Wednesday, July 23, 2014

EHRC: All Women Shortlists Are Unlawful

The Equalities and Human Right’s Commission has ruled that All Women Shortlists are illegal. To very little attention, the EHRC today published guidance on the equalities legislation around which appointments to boards must be made. It says very clearly on page 10:

“We do not believe that it is lawful to address under-representation by longlisting or shortlisting only female candidates to the detriment of male candidates” 

Though the context was the private sector, it could not be clearer about the legality of the issue.

One rule for us, another for…

UPDATE: People who seem to know what they are talking about say there are special provisions for political parties (until 2030) which permit the use of all-women shortlists by registered political parties in relation to elections to government (see sections 104 and 105 of the Equality Act 2010).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Starmer to Miliband: I Like You, Just As You Are
Former CPS Boss Favourite for Holborn Safe Seat

The former CPS Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer – said to be the inspiration for Bridget Jones’ lover Mark Darcy – has been glued to Miliband’s side of late. Not only is he undertaking a  legal review for the party for free, he was on the leader’s table at Labour’s recent gala fundraiser. He’s been a loyal voice on the airwaves for a few months now.

As revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday, Keir is the front runner for a very safe London seat. Tomorrow, veteran Labour MP Frank Dobson will officially announce he is standing down and Starmer is Labour insiders’ favourite to be the next MP for Holborn – home to lawyers and the High Courts. It seems Starmer’s brown nosing could be about to pay off.

“Wait a minute… nice boys don’t kiss ass like that.”

“Oh, yes, they f**king do…”

Monday, December 9, 2013

Their Friendship Aside, Sadiq Khan Still Has Ahmad Questions

From tomorrow Babar Ahmad can add convicted terrorist to his CV, along with Guardian contributor. At the district court in Connecticut the extradited Brit will plead guilty to running websites that allegedly sought to raise money, recruit fighters and seek equipment for terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya. This is despite years of demanding to be freed and fighting his extradition to the States. He had one very vocal supporter in this campaign: Sadiq Khan. The Shadow Justice Secretary said it was ‘truly shocking’ Ahmad had been held and was involved in the Free Babar Ahmad campaign.

Guido has written at length about the differing accounts from Khan about his relationship with Ahmad, but it is certainly clear that they knew each other as teenagers. Even if we leave this completely aside, the Shadow Justice Secretary is on shaky ground for his vocal support for Ahmad.

As Robin Simcox of the Henry Jackson Society wrote in October:

“Ahmad and Ahsan could have hopped on a plane and proved their innocence. Instead, as is their right, they chose to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the court system created by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The defendants argued that extradition to the U.S. would breach the ECHR. After years of appeals and delays, their case was dismissed by the ECtHR in September 2012.

Khan says that the decade long legal process for Ahmad and Ahsan overseen by both British and European judges saw due process ‘jettisoned’. I have no idea what he could possibly mean by this, but it would be interesting to know what about the courts’ verdict he felt was flawed.

Khan admits to a ‘fear’ that Ahmad and Ahsan will plead guilty in the U.S. Why a British MP is frightened of suspected terrorists admitting their guilt in our closest ally’s courts is anyone’s guess. Presumably he thinks the U.S. judicial system is crooked: if so, he should at least have the courage to say it.”

Despite his portfolio, Khan has said nothing about this development. Must have slipped his mind with all that campaigning for Mayor of London…

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More Bad News for Mitchell

The Court of Appeal has ruled that even if Mitchell wins any legal action against the Sun, the former Chief Whip will not be able to recover any of his costs.

As Guido reported at the time, High Court judge Master Victoria McCloud punished Mitchell’s lawyers, including celeb barrister David Sherborne, for failing to submit paperwork on time and his appeal failed this morning.

Which might explain the somewhat budget nature of his press conference yesterday.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brooks ‘Discussed Phone Hacking’ at Chequers

The Old Bailey have been hearing from Dom Loehnis, a former Telegraph journo turned head-hunter and close old friend of the Prime Minister. Called by the prosecution, Loehnis has told the court that he sat next to Rebekah Brooks at David Cameron’s fortieth Birthday party hosted at the PM’s grace and favour country pad Chequers in 2010. The conversation was rather fruity:

As early as 2010, Brooks did not believe Coulson could survive in N0.10:

Yet he didn’t jump until 2011?

Loehnis came onto the police radar when a latter he wrote to Brooks after she resigned from News International was discovered. Sharp intakes of breath in Downing Street this afternoon….

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Laws an Ass

Whatever could he mean. That’s the £40,000 question…

Monday, November 11, 2013

Top Hacking Lawyer Relocating to LA

Mark Lewis, the phone hacking lawyer leading the fight against the Mirror, is off to sunny LA:

Dear All

In perhaps one of the worst kept secrets, I will be leaving the UK on Friday to take up permanent residence in Los Angeles.

I will still be pursuing those cases in the UK and will undoubtedly be back in London on a regular basis re NGN and MGN. I do have cases that will be pursued in the USA.

I will still be available on this email address and my English mobile number. I will forward my US cell phone details next week.

Thank you all for your contacts over the years.

Best regards

Mark Lewis
Partner
Taylor Hampton Solicitors Limited

Can anyone think of any New York/LA based former tabloid editors who might not appreciate the new arrival on their home-ground?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Quote of the Day

Remember Piers Morgan once lied

“I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone.”

Friday, October 4, 2013

Briscoe and Clifford Plead Not Guilty

A busy morning in court today for defendants that regular Guido readers will be familiar with. The barrister and part-time judge Constance Briscoe has pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice over the Huhne case and Max Clifford has denied 11 sex related charges dating from 1965-85. Denis MacShame will have to plead next month too…

Monday, September 9, 2013

Exclusive to All Papers: Murdoch Huhne Affair Conspiracy

Huhne is trying to paint himself as the victim of the Murdoch press because he called for a hacking inquiry from the frontbench, blaming everyone but himself for his own misdemeanours once again this morning. Huhne has used his time inside to work out who caused the end of the marriage (Rupert Murdoch) and who led to him being sent down (Rupert Murdoch):

“The News of the World sparked the end of my marriage, but another Murdoch title, the Sunday Times, then groomed my ex-wife until she told them about the speeding points. The political editor bought dinners, sent flowers, offered breaks at smart hotels, and reassured her that she would not face any unpleasant consequences (such as prison).

Four successive weeks as the splash in the Sunday Times ensured our joint prosecution. The Crown Prosecution Service loves a celebrity trial. It was the end of my political career, and it locked up my ex-wife too. She was just another “burned contact” for the Murdoch press.”

Bear in mind that the original Carina-affair story had a public interest angle because he put pictures of his family on his election leaflets (above). Murdoch cunningly got the affair story and the picture into the News of the World’s bitter rival the Sunday People, then got the Sunday Times’ rival Mail on Sunday to first make the running on the speeding points story after forcing Huhne to pervert the course of justice. He is delusional if he thinks this was a Murdoch-press conspiracy. The Sunday Times’ editor John Witherow really was not convinced the story would lead anywhere, the political editor Isabel Oakeshott had a hard time convincing Witherow the story had legs, most journalists believed that there would never be enough evidence to get Huhne charged. Only when the police raided the family home and got the evidence of the text messages did many in Fleet Street finally believe there was a chance he could be convicted. The CPS were very wary of charging a cabinet minister, they asked the police to get more evidence when they first came back with a dossier saying they had a case. Huhne’s enemies in the media – like this blog – detested him for personal and ideological reasons… 


Seen Elsewhere

Tories: Ruffley Critics are ‘Minority Feminist Groups’ | Buzzfeed
Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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