Good Law Project Rakes in Downing Street Party Cash

Now the Met’s confirmed an inquiry into Downing Street parties, Jolyon’s Good Law Project (GLP) is once again claiming victory; this time on the grounds that their pre-action letter to “force” the Met into investigating No.10 caused this all to happen. The GLP had been pushing for this for weeks, and even set up a Crowd Justice donation page to fight the government in court. Their campaign raised £100,145.
The GLP claimed on the donation page that only 10% of the final sum would go straight into their own coffers – the rest would be spent on the legal fight against the Met. That legal fight never came, because the Met have announced their investigation already. It’s only buried in the small print at the bottom of the page that the GLP admit donations may “go towards supporting other litigation”. The Crown Justice FAQs page also makes it clear the site doesn’t offer refunds:

“In general, there are no refunds.

There are some limited circumstances where the Case Owner does not use all the funds raised on the site for their case or recovers some of their costs.

When that happens, the Case Owner returns those “surplus” or unused funds to the site. (Unless the Case Owner is a charity or non-profit, in which case, the charity or NGO retains any surplus for its general charitable purposes).”

Given the GLP is non-profit, that’s a lot of money innocent donors won’t be seeing back in their bank accounts…

The GLP haven’t been fighting the Met with a meagre £100,000, however. On the 17th they announced a backing down on another case against Michael Gove, closing the crowdfunder and committing the funds “towards our challenge to the Met Police’s failure to investigate parties at No 10 Downing Street”. The amount raised in that fundraiser totalled £48,335. In total, therefore, the Good Law Project had £148,480 – enough for 148 luxury kimonos from Selfridges. Six figures for a pre-action letter would be steep for Jonathan Sumption, let alone the fox clubber…

mdi-timer 25 January 2022 @ 15:24 25 Jan 2022 @ 15:24 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jolyon Backs Down from 2 More Government Court Cases

Guido’s coverage of Jolyon’s humiliating defeats in the courts prove to be ever popular with co-conspirators, though the learned fox basher wasn’t prepared to show much contrition. Taking to Twitter after the ruling Maugham claimed it was the “first substantive judgement against us since 2019″. Legalistic use of the operative word “substantive”, which does much to gloss over many of his legal flops in recent years. Jolyon’s often specious, ego-driven fight against the government has been far-from plain sailing in recent months.

Before Christmas, the Good Law Project quietly withdrew their judicial review application regarding the Levelling Up fund, slipping out a statement last week explaining that released government documents undermined claims by a “senior source inside the Cabinet Office” who made allegations of pork-barrel promises being made during the general election:

“The legal advice we have received is that, on the basis of the documents, the Government has disclosed, we have low prospects of success.”

Not only did they withdraw the judicial review application, Jolyon’s project agreed to pay the government’s costs, wasting yet more crowdfunders’ money.

Similarly three days ago, the Good Law Project announced it had dropped a campaign following a pre-action protocol letter sent to Gove in November alleging the government had been threatening to punish MPs supporting Owen Paterson’s suspension – plus ça change. The project correctly notes:

“It is impossible to make refunds via CrowdJustice.”

They will instead re-allocate the money to another campaign. This is also ignoring Jolyon’s proclaimed court victories, which in reality scrape through on technicalities while judges note their substance to be lacking. All the while wasting the courts’ time, and taxpayers’ money…

mdi-timer 20 January 2022 @ 15:17 20 Jan 2022 @ 15:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jolyon Loses Bet to Gove, Owes RSPCA £100

Now that the Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court’s ruling on procurement contracts, as brought forward by the Good Law project, Guido would like to remind Jolyon that he is now in debt to the RSPCA – to the sum of £100.

Back in July, when the initial High Court ruling passed, Jolyon challenged Michael Gove to a simple bet: whoever loses the appeal ruling would donate £100 to a charity of the winner’s choice. Never one to be out-foxed, Gove batted back:

Time to pay up.

UPDATE:  Gove drops a heavy hint on Twitter:

Guido suspects that Jolyon will, entirely in character, wriggle out of the bet on a technicality.

mdi-timer 18 January 2022 @ 10:48 18 Jan 2022 @ 10:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cummings Gloats as Jolyon Loses Again, Court of Appeal Overturns High Court Ruling

The High Court ruling that a procurement contract was unlawfully awarded to a firm with apparent links to Dominic Cummings has this morning been overturned by the Court of Appeal. This latest defeat for Jolyon once again reiterates the pointlessness of the taxpayer cash-wasting vanity project. Will this latest ruling get the usual wall-to-wall BBC coverage awarded to Jolyon’s rare supposed victories?

The case relates to a contract awarded to Public First at the start of the pandemic. Responding to the announcement Cummings tweets:

“Lord Chief Justice crushes Kimono-fox-killer: total vindication for my decisions on moving super speedy on procurement to save lives (remember all the ignorant nonsense from pundits/minor social scientists/Remainiacs?)”

Here’s what Cummings had to say on the initial judgement back in July:

“Like the OWID decision, another decision I made at the height of the crisis last year was recently the subject of legal action. The High Court found that my decision to hire a company to provide insight into public understanding of covid was ‘unlawful’ because of ‘apparent bias’. Not actual bias, which the court agreed there was no evidence of, but ‘apparent bias’. This ‘apparent bias’ existed, the court said, because there was not a paper trail showing my thought process and the extent to which I considered hiring someone else. The judge inferred that I had not considered others therefore this could look like apparent bias — if the entire paper trail was made public in a JR into bias, which is obviously very circular reasoning!

In fact I did consider hiring others, I considered it extremely quickly and made a decision — one of dozens that day, and not the most important. I did not go through a formal process, I did not write down a list of criteria and pretend to ‘rank’ different companies. We had not time, we had a disease doubling every 2-3 days. I thought very quickly, made a decision, then moved on to another similar decision, then another. That was my job. My decision was expert, as the judge accepted. (Our data was appalling, PHE’s communication plans were no good, we urgently needed to figure out how to communicate better to lower the probability of killing people by mistake, so I hired a company I knew would do an excellent job and they did.)”

For some people the bureaucratic procedure is more important than the outcome. They are not the kind of people you want in control during an emergency…

mdi-timer 18 January 2022 @ 10:13 18 Jan 2022 @ 10:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jolyon Wins University Challenge… After Getting Almost Every Question Wrong

Guido congratulates Jolyon for leading his team to an extremely rare victory in Christmas University Challenge over the holiday, although only in the face of incredibly weak opposition. Having managed to flub almost every single question – on topics ranging from pop culture, history and literature – Jolyon benefitted from a Christmas miracle to pull it out of the bag in the last round. Points were rightly deducted for guessing ‘Joe Biden’ to the question “March 2021 marked the centenary of the inauguration of which US President”. A barnstorming performance which Paxman kindly dubbed “just about respectable”…

mdi-timer 11 January 2022 @ 17:05 11 Jan 2022 @ 17:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jolyon Suing Met Over Failure to Investigate No. 10 Parties

The Met’s morning isn’t going much better than No. 10’s, as Jolyon’s Good Law Project has just issued formal legal proceedings against the force over their failure to investigate the No. 10 party on 18 December 2020. Prior to Christmas, the project asked the Met to explain their decision not to investigate and, if they couldn’t, reverse their decision. As Jolyon’s team point out, each new party revelation makes the Met’s policy of not investigating even more damning. 

Their letter points out the force’s absurd policy of refusing to carry out any investigative work of its own, merely relying on No. 10’s unbelievable assurances that no rules had been broken. Despite Guido having many differences with Jolyon, he’s right to press this one – the Met have been inconsistent in how they apply lockdown laws to Downing Street staff and us mere plebs. Jolyon says:

“You can have the rule of law, or you can defer to the powerful. But you can’t have both. Cressida Dick’s cat will know that multiple criminal offences were committed. It shames the Met, and ultimately all of us, that she refuses to investigate.”

Bring it on…

mdi-timer 11 January 2022 @ 11:01 11 Jan 2022 @ 11:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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