Director @GoodLawProject. Barrister. Live your values. Fight the power. Keep the receipts.
Nov 28 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
It should surprise no one that Sir John Hayes MP of the misnamed Commonsense Group has been hopelessly misled by his own Solicitor General. 🧵
Even from a quick glance we can see that the total costs Central Government has paid us when Good Law Project has been Claimant are far more than the figure of £63,738.71 given by the Solicitor General Michael Tomlinson.
Nov 27 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Brianna Ghey's killers exchanged transphobic slurs. This followed after, in the weeks leading up to her killing, an average of 38 articles a day about trans people, the vast majority with negative framing. bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan…
Source for the '38 articles a day about trans people, the vast majority with negative framing' stat. campaignlive.co.uk/article/adspen…
Nov 1 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
Dominic Cummings - the man who brought you Brexit and was organ grinder to Johnson's monkey - has (heroically, given the evidence) written the witness statement you would expect: everyone is stupid, all systems are buggered, if only people had followed his instructions...
It's also as slippery as you might expect from the man who suggested leaving the EU would mean the NHS got an extra £350m a week. But let me pick up (for now) on one point.
Oct 11 • 35 tweets • 10 min read
This thread tells the story of how HMRC - the Inland Revenue in old money – caved in to pressure from a Tory Chancellor to offer a sweetheart deal to politically connected private equity fund managers. 🧵
It’s a complex story.
So I don’t disappoint the wonks, I have published all the documents here . So I don’t bore the less engaged, I have abbreviated the story in this thread that follows.drive.google.com/file/d/1fJmMn8…
Oct 5 • 12 tweets • 2 min read
Faced with the threat of legal action by @DaleVince supported by @GoodLawProject, HMRC have jettisoned the sweetheart deal for private equity fund managers on their so-called carried interest that has existed since 1987.
Important to unpack the significance of HMRC's change of position quite carefully. HMRC's letter says explicitly that private equity fund managers must make their tax returns on the correct legal basis, ie that there is no concessionary treatment (aka sweetheart deal).
Sep 11 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
So, a relative of mine who is a trade negotiator told me of meeting the UK delegation whilst Liz Truss was Trade Secretary.
At the start of the talks, she comes in to the room, delivers a short homily on global trade and then sweeps out.
The delegations get down to business and the first thing my relative asks is, 'what on earth' (I paraphrase) 'is going on with these chairs?' because what they are sitting on is very, very uncomfortable.
Did Mark Higton, former Chair of Hammersmith Conservatives refer an offer to supply PPE to you, writing to you at your private email address?
Jul 18 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Rather than laughing at Government's incompetence the question we should be asking is: who got the contract for the immigration barges?
And what we do know is, it was awarded without competition to an Australian travel company without any competition... independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-n…
Jul 6 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
Short thread on the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) decision on LGB Alliance (which you can read here ).glplive.org/0607-lgba
The headline is, the Tribunal dismissed Mermaids' appeal on the grounds that it did not have standing.
Jun 27 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
How @JustStop_Oil protests - individuals, often young people, distressed by the destruction of the planet and acting entirely free of self-interest and at huge personal cost - are being policed is extraordinary.
This morning, four protestors against the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline - a huge carbon bomb - sprayed the outside of @TotalEnergies London HQ with orange paint and four more the inside with black paint.
To all those journalists who are calling Johnson a liar now. Why didn't you call him a liar then? During the referendum? In the Prorogation? During Covid? That was your job - not kicking him now because he's finished. We've paid a terrible price because you didn't do it.
We will learn all the wrong lessons. We'll pretend the problem was Johnson: it isn't. That the problem has gone: it hasn't. The problem is our media, which is supposed to hold power to account, and is deferential in its face. It's why we got Johnson - and will get his successor.
Jun 12 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
To protect the interests of their Oil and Gas donors the Tories are about to introduce further extraordinarily illiberal curbs on free speech through protest. theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/j…
Here are some highlights from recent donations data.
Alasdair Locke has donated more money - this time £100,000.
Jun 10 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Removing puberty blockers from the NHS will simply drive children and families to alternative providers. Wealthy families will go to decent providers and get proper monitoring, poorer families will take their chances buying PBs over the internet and do without monitoring.
Just as anti-abortion laws drive poorer women to unregulated backstreet abortionists, whilst the wealthy travel abroad, the effect of the NHS withdrawing from providing puberty blockers will be to cause unnecessary risk, and sometimes harm, to tens of thousands of poorer kids.
Jun 4 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
The Guardian's statement - that it had no formal complaints about these incidents - tacitly admits the fundamental wrong in its position.
It knew of Cohen's conduct, discouraged formal complaints, and regarded itself as free not to act in their absence. independent.co.uk/news/media/nic…
When first I approached GNM, in 2021, keen to encourage it to improve in a way that minimised damage to it, I asked it to gently state it had a duty to protect staff from predatory conduct even without a formal complaint. Had it accepted - it refused - we would not be here today.
May 30 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Women working in the British media, and in particular at Guardian News and Media, are betrayed by a culture of tolerance for sexual assault and harassment. 🧵
The most recent iteration of the issue centers on long time Observer columnist Nick Cohen. The Sunday Times, the Mail, the Financial Times and the Telegraph all declined to report or report honestly on his conduct.
"Officials met a company partly owned by the prime minister’s wife in the run-up to the March Budget... The company was subsequently one of only six placed on a list of childminder agencies approved by the Treasury on March 15." on.ft.com/42SBsNL
Sunak has refused to tell us what investments he owns, or even who manages them. It's impossible to know, because he will not say, whether he is taking advantage of his tenure as Prime Minister to make himself even richer. goodlawproject.org/rishi-sunak-tr…
May 17 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
For those interested, my professional regulator, @barstandards has decided that by signing the Lawyers are Responsible for Climate Change declaration (lar.earth) I did not breach my professional code.
The Regulator has reserved its position on whether, if a barrister *actually* turns down work bringing new fossil fuel infrastructure projects into existence rather than *saying they would* turn it down, this would amount to a breach of the code.
May 7 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
Awful conversation last night with one of my kids who is worried about climate change and, after a friend was arrested, is now worrying about whether they can protest against it. I feel devastated at having to explain that this is the country we now live in.
Protesting is safer for my eldest than for Black kids, who the police go out of their way to target. And they benefit from the access I have to the law which helps protect them from the consequences of arrest.
These things make it especially important for my eldest to protest.
May 7 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
So 'Bringing Down Goliath' will be needing a new cover.
Number 3 in the Charts!
(You can get yours here: smarturl.it/bringingdowngo….)
A decent performance after weeks of hate from the Mail, The Sunday Times (should the cover say 'Despite the Sunday Times Bestseller'?), The Spectator and the other Right or Far Right publications.
May 6 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
This is @RoddyQC: Dean of the Faculty of Scottish Advocates. As I understand his role, he is the head of the organisation for advocates - the Scottish equivalent of barristers - in Scotland.
Here is Mr Dunlop, who I had blocked (but I have unblocked so he can reply to this thread) asserting (in effect) that he has never been abusive or angry. And (in effect) that I lied in saying I only blocked colleagues who were abusive or angry.
May 6 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
Looking forward to news of 'Bringing Down Goliath' in the best seller lists tomorrow. But first a little thread about journalistic ethics.
Last Sunday Josh Glancy, a journalist for the Sunday Times, published in its magazine a profile piece of me. And I want to share a couple of the things he did.