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Dismissal of Stan ‘unfair’

30 May, 2019 — By John Gulliver

A SIGNIFICANT judicial judgment to reinstate a council official sacked, effectively, in the after­math of the row in the Labour Party over anti-semitism was made on Friday.

I wrote about the dismissal of Stan Keable more than a year ago when his employers – Hammersmith and Fulham Council – sacked him for bringing the council into disrepute.

He had criticised the Zionist movement at a demonstration in Parlia­ment Square last year for having “collaborated” with the Nazis, an allega­tion that has caused con­troversy among historians and Labour supporters.

There was, in my opinion, an element of a McCarthyite witch-hunt in the case of Stan Keable who had worked for 17 years for the council. In the 1980s he used to work for Camden Council.

His union, Unison, advised him to plead guilty – and when he didn’t, they withdrew support from him.

But after a two-hour hearing on Friday the judge ruled that it was “an unfair dismissal, both procedurally and substantively” – a fairly unambiguous ruling in his favour. Mr Keable had been represented by a barrister Iqbal Sram.

I believe an employer is not obliged to reinstate an employee found to have been unfairly dismissed. But as part of the ruling on Stan Keable’s case a hearing has been set for October to “determine possible reinstate­ment and the level of compensation”. This seems to suggest Stan Keable may be offered his job back.

Meanwhile, five days after this important ruling, which undoubtedly is part of the mosaic of the extraordinary row over anti-semitism in the Labour Party, the equal­ities watchdog announced on Tuesday an inquiry over whether the party unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.

The bitter row in the party has linked – in some members’ minds – anti-Zionist arguments with anti-semitism, this, in many cases involving suspension or expulsion of members, all entangled with what is, effectively, an interpretation of “anti-semitism”.

Historically, Stan Keable’s case becomes important.


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