14 May 2008

Were my meetings with Andrew Mackinlay MP bugged?

Only three months ago there was much debate and scandal over the bugging of Mr Sadiq Khan MP’s meetings with a constituent in prison. In 1999 and 2001 my Member of Parliament, Andrew Mackinlay, came to visit me in prison to discuss my case. I was already aware at the time of the danger that our conversations could be recorded and used against me. It is very easy to secretly record conversations in a private visit room, and there are cameras fitted in the ceiling to take photographs of any documents that are placed on the table between the visitor and the prisoner. I referred to my suspicions in an earlier post here.

Mr Mackinlay has just asked a parliamentary question to check whether the authorities will admit that our meetings were bugged:

219 Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the discussions held between the hon. Member for Thurrock and his constituent Michael John Smith at Full Sutton Prison, York on 1st September 1999 and 30th July 2001 were covertly (a) recorded, (b) transmitted and (c) monitored in some another way by or on behalf of any Government department or agency; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Mackinlay is aware that bugging is a possibility, as he had a strange “burglary” shortly after our 1999 meeting, which he referred to in Hansard of 26 October 1999. I have referred to this matter over 2 years ago in another post.

PostScript: Almost as the above was being posted there is yet another scandal of prison meetings being bugged. This time it is the case of Harry Roberts and his lawyer Simon Creighton. Jack Straw does the usual acquiescent acceptance of this policy in a Daily Mail article.


  1. Anonymous6:37 AM

    If they listened to Andrew Mackinlay drone on they may have topped themselves!

  2. I probably did most of the talking during our meetings as we were discussing issues about my case. For example, I told Andrew that the Prison Service were blocking my attempts to contact journalists, and that the MoD had removed important legal documents from my possession.