Taxi for Tom

Thomas Newton Dunn (45), The Sun’s political editor, will be catching the 87 bus into Westminster after being handed down a driving ban this morning. He was fined £667, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £67 and court costs of £85 after being convicted of doing 70 miles per hour in a 30 zone in Cambridge last October. Tom was caught by a speed camera zooming in his Audi. He got off lightly with a one month ban…

Feminist Campaigners Secretly Filmed Strippers

Feminists have continued their crusade against women being able to make their own decisions by trying to shut down a legal strip club with covert filming. One group hired two male undercover investigators to film naked and semi-naked encounters with women in Sheffield earlier this year, and Guido is told this is happening across the country. Actively working to intimidate independent women because they work in an industry they disapproves of, in the name of ‘Women’s Equality’.

The United Voices of the World union which represents many of the women working in the industry has claimed that the Women’s Equality Party is behind the covert filming and demanded that the group “cease its campaign of harassment and intimidation against dancers” and delete “what could amount to ‘revenge porn’ of naked women, obtained with the explicit aim to undermine and harm them.” Under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

“The non-consensual sharing of any explicit film or photograph showing an individual depicted in a sexual way or with their private parts exposed, where what is visible in the image would not be seen in public”

… is a crime.

United Voices of the World added that the filming “without explicit and direct consent and in clear violation of their right to privacy, is not just immoral — it is unlawful.” Awkward…

UPDATE: A previous version of this attributed the filming to the Women’s Equality Party. They tell us it is not their doing. Some members do support the campaign.

Burgon Denied Saying “Zionism is the Enemy” Under Oath

Readers will recall that Richard Burgon won a court case in January against The Sun. It was over a story they ran that claimed that his heavy metal band used “Nazi imagery”. The Sun argued in mitigation that there was a public interest in this issue because of the issue of Labour’s problem with anti-semitism and Burgon’s potential attitude towards Jews. Exploring the issue he was questioned in Court in reference to the same 2016 Mail article which Andrew Neil questioned him about regarding the claim he’d said “Zionism is the enemy of peace”.

The exchange went as follows:

Lawyer: “Justice spokesman Richard Burgon has urged MPs and 17 party members to quit the Labour Friends of Israel group, declaring Zionism is the enemy of peace.” That’s what the article says?

RB: That’s what the article says, yes.

Lawyer: My question to you was is that right? Did you —

RB: At the time — I believe you wrote to the Daily Mail asking when it was alleged I said this, what event in what year, and they couldn’t say. I’ve answered this question on the television as well. It’s not my view.

I think — I mean, it’s — what is important to understand is that just as all Jewish people don’t — aren’t Zionists, also there’s differences between the political strands which I define as Zionism. So, for example, when I met Israeli MPs in the Israeli Parliament, Knesset, we met Israeli MPs from different parties who would describe themselves as Zionists who had different political views. I’ve always been clear, however, that the current Prime Minister of Israel and his policies, Benjamin Netanyahu, I believe his policies are a block to a two-state outcome. But we at the time asked when I was meant to have said this, and they could provide no response to this allegation

(Legal discussion )

Lawyer: Just last time, did you say it, yes or no? Did you say what’s reported here; just yes or no, and then I will move on.

RB: I have answered the question already in detail.

Lawyer: I’m not sure you have, Mr Burgon.

Except it clearly was his view.

Burgon is a trained lawyer and a Shadow Justice minister. His clear evasiveness and failure to give a direct answer suggests in retrospect that he knew that the Mail’s story was right and realised they had no hard evidence. Meaning, he calculated, that if he avoided giving a definitive answer he would be off the hook on this crucial point. Hence his failure to give a yes or no answer. The Sun are appealing the ruling and Burgon’s failure to answer this question, together with his denial which he now admits was not true, means that his evidence was not true. For a would-be Justice Minister to be giving false sworn testimony in Court is extraordinary…

Leave EU Fines Reduced on Appeal

On today’s judgment in the case of Leave.EU v Electoral Commission in the Central London County Court, Andy Wigmore says:

“What started out as a witch-hunt by the political establishment in what they thought was the largest political scandal investigating Cambridge Analytica and Goddard Gunster’s alleged involvement in the Leave.EU referendum campaign, has today been proven to be false. Instead, the Electoral Commission fined us on technicalities and an overspend of £50,000, not the £70,000 originally presented by them on £7 million overall spend. The fines were reduced and the Judge accepted the technical breaches were ‘mistakes’ rather than calculated wrong-doings and crucially held there were ‘no findings that Leave.EU had been dishonest.'”

No news from the police investigation yet…

Courts Reject Another Jolyon Lawsuit, Order Him to Pay £8,000 Costs

Can a man ever get tired of too much winning? This is a question Jolyon Maugham must ask himself every day. As his website proudly declares, “Good Law Project’s (and its Director, Jo Maugham QC’s) success in crowdfunded litigation is a matter of public record”. A public record which Guido is always happy to contribute to

Sadly, the Courts have cruelly denied Jolyon the chance to engage in yet more winning after his application for a Judicial Review against Health Secretary Matt Hancock was refused. Jolyon was trying to bring a lawsuit to derail the Government’s no-deal medicines planning. The Judge ruled that none of Jolyon’s four grounds were arguable, and ordered Jolyon to pay costs of £8,000 to the Secretary of State. All that winning can be a costly business – for your crowdfund backers…

The Government haven’t pushed this regulation through on the sly – the Commons actually debated this specific regulation on Monday night and Labour forced a division over it, with the Government winning 292 to 240. One Labour MP who didn’t vote against it was Jeremy Corbyn, it turns out the vegetarian Labour leader was too busy attending the British Kebab Awards to turn up to vote. Maybe Jolyon should launch a lawsuit against that too?

Cox’s Legal Advice: “Legal Risk Remains Unchanged”

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has delivered his much awaited legal advice on May’s changes to the backstop, concluding that the “legal risk remains unchanged”. This is the last thing Number 10 will have wanted to see…

In Cox’s view, May did succeed in securing some legally-binding changes, he says the provisions of the ‘Joint Instrument’ “extend beyond mere interpretation of the Withdrawal Agreement and represent materially new legal obligations and commitments, which amplify its existing terms and make time of the essence in replacing the backstop.”

Cox says it does “reduce the risk” that the UK could be “indefinitely and involuntarily” trapped in the backstop but with the key caveat “at least in so far as that situation had been brought about by the bad faith or want of best endeavours of the EU”.

His final conclusion remains damning: the UK would have “no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement.” Game over for May’s deal?

Judge Crushes Remainers’ Claims that Referendum Result is Invalid

In the froth of the last few weeks, the hapless antics of the tiny remaining cabal of diehard anti-Brexit lawyers have almost been overlooked, as yet another legal challenge to Brexit was crushed. Jessica Simor QC was judged wrong on more or less every argument she tried to make as she went down in flames Jolyon-style…

Simor tried to seek a judicial review of May’s triggering of Article 50, arguing that it was unlawful because it was “based upon the result of a referendum that was itself unlawful as a result of corrupt and illegal practices, notably offences of overspending committed by those involved in the campaign to leave the EU”. Simor’s initial case had already been rejected in December, she appealed against this on seven grounds. The judges hearing the appeal shredded every single one…

Simor’s first ground was that the referendum failed to comply with Common Law due to “corrupt and illegal practices” and therefore “could not properly be taken to express the democratic will of the people”. The judge said he was “unable to accept [Simor’s] submission as even arguable”…

The judge rejected any notion that any breaches of the rules affected the outcome of the referendum result, stating “there is simply no evidential basis for the proposition that the breaches, or any of them, are material in the sense that, had they not occurred, the result of the referendum would have been different.” The car crash attempt from the Oxford Internet Institute to try to “prove” that Vote Leave’s alleged overspending had already been dismissed by the original judge as “essentially speculative and based on propositions that were patently unsound.” The Carole crowd won’t enjoy hearing that…

To quote the Lord Justice Hickinbottom, “Ms Simor’s difficulties do not end there.” Simor submitted three other substantive grounds, trying to argue that May’s Article 50 notification was unlawful and that she was guilty of a “continuing failure to respond to the developing evidence of illegality in the EU referendum”, which were all also rejected by the judge as “unarguable”. Three further technical grounds were also dismissed. About as crushing a defeat as you can get…

The judge noted that “the Applicants clearly oppose the UK leaving the EU; and hold strong views to that effect”, before adding a warning that “Judicial review is not, and should not be regarded as, politics by another means.” Not that it’ll stop Jolyon & Co. taking gullible people’s money for his never-ending series of unsuccessful lawfare campaigns any time soon…

Brexit Irritant Pete North Forced to Pay A C Grayling £20,000

Notorious curmudgeon and misanthrope Pete North has been forced to pay nutty Remainer Professor A C Grayling at least £20,000 for falsely accusing the academic of hoarding child pornography. Last year North tweeted “I’d bet good money that AC Grayling has a hard drive full of underage botty sex videos.” 

At the trial, where North failed to even file a defence, the judge said “Mr North’s conduct was extraordinary from first to last… he certainly seems entirely unrepentant and has offered no apology.” On top of the £20,000, he will also have to cover Professor Grayling’s legal costs.. ouch.

Jolyon Maugham Loses Battle to Dodge £1 Million Legal Bill Over £1 Uber Receipt

Guido readers will be dismayed to learn that luckless litigant Jolyon Maugham QC has suffered yet another crushing defeat at the hands of the law. This time a High Court judge rejected Jolyon’s attempts to cover his own backside against costs in his ludicrous case against Uber for not giving him a £1.06 VAT receipt. Jolyon says the case is about everyone paying their fair share of tax. Which is why the whole purpose of the case is to allow him to claim the VAT as a business expense and dodge the tax himself…

The judge rejected both Maugham’s ‘Protective Costs Order’ and his initial appeal, which would have limited Jolyon’s liability to just £20,000 if he lost the overall case, instead of being on the hook for Uber’s costs which could be over £1 million. The judge noted that the “named claimant has significant assets which he is not prepared, albeit for understandable reasons, to expose to the risk of an adverse costs order.” Too right – why should Jolyon have to give up any of his £400,000 annual net income while he’s pushing up Uber prices by 20% for everyone else?

More significantly, the judge said the fact that Jolyon had received “substantially more than 50% of the funding” from his case from the black cab trade, including one single contribution of £20,000, was very much a “relevant consideration” in the case. Jolyon never tires of talking about how he is acting in the public interest, the reality is that he is effectively now just acting on behalf of vested interests who want to push their competitors out of business and drive up prices for customers of their rivals

Jolyon has put out a statement on his website all but admitting defeat, complete with a comical line at the bottom insisting that Jolyon is not in fact a serial loser:

Sore much?

Jolyon Maugham Trousering £400,000 a Year Net

Jolyon’s most preposterous crowdfunded case has finally reached court, almost a full two years after the People’s Maugham originally convinced over three thousand suckers generous donors to donate £107,650 to his case seeking a £1.06 VAT invoice from Uber so he can claim it back as a business expense. That’s right, one pound and six pence…

Twitter’s most irritating Remoaner QC claims that the case could force Uber to cough up £1 billion in VAT payments according to his personal calculations, his own lawyer goes for the more conservative estimate of £200 million. Maugham is trying to add 20% to the cost of every single Uber journey, naturally the black cab lobby is delighted and is right behind his case. Not so much women who rely on Uber to get home from a night out safely and affordably…

Of course, Maugham has no qualms about making life more expensive for everybody else because as Guido can reveal from the official case documentation, Jolyon’s own personal income is a whopping £400,000 a year – net of expenses:

The hypocrisy of someone who is prepared to go to great lengths to repeatedly convince thousands of gullible members of the public of the importance of backing his futile vanity lawsuits while apparently not putting a penny of his own vast income behind them is truly staggering. Not to mention his repeated attacks on others who don’t divulge the identities of their donors. At least he’ll have been able to stockpile plenty of no-deal contingency quinoa with all that cash…

Brexit ‘Whistleblowers’ Legal Challenge Thrown Out, Forced to Pay Government’s Costs

The Remoaners at the ‘Fair Vote Project’ have suffered a humiliating legal defeat in the High Court in their attempts to force the Government to hold a “Mueller-style inquiry” into the EU referendum. The ‘Fair Vote Project’ was essentially set up as a front group for the so-called Brexit whistleblowers with the backing of the cranks at Byline and ultra-Remainers Best for Britain – the sole director, Kyle Taylor, was previously Field Campaigns Director for Best for Britain.

Before that, Taylor was Simon Hughes’ chief of staff and agent in Bermondsey, where he campaigned alongside local Lib Dem Councillor Mark Gettleson. Gettleson is the lesser known of the three Brexit whistleblowers, but he was also a co-director of Chris Wylie’s dubious Cambridge Analytica spin-off and was heavily involved in their failed voter-targeting pitches to Donald Trump and Vote Leave. You almost need a Carole-style organogram to make sense of it all…

The Administrative Court refused Fair Vote’s application for permission to bring in their loopy judicial review, instead ordering them to pay the Government’s legal costs of £19,214. Taylor and the ‘whistleblowers’ won’t be losing any sleep over the costs, they’ve already convinced naive members of the public to give them over £65,000 to blow on their spurious legal challenge. Incredibly, for once it wasn’t Jolyon throwing gullible Remainers’ cash away…

Top Tory Activist Charged With Fraud

Well known Tory activist and producer of “Brexit: The Movie” David Shipley today sat in the criminal dock at Westminster Magistrates Court, facing fraud charges in relation to transactions totalling over half a million pounds following allegations by two firms. One firm was his former employer, the other was founded by the former TV Dragon James Caan…

Colourful David Shipley is well known in SW1 think tank circles. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. Shipley was granted conditional bail and ordered to hand over his passport and check in with the police twice a week. His case will be heard in full at Southwark Crown Court in late November.

Who Was the “Intimately Involved in the Case” Hain Leaker?

Following Friday’s revelations, Lord Hain claims that his breaching of the injunction was “in my personal capacity as an independent member of the House of Lords. I categorically state that I was completely unaware Gordon Dadds were advising the Telegraph regarding this case… Gordon Dadds, a highly respected and reputable international law firm, played absolutely no part whatsoever in either the sourcing of my information or my independent decision to name Sir Philip. They were completely unaware of my intentions until after I spoke in the House of Lords.” Guido understands Gordon Dadds were indeed furious with Hain…

What isn’t explained is how Hain could not know that the firm he advises was involved, given their name is on the front page of the widely circulated injunction to which he was referring. Is he going to claim to be incompetent again – as he did when he was forced to resign from the Cabinet?

The Telegraph’s Editor Emeritus Ian MacGregor tells Guido that, contrary to the rumour reported here on Saturday, “I did not discuss the Green case with Lord Hain. I have not spoken to him for around 5 years to the best of my recollection. I was on holiday last week and was unaware of the identity of the Claimants until revealed by Lord Hain in the House of Lords.” Guido is happy to accept his assurance.

So who did tell Hain? How independent was Hain’s “independent decision” exactly?  He said it was someone “intimately involved” in the case – it is unlikely to be a lawyer. Philip Green is livid of course, “As many people have said, Lord Hain’s blatant disregard of a judgement made by three senior judges is outrageous.” Green takes a very dim view of Hain’s financial relationship with his enemy’s law firm.

A clue to the source is perhaps that when Hain named Philip Green in the House of Lords on Thursday at 14:43, The Telegraph were the first to report the naming an impressively few minutes later. Nobody else noticed…

Hain is Paid Adviser to Telegraph’s Lawyers

Great scoop from our friends at Legal Cheek, spotting that Peter Hain is a paid adviser to Gordon Dadds, the law firm who are representing The Telegraph in their fight to overturn Philip Green’s injunctions. Now whatever your view of super-injunctions – Guido is against them – it is not a good idea for lawyers or those working for lawyers to break them. It is also a bad idea for parliamentarians to act in the clear interests of people who pay them within parliament. In fact it is against the rules. Arguably Hain has helped the firm he advises circumvent the injunction and fatally undermined its efficacy.

Hain did say when he used privilege that he had been “in contact with someone intimately involved in the case”:

Sounds like that could be a lawyer working on the case. Judges do not take kindly to this kind of shenanigans and there could be repurcussions for the Gordon Dadds firm if they are found to have conspired with Hain to breach the injunction…

UPDATE: Lord Hain has responded in a statement claiming he was “completely unaware” Gordon Dadds were advising the Telegraph:

“I took the decision to name Sir Philip Green in my personal capacity as an independent member of the House Of Lords. I categorically state that I was completely unaware Gordon Dadds were advising the Telegraph regarding this case. Gordon Dadds, a highly respected and reputable international law firm, played absolutely no part whatsoever in either the sourcing of my information or my independent decision to name Sir Philip. They were completely unaware of my intentions until after I spoke in the House of Lords”

Well, he would say that…

Carry-On Carole’s Conspiracy Confusion

Carole Cadwalladr is not happy that the police inquiry into an alleged over-spend in the referendum campaign is not proceeding at the speed she would like. The Electoral Commission referred matters to the police in May and Carole wants results. She phrases it thus “What I want to know is: cock-up? Or conspiracy?” Here we go again…

Bear in mind that everybody accused by the Electoral Commission of wrongdoing is appealing everything. They all reckon they have a reasonable chance of success. Andy Wigmore claims that the Electoral Commission now realise they have cocked-up in Leave.EU’s case and are trying to wriggle out of the situation. Anyway Carole reckons it is all due to political interference. Harder to blame it all on the Russians this time…

The police might of course take the view that they will wait until the appeals have run their course before they proceed with an investigation. After all there are murders and stuff to investigate before they go on what might turn out to be a wild goose chase.

As you can see from her tweet, Carole thinks the police should not be subject to political interference, something with which all Guido’s co-conspirators can agree. So, as you can also see, Carole wants more politicians to interfere. You would have thought all the cuckoos would have gone south by now…

Jolyon Maugham on Anonymous Donors: Then and Now

 

Twitter lawyer Maugham has stuck his foot in it again with his spectacularly dog in the manger attitude to donor privacy. Back in May, Maugham was telling his followers what “good news” it was that an anonymous donor had agreed to give £100,000 to fund his campaign against Brexit. This weekend, Maugham demanded anonymous “puppetmasters” who donate to right-of-centre think tanks are identified and said “the BBC shouldn’t give them a platform until we know for whom they speak”. Jolyon’s anonymous donors: good, everyone else’s: bad.

Peterborough MP Denies Perverting Course of Justice

MP for Peterborough and Labour Whip Fiona Onasanya, who has said she wants to be Britain’s first black Prime Minister, has been charged with perverting the course of justice, as Guido reported Wednesday.

The former solicitor is due to appear at the Old Bailey on August 13, along with her brother who faces three charges related to the same offence. The last MP in this situation was Chris Huhne

Maugham’s Mystery £100,000 Donor

Twitter lawyer Jolyon Maugham is again trying to avoid being on the hook for his vanity legal proceedings. Court papers show that for the judicial review he launched against the Electoral Commission, Maugham has managed to persuade the judge to limit the costs he’d be liable for to £20,000, despite crowdfunding for the case and revealing that he had a secret donor who was willing to stump up £100,000 to guarantee any adverse costs.

Maugham has a history of using other people’s money to satisfy his own political agendas:

  • He raised £107,650 in an effort to sue Uber over a VAT receipt (which he suspended when he realised he might have to cover Uber’s costs personally)
  • £59,275 for a judicial review against David Davis (which he lost)
  • £70,000 when he went to the High Court in Ireland to reverse the Article 50 process (which he lost)
  • £76,925 to try to get the Scottish Court to ask the ECJ whether Parliament could unilaterally withdraw the Article 50 notification (which he lost)

In submissions to the High Court, Maugham claimed that the cost of the case would be £80,000, and the judge duly ordered that the Electoral Commission should be liable for £40,000 if they lose. This is despite Maugham admitting that he’d raised £62,492 by mid-May and had £27,290 left over from the Davis case which could be used, and revealing he had “received an email from an individual who will agree to guarantee any adverse costs up to the sum of £100,000, and her partner agreed a further indemnity of £2,000”. Tens of thousands of pounds worth of public money is going to wealthy middle class Remoaners to pursue a politically-motivated case…

Maugham has refused to make public the identities of his mystery wealthy backers. Jolyon revealed that a ‘private charitable trust’ has donated £5,000 to the Good Law Project, but guess what, these funders aren’t named either. Yet following the Charity Commission’s ruling that the Legatum Institute breached charity regulations, Maugham said that charities must “deliver the public good – not the ideological agenda of wealthy private donors”. If Maugham is such a bastion of transparency, why won’t he reveal the donors who are bankrolling his case against the Electoral Commission? What happened to his opposition to furthering the “ideological agenda of wealthy private donors”…

Jolyon Maugham Loses Again

Scotland’s top court has rejected yet another attempt by Remoaning lawyer Jolyon Maugham to reverse the referendum result. Maugham had wanted the European Court of Justice to rule on whether the UK could unilaterally withdraw its decision to trigger Article 50, and stay in the EU instead. The Court of Session in Edinburgh threw out Maugham’s bid, saying it was never going to happen:

“The option of revocation of the article 50 notice is contingent on other factors rendering it a live possibility. At present it cannot be said that it is a live practical question.”

A couple of months back Jolyon failed in his attempt to secure a judicial review against David Davis to get him to publish full versions of the government’s Brexit sectoral analysis. He really is the Eddie Izzard of the Bar…

Tommy Robinson Jailed, Reporting Restrictions Lifted

Tommy Robinson has been jailed for 13 months for potentially prejudicing a court case while already on a suspended sentence for contempt of court. Reporting restrictions on Robinson’s arrest have now been lifted. Robinson’s knuckle-dragging supporters were triggered yesterday into claiming there was a conspiracy of silence and an establishment stitch-up.[…] Read the rest

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