Twittering QCs Tetchy Over New Bar Standards Rules

Some of the most erratic QCs on Twitter really did not like Guido’s report yesterday on new guidelines for barristers on social media. Former Change UK candidate Jessica Simor QC asked Guido to take her picture out of the article which shows examples of her questionable language. Simor even attempted to argue that she had only ever sworn once on Twitter, which came as news to Guido whose cursory search quickly collated multiple instances

It seems to Guido that one of the reasons QCs were so upset by yesterday’s article is that that there quite possibly have been a good few of breaches of these new guidelines, with the twitterers in question regularly engaging in language that may be considered distasteful” and that is “designed to demean or insult.”

Jolyon Maugham QC has even encouraged complaints, stating that he welcomes regulatory oversight. To be fair to him, Guido can see that he has been much more careful and measured in his online conduct than other members of his profession. If you see behaviour online that is genuinely in breach (comments that have clearly been designed to demean or insult), why not report the barrister using the Bar Standards Board’s online reporting form here?

UPDATE: See more colourful tweets from Sweary Simor here…

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Bar Standards Board Slaps Down QC Twitterati

In news that will seriously unsettle Twitter’s pompous raft of Remainer QCs, the body that regulates the legal profession issued new guidance today, urging barristers to avoid getting into “heated debates or arguments” on social media. The Bar Standards Board has now warned barristers that (even when using social media in a private capacity) they will face disciplinary action if their action is inappropriate. As a former Prime Minister once said: “too many tweets make a twat”…

Among the guidance are the key points that:

  • “Comments designed to demean or insult are likely to diminish public trust and confidence in the profession.”
  • “You should always take care to consider the content and tone of what you are posting or sharing. Comments that you reasonably consider to be in good taste may be considered distasteful or offensive by others.”

Guido hopes some of his favourite Twittering QC’s read it carefully…

Read the full guidance here…

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Gullible Crowdfunders Waste Their Money Again

Jolyon has lost again. Badly. Jolyon’s legal bid arguing the Brexit deal was unlawful has been rejected by a judge sitting at the Court of Session who concluded “that the petitioner’s applications for interim orders are misconceived and unjustified. They have no or at best a weak prima facie case.” Which is legalese for “this is a load of cobblers”…

Read the full opinion here.

Jolyon Going to Court Friday to Stop Deal

Jolyon Maugham is at it again, this time he wants to stop Britain leaving with a deal. He has just tweeted “I intend to lodge an immediate petition for an injunction in the Court of Session preventing the Government from placing the Withdrawal Agreement before Parliament for approval. We expect that petition to be lodged tomorrow and to be heard on Friday.”

He believes the Government’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement is contrary to section 55 of the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018. Guido is no legal genius, even so it seems obvious that the government will, if need be, as part of the deal’s legislative package amend this Act. That is pretty obvious. So why is he grandstanding pointlessly?

Could it be that he is addicted to the attention? Guess what, he’s going to need more money again from a crowdfunder…

Remainer Court Challenge To Force Boris to Send Extension Letter Fails

Edinburgh’s Court of Session has dismissed a legal challenge that was attempting to more concretely force Boris Johnson to send a letter to the EU requesting another Article 50 extension at the end of this month. The Judge decided it is “neither necessary nor appropriate” to force the Government’s hand.

This effort in the latest legal war of attrition against the Government was yet again led by Twitter-Remainer-lawyer Jolyon Maugham, who took to Twitter to explain his loss.

Naturally, Remainers have not accepted the result and are appealing the decision. True to type…

Baroness Hale Makes Digs at Boris in New Speech

This morning, the President of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale – who 10 days ago ruled Boris’s prorogation unlawful – opened an education conference with the phrase “let’s hear it for the girly swots” as she stood in front of a presentation titled “Spider woman takes down Hulk: Viewers transfixed by judge’s brooch as ruling crushed PM” That independent and non-politicised judiciary in full view, given Boris is likely to be up in front of her again if Jolyon has his way, is this wise?…

Jolyon Admits to Having Government Mole

Guido’s favourite remainiac QC, Jolyon Maugham, made an interesting admission on BBC Radio 5 Live last night, revealing that he has a mole inside Government alerting him to what the defence’s thinking was during the prorogation case.

Jolyon Maugham “I’ve got a very good source who has been pretty consistently right all the way through this process”

Tony Livesey “A mole?”

JM “If you like.”

TL “Oh okay this is interesting so you’ve had someone from within the higher levels of the government leaking you information about their case?”

JM “Er… well… the the the, these things are never quite that direct, but um, errrrrr I’ve got a I’ve got pretty good information let me just leave it at that.”

Presenter Tony Livesey then voiced what leavers have been thinking for a long time. “There are sections of the establishment, the Remain establishment, who are trying to smother Brexit. Now hearing that there was a source in the Government feeding you lines, feeding you their case effectively.” Leak inquiries have been started over less…

Aside from his mole, Jolyon has had some curious foresight in terms of breaking news stories about leaks from court papers. Oddly he sent this tweet two hours before the story was published by Sky News. How would he have known..?

Jolyon then retweeted his wife saying “Revenge of the girly swots.” Interestingly the embarrassing “girly swots” leak was broken by the same journalist who obtained un-redacted copies of redacted papers that would only have been previously seen by a small group of lawyers. Curiouser and curiouser…

Former Supreme Court Judge Says the 52% Can’t Have Brexit

Former Supreme Court Judge Lord Sumption told the BBC this morning that “52% of the electorate simply cannot have 100% of the spoils, they have to engage with the rest”. Rather letting the cat out of the bag.

The referendum was a binary choice, Leave or Remain. If the vote had been to Remain, Britain would not have semi-Brexited, it would have 100% remained in the EU. The British political system is adversarial, very adversarial currently, it usually results in clear outcomes. When a candidate wins a single vote more than their opponents they do get in fact 100% of the spoils. When Tony Blair won just 35% of the vote and 55% of the seats in parliament he still dominated British politics and remade centuries of constitutional order. Creating the Supreme Court for example…

Jolyon Loses to Grimes… Again

Notorious Twitter lawyer and ‘#FBPE‘ cult leader, Jolyon Maugham, has lost yet another court case against Darren Grimes. The appeal was heard by the highest judge in the land who maintained Darren’s BeLeave campaign was separate to the Vote Leave campaign, the Electoral Commission was wrong, and the house of cards they built on their error has collapsed.

The latest defeat for Jolyon, which was heard on the July 4, coming only two months after Jolyon tweeted about Darren saying “I feel sorry for him”repeatedly attempting to litigate against him is a funny way of showing it…

Read the full ruling below…

Major’s Supreme Hypocrisy

Former prime minister turned anti-prorogation crusader John Major is about to giving evidence to the Supreme Court today. Major has already been widely mocked for his hypocrisy given his 1997 pre-general election prorogation which shut down the cash for access report being published, it’s largely forgotten that he’d already used the same ruse the previous year.

Back in 1996 the Commons didn’t even usually sit in September – only in 2003 did that change. So in 1996 the Commons had not sat for close on to two and a half months, between 25 July and 14 October, due to summer recess, Major still decided to prorogue for 7 days three days after returning, ostensibly to have a Queens Speech. Meaning parliament didn’t sit for a full three

Mid to late 1996 was rather fraught time for Major, with the cash for access scandal already in full swing (Hamilton and Greer withdrew their libel action on 30 September 1996). So a three-month break in parliament was a welcome relief from difficult questions.

What will Major’s next move be? Perhaps he’ll condemn Boris for adultery…

Fiona Onasanya Struck Off as a Solicitor

Three months after being sacked by voters after her conviction for perverting the course of justice, Peterborough’s crooked ex-MP Fiona Onasanya has now also been struck off as a solicitor. Onasanya was summoned to appear at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing who found numerous allegations against her proved, including a failure to “uphold the rule of law and proper administration of justice”, failure to “act with integrity” and failure to “behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in her”. Safe to say she won’t be making a return to politics any time soon…

Cadwalladr’s Latest Miscarriage of Justice

Last night by a strange twist of fate Carole Cadwalladr and Darren Grimes were stuck on the same Peterbororugh train. At 7.30 pm she tweeted this, Guido was shocked, was the Electoral Commission really this vindictive? Confused, Guido went to the Electoral Commission website to read the statement. It looked like an old statement with an update to report that Darren had been cleared in Court. To be certain Guido called the Electoral Commission…

By now the BBC had put out Carole’s version of events as a breaking news alert, Reuters had taken a similar line. The reality was as above.

Guido’s tweet was greeted with accusations of “fake news” by Carole’s fans who were congratulating her, reveling in what would now happen to Darren in jail. MPs like Layla Moran were using it to make political points. Even when told bluntly she had read the statement wrong she prevaricated.

These people are deranged with their obsession to demonise Brexit supporters…

Electoral Commission Grilled Over Darren Grimes Cock-Up

The Electoral Commission had to face two Parliamentary Select Committees today after their humiliating defeat in court by Darren Grimes last Friday. Craig Mackinlay – who knows Electoral Commission incompetence only too well, took Chief Executive Bob Posner to task over their decision to relentlessly pursue Grimes while failing to fully investigate Remain campaign spending irregularities. Posner mumbles something about following those “strands” and “maybe” fining a couple of groups. They did nothing of the sort

Instead Posner makes clear that the Electoral Commission are still considering appealing against the Darren Grimes judgement despite having already spent half a million of taxpayers’ cash on the case, although Posner points out that part of that was on the Vote Leave aspects of the case. The High Court having previously found that the Electoral Commission caused the problem in the first place by giving Vote Leave incorrect legal advice

It’s worth looking at the specifics of the Grimes case. Guido was in the courtroom:

  • The Commission’s case against Grimes himself was nothing to do with the spending limit issue around Vote Leave. So they went after him on a technicality instead…
  • The Commission’s first charge was that he had not filled a form in correctly to register as an ‘unincorporated association’ rather than an individual. An issue they didn’t flag at all in their first two investigations into Grimes – which found nothing.
  • They then slapped a second offence notice on him for subsequently submitting an “over-complete” spending return. Kafka-esque.
  • The judge found their form itself was highly confusing and that Grimes had filled out the majority correctly, and to the extent he hadn’t it didn’t matter. The dispute centred around a single box…
  • The judge also found that the Commission had essentially constructed their case the wrong way round. In effect they assumed Grimes’s guilt first and then challenged him to prove his innocence beyond reasonable doubt.
  • This led them to exclude a large amount of evidence in Grimes’ favour. Precisely the opposite of how the law is meant to work.
  • The judge also ruled that even if they hadn’t been wrong on the offences themselves, the maximum £20,000 fine was still disproportionate. It was vexatious.

The full judgment is yet to be published, but the outcome of the case was clear. The Electoral Commission weren’t just defeated, their whole case against Grimes was thoroughly debunked. Their QC James Eadie didn’t even bother to turn up to hear the judgment. The fact that their apparatchiks are now considering dragging it out and blowing even more taxpayers’ money just to try to save face is beyond belief…

Richard Tice Suing Femi for Libel Over Anti-Semitism Claims

The Brexit-bashing Twitterati have finally been starting to feel the consequences of putting out their endless stream of slurs and abuse against Brexiteers – last week the Guardian paid up in full after defaming Isabel Oakeshott. Now it’s 29-year-old ‘youth activist’ Femi Oluwole who is facing legal action over a series of tweets he put out last week trying to link Brexit Party Chairman Richard Tice with anti-Semitism over a tweet sent out by Leave.EU last year.[…] Read the rest


Darren Grimes “Eternally Grateful”

[…] Read the rest


Sexist Smearing of Oakeshott Costs Guardian Five-Figure Sum

Remember that outrageously sexist piece that defamed Isabel Oakeshott in The Guardian? Guido covered it in some detail here. Isabel hired the “rottweiler of the right” hardball lawyer Donal Blaney to secure the removal of the comments and an apology by 4pm today.[…] Read the rest


Darren Grimes Wins Appeal Against Electoral Commission

The County Court has ruled in favour of Darren Grimes’ appeal, exonerating him of the Electoral Commission’s kangaroo court imposed fine. The Commission’s argument for their egregious fine hinged on Darren’s accidental registering as an individual campaigner rather than a group.[…] Read the rest


Carole Threatens to Counter-Sue “Bully” Banks For Harassment

After Arron Banks filed formal libel proceedings against Carole Cadwalladr over her Russian money claims last Friday, Carole has responded… by counter-suing Banks for harassment. Carole is complaining that Banks has chosen to sue her personally rather than the Observer, the Guardian or TED.[…] Read the rest


Banks Formally Files Libel Proceedings Against Carole Cadwalladr

Last month Arron Banks warned Carole Cadwalladr that he was initiating libel action against her over her claims that he had a “covert relationship” with and had been offered money by the Russian Government. Over 14 days have passed and Carole has failed to respond – Banks has now formally initiated proceedings in the High Court.[…] Read the rest


Judges Rule Boris Was Right, £350 Million a Week Acceptable as Gross Figure

As well as tearing apart “private prosecutor” Marcus J. Ball for his comical attempt to bring a lawsuit against Boris over the £350 million a week figure, the High Court judgment also had something very interesting to say about the £350 million figure itself.[…] Read the rest


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