Solicitor suspended by Labour for two years after probe into antisemitism claims

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Solicitor suspended by Labour for two years after probe into antisemitism claims

Jeremy Hawthorn, a Liverpool Riverside CLP campaigns officer, has been banned following complaints about his conduct on social media

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech during the party's last online conference.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech during the party's last online conference.

A criminal defence solicitor and prominent pro-Palestine campaigner in Liverpool has been suspended from the Labour Party for 24 months following an investigation into allegations involving antisemitism.

Jeremy Hawthorn, a Liverpool Riverside CLP campaigns officer, has been handed the two-year long ban by party chiefs following complaints about his conduct on social media.

Campaigners against antisemitism within Liverpool Labour alerted Jewish News to the sanction against Hawthorn last week.

He is listed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as working for the firm Levins Solicitors, whose head office is in Liverpool, although his role is believed to be as a consultant.

Two separate sources insisted:”Hawthorn is obssesed with Israel – but is often quite careful with his own social media posts.”

Last July, Everton football club confirmed they had launched an investigation into Hawthorn, and another local Labour activist, after they were photographed with a banner bearing the football club’s offical crest calling for Israel to be kicked out of international football.

It later emerged that Hawthorn, who is a leading member of the Liverpool Friends of Palestine group, was actually a supporter of Liverpool FC.

Hawthorn is one of the organisers of a planned anti-arms protest in Liverpool, citing Israeli firms, on September 11, at which Corbyn, the comic Alexi Sayle and the rapper Lowkey are due to speak.

Tweeting under the username @jeremykopite he has defended the film-maker Ken Loach against allegations of antisemitism and supported other activists facing expulsion from Labour as a result of the decision to proscribe groups such as Labour Against The Witch-hunt.

Jeremy Hawthorn

Hawthorn has been practicing as a solicitor since 1986.

On his Linkedin profile he states:”I defend people in the criminal courts.”

A futher online profile on his legal career states:”Jeremy appears at all stages of criminal cases, from police station to trial or sentence.

“Jeremy is at his best ‘representing the little guys against the big guys’.

“He has conducted a range of Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court trials and successfully appealed sentences in the Court of Appeal.”

Asked by Jewish News about Hawthorn’s suspension a Labour spokesperson said they could not comment on individual cases but added:”The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.”

Jewish News also contacted Hawthorn and Levins Solicitors for comment.

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