Several issues remain outstanding from the Nicky Cruz affair in Hackney. Not least the question of who runs the Hackney Ocean - the Metropolitan Police, or Hackney Council? Given this, and other concerns, I have written today to the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, making the following points:
Thank you for your reply to my complaint. I do appreciate that you took the time personally to do so.
Whilst I will not re-hash old arguments, I am afraid I still have concerns about this matter, and would be grateful if you could consider the following points.
1. I am still unclear as to why the final decision about whether an event should go ahead at a Council
owned venue rests, not with Hackney Council but with the Metropolitan Police.
2. The Hackney Gazette reported on its website on 21 July that Nicky Cruz had been stopped from appearing at the Ocean, after the council had come under pressure to cancel the performances. Was this ever the case? If so, how did Cruz become "un-banned"?
3. I believe a clear conflict of interest has occurred here. You state in your e mail of 8 August that the
final decision over this concert rested with Borough Police Commander Simon Pountain. Yet the Metropolitan Police had already listed TRUCE as one of their key initiatives for Hackney on their website - they were hardly likely to ban their own concert. Do you agree with me that there was a clear conflict of interest in Simon Pountain's actions?
That conflict of interest could of course have been avoided had the final decision been taken by the owners of the Ocean - Hackney Council.
4. Finally I agree with you a full assessment should be made of TRUCE's work. But do you honestly believe the police, with key operational (and in the case of at least one officer, Peter Jordan) religious links to TRUCE are in an impartial position to conduct that assessment?
I would also urge that the success (or otherwise) of TRUCE's 2004 mission to the North West of England is considered in any evaluation.
I thank you in advance for your consideration of these points.