Labour activist charged as part of police probe into alleged antisemitism

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Labour activist charged as part of police probe into alleged antisemitism

Mohson Rasool, 60, is accused of sending a grossly offensive message last year, amid investigation prompted by an internal Labour dossier obtained by LBC

Dame Cressida Dick, the Met's chief commissioner, speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, in January  about the antisemitism investigation
Dame Cressida Dick, the Met's chief commissioner, speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, in January about the antisemitism investigation

A Labour activist has been charged with an offence under the Communications Act as part of a police investigation into alleged antisemitism.

Mohson Rasool, 60, of Hollybank Road, Birmingham is accused of sending a grossly offensive message or other matter on February 10 2018.

He will appear at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on March 25.

The investigation was prompted by an internal Labour dossier detailing antisemitic messages on social media allegedly posted by party members, which was obtained by radio station LBC in 2018.

Four people were arrested and two interviewed under caution last year as part of the inquiry, and investigators passed five files of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service.

On Wednesday the Metropolitan Police said that four individuals, three men and a woman, had been told they will face no further action.

Prosecutors said that for some messages the time period for bringing charges had expired, while for other posts it could not be proved that the suspects intended to stir up racial hatred.

A CPS spokesman said: “Anti-Semitic hate speech is unacceptable and when our legal test is met, we always seek to prosecute.

“The laws designed to tackle hate speech on social media set a high standard and there is a distinction between what is merely offensive or hurtful and what constitutes a criminal offence.

“Some of the messages were posted too long ago for a prosecution to be possible.

“In other instances it could not be established if the suspects had intended to stir up racial hatred or there was likelihood of such hatred being stirred up.”

Inquiries continue in relation to a man in his 60s who was interviewed under caution in July last year over allegations of publishing or distributing material likely to stir up racial hatred.

The Met said that files of evidence relating to another five individuals, none of whom have yet been interviewed or arrested, have been sent to the CPS for investigative advice.

Following the decision, the Campaign Against Antisemitism said it would consider bringing a private prosecution against the four activists who are facing no further action, and applying for a judicial review of the case.

Chief executive Gideon Falter said: “When the CPS has failed to prosecute in the past we have successfully instigated private prosecutions and brought judicial review proceedings against the CPS.

“We had hoped that these measures would not be necessary every time antisemitic hate crimes come before the CPS, but yet again we find ourselves having to consider our options with our lawyers in order to deliver justice for the Jewish community, because the CPS has failed us.”

The Labour Party previously welcomed the police investigation and said: “Antisemitism has no place in our society and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.”

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