A friend suggested to me that this was because they still did not think he broke the law. At first I was dismissive, but as I checked their statements I found out they had never said they agree with the verdicts, and it remains an open question as to whether Labour thinks he did anything wrong, or broke the law.
Now to further fit the theory that Labour thinks Field is innocent, are these blog comments from Brian Edwards. Now Dr Edwards does not speak for Labour, is not an MP, and I am sure they are his honest opinion. But I find them fascinating as I suspect they do reflect a widespread common view in Labour. Some quotes:
I’m reasonably convinced that in a decade or less Philip Field will be seen to have been the victim of a major injustice.
Good God – are we going to have a free Taito campaign, as we had a free Bain campaign.
I spent several hours with Field a year or so back, going over all his documents. At the end, I concluded that the Field family’s crime may have been one of generosity. I suspect that we have not heard the last of this case.
Edwards also said:
“But the gain, it seems to me, was relatively small – he got some tiling and other work done”.
Now a Mark S replied:
That is really over-simplifing his crimes, almost trivialising them. It was a lot more serious than that. ‘Tiler’ Field actively set out to subvert the course of the police’s investigation by doctoring evidence and counselling witnesses to change their stories; in doing so, he was perverting the course of justice. This was not a case of someone getting tiling done on the cheap; it was a case of someone, who, egergiously, abused his ministerial position to offer enticements by way of an illicit quid pro quo, which strikes at the very heart of this country’s governance.
He’s cost the country literally millions $s, with the Ingram Enquiry and the High Court trial. I think he got off lightly.
And Dr Edwards responds:
Yes, if you accept the evidence. I have serious doubts. My view is that self-interested lying by his accusors and some enemies played a significant part in the verdict. We’ll see.
I’m amazed by this stance. There is documented evidence Field perverted the course of justice. Nothing to do with witnesses – his false invoices and receipts he drew up.
But this does make me wonder how many Labour MPs share the views of Dr Edwards. Is this why they won’t apologise for the defence of him by their then Leader and Deputy Leader? They think he did nothing wrong?