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Home » Questions Need Answers In Hackney Council Paedophile Case

Questions Need Answers In Hackney Council Paedophile Case

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The Hackney Gazette has uncovered hundreds of previously secret council emails about the paedophile scandal that brought down the borough’s mayor.

The messages, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, raise fresh questions about whether key players did everything they should have done after learning councillor Tom Dewey was under criminal investigation.

The messages contain allegations of a Labour cover-up, which members claimed could have amounted to a safeguarding failure.

Hackney Council, the Labour Party and former mayor Philip Glanville all refused to answer any of our questions about the emails.

Hackney cited a review it has commissioned, saying: “The council will not be commenting on any related issues until after the review is concluded.”

We asked when that review would begin and end, and whether the results would be published in full.

“The report and any recommendations will be reported to full council at the earliest opportunity,” it said.

Tom Dewey didn’t tell Hackney Council or the Labour Party that his home had been raided for indecent images of children. He proceeded with the local election and won in De Beauvoir ward

The Timeline On April 29, 2022, the National Crime Agency (NCA) raided an address in Hertford Road, Hackney, after receiving four tip-offs that Dewey had recently uploaded indecent images to an online drive.

Dewey kept the incident a secret and stood as planned in Hackney’s election on May 5, where he was elected to represent De Beauvoir ward.

But on May 13, the NCA told the council about its investigation.

A day later, on May 14, the council informed Labour mayor Phil Glanville. Another two days later, on May 16, the council informed the Labour Party.

We asked Labour whether Mr Glanville should have informed the party as soon as he found out on May 14, and Mr Glanville why he didn’t do so.

Neither would answer.

On May 16, Dewey was called in for an urgent meeting with the chief executive and tendered his resignation. He also resigned from the Labour Party.

Hackney Council chief executive Mark Carroll called Tom Dewey in for an urgent meeting on May 16, 2022 – two days after the National Crime Agency informed the council that Dewey was under investigation for alleged paedophile offences (Image: Charles Thomson)

That evening, Labour members were told he had stepped down “for personal reasons”.

The truth would not emerge until the following year.

The house-share The incident revealed that both Dewey and Mr Glanville were living in the same house.

Each was reportedly renting their own room within the house. This was only revealed by electoral registers, as Dewey had his address withheld from public election papers.

At the time, Mr Glanville had been the mayor for almost six years, with an annual salary of around £85,000.

We asked Mr Glanville why, given his high-paid role, his Hackney address was a single rented room.

We also asked him how Dewey came to rent a room in the same property.

He declined to answer.

The National Crime Agency’s raid on Tom Dewey’s home led to the revelation that he and Hackney mayor Phil Glanville lived in the same house, in Hertford Road. Mr Glanville’s Hackney address was a single rented room, despite his £85k annual salary (Image: Julia Gregory)

He wasn’t spending much time there, writing in an email to a journalist: “[I] was totally unaware that the NCA had been in the property. When I returned, none of my personal belongings were out of place, nor were there any signs of disturbance in the communal areas of the property.”

He said he was “rarely at home” due to “election campaigning” and spent “considerable time at my then-partner’s home”.

‘Swift action’ “The very first time I became aware of the action at the property, and the subsequent arrest and investigation, was on Saturday, 14 May [2022],” Mr Glanville wrote in a 750-word email to all council staff.

He sent it on August 15, 2023 – after Dewey was eventually given a one-year suspended jail sentence for possessing 1,850 indecent images.

He told colleagues he had been “deeply shocked and appalled”, but both the council and the Labour Party had advised him not to say anything about it.

On August 15, 2023, Hackney mayor Phil Glanville sent a lengthy email to council colleagues, claiming he could finally address the Tom Dewey case now Dewey had pleaded guilty (Image: Charles Thomson)

“At every stage I have acted swiftly and professionally,” Mr Glanville wrote.

“The priority for both me and the council was to ensure that our safeguarding duties were fully discharged and also our legal obligations were performed.”

He added: “I swiftly moved out of the house temporarily and have not met or spoken to Tom Dewey since.

“When it was clear that he had moved out of the property, I moved back and I have continued to have no contact with him.”

The photo But not long after emailing this account to council colleagues, a photograph began to circulate of the mayor and Dewey at a Eurovision party together on the evening of May 14, 2022 – after Mr Glanville had been told by the chief executive of the NCA investigation.

On August 30, 2023, the Morning Star newspaper emailed Hackney Council’s press office, saying it had a photo of mayor Phil Glanville and paedophile councillor Tom Dewey partying together (Image: Charles Thomson)

On August 30, Mr Glanville emailed a statement to the council press office.

“Being with Tom Dewey at all on the 14 of May was clearly an error of judgement for which I wholeheartedly apologise,” it said.

“I was told of his arrest but not the full extent of the charges in a brief discussion with the council chief executive the same day.”

The council has never commented on whether it accepts this claim.

We asked Mr Glanville how much he had been told at that point.

He did not answer.

A photo emerged of Hackney mayor Phil Glanville (right) and councillor Tom Dewey (left) smiling together at a Eurovision party after Mr Glanville had been told Dewey was under criminal investigation for suspected paedophile offences

“I shouldn’t have been at the event in which we were photographed but I did so as I feared to cancel the event, or not attend myself, may alert Tom to what I knew, during what I understood to be a live criminal case,” Mr Glanville continued.

We asked Mr Glanville why he thought it would be a problem for Mr Dewey to know that he knew about the police investigation.

We also asked him whether he had deliberately omitted the party from his prior version of events, or had simply forgotten about it.

He did not answer.

Mr Glanville eventually resigned as mayor on September 15.

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville emailed a statement to the council press office about the photo of him at Tom Dewey celebrating Eurovision together (Image: Charles Thomson)

Labour ‘cover-up’? That same month, Labour members began to raise their own questions.

Despite Mr Glanville being told on May 14, 2022, that Dewey was under investigation for paedophile offences, and the Labour Party being told on May 16, nobody told local members – many of whom would have known him socially as well as professionally.

At a group meeting on May 16, Labour members were only told Mr Dewey had resigned as a councillor “for personal reasons”.

Emails show councillors repeated this claim to journalists in the following days, when asked about Dewey’s departure.

Members of a group called Hackney Labour Left were “appalled and disgusted” when they learned the truth the following year.

Some Hackney Labour members felt the council had let them down by ‘covering up’ the reason Dewey had quit the council and the party (Image: Charles Thomson)

They suggested that hiding the truth from Labour members amounted to a “safeguarding” failure.

“Conveying the impression that his resignation was of no concern to anyone else in the party was wrong,” they wrote.

“Discussing the implications of an arrest and safeguarding issues arising does not prejudice a case.”

They accused Labour of “covering up” and demanded “a full review of all Labour’s safeguarding policies and procedures”.

In retaliation, they claimed, three of them were removed from positions in the Hackney North and Stoke Newington Constituency Labour Party and replaced with “unelected individuals”.

We put this to the Labour Party. It did not respond.

Former Major General John Henderson has been tasked with reviewing Hackney Council’s handling of the Tom Dewey scandal

The review Hackney Council has asked John Henderson to conduct a review into the scandal.

Mr Henderson is a former Major General who spent eight years as chief executive of Staffordshire County Council.

“The review will look at whether the council met its safeguarding obligations and will examine the council’s processes,” the council said.

“It will make recommendations for any improvements.”

But the review will not examine whether there were any shortcomings in Labour’s response.