In September 2010, I highlighted the following comments on the Facebook page of Abul “Abz” Hussain, who was at that time a member of the National Council for George Galloway’s Respect party.
Quite rightly, a day after my blog post, Respect expelled Abul from their party. Their statement was published here.
Within a year, however, Abul was appointed as a Justice of the Peace, ie a magistrate. He still sits at Stratford magistrates’ court. He helps decide if people are guilty or innocent, and what sentences to pass.
I’d noticed he was a magistrate earlier this year when he was becoming vocal in his support for Lutfur Rahman on Twitter. His Twitter account contained a link to his private internet marketing business, a site on which he helped to promote himself by stating he was a JP.
The Judicial Office’s Code of Conduct for judges and magistrates is strict on avoiding conflicts of interests–commercial and political.
It is also strict on the use of Twitter and social media. It advises judges and magistrates to be extremely careful.
I questioned Abul about this in a Twitter exchange last month. He denied any wrongdoing but quickly removed from his business website any reference to his role as a JP.
I’d completely forgotten he was the same Abul Hussain kicked out of Respect for anti-Semitic remarks in 2010.
Andrew Gilligan remembered.
He ran this in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph. I can only assume the Judicial Office was unaware of his past when they let him sit on judgement on others in 2011.
It would be astonishing if we were not asked to explain himself now.
Here’s the Sunday Telegraph story in full:
A man expelled from George Galloway’s Respect party for racism and anti-Semitism is serving as a magistrate in London’s most multiracial borough.
Abul “Abz” Hussain describes himself as a “follower of David Icke,” the conspiracy theorist who believes that the world is ruled by a race of giant lizards and that global leaders, including George W. Bush and the Queen, are the descendants of extraterrestrial reptiles.
On his Facebook page, Mr Hussain, a British Bangladeshi, condemns “ignorant” people who “want me to ‘integrate’ into a decadent [Western] lifestyle.”
As a sitting Justice of the Peace (JP) at Stratford magistrates’ court in Newham, east London, Mr Hussain is called upon to enforce British law, a key tenet of the society he appears to question. Sitting with two other magistrates, he passes verdicts and sentences in most criminal cases, with the power to impose up to six months’ imprisonment. More serious cases are also first heard by magistrates, who can grant or deny bail.
A resident of neighbouring Tower Hamlets, Mr Hussain is a strong supporter of Lutfur Rahman, the borough’s extremist-linked independent mayor, who was re-elected by a narrow margin in May.
During the campaign, Mr Hussain stated on Twitter that Tower Hamlets had been treated by the Labour Party as the “last outpost of the British Raj” and added: “I’m definitely not a racist but I’ll admit to voting on racial lines… this is a show of BD [Bangladeshi] strength to Labour HQ!
He claimed Bangladeshis were treated by Labour as “colonial subjects” and said the borough under the party was a “collection of bantustans”, artificial states created by the apartheid regime in South Africa to segregate black people. A recent entry on his Facebook page shows a man hitting a woman with a mallet.
As a member of the national council of George Galloway’s Respect Party, a council candidate and joint general secretary of the local party, Mr Hussain took a major role in Mr Rahman’s previous election campaign in 2010, organising canvassers and meetings for Mr Rahman, who was removed from Labour after The Sunday Telegraph exposed his links to an extremist Islamist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe.
Respect did not run a candidate of its own and supported Mr Rahman. Mr Hussain also appears to have been one of Mr Rahman’s nominators for the mayoralty.
However, Mr Hussain was expelled by Respect two weeks before polling day after posting in a Facebook exchange: “You know the world’s coming to an end when a Jew accuses you of being of his kind… I should have put u on that convoy to Gaza, could have traded the Jew with the Israelis to let the aid through.”
Despite Mr Hussain’s expulsion, he was appointed a magistrate in September 2011.
A spokesman for the Judicial Office confirmed that Mr Hussain was a serving JP and said: “Any allegations about a magistrate’s conduct would, in the first instance, be investigated by their local advisory committee. If they felt there was evidence of misconduct it would be referred to the Judicial Investigations and Conduct Office (JCIO).
“Should the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice then find that a magistrate has brought the judiciary into disrepute, a number of sanctions are available including removal from office.”
Mr Hussain did not respond when contacted.