Wednesday. 23 April 2014

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NHS: 2,400 senior officials ‘off payroll’, buried review revealed

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More than 2,400 senior NHS officials were identified as working ‘off payroll’ in an unpublished review by the Department of Health. Exaro can reveal the astonishing figure as the ministry prepares to submit a report to Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, on what action is being taken to clamp down on the practice in the UK’s National Health Service.

Police pore through council files on Cyril Smith’s special school

Boxes of archived documents have turned up that could provide crucial clues about child sex abuse linked to former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith. Detectives have been given access to 33 boxes of previously unknown paperwork as part of their investigation into historical claims that boys were sexually abused at a special school where Smith was a governor.

Parliamentary computers crash 90 minutes after IT assurances

Parliament was hit by another computer crash within 90 minutes of an assurance to MPs, peers and their staff that the system had been fixed. It is the latest problem for its computer system. Exaro last month revealed an e-mail sent to staff by the head of IT for the Houses of Parliament about the embarrassing failures. Updated 4 April 2014 2.00pm.

Customs seized video of child sex abuse and ex-cabinet minister

Customs officials are trying to silence an ex-colleague who seized video that shows child sex abuse allegedly in the presence of a former cabinet minister. Exaro can reveal that the politically-explosive video was confiscated by a Customs officer at Dover’s Eastern Car Terminal in 1982. An Amsterdam-based businessman was importing the video cassette, which was seized with other child pornography.

Jeremy Hunt orders tax probe into ‘off-payroll’ officials in NHS

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked his department to investigate possible tax avoidance by senior NHS officials who were paid ‘off-payroll’. Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, asked Hunt to order the investigation into senior officials who are working off payroll across the UK’s National Health Service “to ensure that all employers are taking adequate action to prevent possible tax avoidance”.

Revealed: special tax deal for another senior public official

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Another government-owned company engaged its chief executive ‘off payroll’ under a deal that enabled no tax to be deducted at source, Exaro can reveal. It is a repeat of Exaro’s exposure two years ago of the Student Loans Company and its then chief executive, Ed Lester.

High Court orders winding up of ex-Met photographer’s agency

Ex-police photographer Matt Sprake’s picture agency was today ordered by the High Court to be wound up. The end for NewsPics came in a short hearing after the agency was exposed two years ago by Exaro for offering cash to police and other public officials for information. NewsPics owed Exaro more than £24,000 in legal costs after losing a copyright claim.

Lockerbie bombers shifted blame to Libya, say top investigators

Palestinian plotters behind the Lockerbie bombing laid a false trail to “divert the blame” to Libya. That was the staggering finding of a lengthy investigation carried out by a former senior prosecutor from America and an ex-deputy head of Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist branch. The “final report” by the two highly-experienced investigators destroys the official version of events surrounding the terrorist attack in 1988.

Parliament plagued by computer crashes after upgrade foul-up

MPs, peers and their staff have suffered repeated computer crashes in their parliamentary offices after an upgrade project went wrong. An e-mail written by the head of IT for the Houses of Parliament last week, which was passed to Exaro, explains how an outside contractor was brought in to improve the systems, only to make them much worse.

Revealed: Whitehall official who blocked objections to fund PIE

Claims that the Home Office once provided funding to the Paedophile Information Exchange centre on decisions by a senior civil servant, Exaro can reveal. A whistleblower from the department has identified the official who is accused of brushing aside concerns about government funding for PIE. The official was obsessed by an academic interest in gay relationships between men and boys. Updated 1 March 2014 9.14pm.

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