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).

Starmer to Miliband: I Like You, Just As You AreFormer 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…”

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…

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.

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….

The Laws an Ass

https://twitter.com/TomHarrisMP/status/402446611244384256

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

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?

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.”

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Claire Perry Concedes Guido Didn’t “Sponsor” Hacking

Guido can now happily report that Tory MP Claire Perry has backed down after her bizarre claim that Guido ‘sponsored’ hacking pranksters who uploaded hardcore images onto the anti-porn campaigner’s website. Perry has conceded:

“For the purpose of clarity, I have never stated or indeed believe that you organised the hacking and am quite happy to make that view public.”

The government internet adviser’s offending tweets claiming that Guido sponsored the hacking have now been deleted after Guido’s lawyers demanded that she remove them and withdraw the crazy and technologically illiterate claims which she had made.[…]

+ READ MORE +

How Rolf’s Lawyers Used Leveson to Prevent Reporting Lawyers Falsely Claimed Guido Scoop Was “Only Conjecture”

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Coulson’s Mobile Phone Conversation Intercepted

ac-grays-inn

A co-conspirator emailed on Friday:

Yesterday, I found myself walking up the Gray’s Inn Road alongside Andy Coulson. He was talking on his mobile phone to someone about the fact that his trial date had been moved. It was raining and he was mumbling a lot.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Andrew Mitchell Loses Libel Costs Battle

mitchellsherborneAndrew Mitchell’s solicitors and his celebrity barrister David Sherborne have had a bad start to their case.  Due to a cock-up Mitchell’s solicitors failed to file for their costs and Master McCloud has ruled against Mitchell again today – so he and his lawyers will have to pay all their own estimated £500,000 of costs even if he wins the libel case (in which damages are capped at £150,000).[…]

+ READ MORE +

Mitchell's Half-a-Million Libel Legal Debacle

sherborne

Tomorrow we will get the judgement in a bizarre legal mess up between Andrew Mitchell’s solicitors and his celebrity barrister David Sherborne.  Due to a cock-up Mitchell’s solicitors failed to file their costs and so under the tightened rules will be punished.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Judge: You Elect Politicians For This Crap High Court Rules "Bedroom Tax" is Not a Tax

The High Court judgment on housing benefit is pretty sound stuff. Leaving aside that the bit where the judge claims the case “looks very like a list objections to the policy under the guise of a litany of matters”, Lord Justice Laws’ most important paragraph will be used again and again:

“…it is not generally for the courts to resolve the controversies which this insistence involves.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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