11 Q. You are not cleared to handle those sort of documents?
12 A. Not at present, I have been in the past.


  1. Once again in this biography of Mr Page two familiar place names crop up once again...Area Commander Southern Oxfordshire (i.e.Didcot) and subsequently in Milton Keynes, both as Chief Superintendent until,I suspect, becoming ACC. Mick Page only became ACC (Local Policing) in Feb 2003: an odd choice of Chief Constable to deal with the David Kelly case. As previously noted, Ms Sara Thornton (Present Chief Constable of TVP) was ACC Special Operations between November 2000 and August 2003 having previously held strategic roles within New Scotland Yard.
    Milton Keynes is one of two control rooms in the Thames Valley police area - the other being Abingdon.
    Mr Page,according to his Hutton Inquiry testimony, had arranged for the head of Special Branch of " my organisation" to be at his 5.15 am briefing. What on earth does MY ORGANISATION mean? Perhaps he is not referring to the Thames Valley Police?

  2. Felix,

    I had assumed that the various Assistant Chief Constables might have had a nighttime duty rota.

    However, as I was typing this I realised that Operation Mason was "live" at the time that ACC Page was phoned very early on 18th July 2003.

    One might therefore ask why the then ACC Thornton wasn't the ACC contacted about David Kelly's disappearance?

    Of course, we don't know that she wasn't.

    By the time that Hutton was taking evidence Sara Thornton would have been promoted (publicly or otherwise depending on exact dates) to the post of Deputy Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police.

  3. See my comment under Special Branch. Sara Thornton seems to have been covering the Deputy Chief Constable portfolio from Aug 2003 until Jan 2004, and as far as I can find, there is a gap until Jan 2004 when there seems to be no ACC (SO) in TVP,unless DCC Thornton was also responsible for Specialist Operations during that period. After that 2008 report, CC Sara Thornton apologised.
    Might be a good question to ask.
    Appendix G here implies that Sara Thornton (ACC A?) was in fact the Gold commander for the 18 Nov 2003 Pemberton operation althougn it gives "Acting" ACC (SO)- perhaps acting at the lower rank?