Baker resigns amid 'dirty tricks' allegations

SIMON Baker, the man charged with masterminding Phillip Sycamore's presidential election campaign, has resigned from the Law Society after apparently helping to plot a 'dirty tricks' campaign against political rival Martin Mears.

Baker's resignation follows the recent leaking of the minutes of a campaign meeting attended by Sycamore in February which were drawn up by Baker.

The minutes, whose accuracy is contested by Sycamore, report that the meeting suggested plotting a negative campaign against Mears, managing council meetings to avoid bad news and hiring private detectives to investigate Mears, his election running mate David Keating and his then ally Robert Sayer.

Baker has now written to Law Society president Tony Girling saying “recent events” had led him to conclude that it was in the best interests of the profession and the society for him to resign immediately.

Baker says that he was planning to resign this year anyway, but adds that he will not comment on his departure until after the election results are announced next Monday.

He leaves the society after eight years with a ringing endorsement from Girling praising him for his contribution.

However Mears, who called on Baker to resign, is threatening to ask the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors and the Master of the Rolls, Lord Woolf, to investigate Baker's minutes.

Asked if Baker was still his campaign manager Sycamore said that as he was holding no further meetings the question was purely academic.