The Whistleblowers

The Whistleblowers
Thursday 25 October 2007 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1.

The story starts for Ben and Alisha when they are visited by Thorpe, an MP and ex-alcoholic who is chairing a select committee calling for a ban on all alcohol advertising and targeting big drinks companies like Griffin Distillers. He wants their help coaxing out a whistleblower. He has a name of a Griffin employee, James Connolly but wants them to check out if he will be a good witness for the committee.

They decide to meet Connolly and disappointed when he turns out to be a conspiracy theorist who is more interested in telling them how the alcohol industry destroyed the rave scene than giving them any concrete evidence about Griffin’s bad marketing practises. He also tells them he has just been sacked. However he does give them another name of someone who had a problem with Griffin’s marketing, Helen Errol.

Alisha and Kenny track Errol down and find that Errol now runs an alcohol research centre, with a rehab facility for teenagers. Alisha is challenges her about Griffin but Errol says she doesn’t know anything and she has nothing to do with them anymore.

Meanwhile with so much at stake for Griffin they send their top lobbyist, Chris Clayson to neutralise Ben and Alisha. Clayson takes Ben out for lunch and it is clear from his not so veiled threats that Griffin is worried. Hacking into Errol’s email Ben, Alisha and Kenny are shocked to discover that Errol and Clayson are going out. Even more intriguingly Kenny tells them that someone else is hacking into Errol’s emails; they discuss who would be interested in her data about teenage drinking…and realise Griffin are using it to market alcohol to them more successfully.

Clayson is also putting the pressure on Thorpe, threatening to close a large bottling plant in his constituency if he goes ahead with his select committee. Does he really want to be responsible for mass unemployment in his area? When Thorpe stands up to him it is clear that Clayson is rattled, as he is under an enormous amount of pressure from Griffin. He is also experiencing problems in his personal life as he has discovered that his 13 year daughter is drinking. And things are about to get even worse for him when Ben and Alisha tell Errol about Griffin stealing her data and they all come round to confront him.

Ben and Alisha realise that they need proof that Griffin are passing Errol’s data onto their advertising agency and with Kenny’s help bug the agency boss’s office. With evidence on tape they return to Thorpe and give it to him to use in his select committee. However once they have left, Clayson delivers his final blow and blackmails Thorpe over a hit and run incident in his past. Thorpe backs down and Ben and Alisha feel totally betrayed.

Events are turned on their head when Clayson is called to the hospital and finds Emma having her stomach pumped. When Ben confronts him about what Griffin are doing Clayson tells him that he thinks what happened to Emma is his fault, no one else’s but it is clear Ben’s attack against Griffin has had an effect

Next day Clayson starts his new job as a manager at Griffin, meeting his boss on the stairs it is clear they are extremely happy for him. Clayson leaves the building to go to lunch and we reveal Ben, Alisha and Kenny are there and Clayson has brought files that will prove that Griffin is marketing to underage drinkers. He is their insider.

The Whistleblowers
Thursday 18 October 2007 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1.

Mehmet, a young Turkish illegal immigrant, is smuggled through immigration at a London airport. He’s picked up by a notorious Turkish gangster and, within hours, has shot two people on the street. One is clearly a planned hit, but the other is an innocent bystander.

According to young single mother Sarah, who works in immigration at the airport, Mehmet is not the first to slip through the net. Ben and Alisha convince her that she cannot blow the whistle anonymously and prepare her for the worst – like many whistleblowers before her, Sarah could face a tribunal and may lose her job. Willing to take the risk, Sarah sets about getting proof that she alerted her boss, Alan Marshall to the illegal entry. They then move onto Mehmet’s lawyer, Anna Charteris.

There’s something strange about Charteris, mainly because she does not seem to have her client’s best interests at heart. Sarah is struggling to get them the evidence they need – Marshall is under the cosh from Radford, a minister at the Home Office, over the shootings. The last thing he needs is anything which would prove he turned a blind eye to illegal entry to leak out.

Ben goes to London’s Turkish community to find out more about Mehmet. He discovers that, not only are corrupt officers allowing illegal immigrants into the country, but they are also working with gangsters from the Turkish community to bring in potential hit men to use in the on-going turf war. When no legal form of entry is available to them, immigrants are forced to carry out hits in return for getting into the UK. Mehmet is a victim in all of this. Ben is warned off the case by two thugs who assault him.

Undeterred, Ben and Alisha begin to investigate the connection between the immigration service and the gangsters. There they uncover a web of corrupt officers, lawyers and politicians with their own agendas. When Sarah’s story goes public, she is suspended immediately from her job. Radford, aware of the case building against the immigration service, leaks a story about Sarah’s past mental health problems and she and her little boy Danny are hounded by the press. Then Sarah’s employment tribunal is fast tracked, giving Ben and Alisha little time to prepare.

Kenny then discovers Charteris has links to the Turks who assaulted Ben. Following her, he discovers the lawyer is complicit in the immigration scam with a colleague of Sarah’s, Paul Bannon.

Alisha is defending Sarah in her tribunal. She pulls out all the stops in what little time she has but, without enough evidence, advises Sarah to settle. Marshall steps into the breech and admits in court that he had been made aware by Sarah of the corruption. When Bannan is arrested, it appears Sarah has been successful in blowing apart the trafficking ring. But Charteris is released without charge, thanks to Radford’s intervention.

Ben and Alisha get more than they bargain for when they confront Radford, who confesses the real reason why corruption in the immigration service has an entirely political agenda. One they are a long way from ever proving…

Every institution has its secrets. From Deep Throat to Dr David Kelly, ‘whistleblowers’ have risked their careers, their reputations and even their lives to expose those secrets. Would you?

Mehmet, a young Turkish illegal immigrant, is smuggled through immigration at a London airport. He’s picked up by a notorious Turkish gangster and, within hours, has shot two people on the street. One is clearly a planned hit, but the other is an innocent bystander.

According to young single mother Sarah, who works in immigration at the airport, Mehmet is not the first to slip through the net. Ben and Alisha convince her that she cannot blow the whistle anonymously and prepare her for the worst – like many whistleblowers before her, Sarah could face a tribunal and may lose her job. Willing to take the risk, Sarah sets about getting proof that she alerted her boss, Alan Marshall to the illegal entry. They then move onto Mehmet’s lawyer, Anna Charteris.

There’s something strange about Charteris, mainly because she does not seem to have her client’s best interests at heart. Sarah is struggling to get them the evidence they need – Marshall is under the cosh from Radford, a minister at the Home Office, over the shootings. The last thing he needs is anything which would prove he turned a blind eye to illegal entry to leak out.

Ben goes to London’s Turkish community to find out more about Mehmet. He discovers that, not only are corrupt officers allowing illegal immigrants into the country, but they are also working with gangsters from the Turkish community to bring in potential hit men to use in the on-going turf war. When no legal form of entry is available to them, immigrants are forced to carry out hits in return for getting into the UK. Mehmet is a victim in all of this. Ben is warned off the case by two thugs who assault him.

Undeterred, Ben and Alisha begin to investigate the connection between the immigration service and the gangsters. There they uncover a web of corrupt officers, lawyers and politicians with their own agendas. When Sarah’s story goes public, she is suspended immediately from her job. Radford, aware of the case building against the immigration service, leaks a story about Sarah’s past mental health problems and she and her little boy Danny are hounded by the press. Then Sarah’s employment tribunal is fast tracked, giving Ben and Alisha little time to prepare.

Kenny then discovers Charteris has links to the Turks who assaulted Ben. Following her, he discovers the lawyer is complicit in the immigration scam with a colleague of Sarah’s, Paul Bannon.

Alisha is defending Sarah in her tribunal. She pulls out all the stops in what little time she has but, without enough evidence, advises Sarah to settle. Marshall steps into the breech and admits in court that he had been made aware by Sarah of the corruption. When Bannan is arrested, it appears Sarah has been successful in blowing apart the trafficking ring. But Charteris is released without charge, thanks to Radford’s intervention.

Ben and Alisha get more than they bargain for when they confront Radford, who confesses the real reason why corruption in the immigration service has an entirely political agenda. One they are a long way from ever proving…

Every institution has its secrets. From Deep Throat to Dr David Kelly, ‘whistleblowers’ have risked their careers, their reputations and even their lives to expose those secrets. Would you?

Ben and Alisha are drawn into a school negligence case when Sean Knowles, a teacher from a chaotic comprehensive school called William Allen’s, comes to them for help. A teenage boy, Jamie Hillcott, has killed himself and the teacher blames the unchecked bullying and chronic mismanagement at William Allen’s.

It seems Jamie’s bereft mother Linda is too shell-shocked to take up the fight. Jamie had only been at William Allen’s for a short while, having been expelled from his previous school, the recently established City Academy, St Justin’s. Linda tells them Jamie had been suffering from medically diagnosed depression. She begged St Justin’s to help him but instead they turned him out, insisting he passed all psychological testing. He was merely ‘a delinquent’. A friend of Jamie’s, Anthony Gardiner, is keen to help expose the truth. Painfully aware that he is under the steely glare of head-teacher Helen Millard, Anthony’s mother Pam – a teacher at St Justin’s – is anxious that he does not jeopardise her position, despite the fact that she is an old friend of Linda’s.

Realising that they have been asked to look into the wrong school, Ben goes undercover as an applicant for a teaching job at St Justin’s. He is amazed when he is offered a job, effective immediately, on the strength of a single mock lesson. Alisha, meanwhile, is on the trail of the promised £2 million investment into the school from its sponsor, David Durrell. It appears he’s much more interested in a possible knighthood and pushing his creationist ideals onto the next generation than offering a safe environment for children to learn. In fact, as Ben’s theft of a school budget proves, more is spent on PR for the school than the pupils themselves.

As Ben embarks on his new job at St Justin’s, Alisha has a bombshell of her own to reveal – she is pregnant. Ben’s emotions hover between delighted and apprehensive, and so he throws himself into his undercover work at the school. He quickly discovers a place of performance related pay schemes and extreme creationist teachings. Alisha and Kenny, meanwhile, discover that Sean Knowles was paid by Durrell’s PR firm to publicly discredit William Allen’s. Durrell has set his sights on taking over the failing comprehensive, the final LEA controlled school in the area.

When Ben finally stumbles across a system of covert selection which expels ‘expensive’ children – children with special needs or low performers – the race is on to get the evidence Linda requires to get justice for Jamie. Aided and empowered by Ben and Alisha’s support, Linda works tirelessly to set up a parents’ action group, campaigning to ensure that what happened to her child won’t happen to anyone else’s.

The three of them are fighting a losing battle, until Pam’s conscience gets the better of her. She agrees to provide Linda, Ben and Alisha with the evidence they finally need to expose the reason children like Jamie Hillcott are being driven to desperation by a school which favours impressive league tables over child welfare…

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