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I rise to present the petition of my constituent, Mr. Howard Horsley. In doing so, I am supported, although in his absence, by Mr. Mitchell, who has consented to my mentioning his support.
The petition states:
The Petition of Mr. Howard Horsley,
Declares that Mr. Howard Horsley was falsely accused of unsatisfactory performance in the service of Her Majesty and Her Majesty's Government overseas, through the Department for International Development; further declares that Mr. Horsley was suddenly dismissed without due process and then denied all opportunity to challenge his accusers under any of the several procedures which legislation passed by the House of Commons has provided intending to ensure the protection of the individual rights and liberties of all citizens and in particular those citizens in the service of Her Majesty and Her Government; further declares that when Mr. Horsley protested against the extraordinary circumstances of his employment and dismissal, stating his determination, if necessary, to take the matter to Select Committees of the House of Commons, he was threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Acts, a threat which effectively prevented him from securing timely Government accountability to Parliament or from exercising his full rights under the law; further declares that, despite his right to be regarded as innocent, having been found guilty of nothing by any due process, officers of Her Majesty's Government have prevented Mr. Horsley from gaining alternative employment and have used the public purse to employ barristers to defend actions which, whether strictly legal or not, offend all the principles of good practice in employment endorsed by this House of Commons.
The Petitioner therefore requests that the House of Commons conducts a parliamentary investigation to examine in full the unique circumstances of Mr. Horsley's employment and dismissal and to consider the significance of the concerns about weaknesses in financial procedures and the potential for corruption in the service of Her Majesty's Government that the Petitioner had raised in the period prior to his dismissal; further requests that this parliamentary investigation also considers the serious implications for Government accountability to Parliament of the threat to Mr. Horsley of prosecution under the Official Secrets Acts if he detailed his concern to Members of this House; further seeks to determine to what degree the concerns that he expressed about the potential for corruption influenced the decision of Civil Servants to effect his sudden dismissal, without warning or due process, from the service of Her Majesty and Her Majesty's Government; and further requests that the House of Commons urges the Government to bring forward legislation making it mandatory for all public services to have in place an effective, well-publicised, confidential, and independent internal reporting system to protect and support whistleblowers in order to root out corruption and malpractice from the public services.
And the Petitioner remains, etc.
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