Couldn’t have happened to a nicer man
Jeremy Newmark, the ‘ideal representative’ of the Jewish Labour Movement, stands accused of all manner of wrongdoing. Tony Greenstein calls on the Labour Party to act
It is the first time in my lifetime that such a thing has happened! For once the Jewish Chronicle, which is usually nothing more than a Zionist propaganda sheet, has come out with a genuine exclusive. On the basis of strong evidence, its story alleges that Jeremy Newmark, the former chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), is open to charges of “misusing expenses” and dishonesty. Not that that comes as news for me.
Back in March 2013 an employment tribunal - Fraser v University College Union- also called into question Jeremy Newmark’s honesty. The tribunal had faced a battery of claims to the effect that the UCU, in supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, was anti-Semitic. The tribunal judge, Anthony Snelson, stated:
… we have rejected as untrue the evidence of Ms Ashworth and Mr Newmark concerning the incident at the 2008 congress ... Evidence given to us about booing, jeering and harassing of Jewish speakers at congress debates was also false, as truthful witnesses on the claimant’s side accepted. One painfully ill-judged example of playing to the gallery was Mr Newmark’s preposterous claim, in answer to the suggestion in cross-examination that he had attempted to push his way into the 2008 meeting, that a ‘pushy Jew’ stereotype was being applied to him.1
We got an inkling of the latest scandal in May last year when the Jewish Chronicle ran a story - ‘Jeremy Newmark in row over £3,000 taxi fares’ - dating from 2013-14.2 It claimed that Newmark ran up this enormous bill in Israel and then allegedly simply made off!
Notwithstanding this, for the past two years, the Labour Party treated Newmark as if he was god’s vicar on earth. Only two weeks ago - in reaction to the victory of the left in the national executive committee elections, and the replacement of Ann Black by Christine Shawcroft as chair of the disputes committee - Jeremy Corbyn’s office, and Seumas Milne in particular, happily arranged a cosy meeting with Newmark. The JLM leader reportedly laid down his ‘red lines’: Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Ken Livingstone and myself - have to be expelled.
It was a naked attempt to influence the outcome of pending disciplinary hearings. Yet, instead of sending this august representative of the Israeli Labor Party away with a flea in his ear, Jeremy Corbyn granted him an audience. This is despite the fact that Labour’s Zionist lobby has been unremittingly hostile to Corbyn - its candidates, such as chair Joan Ryan, openly attacking him in the general election campaign and voting in favour of Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership election.
The Jewish Chronicle scoop makes for grim reading. This man who booked himself into VIP lounges at airports, who drove a £46,000 hired car and allegedly defrauded the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) of thousands of pounds was treated deferentially by Corbyn’s office. The JLC at the time, with Newmark as its chief executive, was a body consisting of the wealthiest members of the Jewish community in Britain - people like Stanley Kalms, Micky Davies and Gerald Ronson.
Newmark is leader of the Labour group on Hertsmere Council. As Labour candidate in the general election he was only narrowly defeated in the Finchley and Golders Green constituency. But now he faces a string of allegations courtesy of the Jewish Chronicle. The paper says he defrauded the JLC of thousands of pounds. It claims that an internal audit reportedly showed that between 2006 and 2013 Newmark
- billed thousands of pounds of “inappropriate” personal expenses to the JLC - including holidays in Israel and VIP transport for himself, his wife and their children;
- withdrew thousands of pounds of unaccounted for cash on JLC credit and debit cards, while failing to provide receipts to justify this expenditure;
- leased a new BMW car worth £46,000, paid for by the JLC, to which he fixed his own personal number plate - and then attempted to have his wife insured on the vehicle;
- employed his wife’s fundraising and events consultancy firm, Secure Prospects, to run a JLC-backed educational project, paying the company more than £36,000 - in spite of concern expressed by the governors of two leading Jewish schools that the project was not being properly managed;
- misled Jewish charities, including the London Jewish Forum and Chabad, over the true cost of projects in an attempt to secure larger donations;
- attempted to cover up possible financial irregularities by blocking communication between the JLC and its auditors, after staff became suspicious about his conduct.
The audit report suggested that Newmark showed “no adherence to JLC expenses policy”. It also stated: “JN has commonly withdrawn cash while abroad, which has been difficult to monitor.”
We are told by JC that Newmark stayed for a week at the Tel Aviv Hilton in August 2012, which cost £3,628.52. He was allegedly joined by his wife and children for a mere £520.58 of personal expenses, which were also added to the bill. Newmark “could not provide any paperwork for the stay”, it is claimed,and was warned that putting personal expenses on the JLC credit card “would be seen as fraudulent”. However, it seems he disagreed.
What was worse though was that the trustees of the JLC - which was a bogus Zionist ‘charity’ of the type that the Charity Commission just loves to recognise - decided to cover up what Newmark was accused of because they judged it would cause too much reputational damage. It therefore chose not inform the police. The trustees - including former chairman Sir Mick Davis (boss of the mining company, Xstrata, who is now chief executive of the Conservative Party) and property tycoon Leo Noé - accepted Mr Newmark’s resignation on the grounds of ill health after seven years of running the JLC.3 The internal audit report concluded: “It appears to be standard practice in the JLC to falsify information relating to finances.”4
For once I find myself agreeing with the Jewish Chronicle’s diminutive political editor, Marcus Dysch (who once threatened to sue me for calling him a racist5), that “the repercussions for the JLM are likely to be serious .... the group will now be tainted by Mr Newmark’s involvement, perhaps irrevocably so.”6
The JLM, which more than any other organisation, sponsored the false ‘anti-Semitism’ witch-hunt against black, Jewish and non-Jewish anti-racist activists in the Labour Party, is now shown to have been led by a highly dubious character.
It is no surprise that, in response to a letter from over 200 members of the Labour Party demanding the suspension of Newmark, general secretary Iain McNicol has refused. In a letter dated February 12, sent to me and others, McNicol wrote: “… these historic allegations remain a private matter for him and do not immediately represent a breach of the party’s rules”. If a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn so much as breathes or tweets out of place they are suspended, but if you are accused of fiddling thousands of pounds and garner newspaper headlines, then it is a “private matter”.7 No bringing the party into disrepute here!
The clinching argument for McNicol was that Newmark “strongly denies” the allegations. No matter that an internal audit is said to have claimed they were accurate - or that McNicol admitted that the allegations did not paint a pretty picture or that Newmark left the JLC after the revelations. I now look forward to McNicol refusing to suspend someone accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ because they strongly deny the charges!
The JLM, which is the British representative of the racist Israeli Labor Party, was where Newmark made his home after leaving the JLC. The JLM, it should be noted, has refused to speak out against the deportation of black African refugees from Israel for fear of offending the ILP.
According to Dysch, “After last year’s Al Jazeera secret filming, and the Priti Patel affair, British Jews could ill afford another political scandal.” However, he is wrong. It is not “British Jews”, but the Zionist movement, which should be ashamed. Dysch says: “How devastating that the behaviour of one man should bring such embarrassment and pain.” To those of us who came into contact with this deeply unpleasant man, the wonder is that it took so long to figure him out. Newmark’s discomfiture will at least bring some comfort to those who were the target of his attacks.
For what it is worth, Newmark’s answer to the report is that “It is easy to take things out of context and try to create a picture that is removed from reality.”8 Perhaps that should be applied to the efforts Newmark made to stigmatise and witch-hunt people in the Labour Party over the past few years. Newmark claimed that well after he left the JLC he was retained as a consultant. The JLC, however, flatly denies that.
According to Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard, at least 10 times a year he was asked when he was going to expose Newmark. But instead of reporting Newmark to the police for alleged corruption the JLC allowed him to resign on grounds of ill-health. For once I agree with Pollard:
Imagine, for example, if the board of the JC found out that I had leased a £46,000 BMW and put my personal number plate on it, had taken my family with me on work trips and had repeatedly, over many years, taken cash out from an ATM using a JC corporate bank account and not supplied receipts for the spending of that cash. As it happens, I have cancer. But so what? And what relevance would any upset be to my wife and family? The only appropriate response would be to sack me and call the police.
Instead, the trustees of the JLC took it upon themselves to bury all the evidence, going out of their way to keep it secret and ensure that the community was not allowed to know the truth about one of its most prominent figures.
But it is not simply the story of one individual. The fact that the Jewish Labour Movement tolerated him for all that time speaks volumes about the decaying corpse of Labour Zionism. The fact that a man who led a jet-set lifestyle, replete with his own personal number plate, was considered fit to lead a Zionist ‘labour’ organisation also speaks volumes.
And it is not only the Labour Party leadership which has questions to answer. When Jackie Walker was the victim of a political sting at the 2016 Labour conference - her remarks at a ‘training session’ of the Jewish Labour Movement were distorted and secretly recorded - Momentum leader Jon Lansman should have stood up for her and defended her. Instead Lansman was quoted as saying: “I spoke to Jeremy Newmark of the Jewish Labour Movement this morning. He’s very upset and I can understand that - I work closely with Jeremy ...”10 Of course, Newmark was anything but upset. He was delighted at the success of his entrapment. Lansman’s behaviour was shocking in the way he betrayed a comrade and he should never be forgiven for what he did.
It remains to be seen whether the JLC is now going to report Newmark to the police for a thorough investigation - it would only be right and proper for him to understand a little about what Ahed Tamimi and all the other Palestinian prisoners, children included, are going through. Either way, it has been a good week for those of us working to expose what lies behind the Labour witch-hunt.
7. See http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/breaking-news-iain-mcnicol-refuses-to.html.