IMPRESS reject arbitration and compensation claim from ex MP over Esther Baker investigation story on this blog

esther baker

Esther Baker


The press regulator, Impress, has refused a request for arbitration and compensation from former Liberal Democrat MP, John Hemming, over an article published on this blog last September when the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to  issue criminal proceedings against the ex MP and two other people over allegations of child sex abuse from Esther Baker.

The article reported, almost in full, statements issued by Staffordshire Police and the ex MP after the decision was announced by the CPS. The CPS concluded there was ” insufficient evidence ” to proceed, the ex MP said he had been the subject of false allegations.

Since then Esther Baker has appealed the CPS decision and a ruling is expected some time in the autumn.

This blog is not directly covered by the regulator, IMPRESS, but because I cross post articles on the independent platform, Byline, it is indirectly covered since Byline has agreed to be regulated by IMPRESS.

IMPRESS’S regulatory committee ruled  that the article  on its own could not been seen  as Mr Hemming claimed as ” harassment”. And it dismissed his claim for compensation by saying that any  alleged harm caused to Mr Hemming  by this article was ” trivial ” and ” too insignificant to meet the  test ” for a claim.

For the record  and to prevent other people putting  any spin on this decision this is the text of the ruling sent to Byline:

“I am writing to advise you that an IMPRESS Regulatory Committee recently met to consider John Hemming’s request for arbitration. Having carefully considered his request in accordance with the IMPRESS procedures they have decided that the request is not suitable for arbitration under the CIArb/IMPRESS Arbitration Scheme. The reasons for their decision are set out below.

Reasons for Board arbitration suitability decision:

Rule 8.3 of the IMPRESS Regulatory Scheme requires the Board to make an administrative assessment of whether a claim is covered by the scheme. For the avoidance of doubt, this decision is not based on an assessment of the merits of a claim.
Rule 46 of the Regulatory Scheme Procedures provides six administrative criteria that need to be satisfied before a claim can be accepted under the scheme.

The Board considered each of these in turn:
(i) The claim is made against a publisher regulated by IMPRESS.
The Committee was satisfied that the claim was made against a publisher (Byline) that was regulated by IMPRESS at the time of the act complained of (6 September 2017).
(ii) The claim is related to one of the areas of law covered by the scheme.
The Committee was satisfied that the claim related to an area of law covered by the scheme, namely defamation and harassment. With regards to the claim for harassment however, though this related to one of the areas covered by the scheme, the Committee determined that the claim for harassment did not satisfy the relevant test. This was because, under a claim for harassment, a ‘course of conduct’ required two or more events to be characterised as such. The claimant therefore could not bring a claim against the publisher for the publication of one article.
(iii) The claim is not a pre-publication matter where it is appropriate for it to be directed to the courts.
The Committee was satisfied that the claim did not relate to a pre-publication matter where it was appropriate for it to be directed to the courts.
(iv) The claim provides a clear statement setting out the harm or financial loss suffered by the claimant.
The Committee was not satisfied that the claim clearly set out the harm or financial loss that the claimant had suffered as a result of the published article. It noted that the claimant largely relied on the fact that the article was part of a wider campaign against him which he accepted that Byline was not a party to.
(v) The claim describes a specific action or activity of a publisher that has caused the alleged harm or financial loss.
The Committee was not satisfied that the claimant adequately described how it was the article published by Byline that caused the alleged harm and loss to the claimant. This is because, although the claimant identified specific harm and loss caused by the ‘wider campaign’, the claimant failed to specify any harm or loss which arose as a direct result of the article published by Byline. The Committee determined that any harm or loss caused to the claimant by the publisher was trivial or incidental in conjunction with the remainder, and was thus too insignificant to meet the test.
(vi) The claimant explains why the complaint is not suitable for resolution by the IMPRESS complaints procedure.
The Committee accepted that given that (i) the complaint did not, on the face of it, appear to engage the Standards Code and (ii) the claimant sought financial compensation as a remedy, it was not suitable for resolution by the IMPRESS complaints procedure.
In conclusion, the Committee decided that the claimant’s request for arbitration should be refused on the grounds that parts (iv) and (v) of the test were not met.

29 thoughts on “IMPRESS reject arbitration and compensation claim from ex MP over Esther Baker investigation story on this blog

      • That is great. However, in my opinion, the Impress stamp on the blog would look good, and underline your importance. Just my view. 🙂

        You keep writing ’em, I’ll keep tweeting ’em! 😀


      • Thanks for that .. but knowing some of the people who pursue me they would probably use it twice and put in multiple complaints. Often the aim is tie you up in pointless challenges so you don’t have timer pursue anything else.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Perhaps a chat with Steve Walker? See how he gets on with it? He’s a great bloke – I met him at length last Thursday. He operates under Impress.

        But I do take your point. 😀



  2. Not one mention of Green Bottles, eh Dave?
    Remember those halcyon days, when your mates (plants?) were telling you verbatim about what was going on in the IICSA meetings, and you were selling it to the press?
    What about when your mate, Watts, was helping to PCJ when Mr Laverty and Mr Just were falsely accused by EB?
    I bet you must hate that Exaro was widely criticised by REAL journos..and then closed down.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t worry about others putting you out of’ve done pretty well on your own so far.
    I wonder what the exaro gang have got planned for EB now?
    It’s obvious to a blind bat that none of you give a fig about her mental state – apart from how it can be exploited.
    When the whole house of cards falls apart, you’ll all drop her like a hot brick..same as you’ll drop the mentally-damaged online abusers who have ‘helped’ EB so much by so ‘helpfully’ targeting EB’s critics with disgusting false accusations and slurs. You know them, eh? The ones who you and EB talk to on twitter.
    In any case, between Exaro and Lantern Project, the two have caused more damage to the CSA debate than anything else imaginable.
    Thanks to ‘Nick’, ‘Darren’, and EB (let’s not forget her two ‘Ladette’ personas) and their fantastical stories, the public are now sick of blaggers going on about VIP CSA, and are now more concerned about getting false accusers arrested than they are about VIP CSA coverups.
    Maybe that was the masterplan..muddy the water until there is no further chance of getting to the bottom of it.
    Maybe the masterplan was to just cause as much division in UK society.
    Either way, it’s all gone to pot hasn’t it, Dave?
    I hope you’re proud of the part you played, while you count your blood-money..after all, object achieved – the IICSA is now toothless and is riddled with busy-busy ambulance chasers and fantasists.
    It’s been Exaro-d.


    • Thank you for your contribution to my small blog. Obviously we’ll never agree but yes imo I have contributed to the debate and by reporting on the issues in such a difficult area like child sexual abuse. Enough to be perfectly respected and helped by IICSA when I turned up at their preliminary hearing last week.
      I am sorry to disappoint you but far from a career car crash when Exaro closed I have had plenty of real work as a real journo since- from lecturing to sitting on an independent panel.
      You probably only follow the child sex abuse issues and don’t see the other campaigns and work I do and some of the stories I have placed in the national press. None of those issues involve child sex abuse.
      However you are entitled to your opinion. You are rather way out about my situation. But I am putting up your comment for others to see.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LOL..let’s be honest’re just answering in hopes that I put my foot in it, so you and EB can call the cops out.
        No?’re right Dave..there are a lot of things I don’t know.
        Shame you couldn’t bring yourself to address any of the other issues I raised in my comment above..but why should you, when you can just give a pithy evasive response?
        You say your career is going well then? Being summoned to a defunct IICSA (one that entertains fantasists) is, especially now, hardly a glowing point in your working life.
        The work will dry up just as quickly as your cash-cow will when the extent of the skulduggery is properly understood by the authorities.
        I take no delight in saying that, or knowing it will happen. I am just bitterly disappointed in how badly a talented journo can either be so badly fooled, or be so committed to such an obvious line of fantasists, as were virtually sponsored by Exaro. Btw..did they all three of them come to you via Lantern?
        Had Lantern done their little magic on all of them?

        Anyways, one thing I do know, is that you were made aware of the ‘help’ given to EB by specific individuals who were even then well-known as online-abusers and stalkers.
        They were well-known, because they had previously orchestrated a hate-campaign against the victims (REAL victims, Dave..not fantasists), and survivors of the Hillsborough disaster.
        It seems they are now a little gang-for-hire.
        Seems they have been hired, in fact.
        You know the ones, Dave.. the same gang who attacked critics of EB?
        Ring any bells?
        You remember, the viciousness of the attacks went bad particularly when she made what was in my opinion a malicious accusation against Mr Just and Mr Laverty?
        You were even made aware of it, by me, in real time – as they were attacking me on twitter.
        You said nothing Dave..nothing…despite having engaged with me on twitter before.
        You were personally made aware of the abuse, and you and Watts were able to ignore what was put under your noses.
        You must have thought it was ok, as you still converse with the most abusive of them even to this day.

        But that’s it isn’t it?
        You go on about fighting abuse, yet are willing to make the enemies of your enemies your matter how abusive they are.
        Same as EB. She also was told directly MANY TIMES of the abuse being perpetuated by people who claimed to be ‘helping her’.
        All she had to do was say ‘not in my name’. But no.
        The both of you were happy to see the victims of your ‘helpers’ get their names and addresses exposed, with accusations they were child abusers (nonces, I believe is the preferred tern used by these ‘helpers’). Both of you were happy to watch as it carried on.
        Both of you are still happy to watch it happen to Hemming, via the SAME abusers, and via the EB’s rapidly-diminishing clique.
        I watched EB call him a fantasist today. Now THAT’S front.
        Call yourselves anti-abuse campaigners? Clean the plank out of your own eyes first, the pair of you.
        Like I said..the IICSA is in tatters, and the chances of actually convicting any VIP CSA abusers is virtually zero.
        Cops will never investigate even the simplest things about it – like who the pimps were for instance.
        We had a chance to FULLY investigate VIP CSA in a proper way and in a good context.
        We had a way to end it all..the coverups and the rent-boy culture in Westminster.
        Now we’ll never know who was blackmailed, and who was compromised.
        Not any more.
        Nice work there, Dave. I hope you’re proud.

        Tell you what, keep telling yourself you’re a good guy..maybe one day you’ll actually believe it.

        I was once just a guy who asked EB the wrong thing, while she was ‘protected’.
        It earned me over a year of serious online abuse.
        I was just a joke. One of the little people. Easy to ignore.
        Now the whole world is cottoning on.


      • Adey Bob
        No, I am not trying to entrap you in anyway by getting you to make dodgy statements so i can call the cops. why should I ? I only once reported someone to the police who was physically threatening me on a story- and that had zilch to do with child sexual abuse.
        Frankly I think your fury with the collapse of investigations is misplaced. the idea that Exaro forced the Met Police to take up Nick is one of those nice myths that any person giving a thought would see was rubbish just as anybody would think Exaro forced Staffordshire to take up her case. Both were decisions taken by police forces on their own merits and after their own interviews with the complainant/ survivor.
        I don’t know whether IICSA will finally expose what happened in |Westminster but they seem to have drawn up good areas to investigate.
        I am also surprised given you are a survivor yourself that you have decided she is a fantasist and treat her as though she had not been sexually abused by anyone.
        Enough of this anyway. I am going to waych Spiral on BBC 4 and suggest you do the same.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: IMPRESS reject arbitration and compensation claim from ex MP over Esther Baker investigation story on this blog | David Hencke – leftwingnobody

  4. David,

    Nowhere in Adeybobs comments above has he claimed that Esther Baker “had not been sexually abused by anyone”, so I think that you should reflect on that.

    I would also like you to explain why you posted the first name of an alleged CSA survivor on Twitter. You were clever enough not to out him entirely, but you posted his Christian name in a manner that seemed threatening and odd. Have you apologised to that person?


    • If he is determined that she is a fantasist it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that she isn’t a victim of child sexual abuse and has made that up. Nowhere does he say that she is a child sex abuse survivor either. On your second point the Christian name I used is extremely common in the UK. If I offended him I apologise now. I can’t honestly remember whether I apologised at the time or not.
      however there are in general people on the net whose main sport is to goad people by insulting them and then cry foul when some one hits back. There is also all the difference in the world between having a civilised dispute than trading insults and I am very glad to learn that the government is now looking at measures to curb this on line abuse. My reaction has been to mute people who continue to do this and clutter up my time line with nasty insults.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elsewhere I see that Daniel Janner wants to prosecute Nick for his allegations against his father and for the Abuse Inquiry to drop the Janner strand. Only in the Leicester Mercury do they point out that a new allegation had been made against his father and that the total number of separate accusers now stands at 33!! And of course heband the mainstream media carelessly forget what the otherwise much cited Judge Henriques had to say about the Janner case.
        I don’t know how these journalists sleep at night.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is what gives msm a bad name as the news is being reported as an agenda rather than straight facts. Any responsible journalist who wanted to quote Henriques re Nick should also quote Henriques re Janner ( which says the opposite) as both issues are currently in the News.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good points re Janner & Henriques. And indeed IIRC it was local media that originally reported on the allegations way back in the early 90s.


  5. David H, reading this exchange all through again, I am driven to add the following quote as my plain English reaction is unprintable!
    Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men
    gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?


  6. Further to your reply to my earlier comment and reference to MSM and their agenda why do they do it? I have read the allegations and Henrique’s review and if half of what Janner is alleged to have done is true he was a monster. Is the MSM really so controlled and do these journalists have no morals or backbone?


    • Sadly most of the key journalists covering the Westminster child sex abuse story on the Mail, Sunday Times and Times and the Telegraph now believe that as far as VIP paedophiles are concerned all the allegations come from fantasists. This follows the collapse of Operation Midland. The only people willing to consider anything on this are the Sunday People and the Sunday Mirror.
      For paedophile cases involving known villains or ordinary people the mass media will still take up their cases.


      • I think you are too charitable David. It is more than that. It is false reporting. They corrupt the facts and people fall for it. For example the Times and the Mail both refer to the Heath enquiry as “failed” or “discredited” and refer only to Nick when there are dozens of other claims. In fact Veale himself filtered out the loonys and those where evidence was sparse. He did a good job and is villified. And as you point out they ignore Henriques views on Janner. Not one of them adopts the challenging investigative approach. It is actually quite scary because I think the establishment can get away with anything.


      • I may well be. I thought the Veale report on Heath was very fair. But again it didn’t fit the agenda. I am coming rapidly to the conclusion that there are powerful forces out there who are absolutely determined that none of this will never come out and determined to discredit anybody who wants to investigate it fairly, fearlessly and without favour. I have never known such an area with so much hate and spite against people and dertermination to say they are all false.


  7. Agreed with Adey Bob and Colin Jones on the point of filtering out alleged false accusers ie.
    ‘Maybe that was the masterplan..muddy the water until there is no further chance of getting to the bottom of it.
    ‘For example the Times and the Mail both refer to the Heath enquiry as “failed” or “discredited” and refer only to Nick when there are dozens of other claims.’
    I also agree with David ‘that there are powerful forces out there who are absolutely determined that none of this will ever come out and determined to discredit anybody who wants to investigate it fairly, fearlessly and without favour.’

    Lets hope Andrew O’Conners statement last week that ‘“A number of retired police officers have claimed that they# were indeed ‘warned off’ investigating possible cases of child sexual abuse committed by senior politicians in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Several of these cases are linked to the Elm Guest House affair…’ will get to the bottom of it.


  8. David
    Further to previous entries there was (yet) another article in the Times today, this time about George Bell. They continue to criticise the CofE investigation, and cite Lord Carlile and his report. They specifically refer to the new allegation and it’s timing.
    Here is an extract from Carlile’s opening paragraphs

    5. Shortly afterwards, a journalist claimed in a local newspaper article that she
    had had contact with an unnamed mental health nurse who had treated
    ‘numerous boys and girls’ in hospital, whom she said had been abused by
    Bishop Bell. I made considerable efforts to contact the journalist and test the
    substance of these allegations, but was unable to make contact. I left messages
    to which there was no response. During the months of my review, nobody has
    come forward to support the story. Given the circumstances, including the lack
    of any identification of those mentioned, and the possibility of confusion with
    others (including Bishop Peter Ball, who is mentioned in several places below),
    I have concluded that the story cannot be substantiated and I have therefore
    ignored it.”

    Given that Carlile’s main complaint was the paucity of the inquiry, and notwithstanding his limited brief, I have to ask what he would have made of his own efforts to track down and follow up this line? A named journalist in a local paper and he doesn’t get to them?
    If this is the source of the new evidence he has to share the blame for delaying this coming forward.


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