For over two years I have tried to reach a negotiated settlement with The European Movement (EM) on their failure to pay agreed expenses for my attendance at the Reading Festival. People who know little or nothing about the matter often tut at me for daring to challenge EM, saying that ‘the Rejoin movement is more important than any one person’. However, this does not excuse anyone for breaking the law. For the lengthy background to this matter see Political Censorship. It’s a complex affair. I am now left with no option but to take them to court. I have written to Mike Galsworthy and the new CEO Sir Nick Harvey on several occasions in 2023 to offer them a way out of this. Here’s one of the letters. I had hoped that Mike would take the easy way out but he did not.
I took EM to court in November 2022 and offered to write off the administration costs and settle for the court fees of £50. The President stated that he was not authorised to pay £50 to settle the matter. This enraged the Judge who referred it up to a higher court, wasting considerable time and energy. I must assume that the President was under orders from then CEO Anna Bird, not to settle under any conditions, even for 50 quid!! This is not the first time that the youth branch of EM have conducted their business affairs incorrectly. On investigation, it turns out that they were nearly struck off by HMRC for not submitting tax returns. I was told by senior members of EM that they had to pay a fine of £2000 for this. We cannot lecture Vote Leave for breaking the law if our own side are also culpable.
“Reading-Gate” was left in stasis by Anna Bird, former CEO EM, due to a personal grudge over another matter. I am unable to provide more details here, as it was the subject of an NDA aka gagging order. The matter was was eventually settled after wasting £30 000 of EM members’ money on lawyers. They eventually advised Bird to settle the matter out of court (after taking the money of course!). Reading-Gate was coincident with this matter. A systematic smear campaign was organised by a few EM foot soldiers and some grassroots people in North East for Europe and Leeds for Europe. I believe that the smear campiagn and the nuclear levels of obfuscation by EM were done to discourage me from pursuing the other matter, rather like the Tories who put dead cats in the road to distract people from more important affairs. The entire story of the smear campaign and Reading-Gate can be found at Political Censorship. We return to court on January 25th 2024 unless common sense prevails and EM get in touch. Perhaps they will call Esther McVey for some advice on common sense?
I fought the law
I fully expect to get social disapproval by Rejoiners about this article, but frankly I regard the rule of law to be more important than upsetting a few snowflakes. Sorry in advance, but we must not stoop to the level of the Brexiteers in our conduct. Watch this space for updates on the case.
Regards my current role at EM, I remain Chair of The European Movement Mid Kent, although Anna Bird defenestrated me unilaterally without authority. This decision was overturned by the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve KC at a special general meeting. So at this moment, I have the unusual title of Chair of The European Movement Mid Kent (defenestrated). Life is confusing. Frankly I have no care or concern for titles, having worked for 30 years without position power or silly titles. Clearly they matter to some …