Home Uncategorized Radio host Ben Fordham makes shock claim about police chief after she...

Radio host Ben Fordham makes shock claim about police chief after she suddenly cancelled an interview and she admits: ‘I can do better’

7
0


Breakfast radio host Ben Fordham has slammed NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb – accusing her of trying to get media bosses to shut down criticism of her after she cancelled an interview on his Radio 2GB show.   

Ms Webb has been at the centre of public scrutiny for a series of perceived blunders over her handling of the alleged murder allegations against NSW Police Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon and the Tasering of great-grandmother Clare Nowland. 

‘Morale in the police force is tanking, and the commissioner has gone into hiding,’ Fordham said on his Monday morning show, amid a storm over her hiring of a new public relations chief, Channel Seven Spotlight producer Steve Jackson. 

Fordham claimed Ms Webb had approached media executives asking for ‘favourable coverage’ amid a lengthy series of negative headlines. 

‘The NSW Police Commissioner has approached media bosses at Nine Radio and NewsCorp. I know this because one of the conversations was about me,’ Fordham said.

Breakfast radio host Ben Fordham has put NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb on blast after she cancelled a scheduled interview on his show.

Breakfast radio host Ben Fordham has put NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb on blast after she cancelled a scheduled interview on his show.

Fordham referred to the death of 95-year-old Clare Nowland, who was allegedly tasered by Senior Constable Kristian White at a Cooma aged care home in May 2023.

‘When I was asking questions about the lack of transparency over the Taser incident, the commissioner complained to my boss,’ Fordham said.

‘It was clear to me what was going on, Karen Webb wanted me to ease up a bit.’

Ms Webb was due to appear on Fordham’s 2GB show on Monday to answer questions over the ‘crime wave’ in regional NSW. 

She was reportedly busy every day last week but locked in a live interview to start the week.

‘But the commissioner is not coming on our show this morning, (she) called me on Friday to explain this,’ Fordham said.

He said she was not happy about a ‘cheeky’ question he asked Premier Chris Minns earlier that day inquiring about whether he had received her ‘letter of resignation’.

‘It’s a dummy spit and it’s another example of the commissioner taking things personally instead of looking for the lesson,’ he said.

The month of scrutiny kicked off after serving police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon was charged with the double murder of Sydney couple Jesse Baird and Luke Davies.

Police allege he used a service weapon to kill the couple, prompting concerns over the force’s weapon handling protocols and leadership.

Ms Webb was noticeably silent in the days that followed Mr Lamarre-Condon being charged, and when she did finally face the cameras, she was slammed for a series of embarrassing blunders, including referring to the incident as a ‘crime of passion’ and quoting Taylor Swift lyrics when asked if she should resign.

The head of the police force has also faced criticism after sacking a staffer from her public affairs department in recent weeks.

Ben Fordham claimed Ms Webb cancelled the interview after he asked Premier Chris Minns a 'cheeky' question on whether he had received her 'letter of resignation'

Ben Fordham claimed Ms Webb cancelled the interview after he asked Premier Chris Minns a ‘cheeky’ question on whether he had received her ‘letter of resignation’

Ms Webb sought help from the police minister’s staff to find a new media advisor but insisted usual processes were followed before the controversial appointment was made. 

Former Seven News journalist Steve Jackson was appointed to the role of executive director of public affairs on an interim basis.

The appointment has come under scrutiny due to Mr Jackson’s friendship with Police Minister Yasmin Catley’s chief of staff, Ross Neilson.

Ms Webb admitted she had asked Mr Neilson, who once ran the NSW Police media unit, for references for the role as she did not have a lot of connections in the industry.

‘(Mr Neilson) was an ideal person to ask … he gave me a couple of suggestions and I followed up with Steve and interviewed Steve,’ she told Sydney radio 2GB on Monday.

‘Then we went through a process where we compared his skills against what we were looking for and so that’s how we’ve landed here.’

Mr Jackson was appointed on an interim, six-month basis while a broader recruitment process to find a permanent replacement in the role was completed, she said.

Opposition MPs have suggested the appointment be referred to the state’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) due to the personal connection between Mr Neilson and Mr Jackson.

Ms Catley previously told parliament there had been discussions between her office and that of Ms Webb over the appointment, but neither she nor her staff had encouraged the police commissioner to appoint Mr Jackson.

Premier Chris Minns said the corruption watchdog should not be used as a ‘knee jerk’ response by the opposition.

‘To use ICAC as a political hammer as early and as often as you possibly can, I think ultimately undermines the public’s confidence in the independence of the commission,’ he told reporters.

Ms Webb, appointed to the commissioner role under the former coalition government in 2022, also acknowledged her recent missteps in the media and said she was determined to improve.

She has come under fire for her public response to the case of Beau Lamarre-Condon, a serving officer accused of killing two men with his service weapon.

That criticism included being accused of taking too long to front the the media after he was charged, deflecting scrutiny to her deputy and using flippant language to describe the alleged crime.

‘Most cops join the police to be in the police force, not to be in the media, and so certainly I can do better and I will,’ Ms Webb said on Monday.

‘(Media appearances) are not my favourite thing, but I certainly know that as the commissioner that’s my role and that’s what I’ve got to do.

‘I’m happy to work on it, we as a team will get better and I will get better.’

Ms Webb’s previous media chief was dismissed following criticism of the commissioner’s handling of the Lamarre-Condon case.

NSW Police has been contacted for comment.



Source link

Previous articleHow FIFA Handed Saudi Arabia the 2034 World Cup
Next articleMegan Rapinoe, Emma Hayes and a Women’s Soccer Crossroads

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here