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Council worker sacked for comments about Zionism wins back job

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Council worker sacked for comments about Zionism wins back job

A self-described anti-Zionist who was sacked from his job of more than 17 years after being filmed arguing with a protester at a rally protesting against antisemitism in the Labour party has won his job back and approximately £70,000 in damages after a judge ruled he was unfairly dismissed.

Stan Keable, a public protection and safety officer at Hammersmith and Fulham council, was videoed having an exchange with a protester who was on the 26 March 2018 Enough is Enough demonstration.

During the discussion, Keable, who was on a counter-march with Jewish Voices for Labour, which was supportive of the then party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said “the Zionist movement collaborated with the Nazis”.

The footage was uploaded to Twitter by the Newsnight journalist David Grossman with the title Anti-Semitism Didn’t Cause the Holocaust and Zionists Collaborated with the Nazis and viewed almost 80,000 times.

Criticism was subsequently levelled at Keable, including from a local Conservative MP, Greg Hands, who identified him as an employee of the Labour council and urged it to take action. After the council leader wrote an email on 27 March calling on officials to act swiftly, Keable was suspended the same day for “offensive” comments and sacked two months later.

The employment tribunal judge heard that the council accepted Keable’s comments were not antisemitic and were a reference to the 1933 Haavara agreement, a deal between Germany and German Zionists to facilitate the emigration of Jews to British-controlled Palestine during a Jewish economic boycott of the Nazi regime.

The council also accepted that Keable, who occupied a non-political position, made the comments in a private capacity outside the workplace and did not publish them himself nor make them in a threatening or abusive manner. Nevertheless, Nicholas Austin, the dismissing officer, concluded they were widely circulated, he had been identified as a council employee, and “a reasonable person” would conclude Keable had said Zionists “colluded [or collaborated] with the Holocaust”.

However, the judge whose ruling at first instance was upheld by the employment appeal tribunal in a judgment handed down on Tuesday, said there was no evidence that this was the way Keable’s comments had been interpreted.

She added: “If it was within the range of reasonable responses of a reasonable employer to dismiss an employee in circumstances where they have lawfully exercised their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, unconnected in any way to the workplace, without using language which was personally abusive, insulting or obscene, and when their views and opinions have, without their consent, been published and caused offence to some, or indeed many people, then there is a very great risk of dismissal to any person who expresses their lawful political views outside the workplace.”

She ordered the council to pay Keable his lost earnings and that he be reinstated to his job – a rare remedy, only used three times in 2016-17 out of 9,039 unfair dismissal claims. The council appealed but a panel at the employment appeal tribunal, led by Judge Katherine Tucker, concluded: “The judge was entitled to conclude that the dismissal was unfair.”

Keable, who was expelled from Labour in 2017 and is secretary of Labour Against the Witchhunt, which was proscribed by the party in July, said: “I want to go back to work. If I’d made offensive remarks at work, we’d be talking a different story. I’m quite willing to accept that some people were offended but that’s not a crime or a sin – it’s a necessary part of free speech.”

Hammersmith and Fulham council said: “As a public body we always expect the highest levels of conduct from our employees. We are therefore disappointed with the judgment.”

The council added that is considering its options with respect to reinstatement. If it refuses to reinstate Keable, it will have to pay him more money.

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NSCDC To Deploy 30,000 Officers For 2023 Elections

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has disclosed that it will deploy 30,000 operatives to ensure peace during the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Commandant- General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday,

He said the operatives would be deployed nationwide to maintain peace.

He said the NSCDC has perfected plans to deploy all resources needed to provide security during the election.

“The corps is poised fairly, and ready to apply all the arsenals needed to provide security and safety for the elections.

“We have an operations department of over 30,000 personnel but then we will also deploy others when the time comes.

“Normally we have the bulk of our people in operations and those who are in operations partake in election processes,” he said.

Audi said that the corps had also perfected plans to begin seminars and workshops in October to discuss the preparedness of the organization towards the general elections.

“We want to tell our people that if you go and involve yourself by becoming partisan you are on your own.

“There are certain things we have introduced in our Standard Operating Procedure — that once you go partisan and you are caught, you will face sanctions and you are on your own.

“So we are ready to partake in the election like I said because we are apolitical and we are going to provide a level-playing field for all citizens to be involved in the elections and exercise their franchise.”

Audi said that the NSCDC partook in election activities because it’s a member of the Inter-agency, Consultative Committee on Election Security.

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NSIA Not Stakeholder In Nigeria Air- F.G

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has declared that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is not an investor in the Nigeria Air project.

Sirika made the clarification in a statement issued by James Odaudu, his special assistant on public affairs, on Saturday.

The minister had listed NSIA as part of the local investors with stakes in the national carrier.

He said the NSIA is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, adding that the error was made during his media briefing.

“We wish to clarify that the Authority (NSIA) is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, being a government establishment,” Sirika said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the equity ownership structure of Nigeria Air stands as Ethiopian Airlines 49%, Nigerian private investors (SAHCO, MRS and other institutional investors) 46% and the Federal Government 5%.

“The public, especially the business community and the media, should please note”, the statement added.

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Nigerians Not Ripe Enough To Bear Arms- NSCDC

Nigerians are not ripe to be allowed to bear arms.

This is according to the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi who made the observation when he attended the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.

“I strongly disapproved of it. Even now that there is no law in existence, you still have proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the hands of people.

“It has to do with civilisation and education.

“Even in Europe and America where they have that law where virtually everybody once you can drive can have arms, they are trying to control it now because of how some events unfold.

“In the world, especially in Europe and America, somebody will just wake up and just go to a school and open fire on kids. You know that is madness.

“And so for me, I don’t think we are there yet to allow citizens carry arms” , he said.

 

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