Shocking verdict in Mike’s court case against Labour means NOBODY is safe

Anybody who hands their personal information to a third party – a company, a club, a political party, the government or whoever – may see that data handed out to others or made public, with no way of seeking legal redress, according to the finding of a court case today.

And Labour members going through the party’s complaints procedure are still unlikely to get justice, even after the party promised to follow recommendations by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

These are the inevitable conclusions drawn from the verdict in This Writer’s court case, in which I accused the Labour Party of breach of contract.

I had said that Labour had failed to follow its own procedures for investigating complaints against party members after an allegation of anti-Semitism was made against me in 2017.

And I had said that a party official – or several – had leaked information, including lies, about me to the press while I was going through that process, in breach of the Data Protection Act.

Both of those claims were found to be accurate.

But in the hearing this afternoon, Deputy District Judge Whiteley said he could not uphold my case against Labour because the party’s Rule Book does not say that it must follow the procedures it has created to investigate complaints, or that it must adhere to the DPA.

That’s right. Unless an organisation’s rules specifically state that it will adhere to the Data Protection Act, then there are loopholes in the law – large enough to drive a lorry through – that mean your personal information can be passed on to anybody at all, regardless of your own wishes.

In this case, I had said somebody within the Labour Party had passed information that I had been accused of anti-Semitism to the Western Mail in 2017, and a Labour employee (I don’t know whether it was the same person) had passed false information about the allegations against me to The Sunday Times in February 2018. I said this breached the Data Protection Act because information about me had been passed on without my permission.

But Labour said that the party itself had not authorised the leak and that it had been unable to identify that anybody within its system had caused it. The party could not deny that the leak came from within Labour because the information had been generated as part of its complaint process and could only, therefore, have come from Labour.

The law states that an unincorporated association (which is how Labour is defined for legal purposes) is responsible for prohibited conduct carried out by its employees and agents against members and prospective members. Breaching the DPA would count as such.

But it also states that an association would not be legally responsible for the act of an employee that was not carried out in the course of their employment – and the court deemed that leaking information was not an act carried out in the course of their employment.

This means that any organisation that has your personal information may pass it on indescriminately – to anybody it likes, no matter what the Data Protection Act says or how avidly it states it adheres to that law, because anybody working there can follow the actions of Labour’s employee(s) and know they will get away with it.

So if you have provided your information to any third party at all, it is not safe.

Nor will it be safe until our lawmakers find a way to close this loophole in the law. They will not even consider doing so unless they are pressured into it. That will be your responsibility.

The judge also said that Labour had not breached its contract with me by failing to investigate the complaint against me according to its own procedures, because those procedures were not enshrined in the party’s Rule Book and therefore it had no obligation to follow them.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has announced that the party will follow the recommendations of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, whose report on anti-Semitism in the party contains a chapter on the failings of the process by which complaints are investigated.

The EHRC recommended that Labour should “publish a comprehensive policy and procedure, setting out how antisemitism complaints will be handled and how decisions on them will be made”.

It says the party should “develop and implement comprehensive internal guidance for all stages of the antisemitism complaints process”.

None of this means a damned thing because anybody challenging a failure by the party to follow its procedures will find that it has no obligation to do so; they are merely procedures, not rules.

Consider the way current complaints procedures have been flouted wholesale recently – not just over the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn but over complaints against allies of Starmer who have been accused of anti-Semitism – and against Starmer himself.

It seems clear that the Labour Party Rule Book is not worth the paper it is printed on – or the electricity required to put it on your screen.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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14 thoughts on “Shocking verdict in Mike’s court case against Labour means NOBODY is safe

  1. Malcolm James

    The truth is that there wasn’t a loophole in the DPA, until Judge Whiteley decided he wanted to find one. A trained lawyer can reach any conclusion they wish, if they are motivated enough to do so. It’s like Alice Through he Looking Glass where Humpty Dumpty says ‘When I use a wod it means precisely what I want it to mean – nothing more and nothing less’. The idea that any organisation has any choice whether to comply with the DPA is quite preposterous and, if any organisation I’ve ben involved with did this, we would have been clobbered. This ruling appears to have massive implications for all sorts of organisations up and down the country.

  2. disabledgrandad

    Sadly I am not suppressed. Depressed and upset yes but these New Labour 2.0 cultiest are NOT Labour members they are part of this right wing cancer that has destroyed the old Labour party there is nothing left good any more.

    The only chance left is sto start again and make it enshrined in Law and natural justice to follow socialism principles and the law. To keep on smashing our heads into the sand and staying in the Labour party has no use until this happens…

    1. alexanderscottish

      This is so terrifying. Have members no protection from nefarious acts by their own party. It’s against any natural sence of justice. Awful, what next?

  3. Sven Wraight

    I cannot help but think this is a flaw that should have been seen when the legislation was being written. Maybe we should have a legal system working to the spirit of the law, not it’s letter?
    The anti-semitism I’ve seen does not come from you.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author


      I was told that a copy of the recording of the hearing would be available if I asked for it. So I emailed the court and asked for it.

      No response.

      So I emailed again and politely asked for it again.

      No response.

      So now I’m not sure.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No point. I got what I wanted from it (apart from a verdict in my favour). The judge agreed that Labour had acted wrongly – but had to rule against me because the party had not broken its rules. Sneaky, huh?

  4. Grey Swans

    Dear Vox Political, this is a two edged sword. Those who leak information from the Labour party are also not doing something illegal, so any information can be leaked to you against the Labour party, or any other incorporated body.

  5. Jeffrey Davies

    Don’t hold your breath with stammer the spammer his goal is to rid the party of true labour people has for honesty that out the window with these chalitans

  6. Dave

    “The law states that an unincorporated association… is responsible for prohibited conduct carried out by its employees…
    But it also states that an association would not be legally responsible for the act of an employee that was not carried out in the course of their employment”

    Thoughts from a non-lawyer:

    How many acts carried out during the course of employment are prohibited conduct? Surely none? No employer can include prohibited acts within lawful employment. They are, by definition, mutually exclusive.

    Define act. Wasn’t leaking part of the act of investigating the case? As Labour apparently has no Rules for investigating, only procedures, it can hardly rule leaking (or lying) out… Indeed, it leaks so often it seems to be required behaviour! – Possibly supported by the Gen Sec and Leader.

    It seems Labour is trying to eat their cake and have it too: they have procedures, so unless expressly prohibited by the rules anything goes – until it comes to taking responsibility for those acts, whereupon they are ‘not in the course of their employment’, even if they are being paid at the time.

    Mr Forensic, of course, has little interest in ending this farce any time soon, and certainly won’t be paying Mr Sivier £600k.

    I didn’t think there was any choice over complying with the DPA: it was a legal requirement. Can we pick and choose which taxes we pay too? Is any company procedure or employee handbook worth the paper it is written on? (My company doesn’t have any “rules”.) Where does this insanity end?

    I dimly recall that there are instances where something may be strictly speaking lawful in and of itself, but were courts to uphold that the legal implications would be so dire that it cannot be, and is not, permitted. Is this such a case?

  7. siansullivan

    I’m really sad to hear the adverse decision…and can only imagine how stressful this has been, not least the sense of betrayal by Labour party workers.

  8. Billy Binkmail

    I guess this means that “Labour Party vs Sivier” can now be cited as a defence in any DPA breach, as long as your organisation hasn’t conjured up its own rule book that states it’ll abide by it.

    As for the leak in the first place: there can’t be that many right-wingers in the party who’d have been in a position to receive early notice of your suspension. Factor in those obsessed with making vexatious AS claims and the list gets narrowed still further.

  9. mohandeer

    Sorry about your defeat, it’s a travesty of justice and not unexpected, at least by me.
    I really thought you had proven your case and you had. What a shame then that the judge did not see it also if not in letter then in spirit.
    Too many of the Labour Party representatives are slime buckets and snakes in the grass who flip flop and back stab in order to serve their own interests, I’m sure you know who I am referring to in particular. With mendacious and egregious sewer rats running the Labour Party they have signed Labour’s own death Knell.
    Although you wouldn’t take my advice I do believe you should distance yourself from the Labour Party and join the WSWS(SEP) or failing that devote your considerable talents to helping the Green Party or setting up an alternative Labour Party(the democratic socialist party?) My Labour card state(d) that the Labour Party is just that, but it is neither. Time you realised the truth, the facts have been there a very long time.

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