know that Bexley Council’s Head of Legal Services is not a practicing
solicitor or a barrister because both of their professional bodies have
confirmed it, which does not sit easily with Bexley Council’s requirement that it is “essential” that
their top legal officer be so qualified.
I have always assumed that Mr. Alabi has an overseas qualification but Bexley Council has refused to confirm that is the case and given Bexley Council’s record of lying and deceit on the grand scale, that gives rise to speculation.
Michael Barnbrook referred the matter to the Information Commissioner and in their rambling twelve page reply they refer to Mick’s “personal grudge towards a particular employee”. He had “singled him out”. The basis for that could only have come from Bexley Council
The ICO also refers to an “an unjustified series of untruths intended to denigrate a named individual on a website called Bexley-is-Bonkers” and complains that Mr. Barnbrook has “singled out” Mr. Alabi “on the basis of the complainant’s opinions”. It is clear, and not for the first time, that Bexley Council has done an assassination job on Mick based on his one time membership of the BNP.
The ICO refers to the confidential report on the complainant submitted by Bexley Council and one would have thought that if BiB has been publishing untruths about Alabi the Council would have done something about it by now. There has been nothing on BiB other than facts about what Bexley Council, The Law Society and The Bar Council have said about Mr. Alabi and what Mick Barnbrook has been doing about it.
The ICO proceeds to dismiss Mick’s complaint because he is “vexatious” and supports that contention with a very peculiar and circular argument.
Mick has been trying to ascertain via his FOIs whether or not Mr. Alabi is suitably qualified to do his job. Bexley Council says he is but asks for their word to be taken on trust. A big ask!
Without the requisite information one can only guess at whether or not Bexley Council is again playing fast and loose with its own rules.
While Bexley Council refuses to provide any evidence that Mr. Alabi is qualified the assumption will be that there is something to hide, but no one can be sure, hence asking the ICO to get Bexley to reveal the truth.
In their somewhat circular argument the Information Commissioner has accused Mick of providing no evidence that a criminal offence has been committed. “There has not been any proof that these serious allegations have been upheld by appropriate regulatory bodies such as the LGO or the police”.
The ICO helpfully repeats Michael's complaint within their reply. There is no allegation serious or otherwise, merely the request for information.
I would not be at all surprised if Mick takes the criticism that he has not been to the police as encouragement to do so.
If Mr. Alabi has been instructing barristers his action might very well be criminal but if he has any sense he will have done so via an intermediary who is qualified.
So once again Bexley Council has generated a mountain out of a mole hill. If they had said at the outset that their Head of Legal qualified in Lagos or wherever and they decided that that was enough to fulfill their recruitment policy that would have been the end of the matter, but no, they have to dodge and dive, generate far too many web pages and further ruin what remains of their reputation.
For the record, Mick Barnbrook was sports mentor to Stephen Lawrence and made a statement in his defence at the official inquiries that followed his murder and now spends his retirement entertaining his mixed race grandchildren. If there is any racism in this case it exists only in the minds of senior Bexley Council officers.
Ironic that Bexley Council singles out Mick Barnbrook for an unjustified personal attack when their case for rejecting his FOI accuses him of a personal grudge against Mr. Alabi. Does anyone really believe that he would not pursue a white man in the same position? Only one of the 17 MPs he had a hand in bringing to justice was not white.