Jolyon Loses Major Case Over Government Use of Whatsapp

While Jolyon may have promised to stop submitting pointless judicial review challenges in future, he still had one more big loss in him before he rides off into the supposed sunset. This morning the High Court threw out the Good Law Project’s claim over Ministers’ use of private emails and WhatsApp for government communications, on the grounds that, once again, the claim wasn’t appropriate for judicial review:

“Each of the claims brought by AtC and GLP fails, because the policies on which they rely are not enforceable in a claim for judicial review [130] – [131], [138], [140], the policies are not contrary to any legal obligation on the Government [135] and because the legislation does not impose an obligation to create or retain records and does not prohibit automatic deletion [133], [139], [141]. A challenge to a 2013 policy of the Cabinet Office fails for the further reason that the claim is out of time.”

This was the big case the GLP plastered all over its website to attract would-be donors, which clearly worked as they raised £118,211. As per usual Jolyon’s backers can expect no refunds. All they get is a quiet message reading “It’s not the result we hoped for” blog post, and a promise – as always – to appeal the decision. This also means they’ll have to redesign their homepage again, now that their landmark case has failed for the second time in three months…

It’s been a rough week for Jolyon. Not only has he lost his hail mary legal case, he’s also losing his loyal lieutenant and long-serving Legal Director, Gemma Abbott, who yesterday announced she’s leaving her post. He’s now looking for both a new Director of Campaigns and a new Legal Director. Big shoes to fill…

UPDATE: Jolyon has been ordered to pay £125,000 in costs to the Treasury.

Lol.

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