Ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone and a former Labour councillor have withdrawn their judicial review claim into parts of the EHRC watchdog’s damning report into antisemitism.
The 2020 report into antisemitism under ex-leader Jeremy Corbyn had singled out Livingstone and Pam Bromley for having “contributed” to “unlawful harassment related to Jewish race and religion” with the Labour Party.
The duo brought a legal challenge against the equalities watchdog, aimed at discrediting the report.
The disgraced MP Chris Williamson was also the frontman of a “left legal fighting fund” set up by the discredited academic David Miller for supporters to contribute to the cost of the pair’s case.
The challenge to the EHRC report revolved around a technical legal argument in which the pair argued the equalities watchdog had not set out properly the way they had reached their findings against Bromley and Livingstone.
It was suggested also that free speech rights had been infringed.
But in a move both Williamson and the Morning Star have attempted to portray as being a sign of victory, the pair have now withdrawn their judicial review claim.
Following the pair’s decision to withdraw as claimants in the case, an EHRC spokesperson said: “We firmly stand by our robust and fair investigation, the findings of which were accepted in full by the Labour Party.
“We welcome the decision to withdraw this judicial review claim, with disappointment at the valuable time and resources that we have had to expend on defending it.”
Meanwhile Livingstone and Bromley insisted:”We believe that, deep down, the EHRC understands that its investigation was flawed and that it acted unlawfully.
“That’s probably why they were willing to settle the case without recovering a penny of their exorbitant costs.”
I look forward to @DavidHirsh publicy eating humble pie after reading that Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley have been vindicated, and his absurd 'Livingstone Formulation' lies in tatters.https://t.co/WUIkRlbbyF
— Chris Williamson (@DerbyChrisW) September 15, 2023
In a tweet on September 15th, Williamson claimed:”EHRC settles with Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley who were seeking a judicial review against the EHRC following the publication of its discredited report into antisemitism in @UKLabour after complaints by two extremist Zionist groups.”
But it should be noted that the EHRC has not been made to change or amend any of their original report, or apologise to the claimants, or pay them any money.
It is understood that the EHRC and the Labour Party have been left with costs of over £ 200, 000 of public funds while Livingstone and Bromley used the £35,000 from their “fighting fund” in legal costs.
If the case reached full trial, as the defendant, the EHRC’s costs were likely to have reached £1 million, a sum hard to justify.
Another legal source claimed that even if they lost the case, it would be difficult to force Livingstone and Bromley to pay back the enormous bill.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) made a submission to the judge as a primary complainant after if, and along with the Jewish Labour Movement, wished to become a related party to this judicial review.
On legal advice, JLM say they were told that Livingstone and Bromley’s case was weak, and not to waste money on the submission.
Gideon Falter, chief executive of CAA said: “This is a significant victory for the Jewish community, as it means that the EHRC’s groundbreaking report into antisemitism in the Labour Party stands.
“Ken Livingstone has been at the heart of Labour’s antisemitism scandal for years, so it is apt that he is also at the centre of this final failure of the antisemitism-denying far-left to overturn the EHRC’s findings.”
Adam Langleben of JLM said:”Ultimately it was Livingstone and Bromley who brought this judicial review against the EHRC and in the end it was the two of them who decided to drop out of the case.
“So settled? Not really. Bloody nose – definitely not. They folded and I suspect it was because their own lawyers shared the same view as JLMs – it was a garbage case – and now over.”
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