‘If there’s nothing to hide, publish the emails’ Harrison tells BHETA

BHETA member Charles Harrison this afternoon demanded that the association’s Board publish the confidential emails over which it has issued him with an injunction.

'If there’s nothing to hide, publish the emails' Harrison tells BHETA

Harrison has written an open letter to the BHETA Board, released exclusively to HousewaresLive.net, in which he says that the association’s efforts to gag him will do nothing to prevent him from standing up against the proposed formation of a “super federation”.

The letter is as follows (HousewaresLive.net has omitted two paragraphs for legal reasons):

Ladies and Gentlemen

You had your day in court yesterday and congratulations – you won – the court ruled that the e-mails were confidential and I can’t publish them. It has cost me £10,000 already and you have put me on notice that you will be seeking to recover another £9,509, not awarded yesterday, plus further costs. If you believe this will stop me fighting to stop BHETA joining the BJGF you are very much mistaken.

In your e-mail to members on 13 July you say “It is not true to suggest that the Board have anything to hide”. Well let’s be quite clear. I am suggesting that the Board has something to hide. I cannot publish the e-mails but you can. You have proved your point in court, now show you respect the members of BHETA by publishing the e-mails.

Mr Crosby-Browne has gone on record on HousewaresLive.net as saying “the controversial e-mails were simple budget discussions”. I challenge this description. Does he really think that members will find it credible that I would have put at risk over £20,000 just to publish “simple budget discussions”?

Throughout the debate on the merger I have tried to stick to the issues and give members information so that they can make a considered decision at the EGM on 23 July. Members will be aware that it was me and not the Board that told them about the £1,700,000 Capitation Fees and how poorly BHETA would be represented on the BJGF Board. Would the Board have ever published the Heads of Agreement if it wasn’t for the campaign I and others mounted? You should explain to members why the Board had not made these facts known to members before my intervention.

You should also review the content of the e-mails, letters, press releases and EGM pack sent out by the Board and consider the number of references to me and my views – many represented inaccurately. It appears that the only way you have to defend the strategy you are putting forward is with a constant attack on me and a strategy that you would not let me put to the members. You called this EGM, so you should not insult the intelligence of the members by believing they are taken in by the constant “spin”.

The choice is yours. Publish the e-mails immediately and defend your actions or accept that the members will judge your credibility and take account of your refusal to so do when they cast their votes or give their proxies.

Charles Harrison

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