Police proceed with claims of Blair's tirade

Police in North Wales are pushing ahead with an investigation to determine whether Tony Blair broke the law when he allegedly shouted ‘f****** Welsh’ at his TV screen, following Labour’s poor performance in the 1999 Welsh Assembly elections.

The claim, which originally surfaced in the memoirs of Lance Price, the former No 10 spin doctor, has been headed off by the Criminal Prosecution Service with advice to North Wales Police that they should drop the case.

In a statement obtained by The Mail on Sunday, CPS said the preliminary probe into the Prime Minister’s alleged comments has revealed no merit for further investigation.

Yet under the command of Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom, North Wales Police said they were ‘obliged to investigate’ whether the disputed comment constitutes ‘incitement’ under the Public Order Act, after it was reported by a member of the public.

The forthcoming investigation relates to what could be Downing Street’s most infamous PR gaffe, after Lance Price claimed in the original copy of his ‘kiss and tell book’ that Tony Blair reacted furiously to Labour’s stumbling performance in the first elections to the Welsh Assembly.

“’F****** Welsh’ repeated many times by TB,” Pierce wrote, later emerging in The Spin Doctor’s Diary as “TB f-ing and blinding,” after Price honoured an airbrushing request from Downing Street’s PR team.

Since his authorship, Lance Price has gone on record to the BBC defending his decision to lift the lid on the inner workings at No 10, citing his revelations as within the public interest.

However, now the limelight has switched to focus on the battle between the CPS and the actions of Richard Brunstrom – a police officer dogged in some parts of the press for his obsession with speed cameras, and determination to spend £4,000 probing into anti-Welsh comments aired by Anne Robinson.

During an appearance on the BBC’s Room 101, where celebrity guests banish their pet hates, Ms Robinson said she would like to add the Welsh to her list, citing them as “irritating and annoying,” adding : “What are they for?”

 

21st November 2005

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