Following the release of his memoir, Rebel with a Cause, Peter Evans shares his Top 10 memories from his time as a campaigning journalist. Peter Evans organised, and was the first leader of the six-strong Times team which spearheaded long-term investigations and swift coverage of big stories with a hired aeroplane on stand by. The team following his policies uncovered many exclusives including:
- Corruption in the Metropolitan Police, which sent, initially, three officers to jail and punished others.
- Robert Mark, appointed as commissioner to clean up the force, told CID representatives that that they represented what had long been the most routinely corrupt organisation in London (“In the Office of Constable”, an autobiography, Collins 1978).
- Lord Justice Edmund Davies went out of his way to praise Garry Lloyd and Julian Mounter, a colleague, whose evidence had broken the racket. As one of the most senior judges in England and Wales, he said in the appeal court: It would be churlish were we to fail to make mention of the great public service rendered by these two reporters. It was, it would appear, mainly their intrepidity and skill, which laid bare the hideous cancer that, if unchecked, could have done even greater and incalculable damage to law enforcement.
- Evans sent the team on a six-month investigation on three continents of intended black revolution. A resulting Times series was praised in the House of Commons by both Michael Foot and Ted Heath. Michael Knipe was jailed for 26 hours in a semi-underground dungeon-like cell in Tanzania without being charged, given consular or other access, sleeping on a stone slab and deprived of socks and shoes. He and the news team had brought to light Maoist imperialism, now in another guise. Books were published by Nelson and in Japanese and Spanish.
- A revolutionary came to Britain from tea in Peking with Chou en lai, the Chinese premier to influence black power and preach “power grows from the barrel of a gun.” He told Britain at speakers' corner: “We will destroy you.”
- Evans infiltrated English black power and won the confidence of Michael X, its leader, who was later executed for murder. Examining the upsurge of nationalist protest and terrorism across the world Evans has found and defined a single reason – a rule – or all of them: When identity is threatened it is asserted in response to the threat. The triggers are terrorism, religion (Northern Ireland), anti-Americanism in South America, and in Britain the arrival of newcomers who made Britain suddenly multi-racial, with different life-styles, cooking smells and dress. Burma and Jerusalem with President's Trump's intervention to recognise it as Israel's capital became the latest stimulating turmoil and clashes.
- An establishment cover up let it be known that some 650,000 mainly Commonwealth newcomers had settled in Britain by 1965. Evans found the true figure from an honest civil servant and his 11-part Times series was entitled: “The Dark Million,” praised in “The History of The Times” as outstanding.
- Evans fell foul of the Richardson “torture” gang, alleged to nail victims to the ground and take off their toes with bolt cutters. A hoarse voice on the telephone to him said: “I'm coming round to deal with you physically.” Evans urged no action to avoid making an issue of it and the gang then having to prove themselves. Nothing happened. But during his six months' survey of newly multi-racial Britain he was hi-jacked in his car by two knife carrying Indian fanatics who accused him of interfering in their religion. He talked himself out of trouble.
Rebel with a Cause is available from The Book Guild, Amazon and all good bookshops.