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Exclusive: key Unite committee walks out, says will start legal action against union

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/05/2024 - 11:27pm in

Elected representatives walk out accusing Sharon Graham of stifling democracy and destroying the union, with Unite’s employed officers on the verge of industrial action against the union

Protesters holding a demo outside a meeting of Unite’s executive committee in March. Insert: general secretary Sharon Graham

In dramatic news that will further hit the management of the Unite union, which has been blighted by complaints of abuse, destruction of evidence and the betrayal of the oppressed people of Gaza despite the union’s democratic position in full support of them, members of a key Unite committee have today walked out and have said they are initiating legal action against the union over general secretary Sharon Graham’s ‘stifling’ of its democracy and what they say is her destruction of the union.

In a statement issued after the walk-out, the members of the ‘Finance and General Purpose Committee‘ of elected executive representatives, explained their action:

Today the members of the Unite Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GPC), the most important committee of the Unite Executive Council, took the unprecedented step of walking out of the meeting and will be commencing legal action with the Certification Officer.

As members of the F&GPC we have not taken this decision lightly, but we are determined not to let our union’s democracy be subverted by a Chair who has lost the confidence of the committee and a General Secretary who is determined to stifle democratic decision making.

The background to this decision is the refusal of the Chair and General Secretary to allow representatives of Unite’s Officers committee to address the meeting and explain why they are on the verge of balloting for industrial action.

At the previous meeting the members of the F&GPC were told by Unite Executive Head of Operations, Sarah Carpenter, that there was no unrest at all with the officers and no issues to be addressed.

But this flies totally in the face of the letter that all F&GPC members received this week in which the Officers National Committee asked to urgently meet and address the F&GPC, in order to discuss matters with a view to resolving major problems before moving towards industrial action.

Under rule, the ultimate employer of Unite officers and staff is the Unite Executive Council, and as members of the key subcommittee of the Executive Council, we take that responsibility very seriously. The idea that officers of Unite are so angry and frustrated as to want to take industrial action is totally unprecedented and is a situation that warrants immediate attention.

For the Chair and General Secretary to use every possible bureaucratic means to prevent that discussion is an insult to the F&GPC, an insult to the wider Executive Council, and most of all an insult to our members who need their officers motivated and working hard to protect their jobs, pay and conditions.

Our decision comes on the back of months of the F&GPC’s growing concern about poor management of the organisation and deep concern about financial reporting and accountability. We also thoroughly object to the General Secretary using threats against members of the wider EC when raising and challenging her handling of our money.

As members of the Unite F&GPC we will not stand idly by and allow the Chair and General Secretary to destroy our great union. We will be considering commencing legal action with the Certification Officer before any more damage is done and will be calling on the Unite EC and all Unite members and activists to help restore the democratic control and accountability of our union.

Graham’s tenure at Unite has also been marked by a string of other serious allegations, which neither she nor the union has ever denied – of abuse, cover-up and failure to protect women:

In addition, she has been exposed behind the union’s decision to ban showings in Unite’s buildings of a film exposing racism, smears, rigging and abuse by the Labour right and has appeared to grow increasingly cosy with red-Tory Labour ‘leader’ Keir Starmer, despite Starmer’s lies, his contempt for democracy, his u-turns on promises to Unite members and his regime’s repeated blocking of Unite-backed parliamentary candidates.

Unite has been contacted for comment.

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Video: journalists flee as Israeli drone bombs them

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/05/2024 - 8:39am in

Yet more targeted attempts by Israel to murder journalists reporting on war crimes

Earlier today (15 May), a group of journalists in northern Gaza continued filming as they were targeted by an Israeli drone, with explosions audible in the background as they fled for cover. The footage, revealed by Middle East Eye, confirms again how deliberate is Israel’s targeting of journalists in its attempt to stop the world seeing its war crimes and abuse of human rights perpetrated on Palestinians:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Middle East Eye (@middleeasteye)

Israel has so far killed well over a hundred journalists, often bombed along with their family – and has summarily imprisoned dozens more, a level of targeting of journalists unprecedented even in the Second World War.

The murderousness of the occupying apartheid state and its desperation to avoid recognition of its genocide in Gaza and the issuance of warrants by the International Criminal Court make it all the more vital that these courageous journalists are protected and that western governments insist that international media are allowed free access to Gaza.

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Israel lobby-funded Woodcock tries to get Palestine Action banned 

Tory-collaborator, friend of apartheid and alleged sex-pest peer tables Lords bill to outlaw anti-genocide group

Main image: Palestine Action

John Woodcock, the former chair of Labour Friends of Israel made a peer and ‘extremism envoy’ by the Tories, plans to issue a report recommending new measures to outlaw groups trying to end genocide or to protect the planet – with a particular emphasis on protecting weapons manufacturers, treating them on similar lines to the proscription of supposed terrorist groups.

Woodcock, or Lord Walney, a longstanding supporter of the apartheid regime who accepted funding for a visit to Israel after Israel began its genocide in Gaza, wants to limit the activities and fundraising of groups such as Palestine Action (PA) and Just Stop Oil. PA’s direct action campaign against Israel’s largest weapons firm, Elbit Systems has seen successes in the UK, such as the closure of Elbit’s Oldham facility. Woodcock admits that the campaign has done “enormous damage” to the arms industry and wants a “proscription-light” option to restrict the groups’ ability to meet and fundraise – combined with “buffer zones” around weapons manufacturers to protect factories producing deadly technologies from protest. 

Supposedly an ‘independent’ government advisor, Woodcock is deeply-connected to the Israel lobby and the arms industry. He is the chair of the so-called ‘Defence Purpose Coalition’ of senior weapons industry figures and, since 2011, has travelled to Israel on multiple occasions on ‘all expenses paid’ trips funded by the Israeli government and pro-Israel lobby groups.

Woodcock is also a former right-wing Labour MP who in 2018 quit the party to escape an investigation into complaints from an investigation into ‘sex pest’ complaints against him. He was also accused by local Labour members of bullying staff.

In a statement on Woodcock’s ploy, Palestine Action said:

During our nearly four year direct action campaign, we’ve faced arrests, raids, imprisonment, beatings, convictions and more by a state desperate to protect the zionist war machine, over the freedom of their own citizens. Despite this, our movement’s determination and resilience has resulted in Elbit permanently closing two weapons factories, being dropped by several partners and losing 100’s of £millions in contracts with the Ministry of Defence. 

We are seven months into the Gaza genocide, and Walney thinks this scare tactic is going to make us surrender? He couldn’t be more wrong. 

When Palestine Action began we were under no illusion that the route to victory would be an easy ride. As a movement, we understand that every obstacle we face and overcome is a step closer to ending Israel’s weapons trade in Britain. For years the political class repressed us behind closed doors but refused to show their frustration at our growing campaign publicly. Now, they’re showing their hand which means we are winning.

Rather than deter us, Walney’s rampage to the press three days after we dissed him on twitter exposes his own motivations: to save face. 

He’s more concerned with protecting the military interests of a foreign genocidal entity over the will of the British people, who overwhelmingly support imposing an arms embargo on Israel.

His alliance is with Elbit Systems, who use Gaza as a laboratory to develop their “battle-tested” weaponry and are crucial to arming the ongoing genocide. Our alliance will always be with the Palestinian people.  Collectively we must refuse to surrender. No matter what, we will #ShutElbitDown!

Woodcock is one of a trio of hard-right former Labour MPs who were made peers by the Tories after campaigning against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour in the run-up to the 2019 general election. Ian Austin, the ‘thuggish‘ Israel fanatic and Thatcher-worshipper who was reprimanded by Labour for his abusive conduct, abused Jewish writer Michael Rosen when Rosen was a guest of Parliament and had to apologise and pay damages to a former party staffer for libelling her as antisemitic, became a ‘trade envoy’ to Israel. John Mann, another similarly boorish Israel supporter who sprang a stunt attacking elderly former London mayor Ken Livingstone and was interviewed by police for ‘hate speech’ in an anti-Gypsy leaflet, became an ‘antisemitism tsar’ who went on to try – and fail – to stitch up Skwawkbox and the Canary as antisemitic.

To date, Israel has murdered over forty thousand – and as many as a hundred thousand – Palestinian civilians, overwhelmingly women and children, and has maimed even more, while imposing starvation on more than a million Palestinian people. The Israeli government is on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide, faces likely arrest warrants for war crimes and has been widely condemned for its war crimes and contempt for international and humanitarian law.

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Libel case winner calls for suspension of sanctioned judge from community chair role

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/05/2024 - 8:49am in

Simon Myerson

The President of Leeds Jewish Representative Council, Judge Laurence Saffer, is facing calls to suspend and investigate its hard-line Zionist Chair, Simon Myerson KC for crude and abusive social media posts.

The call for Myerson’s suspension comes from James Wilson, who published his letter to the President of Leeds Jewish Representative Council on Twitter/X on this week. In April 2023 Myerson re-posted a tweet by Twitter/X user Tom Doran which accused Wilson of being ‘the scum of the earth’ and in some way responsible for the death of Pete Newbon, a director of anti-left pressure group ‘Labour against Antisemitism’ (LAAS).

James Wilson’s post containing his letter to Saffer

Wilson was the claimant in Wilson v Mendelsohn, Newbon and Cantor. He was recently awarded £30,000 in damages by a judge for defamation and misuse of private information. Newbon died by suicide in January 2022.

Doran’s tweet and Myerson’s re-tweet led to the High Court judge awarding Wilson increased damages. The judge said Doran’s tweet was crude abuse of the same dehumanising kind used against Jewish people by the Nazis in the 1930s. Despite the judge’s findings, it appears Myerson has not apologised to Wilson.

Myerson is also the part-time judge who was recently reprimanded by the Lord Chancellor and Lady Chief Justice for engaging in political in political controversy and posting offensive tweets. It is not known whether Mr Myerson KC continues to hold judicial office in light of his very public intervention in relation to a Green Party councillor. Skwawkbox has contacted the Judicial Press Office for comment.

Myerson recently called for the Green Party to suspend one of its elected councillors over his social media posts on the issue of Gaza. Myerson was also interviewed by LBC radio demanding the councillor’s immediate suspension. The hypocrisy of calling for another person to be suspended for their social media posts despite a judicial finding that he has engaged in crude abuse seems not to have been raised.

It is not known what, if any, action Leeds Jewish Representative Council will take about Myerson. The Council represents over 8,000 Jewish people who live in Leeds.

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Video: Labour doorknocker appears to call voters ‘F***ing P*kis’ for voting independent (UPDATED)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/05/2024 - 6:00am in

UPDATE: the woman in the video has denied saying the words attributed to the video. Labour claims that independent audio analysts say the sound has been doctored and Muslim Labour figure Mish Rahman says he has seen the original video and it tells a different story. The original text of this article has been removed until the matter is resolved. Labour remains a party full of racism toward Black, Muslim and Gypsy Roma people.

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Unite boss Graham ‘not amenable’ to Irish law, tribunal hears in Ogle discrimination case

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 05/05/2024 - 7:29am in

‘Extraordinary position’ taken by general secretary in bid to avoid testimony and cross-examination could result in prosecution

Unite union general secretary Sharon Graham has taken the ‘extraordinary position’ that she is not ‘amenable’ to Irish law, lawyers acting for senior trade unionist Brendan Ogle have told a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) tribunal. Unite’s lawyers had first used the term during February’s session of Ogle’s discrimination case against Unite, when Ogle’s barrister Mary Paula Guinness BL raised the topic of WRC adjudicator, former UN prosecutor Elizabeth Spelman, issuing a subpoena to compel Graham’s appearance to give sworn evidence. Graham’s lawyers have subsequently confirmed her refusal to appear voluntarily.

Last Friday, the employment tribunal held a hearing, in Ogle’s Employment Equality Act 1998 complaint against Unite, of Ogle’s request for Graham, who is usually based in London, to be compelled to appear in Dublin for questioning under oath.

Ogle is claiming that Unite discriminated against him by sidelining him on his return from treatment for life-threatening cancer – and that he was told that the issue was that Graham ‘recognises loyalty’ from those who supported her in Unite’s 2021 general secretary election. Ogle, like many Irish figures and branches, supported Graham’s rival, Howard Beckett.

Graham’s lawyers argued that there is no need for Graham to appear because Unite will send a subordinate, Ogle’s former colleague, Tom Fitzgerald, to refute Ogle’s claim.

Sharon Graham has previously cancelled appearances in the Republic, avoiding members’ anger and scrutiny over the union’s ‘disgraceful’ treatment of Brendan Ogle. The situation caused such outrage in Ireland that union members picketed Graham’s long-delayed visit to Dublin, Unite’s Community section condemned it as ‘disgusting’ and a whole sector branch threatened to disaffiliate.

The tribunal had given Graham until 12 April for Ms Graham to respond to Ogle’s lawyers’ request to attend the next set of hearings at the end of this month, after which Spelman would hear legal argument the request for a formal summons. Graham did not respond. If a subpoena is eventually requested and issued, refusal to comply is a prosecutable criminal offence under Ireland’s ‘Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018‘.

Guinness, representing Ogle, told the tribunal that it is clear that Graham has “relevant information” in the case:

This is a general secretary who is general secretary over Unite in Ireland; it appears if we are to rely on the respondent’s submission that she has instructed her representatives that she is not amenable to Irish law.

She described the refusal as an “extraordinary” position, referring to Graham’s recent attendance at policy conferences in Dublin, Unite’s status as an active union in Ireland. and Ogle’s separate High Court defamation proceedings against Graham, her right-hand man Tony Woodhouse and the union, in which Graham is scheduled to appear, adding that:

She is general secretary of the whole union, including the union in Ireland. They have a head office here, her authority is exercised – it would be an unusual situation if she was to say she is not amenable to Irish law…

[Unite’s rulebook giving the general secretary sole power to change the responsibilities of union officers] all links in to the fact that in their submission they say this change arose after [Graham’s] election as general secretary.

Unite is the UK’s second-biggest union and one of only a handful of UK unions also active in the Republic of Ireland, with thousands of members in several sectors. Its lawyers claim that the WRC has no jurisdiction to compel Graham to attend.

However, if a summons is issued and Graham refuses to comply, she could face potential arrest if she returns to Ireland and a possible prison sentence and large fine under the Employment Act.

Adjudicator Spelman said she would communicate her decision on the summons in writing to both parties before the next set of hearings begins on 27 May.

In other news, Brendan Ogle announced this week that he will stand in as an independent candidate for Dublin in Ireland’s European Parliament elections in June.

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TSSA union staff strike to go ahead this week after reps accuse Eslamdoust of bad faith

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 28/04/2024 - 9:10am in

The first planned strike day by staff working for the TSSA union will go ahead on Tuesday after mediation talks turned to farce, with the staff’s GMB union reps accusing TSSA general secretary Maryam Eslamdoust of approaching the talks without good faith and of failing to engage with staff’s concerns.

Staff are striking over what they say is renewed abuse and bullying – Eslamdoust’s predecessor as general secretary was sacked after a huge scandal of bullying and sexual harassment by senior management, and workers say the situation, which Eslamdoust was supposed to fix, has deteriorated again. Now an update from the workers’ union reps updates them of the failure of the talks:

Eslamdoust, who was recommended to members by the union’s executive despite what appears to be a complete lack of relevant experience, wrote a bizarre article for the Guardian in which she accused the GMB union of attempting to bully her so it could take over the TSSA and distract from its own renewed sexual harassment scandal, and tried to blame others for her failure to take meaningful action to implement the Kennedy Report’s recommendations.

She then followed up her attack on the GMB by emailing all TSSA member branches with an astonishing assault branding the union’s workers as greedy and lazy, and treating the GMB union as if it, and not the unhappiness of TSSA staff, was the driver of the impending strike action for which more than 93% of staff voted last week.

Such is the anger among members at the situation that earlier this month the TSSA’s branch for members working in Network Rail in South London passed a unanimous motion of no confidence in Eslamdoust and the union’s president Melissa Heywood.

GMB reps among TSSA staff have accused Eslamdoust and her team of not informing them that they had approached ACAS, and of bypassing them to try to negotiate the dispute with GMB general secretary Gary Smith instead of engaging with workers and their representatives.

The workers’ first strikes will take place this week on Tuesday 30 April and then on 4 June, including pickets of TSSA offices.

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Questions raised over pro-Trump, anti-BLM, anti-Labour comments of Labour candidate

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 28/04/2024 - 8:47am in

Joe Johnson’s social media record includes defence of racist comedy, admiration of Thatcher and Trump, support for far-right views and opposition to Labour – yet he has been selected to stand for the party

Sefton council candidate Joe Johnson, from his Facebook profile

A Labour candidate’s social media output has raised serious questions about his suitability to stand – yet he was apparently waved through by Keir Starmer’s party, either without vetting or in disregard of his record, to stand for the party in the St Oswald ward in Bootle, near Liverpool.

Locals have raised flags about what they say are:

  • Historic racist views
  • Support of Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party
  • Admiration of Margaret Thatcher
  • Support of Donald Trump
  • Support of far right views on social media (TwitterlX: @joejbsg)
  • Public opposition to the Labour Party

In 2020, the BBC reported that a Dover footballer, who was racially abused by Hartlepool fans, said that Johnson had implied he earned the abuse by celebrating his goal:

The ref was saying that I sparked it all off with my celebration. As a ref, you shouldn’t really be saying … it’s sort of saying that, because I did a celebration, I should now be receiving racial abuse.

In the same month the BBC was reporting the Hartlepool incident, Johnson was commenting on his social media that police should be baton-beating and tasing Black Lives Matter protesters:

Johnson also defended the police after video emerged of a Black man being kneed in the face – commenting that the police ‘should be allowed to do their jobs’:

Johnson also commented that ‘blackface’ was ‘comedy at its best’:

In 2019, he supported Boris Johnson over Brexit and in 2020 he defended Johnson’s appalling handling of the pandemic and his wilful ignoring of the advice of government scientists:

And on Brexit he went further, supporting a far-right account’s recommendation that Johnson should invoke emergency legislation to force through a hard Brexit:

Johnson needn’t have bothered: the sabotage by Keir Starmer and the Labour right handed Johnson the hardest of Brexits anyway. He was also apparently a fan of the hated Margaret Thatcher, ‘liking’ a post calling her an ‘inspiration’:

Johnson praised far-right former US president Donald Trump more than once:

And his ‘likes’ included an anti-refugee post by far-right political figures Nigel Farage and former Home Secretary Priti Patel:

Johnson’s likes and comments also indicate a deep distaste for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn – and approval for a video mocking Diane Abbott, Britain’s first Black woman MP:

Johnson’s ‘like’ of a post about Abbott

Contacted for comment about his posts an locals’ concerns, Johnson replied:

I am not surprised, although disappointed by putting myself up for local election to help the area that some people would try and shoot me down for past views, beliefs and opinions.

Labour’s regional director for the north-west, Liam Didsbury, did not respond to a request to confirm whether Labour did any vetting before allowing Johnson to become a candidate.

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Unite Brighton & South Coast passes no-confidence motion in ‘shameful’ Graham

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/04/2024 - 8:02am in

Betrayals on ‘anti-racism, Palestine, harassment and dignity at work cited by furious members

Unite SE6246 Brighton and South East Coast branch has passed a motion of no-confidence, with no votes against and only two abstentions, in the union’s general secretary Sharon Graham. The motion cites Graham’s actions on anti-racism, Palestine, harassment and dignity at work – and the branch members’ ‘dismay’ at them.

In full, the motion reads:

Emergency Motion – Sharon Graham’s Leadership of Unite

This branch views with dismay recent actions by Sharon Graham and instructs her to abide by union policy on anti-racism, Palestine, harassment and dignity at work. We note:

  1. The ongoing disability discrimination case brought by former senior officer in Ireland, Brendan Ogle, against Unite. It is estimated that legal fees alone will exceed £1m, money paid for out of members’ subscriptions.
  2. The collective grievance from the National Officers’ Group at the high handed behaviour of Graham. They allege that workers are being banned from their workplace and/or suspended for raising a grievance. They state that:

Threats of legal action for raising a grievance cannot be ignored or endorsed…. For any worker to exhibit the courage to voice their concerns about their opinions of inappropriate behaviour against them or others is a right not to be denied. If it is to be crushed or swept away simply because the employer is more powerful and we do nothing about such unfairness in the workplace then who are we standing up for?

  1. The banning from Unite premises of Jeremy Corbyn – The Big Lie about the weaponisation of ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party.
  2. A new feature-length documentary ‘ON RESISTANCE STREET’, has also been banned. It is an examination of the role which music has played historically in the fight against fascism and racism. The excuse for this is an Executive Committee decision in September 2023. According to Sarah Carpenter:

Unite should not use its premises or resources to show or promote any external films or other content that does not relate to our industrial agenda to support the pay, terms and conditions of our members and/or support existing Unite policies. In this context the Union should be especially careful to avoid appearing to endorse any material which causes unnecessary offence to members.

The reason that Corbyn – The Big Lie was banned was not to offend Zionists. It would appear that this film has been banned in order not to upset fascists or racists.

Historically the trade union movement has taken pride in political education. Industrial action went hand in hand with political action. Without the latter workers are left at the mercy of a capitalist system that has no hesitation in using the state to reduce their rights.

Graham’s tenure as Unite boss has also been marked by a string of other allegations, which have never been denied.

The refusal of Graham to mobilise against the genocide in Gaza or take part in the national demonstrations is shameful. We demand that Graham adhere to union policy on Palestine.

This Branch has no confidence in Sharon Graham and calls for her to resign or be removed.

Proposed         Tony Greenstein

Seconded        Sheila Hall

In an email to Unite’s acting regional secretary for the south-east, copied to the notifying him of the motion, branch secretary Tony Greenstein wrote:

I won’t say I have pleasure in attaching a resolution of no confidence in the General Secretary but nonetheless it is my duty…

…We wish this resolution to be placed before the Regional Executive and all other relevant committees in the region including the Area Activists group. We also want it discussed by the union executive.

Because of the seriousness in passing such a motion, I will add a few comments…

…The final straw for some of us was Graham banning the showing of an anti-fascist/anti-racist film on Unite premises and the explanation for this by the former Regional Secretary for the South-East, Sarah Carpenter that:

‘ the Union should be especially careful to avoid appearing to endorse any material which causes unnecessary offence to members.’

This can only be taken to mean that Sharon Graham doesn’t want to offend racists and fascists ‘unnecessarily’. Such a position runs counter to everything this union has hitherto stood for. Sharon Graham is an utter disgrace.

Jeremy Corbyn – The Big Lie was also banned because it might give offence – in this case to the Zionists who are now supporting the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

Graham has not only done nothing to oppose what Israel is doing in Gaza but she has actively tried to prevent others doing anything. She has ditched policy on Palestine undemocratically and unilaterally, with the compliance of a feeble and deferential Executive.

Her recent statement targeting anti-war groups and activists and giving explicit support for the production and transportation of weapons to Gaza that have so far killed 14,000 children, and thousands of women and civilians is unconscionable.

Any General Secretary worth their salt would be taking steps to ensure that no weapons whose destination was Israel were manufactured and failing that would call upon dockers and other transport workers not to handle them, as she did with Russian oil recently.

When I think of the support that General Secretaries of the T&GWU, which was one of the founders of Unite, gave to the peace movement and anti-racism – people like Frank Cousins and Ron Todd – then Sharon Graham’s behaviour is shameful.

Jack Jones, another former General Secretary, went to fight against the fascists in Spain in 1936. Sharon Graham has banned an anti-fascist film for fear of upsetting fascists. For such an action alone she deserves to go and the Union Executive should have the courage to face her down rather than accepting her dictats.

I won’t mention the other matters such as her behaviour towards the staff and Brendan Ogle.

Suffice to say that if Sharon Graham thinks that anti-racism and anti-fascism has nothing to do with her ‘industrial agenda’ then this demonstrates that she understands nothing about how racism is used to divide the working class.

Sharon Graham’s tenure as Unite boss has also been marked by a string of other allegations – which neither she nor the union has denied – including destruction of evidence against her husband in threat, misogyny and bullying complaints brought by union employees. She is embroiled in a defamation lawsuit and a discrimination tribunal case brought by Irish union legend Brendan Ogle for the union’s treatment of him and comments made about him by Graham and her close ally Tony Woodhouse.

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Victorious smear victim takes aim at ‘antisemitism’ lawyer who misled court

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 21/04/2024 - 11:15pm in

Zionist Mark Lewis panned by James Wilson in series of Twitter posts

Earlier this month, university lecturer James Wilson won substantial damages from two so-called ‘antisemitism campaigners’ who had foully smeared and endangered him and his family in their efforts to discredit him as an opponent of the ‘left antisemitism’ narrative that supporters of Israel have weaponised for almost a decade now against supporters of Palestinian human and political rights.

Now the victorious Wilson has taken aim in his social media feed at Zionist lawyer Mark Lewis, who at one time represented at least two of the defendants. Lewis, a pro-Israel activist who spoke about ‘unapologetic Zionism’ at the launch of a UK pro-Israel group considered by many to be far-right and boasted of wanting to make people whom he considered ‘antisemites’ homeless, has been lionised by the Zionist right for his pursuit of their opponents.

He has also been sanctioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for abusive conduct on social media – and wished a young Jewish supporter of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour dead – and was heavily criticised by a judge in a different case for his conduct of the case and his lack of proper research on behalf of his clients:

a matter of very real concern that the Claimants put evidence before the Court, on an ex parte application, that was not true…

…he had simply failed to carry out sufficient (or any) research or to take adequate instructions from his clients.

And, as James Wilson has pointed out – alongside much more – Lewis was forced to apologise to the court for providing misleading information in Wilson’s suit about the financial health of one (by the time of the hearing, apparently former) client, Edward Cantor who, he had claimed, did not own property that could be sold to pay any penalty levied by the court:

As Luke Turner, who responded to Wilson’s posts, pointed out, Lewis’s distaste for ‘antisemites’ did not prevent him representing two extreme right-wingers – described by the judge in the case as bullying and ‘whiffing’ of antisemitism – when they wanted to sue Turner for posts about them:

And in a pair of posts showing screenshots of communications from Lewis, Wilson – himself a now non-practising solicitor – showed that Lewis demanded thousands of pounds, from the victim of the smear, to settle Lewis’s case against them, while expressing his and his clients’ expectation of victory in the case and repeating that Cantor owned nothing that could be used to pay any penalty. The tactic and the refusal to accept Wilson’s settlement proposal racked up enormous legal costs for the failed defendants:

And Wilson concluded his posts – for now at least – by taking aim at Simon Myerson, a supporter of Israel and part-time judge recently sanctioned for abusive comments on social media. Myerson had shared a post calling Wilson the ‘scum of the earth’, which the judge in Wilson’s case described as:

abuse of the same dehumanising kind as was used of Jewish people by the Nazis in the 1930s.

The judge also rejected the defence’s claim that Wilson’s correspondence with Myerson about his sharing of the abusive post demonstrated any kind of aggression or unreasonableness on Wilson’s part.

As Jewish author Michael Rosen, who was also targeted by some of the same people, pointed out, perhaps with his tongue firmly lodged in his cheek, it is noteworthy that the UK ‘mainstream’ press – which will run for weeks with any allegation against a left-winger or supporter of Palestinians – has shown no interest in covering the outcome of the Wilson case or the abusive conduct of those on the losing, pro-Israel, side:

However, Skwawkbox has covered the case in full and a timeline of it can be found here.

The case is not the first conducted by Lewis against supporters of Palestinian rights that ended poorly for his clients. In 2020 Jane Heybroek, a human rights barrister, won a stunning victory when actress Tracy-Ann Oberman and TV presenter Rachel Riley dropped their libel claim against her over an article retweeted by Heybroek criticising their behaviour and contributed toward her legal costs defending the action.

Mark Lewis was asked for comment about Wilson’s comments and analysis but had not responded at the time of writing. He was also ‘tagged’ by Wilson at the start of his Twitter analysis about Lewis’s involvement in the case:

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