A series of frustrating interviews with Birmingham politicians leaves Brian and Hamza wondering if crucial information about the Trojan Horse letter was kept from officials in London. Then one rainy Friday afternoon, Brian hears back from a government source who wants to meet right away.

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This is the Birmingham City Council report about whether headteacher Rezvan Adar had faked resignation letters from 4 teaching assistants at her school at early primary. The audit report, remember, predated the Trojan Horse letter and so after digesting the audit hams and I gave the Trojan Horse letter another look. Oh my God. This started shaking his head. Let me tell you something. The audit report, the fact of it, it looked like it had been incorporated right into the Trojan Horse letter. Get a load of step four of the plot. Hamza says to me, step four is the part of the letter that says you’re supposed to get Tas to cook up allegations against the head teacher in order to spark an investigation. To add credibility to the issue, it is always better to push for an external counsel investigation. It is also the auto report what hadn’t jumped out at us until we read the audit. Is that according to the letter, that EA’s are supposed to push for a specific type of inquiry into the headteacher they’re targeting and external counsel investigation, the audit investigation we just read was exactly that, an External Counsel investigation into that that Azad Adderly had asked for and participated in, and Step 4 continues, we have Sally here who always pushes on our behalf, and she has helped us a lot. Council are not good at Sally. It’s a name that’s mentioned a bunch throughout the Trojan Horse letter 8 times to be precise. That’s far more than anyone else aside from Tahir Alam, the supposed kingpin of the scheme was also mentioned eight times. In the world of the letter, Sally is a key accomplice of two years in Operation Trojan Horse. The letter describes her as a Birmingham City Council officer who’s a mole essentially aiding the jihad from inside the upper ranks of the local government. Sally has been very supportive and has helped our agenda progress, the author writes, according to the letter. Once the TAS make false allegations against the headteacher, they’re working to unseat Sally is the one who makes sure the City Council launches an external investigation. Into that head teacher. So it’s like any auto report you might see any investigation from the Council you might see you know, especially something with this woman. Sally’s name on it. It’s just a sham part of this plot. Basically it’s a sham. The name of the Council officer who commissioned the audit investigation into Rezvan Adar. Sally, let me look at the auto report. Where’s her name on there? Let me see. Yeah, I mean Sally Taylor is the directorate she’s head of the directorate. Her names on the bottom of the auto report here, right? Sally Taylor was a high ranking but inconspicuous bureaucrat at Birmingham City Council. She was the person in charge of managing the City Schools during the Adderley dispute when the TAS reported to Birmingham City Council that Mrs. Darr might have falsified their resignation letters. It was Sally who received those complaints. It was Sally who got the council audit team to investigate the complaints. And when the Council decided to get the police involved, Sally was also a part of that. The Trojan Horse letter makes it seem like she did all of that duplicitously in league with the Trojan horse plotters, I mean. It’s not even that clever. The Trojan Horse letter looks to us to be taking direct aim at one of Birmingham City Council’s own staffers ham handedly trying to make the audit investigation, which was so blisteringly critical of Rezvan Adar seemed rigged. The Birmingham City Council is supposed to have fallen for this and considered the letter a real Islamist threat. It’s ridiculous, actually. What happened? What happened? Why is everybody looking away from this? It’s right here. It’s in the document. From serial productions and the New York Times, I’m Brian Reed. I’m home said this is the Trojan horse affair. Issue with the audit investigation, which officials had retracted and were committed to keeping reporters like us from seeing we went back to Birmingham City Council, this time to the Council’s current deputy leader. A woman named Bridget Jones. I know, I know, it’s spelled differently. Though we went to Bridget Jones because during the Trojan horse affair, she was the elected official who oversaw school policy and she was in charge of the Birmingham City Council’s response to the Trojan Horse Letter. Albert board introduced us to her. Actually, Bridget Jones was a protege of his A rising star. In the local Labour Party, who like boar, is a former physicist council board told us deputy Leader Jones would have much more on the ground knowledge of how the city dealt with the letter. So I asked her first question. When you got the Trojan Horse letter and you guys started discussing it here in the Council. When was the 1st? Conversation you other people the Council had about Adderly primary school. Addley UM? I don’t think we have conversations Bradley specifically. For some time, I told Bridget Jones the reason we know about the audit report. We know when you receive the Trojan Horse letter, the Council had just finished an investigation into his van a DAR, and the resignations at early, so I’m wondering what were the first conversations you had when you read the Trojan Horse letter and it’s all about early and you guys had just finished this audit. I wasn’t personally involved in any of that audit work, so just explain the politician versus the officer split. We do audit in. She knew about the auto investigation. She knew what we were talking about, but she explained she’s a politician, an elected official. Much of the Council’s business such as audits, is done by officers who aren’t elected. So even though Bridget Jones was the Council member in charge of education in schools, she says an audit would rarely come to her awareness. Now this one one of the recommendations of it was that the matter be. Referred to the police so you wouldn’t be aware of that even. Gosh, you’re asking. It’s about four years ago now, uhm. To be honest with you, I have to go back and look at my records so you don’t remember talking about Adderly at length when the Trojan Horse letter came in the focus when the Trojan Horse letter came in it we, we looked search as a whole so it was more of a question as to whether this kind of thing was systematically happening, but the letters are whole begins by listing examples right of schools where this plot was underway, with added Lee being the one that’s discussed at greatest length. So even if you look at the letter as a whole. When did the Council become aware that this oddity case we had just investigated this? I don’t think I personally was aware that we had had that investigation so quickly beforehand that. But when you don’t know when you became aware of that for me personally, come quite some time afterwards, I think. Many, many months from memory, so the implication of what Bridget Jones was telling us is that as she was managing the fallout from the Trojan Horse ladder, counselor officers didn’t bother to share this information about Adderly with her. But they never even mentioned the audit investigation to her for months, which is mind boggling. Counselor Jones was having meeting after meeting about the letter. As the national government in London bore down on bombing City Council castigating local officials for allowing a possible Islamic plot to spread on their watch, Bridget Jones offered her resignation to Albore, which he refused. She testified in front of parliament twice about the Council’s handling of it. As far as Bridget Jones could remember, through much of that through these stressful Trojan horse related events, her colleagues never thought to say to her. Hey, by the way, you know that intricate part of the Trojan horse layer that mentions the headteacher, Adderly, and bizarre resignations. We actually just ask the police to look into those because our auditors think the head teacher might be a phony letter writer. Just FY I. Well, I didn’t know that information was there. How is that possible? In fact, this is so important. It’s so relevant to this letter that’s really shocking psychic. Why wouldn’t people? But she didn’t need to be Sally Taylor, the council education director who commissioned and signed off on the investigation into Adderly. The person that letter claims is a mole. She and Counselor Jones work together all the time. They had weekly meetings about schools, she she wouldn’t update you that we have a head teacher who’s been accused of fraud and we’re referring to matter to the police. So that kind of thing would usually come to a briefing. But I do not remember by coming to any of my briefings. I don’t remember this anyway, you gotta remember this was. A couple of things were about to happen in his conversation with deputy leader Bridget Jones. We can show you just Brian was about to pull from his backpack. Some Council correspondence we obtained like this is showing that Sally Taylor definitely was talking about. There is one or darn vestigation in the weeks before the Trojan horse that showed up to which Bridget Jones would reply. Where’d you get these? Should say, firm reporting. I mean, this is a letter from Sally Taylor again N6 Richard Jones would look at this official correspondence from Sally Taylor, in which Sally is writing in November 2013. The same month a Trojan horse that appeared about the order investigation into responded, are and how the council were referring. The oddly matter to the police. In cancer, Jones would say again, yeah, that’s a listing. I wouldn’t necessarily know about that. We then point out to Bridget Jones you had weekly meetings with Sally Taylor and she’s named in the Trojan Horse error. And Bridget Jones would interrupt. Sally is not named in the alley. Turner is named in the Trojan Horse Letter, which is a weird bone for her to pick because it’s technically true. The one time the letter mentioned Sally’s last name, it says Turner, not Taylor. We have a document produced by the Council which says right in it. The letter is probably referring to Sally Taylor because there was no Sally Turner who worked there. As Jones would remain steadfast, she said she recalled no conversation from this time about early primary school, not with Sally, not with anyone at all. Ritual and at one point during this exchange, Bridget Jones said something that still makes me uneasy. So it’s a really interesting line of questioning ‘cause nobody has ever asked me about Adderly before she got this mildly perturbed expression on her face, you look confused. It’s just a very unusual line of questioning why we’re investigating Trojan Horse letter and one of the primary claims made within Birmingham City Council did extensive order into it and arrived at complete opposite conclusion weeks before the Trojan Horse letter. So it’s not really unusual for us. And can you see the connection? Yeah, and the reason why we’re interested in this. Yeah, it’s just you’re asking me about something though. But he’s ever asked me about before that in itself is like pretty telling. What would people concerned about it was like 2 years or hell with this? Like why did no one at any point go actually hang on? Let’s look at the claims in the actual letter our school, the other journalists. I think that’s a rather revealing comment from Bridget Jones. Ask all the other journalists when she scheduled this interview with us. She clearly did not expect us to bring up at early primary school in this way. I am going to have to go on a Friday ‘cause I’ve got some more visitors coming in. I’m sorry I can’t help you. There was a strange adderly shaped blind spot in coverage of the Trojan horse affair. Even people who are actively trying to reshape the Trojan horse narrative years later sidestepped. That’s cool, serious, well intentioned people who have done good work to correct the record of the Trojan Horse affair. Even they have looked past the Adderley case. A Big Guardian feature story several years on. A well researched book by academics adaku play based on interviews with many of the same people we’ve talked to including Bridget Jones. Which has toured the country. None of these discusses the utterly resignation dispute or Ravana Dar just last year the BBC aired A3, part investigative series about Operation Trojan Horse on a show that’s called the Corrections, whose entire premise is to put write stories. The media got wrong. The first episode is called the Anonymous letter, and still the words Adderly or Ravana Dar do not appear in any of the 20 odd minute episodes when the BBC does briefly discuss the letters origin. They treat it like a joke. The reporter interviews a TV producer who compares the story to a scooby-doo caper where you expect to discover the answer at the end. And the reporter says I’m going to disappoint you. There are many rumors about who authored that letter. Unfortunately, none that have fit to print. This averting of the national gays from Adderly I think it’s why politicians like Albert Gore and Bridget Jones have been able to equivocate why misconceptions have festered while the Trojan horse affair has eluded genuine understanding all these years. The way nearly everyone else talks about this story. It’s powerful at times. It’s made me question how Holmes and I are approaching it. Imagine we got it wrong. I do imagine that you don’t, I do. I have had moments when I’ve said to myself, we’ve got to be the ones thinking about this backwards. There must be something I’m misunderstanding as a foreigner. Relatively new to this event and am I making just an epic miscalculation by casting my lot with this lapsed often overconfident doctor squatting in his parents apartment. The fact that so many people have looked into this independently from the cops. To counter terror expert from Scotland Yard to an independent investigator for the Council to other reporters. You know it makes you wonder if maybe you’re out of your mind. Like what did, why are we? That’s enough to make me second guess. It makes me second guess them. And did those feet. Do you mean short? What company England mountains green. This is what I’m escorting Sally Taylor’s house first thing in the morning. Shall my soul were in the English countryside? Yeah, Brian saw some bushes and erupted. Are you listening to yourself? You are just the most ridiculous human being you know. Any given day. Sally Taylor didn’t talk to us, not this day, not any of the days we’ve knocked on a door. Drop letters at our house were into her on Facebook, emailed her, we got a single email back quote. I am no longer employed by Burning City Council. I provided extensive information to the various inquiries into matters you refer to. She wrote and therefore I’ve decided not to meet with you accordingly. I trust you respect my wishes not to receive or enter into any further correspondence or communication with you. So we’d like for Bridget Jones’s word as far as she recalled, Sally Taylor had not told her about the investigation into oddity, which raised a disquieting possibility. If Sally Taylor had him passed along that critical Intel to someone like a Bridget Jones, then it’s possible that information also didn’t make it up the chain to somebody even more important, by far the most powerful person responsible for dealing with the Trojan horse affair. Now I know Mr Speaker that there are some distinguished citizens in this country who have put on their cars a poster or sticker saying bullocks to Brexit, Michael Gove. But we now know from Labour’s own frontbench that their official Brexit position is bullocks. Michael Gove was Britain’s Secretary of State for education when the Trojan horse that appeared. He’s a prominent figure in the Conservative Party. Over the years, he’s held several cabinet posts run for Prime Minister. He’s currently an influential member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Cabinet. Johnson put him in charge of executing Brexit, a serious responsibility in a word which in Spanish translates as conies, which is debating here in Parliament and in English. Rhymes with Rolex. Happy to. But there’s more to this man than testicle euphemisms. Michael Gove captained the country’s response to the Trojan Horse affair without Gove’s urgent briefings to Parliament. The cabinet the press about the extremist threat winding through our schools without his decision to call in the former counterterror chief for Britain. The Trojan horse might have been a very different affair. So it’s important to know what, if anything, he was told about the elderly audit report and its connection to the Trojan horse error. That’s after the break. Hiring used to be hard, multiple job sites, stacks of resumes. But today hiring can be easy and you only have to go to one place to get it done. Ziprecruiter in fact, 4 out of five employers who post on ZIP recruiter get a quality candidate within the first day. That’s why zip recruiter is the number one rated hiring site in the US based on G2 ratings and today you can try ZIP recruiter for free at ZIP recruiter Comm Slash serial. That’s ziprecruiter.com/serial I’m Anna Martin, the host of the Modern Love podcast. In every episode, we peek into an intimate corner of someones life and learn about what love means to them. 35 years with another person, I’ve never spent that much time with anyone else, so we both kind of said I love you pretty fast as long as they keep the dance up, I’ll keep the dance up and she felt the same way an instant connection. It’s a window into how real people navigate all kinds of love. I mean romantic, family, friendship, dog based, their stories of life. Changing moments, small joys, big revelations. My advice is that it’s OK if it’s hard, a lot of the way that you manifest your love for your children is through cooking, and I remember just looking at them in awe or almost like wow, you know so much that I couldn’t even dream of knowing about my brother, new episodes air every Wednesday. Listen wherever you get your podcasts. To figure out what Michael Gove knew about the Trojan horse that and when he knew him Brian, I came to focus on a particular meeting, a meeting which to us appear to have determined the fate of the letter. We’ve been calling the meeting inventively. The Borg of meeting, because it’s between the Den, leader of Burma City Council. So robber, who would have that frustrating interview within our first week reporting and Education Secretary Michael Gove. The Borg of meeting occurred on February 12th, 2014. On that day Michael Gove, someone Albert bought to London to discuss the Trojan horse and the potential plot that was underway in Birmingham schools. Just look at the quality of events. This is the day when everything seems to change. Before this meeting there was relative calm. The Georgian horse said it was not public. There was no media frenzy, no special investigators before the board of meeting, it’s possible the letter could have been stuffed away and forgotten, and it dusty filing cabinet in Birmingham. But after the board of meeting on February 12th, that’s when Michael Gove began pushing for sweeping intervention in Birmingham. The letter hit the press and offer all went. Now, the fact that Michael Gore was involved in a meeting that ushered in an onslaught against Britain Muslims is not surprising at all. The right honourable gentleman Michael Gove has been referred to as one of our country’s most high profile Islamophobes. He would reject this label, but it’s one he’s been awarded by too many of his peers and colleagues to ignore. Conservative columnist Peter Oborne, who’s known goal for more than 20 years, described him as quote the unsung commander in chief of the Islamophobes inside the Conservative Party. The most senior Muslim politician in the Conservative Party, Baroness Seder Warsi, who worked alongside Michael Gove in the cabinet, described his views on Islam as extremist and said that he’d radicalized. She used that word with a big tongue in cheek, radicalized, her party, and the Prime Minister against Muslims. Gove sees Muslims as uniquely prone to violence and anti democratic ideas through the ideology of Islamism which is Brock Upyd with. I know this because he wrote an entire book about it called Celsius 77, a reference for London tube and bus bombings on July 7th, 2005. Not everyone enjoyed the book. A prominent historian described it this way in a book review quote. A confused epic of simplistic incomprehension riddled with more factual errors and misconceptions than any other text I’ve come across in some two decades of reviewing books on this subject. End Quote. You can understand then why people have often pointed to Michael Gove as the boogeyman of the Georgia horse scandal, saying that because of his preconceptions about Muslims, he’s either willing to believe in the Trojan horse around, no matter how blatant is Shadia piece of evidence it was or that he used the lettuce cynically without investigating its authenticity to whip the country up against Islamist threat. He’s so focused on. We knew from the Birmingham City Council’s audit report that the Council had already debunked the most detailed example of Operation Trojan Horse. So the obvious question was what went down in the board of meeting on February 12th. It seems like that’s where the Council would have told Michael Gove about the Adderley audit. When we met with Albert Baur, we’d asked him what happened at the meeting. Well, I I have difficulty in recollecting absolutely Albert Gore spoke of his meeting with Michael Gove as if it were a theoretical event and he was imagining how it might have gone had it taken place we’d have had put before us the Trojan Horse letter and we’d have had questions about what have you been doing. We’d have given an account of ourselves and then government would have decided to take whatever action it wanted to take. We asked him who else was there. It was myself. I’m presuming, and Bridget, I’m presuming. But when we went to Bridget, were you at the meeting on February 12th with Michael Gove? No. Somehow this consequential meeting between Albert bore and one of the most powerful people in the country. A meeting that most definitely happened in real life. No one we spoke to Albert bore Bridget Jones, top council officer. Peter hey was able to recall it that what was said not who was there not even if they themselves were there. Were you at the meeting with Michael Gove in February 12th I was can you tell us about that meeting? Jeanette I should. I don’t think I went to the first one was Bridget Jones. Peter hey and the then Chief Jones says she wasn’t there. Are you sure she was there? I don’t know. Were you briefed about it when they got back I would have been by Bridget. Yes I was not there. Whoever was at that Michael Gove meeting beyond myself was the chief executive of that meeting. I don’t know you were the one at the meeting. I wasn’t there. We could not for the life of us get anyone to elucidate the details of this meeting. No one at the meeting from the DfE side would talk, and Michael Gove has not responded to our multiple requests for an interview about the Trojan Horse affair. Maybe everyone genuinely did have collective amnesia about this one meeting. But a government meeting produces minutes. A tiresome byproduct until the role you’ve got, and then they become gold. We went after them. We put in a Freedom of Information request to the DfE for their minutes of the Board Grove meeting. They said that information was exempt and didn’t give it to us. When we requested the same minutes from Birmingham City Council, it got comical. They came up with a bunch of cockamamie reasons to deny us then when I questioned those, they went dark on us for months and months. Far beyond statutory deadlines. I got the Information Commissioner involved. The regulator in charge of FOS who agreed the Council wasn’t acting right but the Council stalled with them too. When I visited the Council offices to find out what the problem was, employees they refused to come out and talk to me. There was a phone call where I got more emotional than I’d like to admit about the importance of Freedom of Information laws to democracy. So much time went by in our pursuit of these Borg of minutes that Britain installed new Prime Minister Brexit was finalized. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Demon Fruit University Gospel Choir and Hamza graduated from journalism school. His classmates had their families at the ceremony, cheering them on. No. Hamza and only me, winner of the Channel 4 cries Hamza Sayed. Got an award I was proud. Once I became an award winning journalist, Brian now were able to nail down one measly by important fact about the meeting between Michael Govan, D’albora. We’re able to figure out from a Council record we got who else from Burning City Council was present. We learned it was just one other person, one other representative from the Council. Besides Albore, an officer in charge of education for Birmingham. 1 Sally Taylor. The same Sally Taylor, who was implicated by the Trojan horse error as a double agent, was the person briefing Michael Gove about the Trojan horse Sarah Sally the supposed backstabbing, sneaky Salafi sympathizer Sally. She was in the room with Michael Gove, did know when they’re acknowledged this. And did they not talk about? Ideally Sally was the person who had commissioned the order investigation into ideally, did she not bring that up even just to clear her name to show the plot wasn’t real? That she wasn’t a mole in their midst? We didn’t know and how to scan to hope of finding out by this point most of our Council contacts were disappearing on US deputy leader Bridget Jones told us to stay in touch, but despite many messages and a dialogue with the press office, she did not respond. For years. Ian Kershaw, the Council specially appointed Trojan Horse investigator who so bothered after we asked by Adderly, didn’t even reply to Brian messages trying to bring burst him as promised for his overnight stay in a canal boat in Birmingham. When he came for our interview. His boss, Peter Hain, saying he’s under pressure from the council, tried to retract his interviews with us, which is not something most journalists let people do. We weren’t sure what else to try. The only person still replying to our messages was albore. So Brian, I figured. We might as well take another crack at him. What’s the harm? We set up a second meeting more than a year after our first. So there’s a resignation scandal that happens at early primary school. Are you familiar with that? Familiar with the children now I might have added. We ran through all the stuff we’d land since we’ve last. Seen counselor poor. Chiefly the Council is already investigation into the oddly case. Brian Poole documents from his orange backpack. The internal report by the City Council said these resignation letters were falsified and that they were likely falsified by the head teacher. Sally Taylor had referred and the council had referred the matter to the police. Sally Taylor had counselor board asked yes in an in an opposite yes. Yes to the Trojan horse letter. Yeah, is this the first you’re hearing about this? Because I really never heard of any of this. No, no, I have no memory whatsoever of there being an audit investigation one month prior to the Trojan Horse letter into Adderly school. Now I can see very much the not just the relevance, but the huge importance of this. I’m glad you can. We have the sense that the whole Trojan horse saga could have gone very differently. I agree with you. So you agree with that view. If I had known about this counselor, born gestured towards Sally Taylor’s letter about the investigation, which spoke about a totally opposite scenario to the Trojan Horse letter. We would have had a different story to tell to the Department for Education. Is this issue included in the reports by investigators in Kershaw and Peter Clark upper Ball rosters? AB or the leader of the Obama City Council that hired in Kershaw and gave evidence to be a clock. Yes, but only minimally. We told him like a few lines. Why are you laughing? What is just making the whole thing even more incredible? What you’re doing this afternoon is providing me with information which I’m more and more convinced. I did not know about until you spoke about it this afternoon. I’m I’m I’m shocked. I have to say is emphatically as I can that I have no knowledge of an audit investigation into early school. I’m surprised that there wasn’t someone in the City Council who might have said hold on hold on. You need to know about this. It worries me, but Sally was in the meeting with Michael Gove so she did. She not bring this up with Michael Gove not two. Not that I can recall. She really didn’t bring it up. My my recollection is no. What did you talk about in the meeting then? Did you say like there’s four schools where plot is underway? What’s happening at those schools? Wouldn’t that be what you would talk about? I suspect we did talk about matters in that way. Well, what you guys are talking about? If this is true, Sally Taylor has a lot to answer for. This is all in her head. I mean, you know, I mean from months? No, no, it’s not just all in her head, it’s in writing. Can we tell you where we think this all points? Adderly Primary school. Everything we found points to the fact that this Trojan horse letter was not a true whistleblower about an issue in in. Does that make sense that it was used to direct attention away from a police fraud investigation? And it worked. Yeah. Just so you know, like we are now well into a year of trying to get the minutes from that meeting from the City Council through an FOI request. So I mean, I would love to clear this up since you don’t have a memory of it, but the City Council is actively withholding that information. If there was a briefing for the meeting and there would have been a briefing report for that meeting, I don’t have access to those computer files. Someone in the City Council does. They’ve reviewed them well. I’m I’m. I can only conclude that someone doesn’t want to make them available because there’s something, possibly that they don’t want others to know about. Can you get him for us? I’m rather interested myself to have a look at all of this. Seems like it. Yeah it would help clear this up. I find what you’re telling me here this afternoon. Disturbing. What you’re describing to me is a Council, which I would now say is operating with motives, which I do not understand. There is an agenda here which a number of people seem to have been complicit in. I don’t think I found myself in a in a position as as I would say as bad as this. Counselor Board had to go. He left us alone inside Council house. Dumb struck Oh my fucking God man. I can’t believe what fucking happened here. I I cannot believe it. Hamza started whispering God. Oh my God, I went to shut the door so the Council staff outside wouldn’t see my colleague talking to himself. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God Oh my God, Can you believe this? You OK there? Oh my God, I cannot believe the words I fell out of his mouth today. Have you ever been in a room, yeah? With something like that going down I was like is is this real? The man literally said that this. Had the capacity to change the entire trajectory of the Trojan horse, yeah. It’s the first time someone inside of this has seen what we’ve seen and agreed with it. He’s seen what we’ve seen. A couple of minutes later, OK, did understand it pretty quickly out on Temple St. The heights upside that are low. We thought about it with Bridget Jones, wheat end up with the same evidence. The same questions as she seemed off guard the whole time. Albore presented with the same stuff. There was just a bit of a quick grasp of the entire narrative. This fucking rapid we didn’t even have to push. Like with Bridget, we had to keep putting her teeth, pulling teeth, pulling teeth before she just gave us a bit of blood right him. He stabbed himself in the face as soon as he walked in. It was crazy. I was like at least give us, you know, a chance. No, my man was ready. This is the same aber who one year ago riled me up with talks of atmosphere and ethos and segregated PE right now. But now he tossed aside his previous stance so quickly. Here’s what I really think happened. He’s already talked to Bridget. He already knows exactly the questions that we had. Counselor Bowl later told us he hadn’t talked to Bridget ahead of time, but whatever he was a politician telling us that what we unearthed was putting him in one of the worst messes of his 40 year political career, raising the possibility of a cover up within the Council while he was leading it. And really, throwing some heavy blame on Sally Taylor and her fellow bureaucrats. Brian did check in with Sally Taylor one more time and told her we know she said not to ever communicate with her again, but he just wanted to impress on her this seriousness of what Council leadership was claiming that she didn’t share the ideally audit report. And upon receiving this email, Sally Taylor called us back and spoke at just kidding. She never replied. Then one rainy Friday a few weeks after our second meeting with him, we heard from Albert born again. Go to the side entrance of Council house at 5:00 o’clock. Today he told us under the archway next to the green guardhouse. We did and he appeared. And lead us to a room inside. Wait what? You’re making a weird face. Well, you might be surprised as well. I managed to do. I noticed he was clutching some sheets of paper. I have got two things. Three things I have got the briefing note that went to Michael Gove. Oh oh wow. OK OK, I have the letter that accompanied that briefing. Note from me to Michael Gove and I have the notes of that Michael Gove meeting. OK OK OK, is that what you have right here in front of you? Indeed what I have in front of me. Are you willing to share it? I’m probably AM. You have to give me a little while. We’ve been waiting for a year to hear this information so we can wait another few seconds so you know. So this is a briefing note. Albert Bor starts reading a briefing note put together for him on February 6th, 2014 in preparation for the meeting a week later in London, and it was sent to Michael Gove ahead of time as well. One by one, the Council goes through specific schools. The Trojan Horse letter claimed were being infiltrated by plotters and provides information about what the City Council knew was actually happening with each Regent Park Saltley and orderly school. School Sir orderly, orderly, sorry, badly and waiting for that one. Adley. Here’s what the Council sent to Michael Gove and the Department for Education about that school six days before their February 12th meeting. At least schools referred to in the Trojan Horse document. The school was inspected in January 2012 and was graded as good with an outstanding judgment for leadership and management. On 21st of December, which I presume is 2012, four support staff claimed through the City Council whistle blowing policy that the headteacher falsified their resignation letters and they had never resigned. The service director asked audit to investigate and they reported that his audit reported and said that in their view there had been fraudulent activity and handed the report to the police. I mean that is the audit report. That’s right, that’s the order report and its conclusions. That is, yeah, that is the audit one you’ve referred to. Yeah, yeah, the one you told us you’d never been briefed on before we explained it to you. The information you said could have changed everything had only you been told it. It’s right here in a briefing document prepared for you. Well, it’s not spelt out particularly. I can read it out here. He tosses the brief across the table to me. Then he turns to notes taken by Sally Taylor of what was said in the meeting itself. The meeting on February 12th with Michael Gove in London, the meeting we’ve been working for so long to try and get inside the meeting that we think set the Trojan Horse letter on its fateful path. This is what officials said in the February 12th meeting. About the Trojan horse letter. The police recommendation, including the counterterrorism unit, was that the document was bogus. That’s what it says there. That’s the word bogus. These are minutes of the meeting with Michael Gove. I scan the briefing note Counselor Bora just tossed me. I could see the Council had described the Trojan Horse letter to Michael Gove and the DfE this way quote. There is a serious credibility gap regarding the document. The document contains serious factual inaccuracies and in a number of areas, contradictions End Quote. The Council also explains that their auditors had investigated a number of allegations in the letter and quote come to a clearview that there was no basis to these. The Council determined the Trojan Horse letter was bogus. Of course they did. The Council told Michael Gove to his face that counter terror police thought it was bogus. Of course they did. Sally Taylor jotted down notes to memorialize that. Of course she did. She shared with her department new with the politicians. Her department compiled pages of facts showing what was actually going on in Birmingham schools and that the letter wasn’t to be trusted and she and her colleagues briefed Albert Baur and Michael Gove about the fraud investigation. Into early primary school, so you guys you knew you knew this was a fake letter. Well. No one was wanting to say it was a fake letter. Why not? And for the record, you did say several times in the media, this letter is a fake. It’s a hoax. But I mean, when you’re given a snippet of the Trojan horse document, you just, it conjures up a lot of issues, doesn’t it? Is it a fake letter? Is it not a fake letter? What was it produced for? What was the purpose of it? Who produced it? Nah, Nah, we’re not doing this again. Counselor boards correct that utterly isn’t given particular attention in the briefing. Note it’s bullet pointed along with a handful of other schools and I get it. The briefing note doesn’t say the Trojan Horse letter came from Adderly. But something doesn’t add up about the story that Albert bore and Bridget Jones have been telling us, Bridget Jones said in our interview that she didn’t recall being informed about the audit investigation into utterly by Sally Taylor or anyone else until well after the Trojan Horse letter arrived. But we eventually got ahold of briefing documents showing that Sally Taylor and Council staff did hold briefings for Bridget Jones where they talked about the Adderley audit. Not once, but twice at least before the Trojan Horse letter showed up. When we emailed Deputy Leader Jones about this, she wrote back and confirmed it. She said she went through old records and saw she had been briefed on an early but it was just one of many schools on the agenda, which is why she hadn’t remembered it. She added that she trusted Sally Taylor and had no reason to believe Sally withheld anything from her. So OK, no one put two and two together I guess. Well, there is this other detail. We’ve seen evidence that after the letter arrived, a Council officer who was tasked with analyzing it did point out the obvious link between the Trojan Horse letter and the utterly resignation dispute. According to the transcript of an interview, this Council officer later gave to an investigator. She says she wrote a memo about it, which she reads from in the interview, and she says she’s sure this memo would have gone to Albert Gore. But Albert Gore tells us he has no recollection of receiving it, and when we requested the memo from the Council. They told us it does not exist. Why wouldn’t the Council just tell us all this from the beginning and by us I mean everybody the public when the Trojan Horse letter surfaced? Shouldn’t they just have said yeah, yeah, we have a good idea where this letter might have come from and we’re on it. Don’t worry, it’s not a real plot. We’ve been investigating parts of this so called operation for months. We’ve already called in the police. Instead, they’ve gone to such great lengths to hide the fact that they once used common sense. When we ended that third interview with Albert Gore, he said when he had more time, he wanted us to talk him through the rest of our reporting. So the next time I was in town, I called him as soon as he answered, I could tell something was up. I’ve got difficulties, he said. I asked if I could start recording, but he suggested I probably shouldn’t give him what he was about to tell me. To put it rather bluntly, he said they’re trying to gag me. There have been discussions at high levels within the Council, he said Bridget Jones was involved. Legal was involved. It had been made clear to counselor bore that they did not want to meeting with us. He was miffed about it. He said he had plans to seek counsel lawyers soon to discuss the matter and then he’d get back in touch. A week went by. We did not hear back from Albert Bor. Though we did hear from the Council. Yeah, can you hear me, yeah, hey. I just got a letter from the Council threatening an injunction. Same here buddy. We are in trouble. So this is where we landed the Birmingham City Council was threatening to take us to court. They’re threatening to seek an injunction from a judge. They would force us to hand over our copy of the audit report and would legally muzzle us from every speaking about its contents. And As for the meeting on February 12th, we know sadly, Taylor and Albore told Michael Gove that the Trojan horse that was incredible that the police thought it was bogus. And yet. Allegations made in what has become known as the Trojan Horse letter suggested that children were not being kept safe in Birmingham schools. Goal went on to treat the letter as a real threat. The steps were taking today are those that we consider necessary to protect our children from extremism and to protect our nation’s traditions of tolerance and liberty. Recent investigations allow the media to run amok with a letter. It looked as if Michael Gove ignored evidence that the Trojan horse Sarah was a hoax so he could take advantage of it for his own purposes so he could pretend there was a jihadist conspiracy taking place how tidy it would be to be able to say that’s what happened. What I call. Because lurking in the minutes of the board of meeting on February 12 was a fact, a fact that would help explain what happened and open a whole new door to this mystery, there was another anonymous letter writer. What are you asking? Now he’s at my leisure. Yeah, did you read that? Yeah. Next on the Trojan Horse affair, a study in Scarlet. Georgia Horse affair is produced by Brian Reed and me, along with Rebecca Lacks. The show is edited by Sarah Koenig. Additional editing by Eric Glass and by contributing editor Aisha manager Siddiqui, fact checking and research by Mary Crawley and Ben Flynn. Original school by Thomas Miller with additional music by Matt McKinley and Steven Jackson. Sound design mixing in music supervision by Steven Jackson. Fill them off ski at the audio non visual company. Judy Snyder is our executive editor. Neil drumming is managing editor, supervising producers and they Chubu. Executive assistant is Alberto Delay on some Donick is an assistant managing editor of the New York Times. Special thanks to Cassie Holy Frances Swanson, Seth Lind, Matt Tierney, Stone Nelson, Christopher Switala, and Julie Whitaker. The Trojan horse is made by serial productions in the New York Times. Hiring is challenging, but there’s one place you can go where hiring is simple, fast, and smart. That place is Ziprecruiter, Ziprecruiter finds and matches the right candidates with your job. You can also invite your top choices, which encourages them to apply faster. No wonder 4 out of five employers who post on ZIP recruiter get a quality candidate within the first day. 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