Court approves legal challenge against EHRC report on ‘Labour antisemitism’
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone and former Labour councillor Pam Bromley have won the first stage in their battle to overturn the findings of the controversial and widely-criticised Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report that singled them out in its findings on antisemitism in the Labour party.
The pair have been granted a judicial review against the EHRC, after a fight that began at the beginning of this year.
A judicial review is a two-stage process, with the first stage being to obtain permission from a judge for a substantive court hearing. The judge in the first stage agreed that the two have an arguable case against the EHRC that its findings were legally unsound under human rights laws:
It is arguable that the Defendant [the EHRC] made an error of law in relation to Article 10 ECHR.
In its long-delayed and controversial report in October 2020, the EHRC found that Livingstone and Bromley had ‘contributed’ to alleged ‘unlawful harassment related to Jewish race and religion’ by the Labour Party – comments that represented almost the only substantial finding in the report of any actual discrimination. Other findings of an unfair process made clear that those accused had been discriminated against or treated unfairly as much as any accusers, with ‘political interference’ targeted at speeding up disciplinary processes against the efforts of right-wing Labour staff to prolong them.
Such nuances have, of course, been ignored by the media and by critics of former leader Jeremy Corbyn, as were findings that https://skwawkbox.org/2020/10/29/political-interference-what-the-ehrc-report-says-that-you-wont-hear-from-the-msm-and-the-blockbuster-email-it-omits/">‘Political interference’: what the EHRC report says that you won’t hear from the ‘MSM’ – and the blockbuster email it omits – SKWAWKBOXalmost all of the unsatisfactory conduct the EHRC found took place under the old right-wing regime and improved markedly when left-winger Jennie Formby took over the party’s admin.
Despite what has been implied or stated by the so-called ‘mainstream’ media, an explosive email ignored by the EHRC showed that, far from a formal process of Corbyn’s office vetting or steering cases, Corbyn’s office was demanding to know why right-wing staff kept sending them information on disciplinaries – and the leaked Labour report earlier this year showed that cases were being delayed, deferred and ignored by right-wing staff when ‘LOTO’ wasn’t supposed to be involved.
A press release on behalf of Bromley and Livingstone today said they had already raised substantial funds for the next phase of the battle:
Livingstone and Bromley firmly reject the EHRC’s findings and the flawed legal analysis underpinning them. The pair have assembled a top legal team to address the findings against them and have already raised a considerable sum of money through crowdfunding.
The judicial review will focus on the EHRC Report as it relates to Livingstone and Bromley – including concerns about their right to freedom of expression – which could lead to sections of the current Report being declared unlawful.
The legal challenge is being supported by the Left Legal Fighting Fund, a central fund to assist activists, protesters, and whistleblowers. The Fighting Fund was established at the end of 2019 by former Labour MP Chris Williamson from the costs he won after his High Court victory against the Party.
In reaction to the court’s decision, Ken Livingstone said:
I’m delighted the court believes we have an arguable case against the EHRC. The Commission cobbled together a half-baked case against me last year, justified by a flawed legal analysis.
“It was simply absurd to accuse me of ‘harassment’. This judicial review will be a vital step in correcting the record and turning the tide against the wave of McCarthyism that has engulfed Britain over the past few years.
Ms Bromley added:
The EHRC Report represents an erosion of freedom of expression in Britain. It serves part of a broader effort to undermine pro-Palestine campaigners and critics of the State of Israel.
“This legal case isn’t about me or Ken, it’s about making sure that the EHRC’s dubious legal analysis isn’t used in future to crush people who dare to speak up for Palestinians.
The judicial review will primarily focus on the EHRC’s legal analysis relating to the statutory test for harassment under the Equality Act 2010 and freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
The crowdfunder can be found at: http://www.fightingfund.org/kenandpam.
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