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Why is the University of Liverpool silencing blogs critical of Sir Howard Newby?

BristleKRS | 13.01.2010 13:36 | Education | Other Press | Liverpool

On 5th January 2010 blog platform shut down a number of blogs it hosted after claims by the director of legal services at the University of Liverpool, Kevan Ryan, that posts on them defamed vice-chancellor Sir Howard.
At least three blogs were affected - The Bristol Blogger, EcoLogics and Sir Howard Newby Watch. The first two were brought back online after the posts in question (dating as far back as 2007) were hidden from public view. Sir Howard Newby Watch remains offline. The claims that the posts in question were defamatory have not been tested.

Sir Howard Newby had previously been vice-chancellor at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol, where he implemented a number of unpopular cuts. He also brought in management consultants which were linked (according to Private Eye, The Guardian and the Times Higher Education) to either or both himself and his wife, Lady Sheila Newby (who also worked at UWE). Similar concerns have been raised at Liverpool.
It seems to be the management consultant issue which drew the ire of Mr Ryan - the claims of defamation he made to related to blog posts that referred to Sir Howard's relationship with consultancy firms including Spirit of Creation Ltd and Carter & Carter Ltd.
So why is the University of Liverpool getting involved? Is Kevan Ryan acting on behalf of the University, Sir Howard Newby, or some other party? And why are blog posts from two-and-a-half years ago being dug up?
Is there something afoot which Liverpool University, Kevan Ryan, Sir Howard or Lady Sheila don't want to disturb?
Further reading: [still offline]
There are a number of articles and useful links relating to this issue here:

- Homepage:


Hide the following 4 comments

Dodgy companies?

13.01.2010 18:41

Companies House records Carter & Carter Ltd as being in liquidation, and the annual return for Spirit of Creation Ltd is seriously overdue (it was due 9/7/2009).


The Parliamentary Evidence

14.01.2010 06:19

The Reputation of Liverpool University is being damaged on a global scale. That both the Senate and the Convocation might take notice of:

Nor is it the first time that serious questions have been asked.

If these questions were fully and frankly covered, it does not seem as though they were fully and frankly covered in a manner that all vice chancellors would agree with. The Chemistry Department at Exeter might have a different version of events. If that department were anything akin to the Philosophy Department at Liverpool, they might have been party to the writing of letters:

Should Liverpool University wish to issue take down notices to the owners of the above the links, there are a number of parties who would be interested to know. Perhaps they might wish to discuss it with the Guardian over tea - Kevan Ryan could communicate and arrange times. As with scanning facilities for Freedom of Information Act Enquiries, Mister Ryan may be amenable to the Guardian stumping up for the refreshments.

A Scientist

Re Carter & Carter

14.01.2010 09:54

Hi Digger

That's right - Carter & Carter Ltd went into administration after the death in a 2007 helicopter crash of its founder Phillip Carter (plus three other people).

See this for more:

- Homepage:

all universities are turning into businesses

14.01.2010 11:07

the real problem here is not just with these particular universities but with all british universities. they are becoming more and more clearly businesses, and it is getting harder . and harder to believe in academic objectivity, research etc. The Vice Chancellors of most universities are now from executive business backgrounds, and are not really scholars in any sense.There is no longer funding for people who want to research into something not fashionable, ie not funded by various state and private funding bodies. the intellectual life of this country, which is not great, is slowly getting worse and worse. Even most students at universities now are more middle class, because those from a poorer background dont want to be straddled with a loan.

man x