Petition update

Your Petitioner investigated on charge of anti-Semitism. Top QC could help. JLM goes fishing

Pete Gregson
Edinburgh, SCT, United Kingdom

Oct 11, 2018 — 

I am being investigated by Labour’s General Secretary’s office on charges of anti-Semitism.

It all began when Zionists at my Edinburgh Central CLP discovered I had started this petition you have signed. They complained to the CLP Chair, Val Walker, who reported me to the Scottish General Secretary, Brian Roy, who then reported me to our UK General Secretary, Jennie Formby.

Ms Formby was fresh from telling all Labour/Corbyn Facebook admins to report on those posting on their pages who might be guilty of anti-Semitism (eg saying Israel was racist). She had just binned my complaint against the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and Labour Friends of Israel (LfoI) and was, I imagine, foaming at the mouth when she saw our petition (drafted by some of you as well as I). Labour’s disciplinary body has been expanded specifically to deal with anti-Semitism cases, so she has plenty of resources at her disposal.

Now she seeks to make an example of me. I believe the JLM and the LFoI have been clamouring for my expulsion. My complaint against them must have rankled. When Ms Formby dismissed that complaint, rather preferring to pursue me instead, I wrote to our 39 NEC members. I pointed out the lunacy of the actions being carried out in their name and had but one reply – this, “Dictated by the Rt Hon George Howarth MP and sent on his behalf” and copied to Jennie Formby – which said:

“Dear Mr Gregson, Thank you for your e-mail of 8 October 2018.

I am sure your own case will be impartially investigated and, in due course, considered by the disputes panel in accordance with the party’s procedures.

 Your remarks about the Labour Party General Secretary and other staff members are gratuitously offensive and, frankly, do not serve your case well.

Yours sincerely, Rt Hon George Howarth MP, Knowsley”

I understand this guy, who specialises in sitting on military and intelligence committees in Parliament, had been foisted on the locals by Tony Bliar, so I pay little heed to his words. If only he, Ms Formby and the NEC were guided by Jewish Voice for Labour’s “Antisemitic misconduct: what it is – and what it is not” rather than the IHRA, I wouldn’t be writing this now.


It is, I believe worth putting up a big fight over this effort to expel me. I think this petition is one that the NEC cannot ignore. I may be a test case. And whilst I can muster a good argument, having lawyers fight my corner definitely helps. I mean, Margaret Hodge got away with abusing Corbyn after fielding Mishcon de Reya, so clearly the technique pays off.

My friend, a top UK human rights lawyer, thought I should approach his old chum Michael Mansfield QC. Michael participated in prominent and controversial court cases and inquests involving accused IRA bombers the Birmingham Six, Bloody Sunday, the Hillsborough disaster and the deaths of Jean Charles de Menezes, Dodi Al-Fayed and the McLibel case.

Astonishingly, he’s interested in taking me on. He’s asked me to find a solicitor to instruct him (that’s how barristers work), so for the past few days I’ve been going nuts trying to find one. They are all interested, but suffer from mysterious “conflicts of interest with existing clients” - so have been turning me down right left and centre. Time is pressing, you see – I must respond to the allegations by Mon 15th October. Last night, I found one – I am now exploring a price. It won’t be cheap – these guys cost £400 an hour. But then again, they do have expenses – clerks to pay, an office to run, etc.

So, it is looking good, but it will be expensive. I am thinking of crowdfunding to help pay costs, rather than use up my kids’ legacy. I will write again when I know what these costs will be.

And I think it’s a battle worth fighting. The day before yesterday, the Zionist-promoting JLM was caught on a fishing expedition by one of you. They had gotten hold of CLP Secretary’s names and email addresses and had emailed many of them (there are 670 in the UK) asking them to distribute their survey form to members. The aim is to get one to every Labour Party member in the UK. And what do they seek? For each member to report on any comrade that they might suspect of “anti-Semitic” activity. This trawl could throw up many thousands, since the NEC has adopted the full IHRA, so – you guessed it – anyone saying Israel was a racist state would be fair game to these snoopers. So the JLM seeks to swell the numbers of folk like you and me, so they might feed them through to the hungry maws of a General Secretary sweating under pressure; recently our deputy leader Tom Watson suggested she “should quit, if the antisemitism row that has engulfed the party over the summer is not over by Christmas.”

I have reported the JLM to the NEC for a possible GDPR data breach; also, you who reported it emailed Ms Formby asking “1. Whether the JLM survey is authorised by the Labour Party. 2. If it is not authorised, please explain how the JLM has obtained the names of CLP Secretaries.”

Then there were LAW and Skwawkbox posts about what the JLM had done. Then, Skwawkbox  reported that the left-wing slate for the NCC, the party’s supreme disciplinary body, is at an impasse because a senior Momentum figure has reportedly objected to the nomination of a Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) member – one highly regarded by the Labour leadership – on the supposed grounds that ‘the Jewish community’ will not tolerate a JVL representative.

You see? We are in a battle for the soul of the Party. The prize? A Labour Party unfettered by the IHRA, free to decry Israel as the racist state it is. We need the next Labour Government to commit to sanctions on Israel.

That’s how we defeated apartheid in South Africa. And that’s how we will create a new Israel.


Pete Gregson, Edinburgh

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