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. Tice’s lawyers asked Femi to withdraw the the tweets by Saturday night but he failed to do so, Tice has now initiated formal legal proceedings…

Tice left Leave.EU in June 2016, the tweet Femi was highlighting is from over two years later in October 2018. Last time Tice launched libel action his lawyers Wedlake Bell won him an apology and costs from SNP MEP Alyn Smith and an on-air Newsnight apology. Femi likes to go on about his legal credentials, he’s about to find up whether they stack up in a court of law…

Darren Grimes “Eternally Grateful”

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. Wisely The Guardian caved in before the deadline.

This has now appeared under the article:

“This satirical sketch originally included a comment – fictitious, of course – which could have been interpreted as being of a sexual and vulgar nature about Isabel Oakeshott. Although this was not our intention, we acknowledge the potential for distress and misinterpretation and we apologise to her for any distress this has caused.”

A further clarification/correction will appear in the print edition tomorrow and will go up elsewhere on the appropriate page on The Guardian website. It will be tweeted out by The Guardian about now too. In simple terms, however, it is game, set and match. The Guardian has agreed to pay a five-figure damages and costs settlement and to apologise for the sordid things it wrote about Isabel. Let’s not forget how John Crace at first tried to spin the trashy, sexist smearing of Oakeshott as somehow an allusion to the “tooth fairy”. Brexit has driven people mad…

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. The Court has found that this is clearly disproportionate for ticking the wrong box…

Darren won on both alleged offences. The notice has been quashed.

While the Government spent almost half a million pounds fighting him, Guido readers’ generous donations supercharged Darren’s appeal helping to raise over £90,000 to take the fight back to the Remain establishment. The average donation was just £30…

Responding to the news, Darren said that “today’s verdict is a victory against the Remain Establishment which has done all it can to try and discredit the biggest electoral victory in this country’s history.” 

Darren tells Guido:

I am delighted and relieved that the Court has found me innocent.

This case has taken a huge toll on myself and my family, and I’m thankful it’s now over. I will be eternally grateful to all those people who have supported me – your generosity and kind words of encouragement have kept me going.

The Electoral Commission’s case was based on an incorrectly ticked box on an application form – something that it had been aware of for over two years and had not been raised in two previous investigations. Yet the Commission still saw fit to issue an excessive fine and to spend almost half a million in taxpayer cash pursuing me through the courts. This raises serious questions about its conduct both during and after the referendum.

Today’s verdict is a victory against the Remain Establishment which has done all it can to try and discredit the biggest electoral victory in this country’s history. The powerful vested interests in this country don’t like the idea of the people taking back control. This victory is for every one of the 17.4 million who dared to defy the doomsayers and who want the referendum to be respected.

There has been a well- funded, coordinated campaign against me and those that have stood up to the Remain Establishment. Well today they have lost. I just hope that their attempts to overturn our democratic structures don’t put more people off from getting involved in politics. It is vital that people from my generation get involved in democracy and help shape the future of our country. I hope the Electoral Commission’s actions do not put young people off from engaging in politics.

One in the eye for the Remain Establishment!

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. Of course, Carole was quite happy to personally receive all the accolades for her stories to the extent that she even threatened legal action against her fellow journalists. Funny how she’s not so keen on taking personal responsibility now…

Carole says she will use the defence that her statements were true, meanwhile her lawyers have threatened Banks that she will counter-sue for harassment if he continues with the libel proceedings. A pretty odd response if they’re so convinced they’re going to win…

Carole seems to think she should have the right to publish stories attacking other people without them even being allowed to try to defend their own reputations in response – the whole point of libel proceedings is that it stops petty squabbles like this and allows the courts to arbitrate. If she’s got the evidence she claims then she’s got nothing to worry about…

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. Banks insists that there is no truth to her claims whatsoever, and he’s had enough…

Banks is suing Carole on two grounds over two separate speeches she made, Carole’s claims are expected to be giving another airing in an upcoming Netflix documentary called The Great Hack. If Netflix repeat the claim Banks will, according to Andy Wigmore, be suing them too…

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. Remain leaning legal commentators have ignored this bit of the Judge’s ruling:

“The alleged offence set out in the Application for Summons is that the Claimant “repeatedly made and endorsed false and misleading statements concerning the cost of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union”. It appears that if the Claimant had said/endorsed a figure of £350m per week gross, or £250m per week net, there would have been no complaint.”

As Remain and Leave campaigners well know, Boris repeatedly did make it clear during the referendum that £350 million a week was the gross figure. Here he is on GMB in June 2016 explaining in detail over several minutes how £350 million a week/£20 billion a year is the gross figure while £10.5 billion a year is the net figure, he’s also explicit about the distinction on Marr and in numerous other speeches including the big BBC debate just before the referendum. Boris did exactly what the judges said he should have done for there to be no complaint. Case closed.

High Court Judgment Rips Anti-Boris Lawsuit to Shreds

In news that surprised precisely no-one without severe Brexit Derangement Syndrome, the High Court resoundingly threw out the farcical anti-Boris lawsuit brought by smarmy “private prosecutor” Marcus J. Ball last month. The full judgment has now been released and it doesn’t make pretty reading for gullible Remainers who threw their money away on the crowdfunder. Hits them right in the Marcus J. Balls…

The case only got as far as it did because of a bizarre decision by a “District Judge”, in fact a lowly magistrate at Westminster Magistrates Court who was hopelessly out of her depth. The High Court judgment is absolutely scathing of both her decision and the case put forward by Balls’ legal team:

“The error of law… led the DJ to act in excess of jurisdiction and unlawfully by deciding to issue a summons whether the ingredients of the offence were not made out and which was outside the scope of the offence.

“Further, such an error of law necessarily involves a finding that no DJ properly directing herself… could, on the material before her, reasonably have found the offence made out…

“We are entirely unpersuaded by [Ball’s] argument…

“No authority was shown to us suggesting that the offence can be or has been equated to bringing an office into disrepute or misusing a platform outside the scope of the office.”

The judges then address the issue of whether the prosecution was vexatious. Ball hilariously tried to claim that his prosecution wasn’t politically motivated and went round deleting his old videos and websites in a vain attempt to cover-up the fact that he was indeed a massive Remoaner desperately trying to stop Brexit.

Unsurprisingly this didn’t fool the judges who list an entire catalogue of Ball’s bluster and make clear that they would have quashed the case on the vexatious grounds vexatious anyway, even without the serious legal flaws they had already identified. Amusingly they even include the interview where Ball said his “biggest responsibility” was to raise over £2 million as he had “run out of personal credit card and bank overdraft funding”. Ouch.

Incredibly, Ball is still saying that he wants to appeal the ruling despite his crushing defeat. Remainers surely can’t be stupid enough to give him yet more funding for his self-deluding fantasies… can they?

Met Police Slam Electoral Commission, Demolish Latest Loony Remoaner Lawsuit

FBPErs were wetting themselves with excitement recently over a fresh no-hope anti-Brexit lawsuit brought by Remainiac MPs Tom Brake, Ben Bradshaw and Caroline Lucas. The Met Police’s lawyers have now responded to the legal threat, it doesn’t make pretty reading at all for the Remainers. Not that it’s stopping lawsuit-happy lawyers having a field day creaming cash from gullible Remainers on cases that have no chance of success…

First off they point out that the MPs themselves have no relevance to the case themselves – as required by law to actually bring the case. They then note that the Remainers’ expensive lawyers, Bindmans, have “not cited a single authority” where the courts have intervened in a police investigation in the way they want – by forcing them to bring a prosecutorial decision or hand over their entire investigation to the CPS within fourteen days. Politicians attempting to use the courts to compel the police in this way is truly extraordinary, this is real kangaroo court stuff…

However the people who’ll be squirming most reading it are the hapless Electoral Commission. The police lawyers list a truly remarkable catalogue of fundamental errors made by the UK’s electoral regulator:

“The proposed claim appears to be premised on the assumption that… when the EC referred those matters to the MPS it supplied all potential relevant documents… That assumption is incorrect…

“When the EC referred the matters to the MPS, the EC did not provide the documentation from its own investigation as your Letter of Claim asserts. Instead the EC required the MPS to make a request for disclosure pursuant to the Data Protection Act 2018 (a process that the MPS does not consider was necessary)…

“That documentation was not indexed or organised in what the MPS considered to be a systematic or logical fashion. The EC did not provide (and has not provided) the MPS with a comprehensive schedule of all used and unused material held by the EC from its investigation of the kind that the police would compile in a criminal investigation.

“The EC’s approach to the gathering and disclosure of evidence does not appear to the MPS to have complied with the letter or the spirit of the Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act 1996 and associated guidance…

“The MPS formed the view that EC has not disclosed all the documents in its possession or control that are potentially relevant to its investigation. The MPS has sought further disclosure from the EC on a number of occasions… The MPS remains of the view that the EC has not disclosed all of the documents in its possession or control that are potentially relevant to MPS’ investigation.

“Your letter of claim has only served to reinforce this view.”

This is a staggering indictment of the levels of pure unbridled incompetence at the heart of the quango that is trusted to be judge, jury and executioner of the UK’s electoral system. No-one in their right mind would hand such a bunch of rank amateurs yet more discretionary power over the UK’s democracy, the Tories are sensibly pushing back against it. Yet more evidence that the Electoral Commission is simply unfit for purpose

UPDATE: The Electoral Commission have hit back strongly against the Police, accusing them of “unfounded, misleading and incorrect” assertions. Read their response in full here

Read the original letter in full below:

Continue reading

Media-Targeting Law Firm Lied to Journalists About Phone-Selling Scandal

Journalists have long been familiar with the experience of an email from the Schillings law firm landing in their inbox threatening them not to publish a story about various celebrity clients, from footballers like John Terry and Cristiano Ronaldo to controversial oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska and charming businessmen like Philip Greene. Only the most distinguished clients…

So when Schillings themselves came under the spotlight earlier this year after the press got wind that their former Operations Director Martin Flowers had been illicitly selling on company phones, Schillings naturally came down like a tonne of bricks on papers attempting to run the story. One national publication received an aggressive letter from Schillings point blank denying the story:

“There is no proper basis for such serious allegations to be made. There has been no data breach. If you have any evidence to support your allegation, you should put this to us. You will not be able to do so, as no such evidence exists. You are not the first media outlet seeking to publish this serious allegation, which derives from a malicious source who has express knowledge of the falsity of the allegation and has an axe to grind against this firm, evident from his attempts to have other newspapers publish his false allegation when others realise this would be unlawful.”

It turns out that the evidence very much did exist – the Solicitors Regulation Authority this week found that Flowers had indeed taken 95 handsets belonging to Schillings and then sold them to a phone recycler over five years, pocketing £13,547 for himself. Flowers was fined the same amount by the SRA and disqualified from working in the legal profession or being employed by any licensed body. Schillings’ clients like Deripaska will no doubt be delighted that corporate phones from their legal representatives made their way onto the black market. Whoever sent the misleading letter from Schillings is lucky they didn’t sign it with their own name, otherwise they might well be facing an inquiry from the SRA themselves now…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator notes that according to the SRA’s report, Schillings were first “alerted by Vodafone after it had identified unusual activity on the account”. For Vodafone to notice the unusual activity this suggests that the phones were still connected to the network when they were sold on. Could potentially turn into an even stickier situation for Schillings…

Banks Suing Cadwalladr Over Russian Money Claims

Arron Banks has finally had enough of the codswallop. He is suing Carole Cadwalladr for defamation on two grounds; she claimed in a speech (above) to The Convention two weeks ago that “We know the Russian Government offered money to Arron Banks.”

Secondly, in the Ted Talk above she said “And I’m not even going to go into the lies that Arron Banks has told about his covert relationship with the Russian Government.”

Banks says he took no money and he has no covert relationship. Now he is going to sue her to prove it or pay up…

“Aman from London” Suspended from Controversial Law Firm

After ‘Abdullah from Bristol’ was suspended from teaching duties at his school after Guido exposed his highly unpleasant social media output, ‘Aman from London’ has now suffered the same fate. Guido revealed that Aman Thakar was actually a Labour Party council candidate and previously worked at Labour HQ on anti-Semitism complaints – something which the BBC knowingly overlooked – as well as sending questionable tweets about Hitler. He’s now been suspended from his job at controversial ambulance-chasing law firm Leigh Day. Burley’s kiss of death strikes again… two people have lost their jobs over the debate last night, none of them work at the BBC…

Judge Lets Off Convicted Cocaine User Citing “Gove Defence”

A defendant, who has not been named, was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court of possession of a class A substance.

Judge Owen Davies set him free, allowing the cocaine user to walk free from court with a 12-month conditional discharge, after suggesting during legal argument with the defence that the defendant “should suffer no more for dabbling in cocaine than should a former Lord Chancellor.” Gove, who bases his leadership campaign on effectively driving policy change, has effectively decriminalised cocaine possession…

Tice Wins Apology and Costs from SNP MEP

Brexit Party Chairman Richard Tice sued SNP MEP Alyn Smith for calling the party “a money laundering front” on live television. Smith put up a bit of a noisy fight at first. His initial defiance waned quickly…

Smith then tried to get away with just issuing a ‘correction of the record’ which he hoped would be enough to make the problem go away. That was not accepted by Tice. Carole Cadwalladr and all the Remainiacs on Twitter making unfounded allegations should take note…

Full grovelling apology here:

“On 27 May 2019 I was interviewed by Sky News. In that interview I stated in the context of political donations that the Brexit Party is a “shell company that’s a money laundering front.” Its Chairman, Richard Tice, is concerned by implication this allegation related to him, although that was not my intention. Having reflected upon this following a complaint from Mr Tice, I apologise unreservedly to him and withdraw my allegation. I am happy to state clearly that I do not have any evidence to support such an allegation. I spoke in the heat of the moment and I am happy to set the record straight. I have agreed to pay a sum in damages to the Help for Heroes charity and I have agreed to pay legal costs.”

This follows on from Katie Razzal issuing an on-air Newsnight apology to Tice…

UPDATE: We have as yet not received an answer from Alyn Smith to a question we posed to him:

“Can you confirm that your donation to charity will be coming out of your own pocket and you won’t be expensing taxpayers for your foolishness or legal costs?”

We asked this after Dan Hannan pointed out that a LibDem MEP paid out in a libel case using parliamentary expenses…

Corbyn Being Sued in High Court by Zionist “Lacking Irony”

Jeremy Corbyn’s personal anti-Semitism storm is thickening with Corbyn now being sued by Richard Millett over comments he made on the Andrew Marr Show. The programme contained the following allegedly defamatory words spoken by Corbyn in his 2013 speech to the Palestinian Return Centre:

The other evening we had a meeting in Parliament in which Manuel made an incredibly powerful and passionate and effective speech about the history of Palestine, the rights of the Palestinian people. This was dutifully recorded by the – thankfully silent – Zionists who were in the audience on that occasion and then came up and berated him afterwards for what he’d said. They clearly have two problems: one is they don’t want to study history; and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.

Corbyn’s response to a question by Andrew Marr also forms part of the claim:

Well, I was at a meeting in the House of Commons and the two people I referred to had been incredibly disruptive, indeed the police wanted to throw them out of the meeting, I didn’t, I said they should remain in the meeting, they’d been disruptive of a number of meetings. At the later meeting when Manuel spoke they were quiet but they came up and were really, really strong on him afterwards and he was quite upset by it. I know Manuel Hassassian quite well and I was speaking in his defence. Manuel of course is the Palestinian Ambassador to this country.

Jeremy Corbyn’s 2013 tone deaf comment that ‘Zionists’ have ‘no sense of English irony despite having lived here all their lives’ caused a lot of offence. The re-broadcasting of the words last year meant that it became actionable. Guido is wary of people suing politicians over things they have said, it is however a measure of Corbyn’s fall-out with the Jewish community that this is happening…

Jolyon on Crowdfunded Snake Oil Peddling

Guido’s favourite Twitter lawyer, Jolyon Maugham, has absolutely lost it over the failed anti-Boris case, saying that “about half a million quid that could have gone to good causes” has been “wasted on a vanity project.” Well he would know…

“Cases, like this, that peddle snake oil to the desperate undermine public confidence in crowdfunding and harm the public interest”, he opines solemnly. Really, you don’t say?

Last year Guido calculated that Jolyon’s “failed vanity cases” cost the mugs his help the bar’s very own Quixote tilt at windmills over a third of a million quid. Some of the many cases

A few weeks ago he lost an appeal that the judge deemed to be so without merit that he didn’t even bother to make a written judgement. The irony of Jolyon’s lack of self-awareness is galatic…

Campaigner To ‘Stop Lying In Politics’ is Lying About His Political Campaign

The smarmy man behind the case to prosecute Boris Johnson has been saying his case is not about stopping Brexit, just about stopping ‘lying in politics’. That will come as news to the original backers of Marcus J. Ball’s first (now deleted) crowdfunder which Guido can reveal was set up from “within a Facebook group called The 48%” in order to reverse the result of the referendum.[…] Read the rest

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