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On David McLetchie’s credibility


I am involved in an acrimonious legal dispute with Tods Murray WS for whom Lord Hodge recently made a rejected settlement offer. In a perceived show trial (2003) of Tods Murray v Frost & McNamara before Lady Smith,  Lord Hodge produced documents believed to be forwarded to David McLetchie by Lord Hamilton MSP from Mrs Joan Pentland-Clark to be used for the advantage of Tods Murray. This occurrence and the perceived bias displayed by Lady Smith prompted a degree of grumpiness and a little research on my part.

My summation is that David McLetchie is ethically not a fit and proper person to lead the Scottish Conservative which I still believe to be infested by right wing denizens of Edinburgh’s New Club. I believe that David McLetchie cannot but be prejudiced by those whom he has consorted with.

Currently I will be kind to David McLetchie, and like ‘the good gentleman’ he should administer his own bullet.

For a possible taste of what may come I provide a little information concerning the ambit of some of those which formulated much of the way of life of Tods Murray, the New Club and The Faculty of Advocates.  Perhaps it was not surprising that Archibald Ramsay’s ‘Red Book’ (as per the MI5 article below) contained many prominent Scots. Ancient history I hear the cry – well I know not.


Duke of Hamilton 14th Duke
The Nordic League
Archibald Ramsay
Duke of Montrose
Lord Redesdale
Duke of Westminster
A Brief Wartime History of MI5
Rudolf Hess
The below article is taken from ‘InjusticeScotland’





Duke of Hamilton

Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, the son of 13th Duke of Hamilton, was born in 1903. Douglas Hamilton became the 14th Duke of Hamilton when his father died in 1940.

Hamilton was sympathetic to groups like the Nordic League and the Right Club. He was a regular visitor to Germany and in 1936 met Rudolf Hess and other leaders of the Nazi Party. This activity was monitored by MI5 and it was reported that he had "many Nazi contacts in this country". This included Archibald Ramsay, Lord Redesdale, 5th Duke of Wellington, Duke of Westminster and the Marquess of Graham.

In September, 1940, Albrecht Haushofer, a close friend of Adolf Hitler, wrote to Hamilton: "You... may find some significance in the fact that I am able to ask you whether you could find time to have a talk to me somewhere on the outskirts of Europe, perhaps in Portugal." Haushofer also refered to people who the German government believed wanted an "German-English agreement." This included Samuel Hoare and Rab Butler.

The letter was intercepted by MI5 and Hamilton was persuaded to work as a double-agent. Hamilton agreed to go to Lisbon to meet Haushofer. Colonel Tar Robertson, head of MI5's double agent section, wrote in April 1941: "Hamilton at the beginning of the war and still is a member of the community which sincerely believes that Great Britain will be willing to make peace with Germany provided the present regime in Germany were superseded by some reasonable form of government... He is a slow-witted man, but at the same time he gets there in the end; and I feel that if he is properly schooled before leaving for Lisbon he could do a very useful job of work."
Robertson wanted Hamilton to extract "a good deal of information from Haushofer about how Germany is weathering the war". Another MI5 agent wrote that "presumably one fine day we shall be willing to listen to peace moves and I see no reason why we should not get advance knowledge if possible." However, before Hamilton's trip to Portugal could take place, Hess decided to fly a Me 110 to Scotland with the intention of having a meeting Hamilton. On 10th May, 1941, Hess arrived in Scotland. Hess hoped that Hamilton would arrange for him to meet George VI. Hess believed he could persuade the king to sack Winston Churchill and to make peace with Germany in order to join forces against the Soviet Union.

When he heard the news Adolf Hitler was quick to issue a statement pointing out that "Hess did not fly in my name." Albert Speer, who was with Hitler when he heard the news, later reported that "what bothered him was the Churchill might use the incident to pretend to Germany's allies that Hitler was extending a peace feeler."

Hess was kept in the Tower of London until being sent to face charges at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. He was found guilty of actively supporting preparations for war and in participating in the aggression against Czechoslovakia and Poland.
Douglas Douglas-Hamilton died in 1973.

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The Nordic League

The Nordic League was established when two secret agents from Nazi Germany arrived in England in 1935. The organization was initially known as the White Knights of Britain or the Hooded Men. Archibald Ramsay, the Conservative Party MP for Peebles became its leader. Other members included Major-General John Fuller, 5th Duke of Wellington, William Joyce, A. K. Chesterton, E. H. Cole, Margaret Bothamley, Lord Brocket, Duke of Hamilton, T. Victor Lowe, Lt. Colonel Graham Seton-Hutchinson, Lady Douglas-Hamilton and Serrocold Skeels.

The Nordic League was primarily an upper-middle-class association as opposed to the British Union of Fascists that mainly attracted people from the working class.

The Nordic League described itself as "an association of race conscious Britons" and being at the service of "those patriotic bodies known to be engaged in exposing and frustrating the Jewish stranglehold on our Nordic realm. In Nazi Germany the Nordic League was described as "the British branch of international Nazism".


Archibald Ramsay

Archibald Ramsay, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Ramsay, was born in Scotland on 4th May, 1894. Educated at Eton and Sandhurst Military College, he joined the Coldstream Guards in 1913. During the First World War he served in France (1914-1916) and at the War Office (1917-1918).
Ramsay married the eldest daughter of 14th Viscount Gormanstan, and the widow of Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart, the son of the 3rd Marquess of Bute. After their marriage the couple lived in Kellie Castle near Arbroath.

A member of the Conservative Party, Ramsay was elected to the House of Commons in 1931. Over the next few years he developed extreme right-wing political views. A strongly religious man, he became convinced that the Russian Revolution was the start of an international Communist plot to take over the world.

In 1935 two secret agents from Nazi Germany established the anti-Semetic Nordic League. The organization was initially known as the White Knights of Britain or the Hooded Men. Ramsay soon emerged as the leader of this organization. The Nordic League was primarily an upper-middle-class association as opposed to the British Union of Fascists that mainly attracted people from the working class.

The Nordic League described itself as "an association of race conscious Britons" and being at the service of "those patriotic bodies known to be engaged in exposing and frustrating the Jewish stranglehold on our Nordic realm. In Nazi Germany the Nordic League was seen as "the British branch of international Nazism".

During the Spanish Civil War he was a leading supporter of General Francisco Franco and his Nationalist Army. In 1937 he formed the United Christian Front, an organization that intended "to confront the widespread attack upon the Christian verities which emantes from Moscow, and which is revealing itself in a literary and educational campaign of great intensity."

At first the United Christian Front gained the support of several church leaders. However, it soon became clear that it was a front for extreme right-wing politicians. In November 1937 William Temple, Archbishop of York and Donald Soper, a Methodist minister, wrote to The Times to condemn the United Christian Front: "We regret that so admirable an inspiration as the union of all Christians in resistance to the enemies of the Gospel should be bound up with judgments on contemporary events which are certainly precarious and to us appear mistaken."

On 28th June 1938 Ramsay introduced a Private Member's Bill entitled the 'Aliens Restriction (Blasphemy) Bill'. The main objective of the legislation was "to prevent the participation by aliens in assemblies for the purpose of propagating blasphemous or atheistic doctrines or in other activities calculated to interfere with the established religious institutions of Great Britain".

Ramsay was now the unofficial leader of the extreme right in Britain. His close associates Admiral Barry Domville, Nesta Webster, Mary Allen, Oswald Mosley, John Becket, William Joyce, A. K. Chesterton, Arthur Bryant, Major-General John Fuller, Thomas Moore, John Moore-Brabazon, and Henry Drummond Wolff.

In the House of Commons Ramsay was the main critic of having Jews in the government. In 1938 he began a campaign to have Leslie Hore-Belisha sacked as Secretary of War. In one speech on 27th April he warned that Hore-Belisha "will lead us to war with our blood-brothers of the Nordic race in order to make way for a Bolshevised Europe."

In May 1939 Ramsay founded a secret society called the Right Club. This was an attempt to unify all the different right-wing groups in Britain. Or in the leader's words of "co-ordinating the work of all the patriotic societies". In his autobiography, The Nameless War, Ramsay argued: "The main object of the Right Club was to oppose and expose the activities of Organized Jewry, in the light of the evidence which came into my possession in 1938. Our first objective was to clear the Conservative Party of Jewish influence, and the character of our membership and meetings were strictly in keeping with this objective."

Members of the Right Club included William Joyce, Anna Wolkoff, Joan Miller, A. K. Chesterton, Francis Yeats-Brown, E. H. Cole, Lord Redesdale, Duke of Wellington, Aubrey Lees, John Stourton, Thomas Hunter, Samuel Chapman, Ernest Bennett, Charles Kerr, John MacKie, James Edmondson, Mavis Tate, Marquess of Graham, Margaret Bothamley, Earl of Galloway, H. T. Mills, Richard Findlay and Serrocold Skeels.

Unknown to Ramsay, MI5 agents had infiltrated the Right Club. This included three women, Joan Miller, Marjorie Amor and Helem de Munck. The British government was therefore kept fully informed about the activities of Ramsay and his right-wing friends. Soon after the outbreak of the Second World War the government passed a Defence Regulation Order. This legislation gave the Home Secretary the right to imprison without trial anybody he believed likely to "endanger the safety of the realm" On 22nd September, 1939, Oliver C. Gilbert and Victor Rowe, became the first members of the Right Club to be arrested.

In the House of Commons Ramsay attacked this legislation and on 14th December, 1939, asked: "Is this not the first time for a very long time in British history, that British born subjects have been denied every facility for justice?"

Ramsay also continued his campaign against Leslie Hore-Belisha and even distributed free copies of right-wing magazines that included articles attacking the Secretary of War. Eventually Neville Chamberlain decided to remove Hore-Belisha as Secretary of State for War and appoint him as Minister of Information. Lord Halifax objected, claiming that it was "inappropriate to have a Jew in charge of publicity." In January 1940 Hore-Belisha was sacked as Secretary of State for War.

On 20th March, 1940, Ramsay asked the Minister of Information a question about the New British Broadcasting Service, a radio station broadcasting German propaganda. In doing so he gave full details of the wavelength and the time in the day when it provided programmes. His critics claimed he was trying to give the radio station publicity. Two Labour Party MPs, Ellen Wilkinson and Emanuel Shinwell, made speeches in the House of Commons suggesting that Ramsay was a member of a right-wing secret society. However, unlike MI5, they did not know he was the leader of the Right Club.

By this time Ramsay was being helped in his work by two women, Anna Wolkoff and Joan Miller. Unknown to Ramsay, Miller was a MI5 agent. Wolkoff was the daughter of Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff, the former aide-to-camp to the Nicholas II in London. Wolkoff ran the Russian Tea Room in South Kensington and this eventually became the main meeting place for members of the Right Club.
In the 1930s Anna Wolkoff had meetings with Hans Frank and Rudolf Hess. In 1935 her actions began to be monitored by MI5. Agents warned that Wolkoff had developed a close relationship with Wallis Simpson (the future wife of Edward VIII) and that the two women might be involved in passing state secrets to the German government.

In February 1940, Wolkoff met Tyler Kent, a cypher clerk from the American Embassy. He soon became a regular visitor to the Russian Tea Room where he met other members of the Right Club including Ramsay. Wolkoff, Kent and Ramsay talked about politics and agreed that they all shared the same political views.

Kent was concerned that the American government wanted the United States to join the war against Germany. He said he had evidence of this as he had been making copies of the correspondence between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent invited Wolkoff and Ramsay back to his flat to look at these documents. This included secret assurances that the United States would support France if it was invaded by the German Army. Kent later argued that he had shown these documents to Ramsay in the hope that he would pass this information to American politicians hostile to Roosevelt.

On 13th April 1940 Wolkoff went to Kent's flat and made copies of some of these documents. Joan Miller and Marjorie Amor were later to testify that these documents were then passed on to Duco del Monte, Assistant Naval Attaché at the Italian Embassy. Soon afterwards, MI8, the wireless interception service, picked up messages between Rome and Berlin that indicated that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence (Abwehr), had seen the Roosevelt-Churchill correspondence.

Soon afterwards Anna Wolkoff asked Joan Miller if she would use her contacts at the Italian Embassy to pass a coded letter to William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) in Germany. The letter contained information that he could use in his broadcasts on Radio Hamburg. Before passing the letter to her contacts, Miller showed it to Maxwell Knight, the head of B5b, a unit within MI5 that conducted the monitoring of political subversion.

On 18th May, Knight told Guy Liddell about the Right Club spy ring. Liddell immediately had a meeting with Joseph Kennedy, the American Ambassador in London. Kennedy agreed to waive Kent's diplomatic immunity and on 20th May, 1940, the Special Branch raided his flat. Inside they found the copies of 1,929 classified documents, including the secret correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent was also found in possession of what became known as Ramsay's Red Book. This book had the names and addresses of members of the Right Club and had been given to Kent for safe keeping.

Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent were arrested and charged under the Official Secrets Act. The trial took place in secret and on 7th November 1940, Wolkoff was sentenced to ten years. Kent, because he was an American citizen, was treated less harshly and received only seven years.
Ramsay was surprisingly not charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act. Instead he was interned under Defence Regulation 18B. Ramsay now joined other right-wing extremists such as Oswald Mosley and Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff in Brixton Prison. Some left-wing politicians in the House of Commons began demanding the publication of Ramsay's Red Book. They suspected that several senior members of the Conservative Party had been members of the Right Club. Some took the view that Ramsay had done some sort of deal in order to prevent him being charged with treason.

Herbert Morrison, the Home Secretary refused to reveal the contents of Ramsay's Red Book. He claimed that it was impossible to know if the names in the book were really members of the Right Club. If this was the case, the publication of the book would unfairly smear innocent people.
The government found it difficult to suppress the story and in 1941 the New York Times claimed that Ramsay had been guilty of spying for Nazi Germany: " Before the war he (Ramsay) was strongly anti-Communist, anti-semitic, and pro-Hitler. Though no specific charges were brought against him - Defence Regulations allow that - informed American sources said that he had sent to the German Legation in Dublin treasonable information given to him by Tyler Kent, clerk to the American Embassy in London."

Ramsay sued the owners of the New York Times for libel. In court Ramsay argued that if there had been any evidence of him passing secrets to the Germans he would have been tried under the Official Secrets Act alongside Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent in 1940. The newspaper owners were found guilty of libel but the case became a disaster for Ramsay when he was awarded a farthing in damages. As well as the extremely damaging publicity he endured, Ramsay was forced to pay the costs of the case.

Although detained in Brixton Prison he was allowed to submit questions in the House of Commons. This enabled him to continue to make racist comments. For example, on 23rd February, he asked for details of the Jews fighting in the British armed forces. On 3rd August, 1944, he complained about the music of "Oriental and African music" being played on British radio.

During the summer of 1944 several Conservative Party MPs in the House of Commons called for Ramsay to be released from prison. William Gallacher, a member of the Communist Party, argued that he should remain in detention. He pointed out that Ramsay was "a rabid anti-Semite" and that "anti-Semitism is an incitement to murder." He asked "if the mothers of this country, whose lads are being sacrificed now, are to be informed by him that their sacrifices have enabled him to release this unspeakable blackguard." When Gallacher refused to withdraw these comments he was suspended from the House of Commons.

Ramsay was released from Brixton Prison on 26th September, 1944. He was defeated in the 1945 General Election and in 1955 he published his book The Nameless War.
Archibald Ramsay died on 11th March, 1955.
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Duke of Montrose

James Angus, the Marquess of Graham and the future Duke of Montrose, held extreme right-wing views and was a member of several anti-Semitic organizations in the 1930s.

In May 1939 Archibald Ramsay founded a secret society called the Right Club. This was an attempt to unify all the different right-wing groups in Britain. Or in the leader's words of "co-ordinating the work of all the patriotic societies". In his autobiography, The Nameless War, Ramsay argued: "The main object of the Right Club was to oppose and expose the activities of Organized Jewry, in the light of the evidence which came into my possession in 1938. Our first objective was to clear the Conservative Party of Jewish influence, and the character of our membership and meetings were strictly in keeping with this objective."

Members of the Right Club included the the Marquess of Graham, William Joyce, Anna Wolkoff, Joan Miller, A. K. Chesterton, Francis Yeats-Brown, Lord Redesdale, 5th Duke of Wellington, Duke of Westminster, E. H. Cole, John Stourton, Thomas Hunter, Aubrey Lees, Ernest Bennett, Charles Kerr, Samuel Chapman, John MacKie, James Edmondson, Mavis Tate, Margaret Bothamley, Earl of Galloway, H. T. Mills, Richard Findlay and Serrocold Skeels.

After the Second World War the Duke of Montrose went to live in Rhodesia where he became a staunch "white supremacist". Montrose served in Ian Smith's breakaway Rhodesian Front government. In one speech he told the audience the "Beatles, international finance groups, colonial freedom movements and student agitators were all agents of a communist plot to achieve world domination".

James Angus, the Duke of Montrose, died in 1992.


Lord Redesdale

David Bertram Ogilvy Freeman-Mitford was the son of the 1st Baron Redesdale. As a young man he fought in the Boer War and the First World War. After leaving the British Army he moved to Canada where he purchased the Swastika Gold Mine.

On his return, the 2nd Baron Redesdale purchased the Swinbrook estate in Northumberland and married Muv Bowles. The couple had four daughters: Diana Mitford, Jessica Mitford, Nancy Mitford and Unity Mitford.

Redesdale wealth was seriously depleted in the late 1920s by a series of poor investments. During this period he developed extreme right-wing opinions and became a member of several anti-Semitic organizations including the Anglo-German Fellowship and The Link. His daughter, Diana Mitford, married Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, in 1936. Another daughter, Unity Mitford, went to Nazi Germany and met Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Herman Goering, Joseph Goebbels and other leaders of the Nazi Party. Hitler told newspapers in Germany that Unity was "a perfect specimen of Aryan womanhood".

Archibald Ramsay founded a secret society called the Right Club in May 1939. This was an attempt to unify all the different right-wing groups in Britain. Or in the leader's words of "co-ordinating the work of all the patriotic societies". In his autobiography, The Nameless War, Ramsay argued: "The main object of the Right Club was to oppose and expose the activities of Organized Jewry, in the light of the evidence which came into my possession in 1938. Our first objective was to clear the Conservative Party of Jewish influence, and the character of our membership and meetings were strictly in keeping with this objective."

Members of the Right Club included Redesdale, A. K. Chesterton, William Joyce, Anna Wolkoff, Joan Miller, Francis Yeats-Brown, E. H. Cole, Lord Redesdale, 5th Duke of Wellington, Duke of Westminster, Aubrey Lees, John Stourton, Thomas Hunter, Samuel Chapman, Ernest Bennett, Charles Kerr, John MacKie, James Edmondson, Mavis Tate, Marquess of Graham, Margaret Bothamley, Earl of Galloway, H. T. Mills, Richard Findlay and Serrocold Skeels.
Unity went to Nazi Germany and met Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Herman Goering, Joseph Goebbels and other leaders of the Nazi Party. Hitler told newspapers in Germany that Unity was "a perfect specimen of Aryan womanhood".

On the outbreak of the Second World War, Redesdale's daughter, Unity Mitford tried to commit suicide and she returned to England suffering from gunshot wounds.
 
(1) Jessica Mitford wrote about her parents' political activities in her autobiography, Hons and Rebels (1960)

Participation in public life at Swinbrook revolved around the the church, the Conservative Party and the House of Lords. My parents took a benevolent if erratic interest in all three, and they tried from time to time to involve us children in such civic responsibilities as might be suitable to our age.
My mother was a staunch supporter of Conservative Party activities. At election time, sporting blue rosettes, symbol of the Party, we often accompanied Muv to do canvassing. Our car was decorated with Tory blue ribbons, and if we should pass a car flaunting the red badge of Socialism, we were allowed to lean out of the window and shout at the occupants: "Down with the horrible Counter-Honnish Labour Party!"

The canvassing consisted of visiting the villagers in Swinbrook and neighbouring communities, and, after exacting a promise from each one to vote Conservative, arranging to have them driven to the polls by our chauffeur. Labour Party supporters were virtually unknown in Swinbrook. Only once was a red rosette seen in the village. It was worn by our gamekeeper's son - to the bitter shame and humiliation of his family, who banished him from their house for this act of disloyalty. It was rumoured that he went to work in a factory in Glasgow, and there became mixed up with the trade unions.
 
(2) Jessica Mitford wrote about her sister Unity Mitford in her autobiography, Hons and Rebels (1960)

It was the year of Hitler's accession to power. Unity announced her intention was to go to Germany, learn German, and meet the Führer. My parents put up much less opposition than might have been expected. Perhaps the thought of another London season of sham tiaras and tame rats let loose in ballrooms was a bit more than my mother could contemplate with any pleasure. Unity was allowed to go.

Within six months, she came home for a brief visit, having accomplished both her objectives. She already spoke fairly fluent German, and had met not only Hitler, but Himmler, Goering, Goebbels, and others of the Nazi leaders. "How on earth did you actually manage to get to know them?" we asked in some amazement. Unity explained that it had been fairly simple; she had reserved a nightly table in the Osteria Bavaria restaurant, where they often went. Evening after evening she sat and stared at them, until finally a flunkey was sent over to find out who she was. On learning that she was an admirer of the Nazis, and a member of the British Union of Fascists Hitler invited her to join them at their table. Thereafter she became one of their circle, saw them constantly in Munich, accompanied them to meetings, rallies, the Olympic Games.

She was completely and utterly sold on them. The Nazi salute - "Heil Hitler!" with hand upraised - became her standard greeting to everyone, family, friends, the astonished postmistress in Swinbrook village. Her collection of Nazi trophies and paraphernalia now overflowed our little sitting-room - bundles of Stretcher's anti-Semitic paper, Der Stürmer; an autographed copy of Mein Kampf; the works of Houston Stuart Chamberlain, a nineteenth-century forerunner of Fascist ideologists; albums of photographs of Nazi leaders.

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Duke of Westminster

Hugh Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, was an active member of the Conservative Party. In the 1930s he developed extreme right-wing opinions and became a member of several anti-Semitic organizations including the Anglo-German Fellowship.

In 1939 Archibald Ramsay founded a secret society called the Right Club in May 1939. This was an attempt to unify all the different right-wing groups in Britain. Or in the leader's words of "co-ordinating the work of all the patriotic societies". In his autobiography, The Nameless War, Ramsay argued: "The main object of the Right Club was to oppose and expose the activities of Organized Jewry, in the light of the evidence which came into my possession in 1938. Our first objective was to clear the Conservative Party of Jewish influence, and the character of our membership and meetings were strictly in keeping with this objective."

Members of the Right Club included Westminster, A. K. Chesterton, William Joyce, Anna Wolkoff, Joan Miller, Francis Yeats-Brown, E. H. Cole, Lord Redesdale, 5th Duke of Wellington, Lord Redesdale, Aubrey Lees, John Stourton, Thomas Hunter, Samuel Chapman, Ernest Bennett, Charles Kerr, John MacKie, James Edmondson, Mavis Tate, Marquess of Graham, Margaret Bothamley, Earl of Galloway, H. T. Mills, Richard Findlay and Serrocold Skeels.
On the outbreak of the Second World War Westminster became a leading supporter of the Peace Aims Group, an organization that urged a negotiated peace settlement with Nazi Germany.
 
 
(1) In her book, The Light of the Common Day, Diana Cooper describes how she had lunch with her hisband, Duff Cooper, and the Duke of Westminster at the Savoy Grill on 1st September, 1939.

The Duke began by 'abusing the Jewish race', adding his praise for the Germans and 'rejoicing that we were not yet at war'. As Lady Diana recounted, 'when he added that Hitler knew after all that we were his best friends, he set off the powder-magazine. "I hope". Duff spat, "that by tomorrow he will know that we are his most implacable and remorseless enemies". Next day "Bendor (Duke of Westminster)", telephoning to a friend, said that if there was a war it would be entirely due to the Jews and Duff Cooper'.

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A Brief Wartime History of MI5

In 1939 Walter Krivitsky was brought to London to be interviewed by Dick White and Guy Liddell of MI5. Krivitsky did not know the names of these agents but described one as being a journalist who had worked for a British newspaper during the Spanish Civil War. Another was described as "a Scotsman of good family, educated at Eton and Oxford, and an idealist who worked for the Russians without payment." These descriptions fitted Kim Philby and Donald Maclean. However, White and Liddle were not convinced by Krivitsky's testimony and his leads were not followed up.

Walter Krivitsky was found dead in the Bellevue Hotel in Washington on 10th February, 1941. At first it was claimed that Krivitsky had committed suicide. However, others claimed his hiding place had been disclosed by a Soviet mole working for MI5 and had been murdered by Soviet agents.
During the early stages of the war with Germany Vernon Kell agreed to establish a double-cross operation organized by Dick White. Arthur Owen, an agent working for Abwehr, was arrested and he eventually agreed to become a double-agent. As well as sending false information to Nazi Germany, Owen also kept White informed about the arrival of German agents in Britain. Between September and November 1940, a total of 21 German agents were arrested by Special Branch officers.

MI5 also recruited a large number of part-time agents during the war including Anthony Blunt, Goronwy Rees, Victor Rothschild, Alan P. Herbert and Ian Fleming. Over the next couple of years MI5 grew to 570 officers and staff. MI5 also moved its headquarters from Horseferry Road to Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.

During the war MI5 had responsibility for dealing with enemy aliens (Germans and Italians living in Britain). This included around 60,000 German refugees that had entered Britain in the 1930s. These were mainly Jews and left-wing opponents of Adolf Hitler who had escaped from Nazi Germany.

In 1939 police arrested a large number of Germans living in Britain. The government feared that these people might be Nazi spies pretending to be refugees. They were interned and held in various camps all over Britain. Like other refugees they were eventually appeared before tribunals which classified them into three different groups. 'A' class aliens were interned, whereas 'B' class aliens were allowed to leave the camps but had certain restrictions placed upon their movements. The vast majority of refugees were identified as 'C' class aliens and were allowed to go free.
On 12th May, 1940, John Anderson, who was in charge of national security, ordered the arrests of over 2,000 male aliens living in coastal areas. A few days later all 'B' class aliens were rounded up and placed into internment camps.

The three largest internment camps were at Wharf Mills (Bury), Huyton (Liverpool) and on the Isle of Man. Others were sent to the prisons at Brixton and Holloway and to a camp at Kempton Park Racecourse. At Brixton several Jewish refugees were beaten up by interned members of the British Union of Fascists.

The conditions in these internment camps were often appalling. In some camps refugees and foreign aliens were housed in tents without mattresses. Men and women were sent to different camps and so husband and wives were separated. Internees were refused to right to read newspapers, listen to the radio or to receive letters. They were therefore unable to discover what had happened to family members. Several refugees who had fled to England to avoid persecution in Nazi Germany committed suicide in these camps.

In May 1940 Winston Churchill became prime minister. Six months later he sacked Vernon Kell, Director-General of MI5, and replaced him with David Petrie. Over the next four years Petrie brought in experts to form sections for dealing with different types of agent. He also established closer links with MI6, the Secret Service with responsibility for counterespionage outside Britain.
Petrie's reforms particularly benefited Guy Liddell and Dick White. As controllers of B division, they now managed MI5's most significant operations. One of B division's most important agents was Joan Miller, a member of various right-wing organizations. Miller eventually became very close to Archibald Ramsay, the leader of the Right Club. In 1939 Miller began to suspect that Ramsay was a German spy. Miller also believed that Anna Wolkoff, who ran the Russian Tea Room in South Kensington, the main meeting place for members of the Right Club, was also involved in espionage.

In February 1940, Anna Wolkoff met Tyler Kent, a cypher clerk from the American Embassy. He soon became a regular visitor to the Russian Tea Room where he met other members of the Right Club including Archibald Ramsay.

Kent was concerned that the American government wanted the United States to join the war against Germany. He said he had evidence of this as he had been making copies of the correspondence between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent invited Wolkoff and Ramsay back to his flat to look at these documents. This included secret assurances that the United States would support France if it was invaded by the German Army. Kent later argued that he had shown these documents to Ramsay in the hope that he would pass this information to American politicians hostile to Roosevelt.

On 13th April 1940 Anna Wolkoff went to Kent's flat and made copies of some of these documents. Joan Miller and Marjorie Amor were later to testify that these documents were then passed on to Duco del Monte, Assistant Naval Attaché at the Italian Embassy. Soon afterwards, MI8, the wireless interception service, picked up messages between Rome and Berlin that indicated that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence (Abwehr), now had copies of the Roosevelt-Churchill correspondence

Soon afterwards Wolkoff asked Joan Miller if she would use her contacts at the Italian Embassy to pass a coded letter to William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) in Germany. The letter contained information that he could use in his broadcasts on Radio Hamburg. Before passing the letter to her contacts, Miller showed it to Maxwell Knight, head of B5b, a unit that conducted the monitoring of political subversion.

On 18th May, Knight told Guy Liddell about the Right Club spy ring. Liddell immediately had a meeting with Joseph Kennedy, the American Ambassador in London. Kennedy agreed to waive Kent's diplomatic immunity and on 20th May, 1940, the Special Branch raided his flat. Inside they found the copies of 1,929 classified documents including secret correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent was also found in possession of what became known as ‘Ramsay's Red Book’. This book had details of the supporters of the Right Club and had been given to Kent for safe keeping.

Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent were arrested and charged under the Official Secrets Act. The trial took place in secret and on 7th November 1940, Wolkoff was sentenced to ten years. Kent, because he was an American citizen, was treated less harshly and received only seven years. It is said that after being sentenced Wolkoff swore that she would get her revenge by killing Joan Miller.
In September 1945, a Russian diplomat, Constantin Volkhov, approached the British vice-consul in Istanbul with information about three Soviet agents working in the Foreign Office and the counterespionage service in London. Kim Philby was able to tell the KGB who quickly arrested Volkhov and took him back to the Soviet Union.

Also in September 1945, Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk in the Russian Legation, defected to the West claiming he had evidence of an Soviet spy ring based in Britain. The case was passed on to Philby . He suggested that Gouzenko should be interviewed by the MI5 agent, Roger Hollis.
Gouzenko provided evidence that led to the arrest of 22 local agents and 15 Soviet spies in Canada. Information from Gouzenko also resulted in the arrest and conviction of Klaus Fuchs and Allan Nunn May. Gouzenko also claimed that there was a Soviet agent inside MI5. However, he was later to argue that Hollis showed little interest in this evidence. "The mistake in my opinion in dealing with this matter was that the task of finding the agent was given to MI5 itself. The results even beforehand could be expected to be nil."

Clement Attlee, Britain's new Labour Party prime minister, received information from sympathizers that MI5 was dominated by people with a right-wing agenda. It was even suggested that they might try and destabilize the government. He therefore decided in May 1946 to appoint an outsider, Sir Percy Sillitoe, the former chief constable of Sheffield and Glasgow, to replace David Petrie as head of MI5.

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Rudolf Hess

Rudolf Hess, the son of a wealthy German merchant, was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He joined the German Army in August, 1914, and served in the 1st Bavarian Infantry Regiment during the First World War. He was twice wounded and reached the rank of lieutenant. In 1918 became an officer pilot in the German Army Air Service.

After the war Hess settled in Munich where he entered the university to study history and economics. He joined the Freikorps led by Franz Epp and helped to put down the Spartakist Rising during the German Revolution in 1919.

Hess was one of the first people to join the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) and soon become a devoted follower of Adolf Hitler.

In November, 1923, Hess took part in the failed Beer Hall Putsch. He was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison. While in Landsberg he helped Hitler write My Struggle (Mein Kampf).
Hess gradually worked his way up the Nazi hierarchy and in December 1932 was appointed head of the Central Political Committee and deputy leader of the party and minister without portfolio.
In the build up to the Second World War Hitler began to have growing doubts about the abilities of Hess and other leaders such as Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann became more important in the party.

Hess was considered mentally unstable and this was reflected in his decision on 10th May, 1941, to fly a Me 110 to Scotland with the intention of having a meeting with the Duke of Hamilton. Hess hoped that Hamilton would arrange for him to meet George VI. Hess believed he could persuade the king to sack Winston Churchill and to make peace with Germany in order to join forces against the Soviet Union.

When he heard the news Adolf Hitler was quick to issue a statement pointing out that "Hess did not fly in my name." Albert Speer, who was with Hitler when he heard the news, later reported that "what bothered him was the Churchill might use the incident to pretend to Germany's allies that Hitler was extending a peace feeler."

Hess was kept in the Tower of London until being sent to face charges at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. He was found guilty of actively supporting preparations for war and in participating in the aggression against Czechoslovakia and Poland.

Rudolf Hess was sentenced to life and was still in Spandau Prison when he was found dead on 17th August, 1987. Officially he committed suicide but grave doubts have been raised about the possibility of a 93 man in his state of health being able to hang himself with an electrical extension cord without help from someone else.
 
(1) When the German Army invaded Poland Hess made a speech blaming Neville Chamberlain for the war (September, 1939).

There is bloodshed, Herr Chamberlain! There are dead! Innocent people have died. The responsibility for this, however, live with England, which talks of peace and fans the flames of war. England that has pointblank refused all the Fuhrer's proposals for peace throughout the years. She only refused these proposals, but before and after the Munich agreement threatened Germany by arming Czechoslovakia. As the Fuhrer extinguished this blaze, England incited Poland to refuse the Fuhrer's peace proposals and to make her appearance as the new threat to Germany from the east.
 
(2) Albert Speer was with Adolf Hitler when he heard that Hess had flown to Britain. He wrote about it in his book, Inside the Third Reich (1970)

What bothered him was the Churchill might use the incident to pretend to Germany's allies that Hitler was extending a peace feeler. "Who will believe me when I say that Hess did not try there in my name, that the whole thing is not some sort of intrigue behind the backs of my allies?"

At the time it appeared to me that Bormann's ambition had driven Hess to this desperate act. Hess, also highly ambitious, could plainly see himself being excluded from access to and influence over Hitler.
 
(3) A British psychiatrist wrote a report on Rudolf Hess in 1941.

He was convinced he was surrounded by secret-service agents he would accomplish his death by driving him to commit suicide, committing a murder staged to look like suicide, or administering poison in his food.
 
(4) Rudolf Hess, letter to his wife (15th January, 1944)

I have been sitting here for literally several hours, wondering what I can write to you about. But I get no further; and that I regret to say is for a very special reason. Since sooner or later, you will notice it or find out about it, I may as well tell you: I have completely lost my memory. The reason for it I do not know. The doctor gave me a lengthy explanation, but I have meanwhile forgotten what it was.
 
(5) Edward Heath, The Course of My Life (1988)

I looked towards the dock. In two rows often they sat: Goring, reduced to wearing a plain, ill-fitting grey uniform - no medals now - alert and attentive, vigorously nodding his head in agreement or shaking it in denial; Hess, with his pale pinched face; von Ribbentrop, always busy writing notes; Keitel and Jodi, the soldiers, staring silently and sullenly ahead; Schacht, the businessman, whose relationship with the Nazis had been more turbulent, and who had distaste etched into his face at having to sit in public with such unpleasant people; von Papen and von Neurath, politicians both but still the diplomats, polished and immaculate. These all stood out. But how unimpressive were Seyss-Inquart, who had betrayed Austria and ruled occupied Holland; Rosenberg and Fritsche, the propagandists; and von Schirach, formerly a fanatical and dangerous young zealot, but now a visibly broken man. For a time, the whole free world had quaked before these men. Ultimately, however, they had brought not glory, but ruin and misery, to their own land and its people. We had lived in their shadow for a decade, but now history was free to deliver a final verdict upon them.

When the court adjourned for a quarter of an hour, I saw the Nazi leaders arguing heatedly among themselves about the evidence they had heard: evidence which had been gathered from every corner of Europe, from the Chancelleries and concentration camps, from the occupied countries and from Germany itself, of how the Nazis plunged the world into war, led Germany to its undoing and brought themselves, at last, into the dock in that Court House in Nuremberg.
 
(6) Judgment on Rudolf Hess at Nuremberg War Crimes Trial.

Hess was an active supporter of the preparations for war. His signature established military service. He expressed a desire for peace and advocated international economic cooperation. But none knew better than Hess how determined Hitler was to realize his ambitions, how fanatical and violent a man he was.

With him in his flight to England, Hess carried certain peace proposals which he alleged Hitler was prepared to accept. It is significant to note that this flight took place only ten days after the date on which Hitler fixed, 22 June 1941, as the time for attacking the Soviet Union.

That Hess acts in an abnormal manner, suffers from the loss of memory, and has mentally deteriorated during the Trial, may be true. But there is nothing to show that he does not realize the nature of the charges against him, or is incapable of defending himself. There is no suggestion that Hess was not completely sane when the acts charged against him were committed. Defendant Rudolf Hess, the court sentences you to imprisonment for life.

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The below article is taken from ‘InjusticeScotland’ Website.

McLetchie resigns from Tods Murray …. Time to look closely at other MSPs

Read on for the saga of David McLetchie ... and his eventual resignation from Messrs Tods Murray WS , an infamous Edinburgh legal firm who have one of the worst complaint records in the Scottish legal profession - according to Law Society insiders .....
 
However, the reasons for Mr McLetchie's eventual resignation are quite interesting .... and perhaps challenging, to those who still remain financially associated with, or are members of, the Law Society of Scotland ....
 
The "clever question" which Mr McLetchie asked the Standards Committee Clerk ... can be seen to be echoed over various parts of the questioning of those members and advocates of the Scottish legal profession who testified against the public in the Justice 1 Committee Inquiry into "Regulation of the Legal Profession".
 
Questioning of the lawyers and their associates, from the Committee members, once Phil Gallie had been removed from the Justice 1 Committee (by his own party, under the leadership of David McLetchie), had been quite sympathetic .... and in several cases, entire statements which were and still are contrary to the actual practices of the Law Society of Scotland and the Master Insurance Policy, were allowed ... and even when members of the public experienced in actual dealings with the legal profession pointed out mistakes and lies, such testimony from the legal interests was never corrected ... for fear of making the Parliamentary Inquiry look like the sham it really was ...
 
Maybe some members of the public should now lodge complaints with the Standards Committee over those members of the Scottish Parliament who participated in the Justice 1 Inquiry, making their association with the Law Society and the legal profession IN TERMS OF THEIR PAID SUBSCRIPTION TO THE LAW SOCIETY MASTER INSURANCE POLICY as a particular complaint of conflict of interest, which it seems was not declared at the time, and largely remains undeclared.

Readers to this site should be aware that the company involved with the Law Society of Scotland in maintaining the Master Insurance Policy, is MARSH INC (Marsh UK) in Edinburgh , who also insure various public servants and bodies like - the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman, some branches of the Police, Branches and entire Departments of Government - both national and local - large public service contracts, housing associations, etc.... (the list is endless ... ). What should also be noted is that MARSH are also alleged to be making political contributions - another matter which needs to be investigated - given the cancellation by the OFT (apparently on political motives) of their investigation into the Law Society of Scotland's Master Insurance Policy.
 
Links to the following articles on Mr Mcletchie come from both "the Scotsman" newspaper and BBC News  .. it appears however, that not many people believe he was only receiving £30,000 a year for his partnership at Tods Murray ..and the excuse about impending retirement ... well ... that sounds something akin to Keith Raffan's resignation from the Scottish Parliament on medical grounds ... after claiming over £100,000 in expenses ... some of them alleged to be false ...
 
McLetchie under pressure to ditch law and stick to Tory leadership
 
DAVID McLetchie, the Scottish Tory leader, was under pressure to ditch his part-time legal career and devote all his energies to the Conservative Party last night as a row over a potential conflict of interest intensified.

And in a separate controversy, it emerged last night that Mr McLetchie was at the centre of questions raised about hospitality he received from the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) last year.
Mr McLetchie is an active partner in the law firm Tods Murray. He is also the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, an MSP and the head of the Tory MSP group.

His ability to combine all of these roles effectively was being questioned, both by his political opponents and by members of his own party last night in an ongoing row over a possible conflict of interest.

A formal complaint has been made to the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner over a motion that Mr McLetchie signed expressing concern over plans to expand Edinburgh Airport.
At the time Mr McLetchie signed the motion, he knew that Tods Murray represented the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society - opponents of the proposed airport expansion.

It is understood that the complaint to Dr Jim Dyer questions whether Mr McLetchie should have declared Tods Murray’s relationship to the RHAS before signing the motion.

A spokesman for Mr McLetchie said the Tory leader did not believe there had been any conflict of interest because he only represented private not corporate clients. But he said Mr McLetchie had written to the clerk of the standards committee asking for advice and if he was advised to register Tods Murray’s links to the RHAS, he would do so.

The spokesman said it was up to Mr McLetchie whether he dropped his legal work but he had not felt the need to do so in the past.

The spokesman said: "David does not represent or act personally for the Royal Highland Society. He has, at all times, fully complied with the registration rules of the Scottish Parliament by declaring his interest as a partner of Tods Murray, where he represents private clients as opposed to corporate clients."

But this was not enough to quell increasing grumblings and discontent in Tory Party ranks.
Mr McLetchie’s decision to continue as a partner at Tods Murray, to work there sometimes several days a week and to take home a salary understood to be about £30,000 a year, has rankled with some of his colleagues who believe the leadership of the Scottish Tory Party should be a full-time job.

One activist said yesterday that Mr McLetchie’s decision not to drop his law work was causing "an increasing amount of resentment" in the party. "People think he should be spending all his working time on party business," he said.

One MSP admitted that Mr McLetchie’s work at Tods Murray was "an issue" for the Tory Party in Scotland but declined to say whether he believed Mr McLetchie should drop all his law work.
The Tories’ opponents, however, were less reticent.

An SNP spokesman said: "The main problem David McLetchie has is that he’s a part-time leader of a political party. If he was serious about his job of holding the Executive to account and about tackling the challenges that Scotland faces both now and in the future, he would devote himself full-time to the task."

In the second controversy concerning Mr McLetchie to emerge last night, it was reported that four days after he was the guest of the SRU at Murrayfield in May last year, Mr McLetchie lodged a motion in parliament calling for an end to the ban on alcohol sales at the ground.

It was reported that a member of the public was writing to the standards commissioner asking him to investigate the links.

The Tory leader denied any connection between the events. A spokesman said Mr McLetchie had first tabled a motion on the subject nearly a year before receiving any hospitality.

Tory leader hits back at critics

Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie has come out fighting in a row over possible conflicts of interest. The Edinburgh MSP insisted that his legal work does not influence the political causes he supports. He said he did not think he had broken the rules by backing a motion which criticised the expansion of Edinburgh Airport, but was seeking advice.
 
He said he would not give up his legal work and described the allegations as "a disgraceful slur on my character". The row follows claims that Mr McLetchie backed the airport motion without declaring that the law firm in which he is a partner was advising the Royal Highland Agricultural Society.
 
Standards committee
 
However, he said he had done nothing wrong and had fully complied with the parliament's strict rules. "I regard the stories as false and a disgraceful slur on my character," he said.
 
"People have questioned my compliance with the rules of the parliament. I don't think I have broken them." He said he had sought advice from the standards committee as to whether he should have declared a further interest over the airport motion.  "I am exercising my own judgment as to what is in the best interest of that particular site and I'm doing so in tandem with other MSPs"

"I am waiting for that advice to come back from the committee. When I get that advice I will publish it and I will act on it," he said.  Mr McLetchie said that the law firm, Tods Murray, did have a client with an interest in the Edinburgh Airport site. However, he stressed that was not connected to his stance and said he had adopted his position without being paid by anyone.
 
"I am exercising my own judgment as to what is in the best interest of that particular site and I'm doing so in tandem with other MSPs," said Mr McLetchie.  "There is nothing underhand about it at all. People are entitled to ask questions and I'm answering those questions.

Law firm
"People are entitled to say they think there is a conflict of interest - there is not, as far as I am concerned." Mr McLetchie also said his support for lifting an alcohol ban at Murrayfield had nothing to do with an acceptance of hospitality from the Scottish Rugby Union.  He pointed out that First Minister Jack McConnell had not sought any advice, despite the controversy over his foreign holiday with broadcaster Kirsty Wark.  Mr McLetchie said he had no intention of severing links with law firm Tods Murray.

"The late Donald Dewar, our former first minister, throughout the time he was in parliament up to 1997, was a solicitor in private practice in Glasgow," said Mr McLetchie.  "Now, if it's good enough for Donald Dewar, it's good enough for me." He said that what he did in his time away from politics was his own business.  "It is no different, for example, from, say, (SNP leader) Alex Salmond sitting watching horse-racing on TV and writing columns for newspapers for which he is paid.  "That's what he does in his spare time, I make no objection to that and I think I'm entitled to practice the law in my spare time," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS
Pressure mounts with fresh calls for McLetchie to quit legal job

UNDER-FIRE Scottish Tory Leader David McLetchie faced renewed calls last night to quit his lucrative second job after it emerged that his involvement with legal firm Tods Murray has gone beyond providing services to private clients.
 
The embattled MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, who has faced a barrage of criticism over his links to the practice, was used by his colleagues to chair seminars on areas of commercial importance to the company.
 
He fronted two events on tourism staged by Tods Murray, which cites “hotel & leisure” as one of its key areas of business. At the end of one of the events delegates issued a “clear call” for a relaxation of “licensing laws in relation to children and for a review by the Scottish parliament of the antiquated procedures for applying for new or extended liquor licences”.

The following year McLetchie urged the Scottish parliament to adopt a more liberal approach to licensing laws to encourage a more responsible attitude to drinking. He had made a similar point in 1999.
 
The revelation increases the pressure on McLetchie, who is facing an investigation into whether his work for Tods Murray, which advises clients on alcohol licensing, conflicts with his duties as an MSP. It has led to one former Tory MSP calling on him to give up his second job.
 
Last week, a tabloid newspaper reported he was facing a sleaze probe after they revealed that one of the law firm’s clients was the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society, which opposes the proposed expansion of Edinburgh Airport. McLetchie, whose Tods Murray sessions land him up to £30,000 per year, signed a parliamentary motion in December rejecting parts of the expansion – without declaring his firm’s interest.
 
He is also thought to have potentially breached parliamentary rules by failing to declare Tods Murray’s commercial interests in PFI, whisky and charity law, subjects McLetchie has raised in Parliament.
 
The Tory leader responded to the charges by writing to the clerk of the Standards Committee for guidance, while at the same time admitting he may have made a technical breach. His spokesman said McLetchie could make a “clear distinction” between parliamentary duties and his Tods Murray work.
 
But the Sunday Herald can reveal McLetchie’s links to the Edinburgh firm have extended into the commercial sphere. In September 2003, the Tory leader chaired a Tods Murray seminar on the tourism industry that aimed to “demonstrate how to achieve success within the hotel and leisure industry”.
 
Entitled The Secret Of Success, and chaired by “our partner David McLetchie, MSP”, he introduced other speakers, some of whom included Tods Murray clients like Prestonfield owner James Thomson.
 
McLetchie encouraged a discussion from the floor, much of it critical of the Scottish Executive and VisitScotland. Tourism is an important sector for Tods Murray, and The firm takes care of Tourism Enterprise And Management (TEAM), the Timeshare –Council and the Edinburgh Tattoo, whose general manager made a speech at the gathering.
 
McLetchie headed a similar event the previous year in Edinburgh. Said to have been “expertly” chaired by report of the event noted that he made his presence felt at the seminar: “The delegates listened intently to each speaker and David McLetchie’s request for questions resulted in a lively debate as the audience were keen to contribute,” it read. A spokesman for McLetchie refused to comment on the latest revelations.
 
But Nick Johnstone, a former Tory MSP, said McLetchie should give up his second job for the sake of the party. “I think it’s impractical for him to lead the group while being so heavily involved with a legal firm ,” he said.
 
A Labour spokesman said the seminars showed McLetchie did have links to his legal company’s commercial operations. “The cracks are starting to appear in McLetchie’s story. Just last week he said he didn’t work for Tods Murray’s corporate clients and now we hear he was sharing a platform with them. McLetchie needs to come clean ,” he said.
 
Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP’s Leader in the Scottish parliament, said the latest episode showed that the Tory leader couldn’t continue with two jobs.  “It is clear that there is an uncomfortable overlap … He must choose between politics and Tods Murray.”

Mike Rumbles, the former Convener of the Standards Committee who praised the way McLetchie dealt with last week’s allegations, said it was obvious that Tods Murray benefited from having the Pentlands MSP chair the events.
 
“It is very difficult for anyone to be a partner of a law firm, as well as an MSP. Members should remember what their primary role is,” he said.   

McLetchie insists he is cleared in row over legal work
 
DAVID McLetchie, the Scottish Tory leader, tried to end the long-running row over his part-time legal work yesterday by publishing advice from the standards committee that he said cleared him of any wrong-doing.
 
Mr McLetchie has come under intense criticism in recent weeks over what his political opponents claim is a clear conflict of interest between his part-time work as a solicitor for the firm Tods Murray and his work as an MSP.
 
Mr McLetchie took the unusual step yesterday of publishing the advice he has received from the clerk to the Holyrood standards committee and which he insisted had cleared him.
 
But Mr McLetchie’s attempts to draw a line under the affair faltered when it was claimed that he had not been entirely exonerated and there was a complaint still outstanding against him.
 
The controversy over Mr McLetchie’s law work started earlier this month when a complaint was made about his decision to sign a motion on the expansion of Edinburgh airport while his firm was representing the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society, which was opposed to the expansion plans.
 
Mr McLetchie immediately wrote to the clerk to the standards committee and asked whether he should have declared his firm’s interest in the issue when signing the motion.
 
The clerk wrote back and told him he did not have to declare his firm’s clients, but did suggest that, if there was any doubt in Mr McLetchie’s mind, he should err on the side of caution and declare anything which might be construed as a conflict of interest.
 
The clerk stated: "There are broader issues relating to perception that should perhaps be taken into account and which must fall to the member’s own judgment."
 
This appeared to be a clear signal to Mr McLetchie that he should avoid any possible hint of a conflict of interest by declaring interests, even if he did not need to do so, under the strict letter of the law.
The Tory leader argued that he had used his own judgment and decided he did not need to declare his firm’s interests in matters of this sort.
 
Mr McLetchie’s approach to this issue has angered his political opponents because the Tory leader has been vociferous in pursuing the First Minister, Jack McConnell, over his refusal to declare holidays with the broadcaster Kirsty Wark. Opposition politicians warned Mr McLetchie last night that the issue was not over.
 
Christine May, a Labour MSP, said Mr McLetchie had not been cleared fully because he had asked the clerk to the standards committee whether he had broken the rules on declaring an interest when he should have asked whether he had broken the rules on paid advocacy, an entirely different issue.
 
Ms May suggested that Mr McLetchie had not been cleared on this issue and it would now be up to Jim Dyer, the standards commissioner, to determine whether he did break the rules on paid advocacy.
 
Ms May said: "It was very clever of Mr McLetchie to ask the clerk to consider his conduct in respect of Section 5 of the code. He was almost bound to get the answer he wanted from this inquiry since he stands accused of breaching Section 6, the section on paid advocacy."
 
Tory chief resigns his £30,000 job in law firm
 
DAVID McLetchie, the Scottish Tory leader, bowed to increasing pressure over his part-time legal work yesterday and resigned as a partner in the Edinburgh law firm Tods Murray.
 
Mr McLetchie has faced intense criticism over the last few weeks for his decision to continue working for Tods Murray at the same time as leading the Conservative group in the Scottish Parliament.
 
He has had to defend himself against allegations of a conflict of interest, particularly over his decision to sign parliamentary motions on issues closely related to the activities of some of Tods Murray’s clients.
 
Mr McLetchie announced yesterday that he was standing down as a partner in Tods Murray because he did not want to be the cause of any more problems for his firm.
 
And, suggesting that Tods Murray’s reputation has suffered as a result of the bad publicity his problems have generated, he said: "Mindful of the good name of Tods Murray and confidentiality to which its clients are entitled, I have brought forward the date of my retirement from the firm which would otherwise have happened later this year."
 
He will now have to get by without the £30,000 a year which he was earning for his part-time work at the firm.

Mr McLetchie’s decision to stand down is surprising given the bullish stance he took just two days ago when he claimed he had been exonerated of any wrongdoing by the Standards Committee. The Tory leader published advice he had been given by the clerk to the committee which, he claimed, showed he did not have to declare any interest in Tods Murray when signing parliamentary motions.
 
But in the advice, the clerk to the committee suggested that Mr McLetchie should have "erred on the side of caution" and declared any interests which might lead to a perception of a conflict of interest.
This appeared to be a clear signal that while Mr McLetchie had obeyed the letter of the law, he could have done more to maintain its spirit.
 
It also emerged this week that Mr McLetchie is currently being investigated by Jim Dyer, the Standards Commissioner, over his work for Tods Murray and the motions he has signed in the parliament.
 
The Tory leader may have thought that he could not risk a damaging judgment from Mr Dyer and decided to get his resignation from Tods Murray accepted before he was forced to do it later.
 
Mr McLetchie issued a short statement yesterday which he hopes will finally bring the controversy over his links to Tods Murray to an end. He said: "I have tendered my resignation as a partner with immediate effect."
A Labour Party spokesman referred to Mr McLetchie’s determination to pursue Jack McConnell over his refusal to declare his holidays with Kirsty Wark, the broadcaster, in the official register.
 
The spokesman said: "It turns out that people in glass houses really shouldn’t throw stones.
 
"However it doesn’t change the fact that there should be a full investigation into whether he has done this in the past."

Peter Misselbrook, an executive partner of Tods Murray, said Mr McLetchie, 52, had made a "valued contribution to the development of the firm" over the past 29 years.
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