Tag Archives: judgement

Judgement reserved on another Riley libel case: how will the media mess this one up?

The Countdown has begun: but will certain commentators be able to wait until judgement is handed down in a Riley libel case before reporting it (inaccurately)?

The High Court held a hearing on another libel case involving Rachel Riley yesterday (April 28).

This time the object of her ire was Jane Heybroek, who is facing proceedings because she tweeted a link to an article about Ms Riley,

As with Laura Murray’s recent hearing, the issue under discussion was the meaning of Ms Heybroek’s words, and whether they constituted assertions of fact or expressions of opinion.

After it took place, Ms Heybroek tweeted that Mr Justice Jay had reserved judgement after the hearing, which took place remotely.

Judgement will be delivered in two or three weeks, and Ms Heybroek made it clear that nothing may be said about that judgement until after it is handed down (that is, after it has been made public).

Depending on what the judge decides, this may come as a burden to the people who – for example – prematurely shared details of the Laura Murray judgement with the Daily Mail and the Guido Fawkes blog.

But then, those people may have their own problems anyway – as the court should be pursuing them with a view to prosecuting them for contempt.

We shall all have to see what happens in two or three weeks’ time.

The ‘meanings’ hearing on my case took place last December, of course, and the news media garbled the result to make it seem Ms Riley came out with the upper hand (she didn’t).

In fact, she had to re-write her accusation against me. I then submitted a defence to the court and Ms Riley’s lawyers are now trying to argue about it.

I take this as yet another attempt to waste the money my supporters have contributed to my CrowdJustice site. I have said many times that libel cases are highly expensive and whenever Ms Riley’s lawyers raise an issue, my own legal team have to counter it – at a cost of thousands of pounds.

I believe she never expected to have to go to court. She thought I would not be able to raise any funds to fight her accusations and that – instead of facing justice – she would be able to buy the result she wanted.

The distortions in the newspapers seem to be an attack on a second front – a propaganda war to undermine faith in people like myself, Ms Heybroek and Ms Murray.

We aren’t media darlings. We don’t have many friends in the right-wing press. We have to rely on you, and on your generosity. That’s why I always have to make this appeal:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It seems some people want you to think they’re giving you the facts because the shout about them the loudest.

But you can always get accurate information here.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel: her team just made a terrible mistake

Rachel Riley is a serial litigant; besides suing me, she is also pursuing Laura Murray, who bit back at one of the Countdown co-presenter’s tweets in March last year.

Referring to the incident in which Jeremy Corbyn had been punched by an egg-wielding man in a London mosque, Ms Riley had dug up an old tweet by Owen Jones which said “If you don’t want eggs thrown at you, don’t be a Nazi. Seems fair to me.” To this, she added the comment: “Good advice.”

Ms Murray, who was working in Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party office at the time, tweeted her opinion that Ms Riley was saying Corbyn was a Nazi who deserved to be attacked violently. She added that, in her opinion, Ms Riley was a dangerous and stupid person who risked inciting unlawful violence – and nobody should engage with her in any way.

Mr Justice Nicklin, in a judgement based on paper evidence due to the coronavirus pandemic, ruled that Ms Murray had made a statement of fact when she said Riley had stated that Corbyn deserved to be attacked violently.

That’s the extent of the difference.

His statement that the words have a tendency to be defamatory isn’t a ruling that Ms Murray is guilty of libel; the defendant may say that her statement was factually accurate and back it up with evidence, and she may also provide information to support the opinions that she expressed.

Riley hasn’t won the case; this was a ruling on the meaning of Ms Murray’s words and whether they were statements of fact or expressions of opinion. There will be a trial at some point in the future.

But Ms Riley and her friends seem to have started celebrating victory prematurely.

And someone went one step further – by publicising the case prematurely.

The image above shows that the right-wing Guido Fawkes blog ran an initial piece on the ruling on April 23, albeit with no further information than a claim that Riley had won. The Mail went further, publishing at 6.21am the following:

 

But the ruling was not published by the High Court until 10am on April 24 – more than a day later.

So it seems somebody has committed contempt of court.

This was a reserved judgement. That meant that the hearing was some time ago and the judge prepared a written judgement to be handed down on April 24. Prior to handing down, the judge would have sent a draft to the parties. The rules on drafts say:

2.4 A copy of the draft judgment may be supplied, in confidence, to the parties provided that—

 (a) neither the draft judgment nor its substance is disclosed to any other person or used in the public domain; and

 (b) no action is taken (other than internally) in response to the draft judgment, before the judgment is handed down.

 2.8  Any breach of the obligations or restrictions under paragraph 2.4 or failure to take all reasonable steps under paragraph 2.6 may be treated as contempt of court.

I imagine Mr Justice Nicklin would be very keen to find out who’s been playing fast-and-loose with court rules and his judgement. And I can’t blame him.

I can’t comment on who leaked the story to the press too soon – but I will keep an eye on it.

As for people who prematurely claim a legal victory that they haven’t won … if you’re as nauseated by this as I am, then please remember that Ms Riley is attacking me in the same way she is attacking Ms Murray – and I don’t have the cash to fight her.

If I can win my case in court, then it should discourage Ms Riley and her friends – harshly – from this vile behaviour. But I can only do it with your help.

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be bad enough if Ms Riley had won. The fact that she hasn’t, and is claiming she is, is toxic. In my opinion.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Judgement in Chris Williamson ‘anti-Semitism’ court case due TODAY

Chris Williamson.

A judge in Birmingham is to rule on whether the Labour Party acted illegally in re-suspending Chris Williamson on an accusation of anti-Semitism, after he had been reinstated into the party.

Here are the details, courtesy of Kerry-Anne Mendoza:

She is right; he does deserve our solidarity.

You may remember that Mr Williamson’s Labour membership was suspended after he made a speech saying that Labour had been “too apologetic” when faced with accusations of anti-Semitism in the party.

In the speech, Mr Williamson said: “The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party.

“I have got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we have backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic.”

Amid applause from the audience, he went on to say: “We’ve done more to address the scourge of anti-Semitism than any political party.”

To This Writer’s way of thinking, this is a valid opinion; the party’s leadership and disputes team seems to believe every accusation is proof of guilt.

But some took the opportunity to say he was trying to excuse racism (every accusation is proof of guilt – see?) so he issued a prompt apology for giving that impression, saying, “Our movement can never be ‘too apologetic’ about racism within our ranks.”

It wasn’t enough to stop his suspension, which was ended after a three-member National Constitutional Committee panel ruled him innocent of wrong-doing.

But this led to outrage among the witch-hunters in the party and he was promptly re-suspended.

Mr Williamson has claimed that the Labour leadership was wrong to do this and launched a legal challenge, which he crowdfunded with donations from supporters.

Now the evidence has been heard and the judge will deliver the verdict at 4pm.

This will be an important moment for everybody who has taken part in the witch-hunt against innocent Labour Party members – and for those of us who have been abused by it.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Capita u-turns on court appeal over claimant death – opening itself to more claims?

Outsourcing giant Capita has dropped an appeal against a court decision ordering it to pay damages to the family of a benefit claimant who died  after it recommended she be refused the disability benefit PIP.

The company was ordered to pay £10,000 in damages following the death of PIP claimant Victoria Smith after it recommended that her benefit claim should be refused.

Ms Smith suffered from agoraphobia and fibromyalgia, and died of a brain haemorrhage in July last year after a worsening of these conditions. The assessment had taken place in March, four months previously.

While the decision over whether someone receives the benefit is made by a DWP official, Capita’s assessment of how a person’s disability affects their life is a crucial part of the process.

The week after Ms Smith’s death, a social security tribunal decided she had been eligible for PIP. Mother Susan Kemlo took legal action against the company for maladministration – that it had made inaccurate statements – and was awarded £10,000.

Capita had announced a decision to go back to court, aiming to have the judgement set aside on the grounds that problems with its internal mail system meant the firm never had a chance to defend itself.

But now the company has now announced that it “considered this exceptional case on an individual basis [and] decided not to contest the original default judgement”.

It has apologised to the family for any additional distress caused.

Have its bosses realised that they could be opening the way for a series of appeals by family members of benefit claimants who have died after a refusal recommended by Capita?

Who knows how many people have lost their lives in this way?

The Department for Work and Pensions certainly doesn’t seem to – it doesn’t keep records of what happens to claimants for longer than two weeks after a benefit refusal.

But we have seen dozens of news stories about the deaths of claimants, months after being denied benefits.

The court’s decision has set a precedent. This Writer certainly hopes the families of the deceased take advantage of it.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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‘We’ve been wronged’ says outsourcing firm after death of claimant whose benefits were wrongly stopped

It must be great to be so rich you think you can buy justice.

Take government-contract outsourcing firm Capita, that (among other things) conducts health assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the main disability benefit, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The company was ordered to pay £10,000 in damages following the death of PIP claimant Victoria Smith after it recommended that her benefit claim should be refused.

Ms Smith suffered from agoraphobia and fibromyalgia, and died of a brain haemorrhage in July last year after a worsening of these conditions. The assessment had taken place in March, four months previously.

While the decision over whether someone receives the benefit is made by a DWP official, Capita’s assessment of how a person’s disability affects their life is a crucial part of the process.

The week after Ms Smith’s death, a social security tribunal decided she had been eligible for PIP. Mother Susan Kemlo took legal action against the company for maladministration – that it had made inaccurate statements – and was awarded £10,000.

Now the firm is taking the case back to court, hoping the judgement will be set aside.

It says problems with its internal email system mean it never had a chance to defend itself.

And court papers suggest that the firm is bringing this costly court action, not for justice, but to offset the reputational damage it has suffered.

In those papers, the company states: “Capita has been on the receiving end of significant negative press which suggests that it has been held liable following a successful claim by the claimant,” it says.

“This causes significant reputational damage to Capita’s business.”

Never mind the merits of the case; it seems to me that Capita is trying to overturn the judgement because it can afford to.

Put the shoe on the other foot; if Mrs Kemlo had lost, would she have the cash to appeal against the decision?

This is about corporate pride, money, and a bid to buy justice.

Source: Capita seeks to reverse ‘reputational damage’ after death of claimant – BBC News

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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BBC admits ‘anti-Semitism’ claim against Jackie Walker was false. Where’s LABOUR’S apology?

Vindicated: Jackie Walker.

The BBC has upheld a complaint against former BBC political editor Nick Robinson after he wrongly tweeted that Jackie Walker had claimed that “the Jews controlled the slave trade”.

This was a principal complaint against Ms Walker and part of the basis on which both she and This Writer have been expelled from the Labour Party. As it is false, Labour’s reasons for expelling us both may also be false – if the party’s accusers were mistaken on one point, it is likely they were wrong about all of them.

So when will Labour apologise and re-instate us?

The BBC‘s apology came in a letter to Twitter user and campaigner against injustice Simon Maginn, who had complained about a tweet by Nick Robinson on February 26.

It seems Mr Robinson had claimed that Ms Walker had stated that “the Jews controlled the slave trade” and that this was an example of “anti-Semitism in the Labour Party”.

But in a letter to Mr Maginn that he tweeted yesterday (July 1), a representative of the Corporation’s Executive Complaints Division stated [boldings mine]: ‘What she had said, however (in response to a friend who had raised the question of ‘the debt’ owed to the Jews because of the Holocaust), was “Oh yes – and I hope you feel the same towards the African holocaust? My ancestors were involved in both – on all sides as I’m sure you know, millions more Africans were killed in the African holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews… and many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. So who are victims and what does it mean? We are victims and perpetrators to some extent through choice. And having been a victim does not give you a right to be a perpetrator.”

‘Even allowing for the element of compression often seen in tweets, I think the paraphrase of Ms Walker gave an insufficiently accurate impression of her actual words, so I am upholding that aspect of your complaint.’

There can be no doubt that Ms Walker was referring specifically to matters in the Caribbean. If the reference to the sugar trade was not sufficiently exact, the comment, “which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean” is self-explanatory.

And I made all this abundantly clear, nearly three years ago!

Read my articles here and here for the evidence.

The former of those pieces was actually used by Labour in its “evidence” (ha ha) against me!

I had written that – as is now well-documented – Ms Walker’s Facebook page had been hacked by members of an organisation called the Israel Advocacy Movement (whose founder, Joseph Cohen, used to be a member of the organisation that originally accused me – the fake charity calling itself the Campaign Against Antisemitism).

They grabbed part of a conversation she was having with a friend and gave it to the Jewish Chronicle as evidence of anti-Semitism – and that is the origin of the accusation against her.

I had written: “She was subjected to racist abuse by people who pose as campaigners against racism (albeit that very specific kind of racism that relates to the Jewish people). The same people claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews, thereby discriminating against all the other groups who faced genocide at the same time including, most famously, the Roma, the sick and disabled.”

Labour’s claim was “Qualifying racism in this way Mr Sivier has done is dismissive of antisemitism. There are very few, if any campaigners who ‘claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews’. Stating this discredits and diminishes antisemitism and the work done by campaigners.”

Oh, really?

Apparently the part that’s supposed to be dismissive of anti-Semitism is where I stated that the accusers were posing as campaigners against racism “albeit that very specific kind of racism that relates to the Jewish people”. That is, of course, exactly how anti-Semitism is defined.

As for there being “few, if any campaigners who ‘claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews'” – here are a few examples, quoted in my defence against Labour’s false accusations:

“If only my accuser had actually read the article they were quoting, they would have found two examples of campaigners who claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews. From the article quoted in my piece: “The late Elie Wiesel said that to compare the sufferings of others with Jews was a “betrayal of Jewish history”. And Lucy Dawidowicz, a well known holocaust historian and rightwing Zionist, held that “subsuming Jewish losses under a universal or ecumenical classification is to effectively justify anti-Semitism”.”

“More currently, how about Jonathan Freedland’s words, in his recent article – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/27/jewish-anger-labour-listen-antisemitism-opinion – on the Guardian website? He wrote: “The Holocaust, the murder of 6 million Jews, is, for us, a very recent memory: part of our own lived experience, barely one generation away.” Here we see a national opinion-former claiming the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews. Who knows how many people have read his words and believed them?

“The following Jews, in a letter supporting Jackie Walker against her suspension after being unethically filmed at a Jewish Labour Movement event on anti-Semitism, stated: “It has always been a principle of the Zionist movement that the Nazi Holocaust was exclusive to the Jews. Yehuda Bauer, professor of Holocaust studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, has argued that ‘the Nazis only attempted to annihilate one people, the Jews’. According to Bauer, ‘the Holocaust is very much a unique case’. The signatories were: Tony Greenstein, Professor Haim Bresheeth, Professor Emeritus Jonathan Rosenhead, Leon Rosselson, Ruth Appleton, Rica Bird, Mike Cushman, Dr Merav Devere, Mark Elf, Sylvia Finzi, Ken Fryde, Leah Levane, Claire Glasman, Selma James, Michael Kalmanovitz, Helen Marks, Elizabeth Morley, Diana Neslen, Ilan Pappe, Martin Parnell, Roland Rance, Dr Brian Robinson, Amanda Sebestyen, Glynn Secker, David Selzer, Sam Semoff, Sam Weinstein and Naomi Wimborne-Iddrissi.

“I have found others in the course of my work on my website.

“For example: Beth Rosenberg, who I mention in my article https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2018/01/24/holocaust-memorial-day-tweet-triggers-hate-filled-denial-of-disability-related-deaths/ as tweeting, “Minimising the Holocaust is antisemitic, which you know and are doing deliberately to cause offence”. The problem is, I did not minimise any Holocaust – and HMD commemorates many holocausts and genocides, not just what happened to the Jewish people. Her tweet very clearly claims the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews – and cemented this in with her further comment: “The mythology from the left compared to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews.” So HMD refers only to the Shoah and not to any other such events, according to Ms Rosenberg.

“Here’s Christina Wallis: “I just find it upsetting that you’re using an atrocity that lead to the death of six million people, including members of my family to make a political point.” The Nazi holocaust killed 17 million people in total but she omits everybody who was not Jewish. So her tweet also, very clearly, claims the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews.

“Here’s another one, from ‘Plastic Fantastic’ on Twitter: “The Holocaust has a specific meaning – Nazi Germany systematically murdering some six million European Jews.” See: https://twitter.com/omgstater/status/956267890491166721

I don’t honestly expect Labour to back down and apologise on the basis of a single admission of wrongdoing by the BBC – the prejudice in favour of the witch-hunters is far too strong in that organisation at the moment.

But I do think there is a clear message here – that the Labour Party machine now needs to engage in full and open discussion with those of us it has wronged, about its reasons for attacking perfectly innocent people, for dragging our names and reputations through the dirt, and for protecting those who have lied about us – both inside and outside the organisation.

How about it, Jennie Formby? Let’s have an open debate – or are you afraid?

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Two down: Woolf resigns from sex abuse inquiry

Beleaguered: At last, Fiona Woolf has done the decent thing, after acknowledging that she could never hold the trust of child sex abuse victims due to her relationship with Leon Brittan, who might have to give evidence to the inquiry she had been appointed to chair.

Beleaguered: At last, Fiona Woolf has done the decent thing, after acknowledging that she could never hold the trust of child sex abuse victims due to her relationship with Leon Brittan, who might have to give evidence to the inquiry she had been appointed to chair.

The second chair of the so-called independent inquiry into historic child sex abuse cases has resigned, according to the BBC.

Fiona Woolf said she wanted to “get out of the way” after it became clear that victims did not have any confidence in her.

To the Tories, you see, image is everything – and it had been made abundantly clear to Mrs Woolf that hers was tarnished by her freely-admitted association with Leon Brittan, a man who, as Home Secretary during the 1980s, managed to lose a dossier containing the names of more than 100 alleged child sex offenders, including some prominent Conservative Party members (if rumours are to be believed).

The association made her as suspicious to victims’ groups as her forerunner, Baroness Butler-Sloss, whose own name was unavoidably linked with that of the late Sir Michael Havers, attorney-general during the 1980s, whose behaviour has also been called into question by allegations that he tried to hush up child sex abuse allegations against prominent members of the Establishment.

And these were all Establishment figures in their own right. Mrs Woolf had tried to distance herself from these claims by making assurances that she herself was not a member of the Establishment – but her case was lost before she even made it. She is, you see, the Lord Mayor of London.

This second resignation from an inquiry that is supposed to be independent, by a chairperson who had clear ties to people she would have been investigating, has raised renewed claims that the current Home Secretary, Theresa May, has not carried out ‘due diligence’ when considering who to appoint.

Mrs May seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place. She has to appoint someone who is acceptable to the Conservative Party, but who is also acceptable to the general public – and the public has serious issues with her choices for the reason laid out in this very blog less than a month ago: Will a Conservative-led government ever find someone to chair this inquiry who is free of any alleged connections to its subject matter?

And the longer this drags on, the more suspicious the entire situation will seem. People will start asking more deeply disturbing questions. Logically, the first will be whether Mrs May has encountered so much difficulty in appointing a chairperson because the Conservatives want to influence the inquiry’s outcome, to ensure that nobody connected with them is ever implicated.

You see, image is everything to the Tories, especially with a general election taking place in the not-too-distant future.

David Cameron had given his backing to the choice of Mrs Woolf – as, if memory serves, he did to the choice of Baroness Butler-Sloss – so the resignation calls his judgement into question.

Then again, it seems that almost everything said about Cameron these days calls his judgement into question, whether it is his cavalier attitude to the NHS privatisation started by his former boss Andrew Lansley (that he didn’t understand), his keenness to award NHS contracts to Tory donors, his (alleged) failure to take an interest in the European Union’s re-evaluation of membership fees until he was presented with a bill for £1.7 billion this week, or any of the many other bombshells that seem to be bursting around him every day.

A report in Thursday’s Guardian has accused him of misleading the public over the total amount of his government’s planned austerity cuts that have been implemented during the current Parliament. Cameron said four-fifths of the process was complete, while the Institute for Fiscal Studies said more than half were still to come into force.

Now this.

Never mind Fiona Woolf’s resignation – isn’t it time we demanded Cameron’s?

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Hypocrisy, your name is Iain Duncan Smith!

How this man ever got to be leader of the Conservative Party is astounding but anyone can see why he failed.

Iain Duncan Smith, a man with four children who has spent a sustained period of his life claiming state benefits, has described the UK’s benefits system as “overly generous”. Is he going to return the public cash he received, then? (No, I didn’t think so)

The Sun reports that he said big handouts for jobless parents are resented by their hard-working neighbours. How odious. He’s hoping that, by saying it, gullible members of the public will believe it, rather than thinking for themselves.

According to the article, “Most people get up in the morning, work hard, come back late and can only afford to have one or two children,” said the father of four.

“They look down the road to the house with the curtains closed, no-one going out to work but lots of kids around.” Your house, Iain.

“It’s dividing society.” No – you’re dividing society, Iain.

He added: “Everybody in Britain makes decisions based on what they can afford and how their family life works.” Fine words, coming from a man who lost a job at property firm Bellwinch after six months. I wonder if he was married then (he probably was; he’d been at GEC-Marconi in 1981, prior to Bellwinch, and they wed in 1982). So he knows that life-changing events can happen unexpectedly.

He just refuses to acknowledge this universal fact of life – it would contradict his ideology.

And his ideology is twisted, when it comes to money.

Look at his policy special adviser, Philippa Stroud, who is also being paid by a right-wing thinktank, the Centre for Social Justice, that lobbies his own Department for Work and Pensions!

He knows that the special advisers’ code of conduct stipulates that they “should not receive benefits of any kind which others might reasonably see as compromising their personal judgment or integrity”.

An annex to the code, titled the Seven Principles of Public Life, adds: “Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.”

The code also makes clear that ministers making such appointments, in this case Smith himself, are held responsible for their advisers’ conduct.

He seems to think it’s okay for her to take public money on top of her own salary; he seems to think it’s all right for her to have a job as a senior member of a pressure group that tries to influence his department, when he role within that department is to give him advice on what to do; he seems to think it’s permissible to allow all that and still lecture the nation about what is morally acceptable; and he seems to think he’ll get away with it.

Sadly, as a member of a government that is so twisted its members need help screwing themselves into their trousers in the morning, he’s probably right about that last assumption.

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