David Pugh Attempts To Stop Publication Of Dennett Letter

Pugh tries to warn us off publishing Carole Dennett’s letter

As you might’ve realised in our last article, we’d been planning to publish tonight the letter sent by Carole Dennett all council members earlier this week, all six pages of it.

However, unprompted, we received the following from David Pugh at 11.33pm this evening.

I would ask that you exercise caution on what you choose to publish. Elements of CD’s letter are of a defamatory nature. Advice will be taken in relation to both the original letter and any reproduction of it.

My statement on this letter is:
These matters were comprehensively dealt with in last year’s investigation, with a clear and unequivocal outcome. We have moved on. It’s about time Miss Dennett did as well. There are far bigger issues we should all be focusing on.


We wonder – if the contents of the letter are in fact defamatory – will Cllr Pugh be sending the same email to the Chief Executive’s ‘business support unit’ for reproducing and circulating Miss Dennett’s letter to all council members yesterday.

Legal Fund?
Inevitably we’re going to have to seek more legal advice before we can show it to you. Anyone prepared to chip into a legal fund?

Friday, 25th February, 2011 12:15am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/pughstopsletter

Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Politics

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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153 Comments on "David Pugh Attempts To Stop Publication Of Dennett Letter"

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Email updates?

WikiLeaks anyone?

This is typical of people on this website, make a massive deal out of an issue, as David rightly says, was put to bed a long time ago. Dont you think it strange that Andrew Turner was not aware of this letter, sounds like a bit a stirring up by Carole to me, although this is no surprise as her political views do not align with Andrews.… Read more »
Sandown Sally

Oh ‘Pete’ you are a loyal but misguided friend or colleague. The genie is out of the bottle, David’s temper tantrums cannot save him now.

someone else

this was indeed put to bed a longtime ago using one big huge duvet – COVER UP!! and how can we move on to make important decisions when this man is ruling the council!!

Don Smith
Cover up – Print and…Let’s hope the taxpayers do not have to pay the legal fees. If you have nothing to fear why threaten litigation? Let’s have it all out in the open. All I will write is that I do not think that our leader has the experience to hold such a position. I could be wrong:- Well done Carole, it took great courage. We need… Read more »

Pull the other Pete, whether the investigation came to the right conclusion or not is irrelevant – it was far from independent and suggested that its purpose was simply to sweep this under the carpet. IT SIMPLY ISNT ACCEPTABLE, DAVID PUGH!

food for thought
Oh dear, if it’s not interesting or embarrassing to you Mr Pugh, why are you still sitting up drawling over what people write about you? That’s an addiction you know. You should be the one moving on. Can’t you grasp that it’s now what you have done so much, but they way you conduct yourself that has people so furious. If anyone disagrees with you, you don’t… Read more »
someone else

Some of us have already seen this letter, and although he says:

“These matters were comprehensively dealt with in last year’s investigation, with a clear and unequivocal outcome”

after reading the letter it does put that into question…..

The law says that in order to defame a reputation, the “victim” has to have to have a good one and therefore has something to lose. Sadly for the Isle of Wight, and for the Council Leader himself, there he has no reputation to defend. We should start the list of reasons why he doesn’t have a rep to lose?! I’ll kick off with pretending he has… Read more »
The Auditor
If a statement is true, even it if might be embarassing or alleged by the subject to be libellous (written) or slanderous (verbal) for the person who is the subject of the statement, then it cannot be held to be defamatory. If it is proven to be false and injurious to the reputation of the subject then he (or she) may have an action in tort in… Read more »

Presumably he’ll be paying out of his own pocket for the legal advice the Council will provide for this personal mess he seems to be in then? Or will us tax payers be paying for it?

Reg Gierson

“Presumably he’ll be paying out of his own pocket for the legal advice the Council will provide for this personal mess he seems to be in then?”

Think them darned pigs are revving up again!


The “there are far bigger issues we should all be focusing on” comment really did make me laugh! The classic, and it usually turns out, only refuge of the guilty politician!! And, sadly, I say this as a real believer in the power of politics.


If there’s enough of those airborne porkers perhaps they could heap some more of their waste product on Phew, it could not make him any more unpleasant than he already is.

someone else

can i just say also, i now know why the chief exec has managed to keep his job and his wages, after reading this it all seems to come together….


The council, meaning all the top players, needs to be thoroughly and independently investigated to root out the chaff from the pugh.

who the daddy first for breaking news
We have published the letter and the emails that go with it in this weeks E gazette as we believe that it is very much within the public interest for Isle of Wight People to know the truth and nothing but the truth. If the letter was meant to kept under raps why was it sent by four different people to us and many other media on… Read more »

Didn’t Tony Blair and Gordon Brown used to say ‘I’m getting on with the job’ when faced with a crisis? Always of course, overlooking the detail that the correct course of action was to go.


Well the County Press have published it now, so there’s precedent.


as you say its in the county press and online so you can download the emails from pugh , so whats the issue he has with ventnor blog. he tries to bully all the councillors but is running scared against a woman, if its lies then he has got nothing to worry about , let the public decide.


We all love to read your comments – just consider that they can be read by people of all ages, so please avoid them being offensive, or over-personal.

If wouldn’t say it in front of your Gran, please don’t post it.

Unless of course it’s ageist towards young publicly elected officials because Gran doesn’t mind that and doesn’t remember that she voted for them in the first place.

daft old duffer

This is clearly the standard ‘bluster’ defense.
Stage 2 will be the equally standard threatening solicitor’s letter.
The point is if Pugh will want to go to stage3 -having everything aired again in open court. I somehow doubt it.
Anyhow this is the time for all us pugh commentators to put their money where their mouth is.
I’ll start with a tenner

Don Smith

Count me in for a tenner.

hazel wyld

Oh dear….who will chip in…everyone Simon…everyone!

montana sliver

Grow some…Carole has!

Victor Meldrew

As Earl Mansfield said over 200 years ago.

“The greater the truth the greater the libel”

I’d be very careful before going down the legal route Dave, that way lies perdition!


Please please move on, as Boy Wonder says, or do we all prefer to involve ourselves in the arrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic – and ignore the bloody iceberg

mark francis

If Pugh could use public funds to bankroll a libel action, could Carole Dennett also use them in her defence? Now that would be entertaining. They could close another library to pay for it – there’s still two left – or is there?

Black Dog

Surely, if Pugh used the Livingston defence in the original investigation I.e. Off duty and a private matter – then any future legal action must also be regarded as a private matter and funded accordingly.

The original case should never been investigated locally.

mark francis

When I last enquired about suing a councillor for libel I was told that the solicitors wanted a deposit of £3000 before they took it on. That was about 20 years ago. Mr. Pugh would need deep pockets then. Mind you, blustering comes cheap.

I can’t wait for my invitation to the next Island Tory bun fight.

Don Smith

I only hope that he does not use taxpayers money for any litigation. Dig deep mi boy.

Black Dog

Dear Councillor Pugh,

The best thing you can do is to refer yourself to the Standards Board for England, if you are THAT certain of your position.

We look forward to the investigation that will undoubtedly clear this matter up once and for all. You have nothing to fear from an external investigation except the outcome!!!!!!!!!


We see his true colours shining through, oh dear David Pugh you’re looking a bit sickly these days. Fancy making threats about libels. Go play with your cornet (or whatever instrument you choose). You need to calm down and leave gracefully before all the other poo hits the fan. I can smell you from here Pugh.


I was at the ball. Think it is about time CD’s side is shown as the side DP gives looks totally different from what myself and others who were there recalls.

Retired hack

Squeaky, if you have a version of events at the ball which corroborates carol’s version you should contact VB privately. It could be very important.

Logun Smith

You might be interested that whatever has been said has not put the CP off of publishing it….yet



I have worked with/near Rach and know what sort of woman (not lady) she is. Well done to Carole, for finally letting the world know the true facts.

Only the wealthy will be able to fight legal battles soon as the ConDems will be stopping legal aid – or has it already been stopped? We see how our legal system really works and who controls it with wikileaks founder Julian Assange having to write a book to raise funds to fight against the extradition charges being made against him on a trumped up charge by… Read more »

Publish the letter here, VB, so we can comment! I’ve just read what the CP published and am impressed they’ve actually done so.

I expect Pugh is sniffling into his cocopops this morning.

Sue M

As revealed by Carole Dennett’s letter, it comes as no surprise to learn that David Pugh has made no real attempt to merge chief executive offices and the legal department with another authority (as the Government has stated should be done before the cutting of any frontline sevices). He has far too much to lose! Another legal department could find out what has been going on!


I take it you have seen that IWCP have published the whole letter & emails?

Why are you not allowed to and they are?

I would suggest – as VB makes clear in the original post – that the legal implications of publication are a bit fuzzy. As, indeed, are the implications of providing a direct link to the CP (a link to a defamatory source is still considered defamation). The IWCP will have greater resources than VB for any possible legal action should the parties concerned wish to go down… Read more »
hoist by his own petard
Andrew, not quite right. The CP haven’t published the whole letter. They state “After consultations with our lawyers, we have decided to publish only some of the letter, and totally omit the statement Ms Dennett wrote in the wake of the chairman’s charity valentine ball in February last year.” So, as CP have deeper legal pockets than VB, they’re either quite concerned about libel, or they’re too… Read more »
Old Knobby

The IOW Gazette is reporting it too, might be worth a look…


Jason of the Gazette was at the ball and actually sat at the same table as Pugh and co.

Sandown Sally

Carol claims on the last page of her letter that David and Rachel were at their own table. Rachel then joined Andrew and co, choosing to sit on Jason’s lap and launching into her ‘David hates you’ speech. What a night!

Michael W

The CP haven’t published everything. Why you are all trying to goad VB into publishing something that is potential libelous it is beyond me.

Sandown Sally

To be fair, the County Press charge 70p for every copy, 75p from next week. No wonder they have deeper pockets. Outrageous

someone else

also they will have bigger lawyers. Let them take it on. maybe they will report more fairly in future and not just the tory way of thinking.

Sandown Sally

They must have taken legal advice. Come on Simon and Sal, are you going to be bullied? I can’t wait for Counciller Pugh to begin his sword of truth legal battle. As long as he pays for it.


Knowing S&S and having seen the letter (all of it) I’m not surprised they haven’t published it yet. I also know that there will be good reason for them not doing it and they are the last people to be bullied into anything, whether that’s to not publish or to publish.

Having just read the text of Ms Dennetts letter, it would appear that her perfectly valid complaint was not investigated, I have therefore raised the matter of maladministration against the council and have asked Andrew Turner to raise the matter in parliament as our present council are doing their best to destroy the democratic reputation of local government in the UK. Please note, I am not a… Read more »
someone else

should we doing the same?

I do recall that Carole Dennett was desrcribed by a witness in the Employment Tribunal case a few years ago as “a very fiery woman especially when crossed or if she’d taken a liquid lunch. Carole and Andrew would have big barnies in the office. I became physically sick. Carole’s attitude, actions and the office atmosphere reduced me to a nervous wreck. While it was Carole who… Read more »
its the other way round, pugh is showing total disregard and respect to andrew turner, was it not pugh who went off to downing st without andrew only to come back with his tail between his legs with a 4,000 grant, if that doesnt tell you what govt think of pugh as does most of the island residents then you never will, he shows no respect especially… Read more »
It is so typical of so many bloggers on here that they can only put their case by being abusive such as comparing those with whom they disagree to Hitler. David Pugh did not go off to Downing Street withour telling Turner. He told Turner within an hour of knowing himself but Turner was not available. Also it was to see the local government minister, not to… Read more »

Turner was not available – might have been best for Pugh to have the courtesy to wait then?

out of touch theconmag

Rosie as a fisherman I would describe David Pugh as a Kipper two faced no guts.

Sailor Sam

This of course is when Mr turner paid the ‘fine’ out of his expences thus not actually receiving any penalty himself but simply passed it on to the tax payer.

someone else

would fairminded possibly be david himself??




Bezzie mates then? :)


Is that you Roger, or Gavin? Go on, please tell us.

out of touch theconmag

observer can’t be Gavin probably driving George Brown down to the Squadron has he still got his jag and his job Gavin that is.


Pughs leads from the front…indeed he does.

Unfortunately he doesn’t have the skill or ability to do so.

I care not one fig for CD letter.

I care about DP’s inability to represent Shanklin through conflict of interest and inability thorugh lack of ability or experience to run a council.


The full letter is viewable on the gazette website, apparently.

someone else

yes indeed it is!

Hi Simon and Sally You have my sympathy here. I know you are both journalists and that as part of your training you would know about the law. I can therefore understand your caution. If I can make three comments. 1. If somebody wrote a play around what may or may not have gone on people would say it was far fetched. 2. Various people have tried… Read more »
someone else
1.) people would say it is far fetched because they should be able to trust their councillors to do the best for its residents not for his/herself. Or should be able to anyway. 2.)Budget cuts had been passed in full council already, (yes i know things can still change but unlikely). He is a liability for the Cons but they are too frightened to do anything about… Read more »
hoist by his own petard

The Gazette is showing nearly the whole letter. They’ve included various paragraphs the CP left out (they’re in different parts of the letter), but then left out the last page entirely! The statement from CD to her solicitor is also there.
Unfortunately the CP hasn’t indicated where they’ve deleted bits.

someone else

yes you are correct they have left out page 6

Sandown Sally

Am I being thick, but why didn’t he just apologise for swearing at her?

gordon bennett

because he is thick and full of his own pxxx and importence
had he made an apology the matter would have ended there and then

To me this is a classic ‘Smoke and Mirror’ trick burying the real news which is the threat to public services and the knock on impact on the Isle of Wight community and economy. Why wait until this moment to rake it all up again. It’s about time that the two sides sorted out their differences and got on with the job that they are paid out… Read more »
adrian nicholas

will donate a tenner for this.

I do recall reading a few weeks ago from some reliable source, (probably this one), that in the cutbacks on the Island, the Legal department was to be left unscathed!! Elsewhere, Legal departments have had their share of cuts. You can guess what I immediately thought was the reason for leaving it intact ! Yes, (‘Andrew’ no. 5,)doubtless the only share Legal will be donating will be… Read more »

who is ‘Andrew’ No.5 ?

Sandown Sally

Investigations off island cannot be controlled. Who would like to investigate their boss and find them guilty?


David Pugh?


Yet another successful failure from our leader.You have successfully failed to keep the Gazette and the IWCP fully quiet,the IWCP boasts that it is read by a high % of Islanders.Well done.


So why have you not posted my comment sent over an hour ago at 10.37? Could it be that you don’t want a point of view that does not fit in with the left wing anti-Council bias of you and most of your bloggers?


I wonder if you’re going to be ‘fairminded’ and apologise for your accusations? I don’t comment often, but have been reading the blog for many years. The cheap shots targeted at the editors are always very transparent.

PS. I’m neither left-wing nor anti-council, but I do oppose some of the actions of current council.

hoist by his own petard

As a fully paid-up member of the Conservative Party from the days of the Iron Lady, I hope you’re not accusing me of left-wing bias.
I do, however, along with many others, have a bias against an incompetent, and possibly sometimes corrupt, council.


Fairminded- hmm. I recently rushed off a piece to VB that I hadn’t fully thought through. VB, sensibly, hasn’t printed it.

steve s

Where’s old Maximus Mazillius when you need him?
His input on this one would be… err… interesting.

gordon bennett

because he has been told to shut up
must be the first time ever
but then they are all afraid of big bad david


I will not provide a link to the site so as to protect VB, but it’s worth having a read of the ’15 page special’ on the Gazette’s website.

Scroll right to the end and read CD’s view on the events at the Valentine’s Ball. Very amusing indeed!

retired hack

Indeed very amusing. Tantalisingly, though, there seems to be a chunk of it missing, near the end. Before they get to the car park.

Poet Laureate

Ding Ding rang the bell for the fight
And Carole jumps up with delight
She swipes at the “Pugh”
His lawyers cry “ohhh!”
Will Bushby still marry this sh#*e?


SEEDA has done a tremendous amount for the Island and especially for the lucky residents of East Cowes.

The conservative government wants to axe SEEDA.

Prehaps therein lies the animosity between our council and our MP?


For those who missed the Youtube link –

I’ve lived on this Island 15 months and have been a Conservative voter for over 20 years. The IWC, with a few rare exceptions are a disgrace.

Andrew Turner has my support all the way but the others – sooner they’re gone the better.

It would be hilarious if one day a classic headline appeared in the County Press and on the Ventnor Blog “Council leader found with his pants down” David Pugh was arrested today and charged with urinating in a public place. When asked by the police officer why he did not use a public toilet Mr Pugh replied “he could not find one due to his decision to… Read more »

Does anyone know what were the “fresh set of allegations from Cllr Pugh” (Ms Dennett’s letter to councillors) that proved the catalyst for her public attack on him and council officers?
This is going to be very bloody as two Island political heavyweights (or heavyWights) slug it out.


Does anybody know whether David Pugh, executives or members of the ruling IOW Council have an association with the organization called Common Purpose.


People of The Isle of Wight,this is your Island.This ruling lot is making The Island look like a farce.Vulnerable people and Children are not getting what they deserve.We appeal to The Conservatives to put a stop to this for the sake of The Island.It is in your hands.


You know, what you have to do.


I’d wager most Tory councillor’s haunt this board, all of them, officers too. How it frustrates them, not being able to comment.

Remember, just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you, eh Dave?


It`s you against one.Central will back you up.


This is not looking good at local level.

food for thought
Well, I am a Tory but I am horribly disappointed with what’s happening. Disappointed and horrified. This isn’t about Lefties clobbering Tories. It’s about all sorts of people being fed up with being treated with disdain by someone who calls himself our leader. And not one of our Conservative Councillors has any gumption to assist. If they are reading, please do whatever you can, even if it’s… Read more »

Very well put

retired hack

My advice would be to email the 24 Tory councillors with your thoughts, just as expressed here, with a copy to Andrew Turner (mail@islandMP.com).

Councillors email addresses are mostly firstname.lastname@iow.gov.uk but a full list is on iwight.com. From the home page, navigate to “Council”, then “councillors” and get the alphabetical list up. Click on each name for their email addresses.


Another way to email all councillors is members@iow.gov.uk

mark francis

So if David Pugh is really going to sue someone for libel why isn’t he suing Carole Dennett?

retired hack

He would need to sue the chief executive’s (Beynon’s) office. It was they who circulated it, at Carole’s behest, to councillors. I imagine there are some low profiles being kept in that department right now.


when i did the radio show with Benyon he would only refer to DP as Mr. Pugh, whereas other councillors where all refered to by their first name.

Maybe the man has grown some nuts

mark francis
A libel must be defamatory in that it would lessen one’s reputation in the minds of “right minded people” and it must be untrue and not “fair comment”. For instance a referral by a Jewish BNP councillor who reported comments by a Jewish Lib-Dem councillor to the effect that she was a Nazi was dismissed as fair comment by the Standards Board. (Don’t hear much from the… Read more »
Mike Judge
I don’t think he ever took legal action against the Gazette either did he? The little boy has cried wolf far too often. Any politician thinking of court action does have to keep in mind how many have subsequently been jailed for perjury. Archer and Aitken the most obvious examples, a Scottish Mp just recently went to jail after lying on oath in his action against the… Read more »

Okay Dave,Run with it or resign.


He is kicking small business in the teeth.Local libraries under threat, that bring people into towns and villages,these are core voters,He is running this Island like it was national government.He has never been in business and had to try and survive.Sold out through ambition.The Island has had enough.

Mr J

As a gambling man, I wouldn’t mind betting she has a lot more dirt to dish?


Does this add up to one thing with David Pugh.Control?

Lots here that puzzles me. Carol Dennett has always remained silent on the Pugh issue, others have not. Her letter is carefully worded but it appears from David Pugh’s actions that he once again has taken it as a personal slight. The letter was not leaked by Ms Dennett but by the Chief Exec’s office – why? I understand that the Chief Exec wasn’t sent a copy… Read more »
Black Dog
I too have seen emails sent to members and agree entirely agree with you. I just wish those on the receiving end stand up and report their experience. Bullies only prosper when allowed to do so. I am sure members of David Pughs party read VB party and do not go around like the three monkeys let us hope they kick out the boy blunder before it… Read more »
steve s

Some of them do read VB, Black Dog. And I’m afraid you’re wrong about the ‘three monkeys’.

Black Dog

I sincerely hope you are right and that members wake up and recognise the damage Pugh and his supporters are doing to the Island

steve s

Errr… I am suffering from no such delusions!


I’m blaming 8 non voters in Ventnor Steve ;)

steve s

Or just four who now may wish they’d voted differently, Kev! ;-)

Threatening legal action against Carole Dennett just proves what kind of idiot we have leading the IOW Council. As far as I can see Carole is just telling the truth and has not made any defamatory or libellous comments. By threatening her with legal action he is showing his true colours by acting like a spoilt bully. Politicians like Pugh don’t like hearing the truth, couldn’t care… Read more »
witchfinder general
Lets not forget, it is not just the leader under fire. three or four well paid officers who were paid by us to investigate seemed not do their jobs. It stinks, Benyon, Fiores, Burbage and others need to be investigated theirselfs. After the mass redundancies and wage cuts, their once loyal staff might not be so keen to back them if anything is amiss. Have we a… Read more »
Yes it’s the ombudsman that would investigate so who is going to report this? Having read the Dennett letter what has happened about Ms Bushby and her involvment particularly contacting others on private phone numbers. This surely was a matter that needed to be dealt with under her employment. Was it I wonder? I spoke to someone yesterday who said one of the three monkeys is feeling… Read more »

I reckon you’re right about the power going to his head. On Wednesday he said that as the tories had won the election they had a mandate to ‘govern’. When I tackled him on this he said it was a slip of the tongue…….