A board member of the federal government’s equality watchdog has actually ‘liked’ or retweeted social networks posts criticising Black Lives Matters protesters and describing the words misogynist and homophobe as “extremely ideological propaganda terms” in the latest controversy to beset the EHRC, the Guardian can expose.
Alasdair Henderson, who led the Equality and Human Rights Commission questions into Labour party antisemitism this year, likewise liked a tweet decrying “offence-taking zealots” who accused Roger Scruton of antisemitism, Islamophobia and homophobia, and one by Douglas Murray, who once called for Muslim immigration to Europe to be banned.
The EHRC report he led, released last month, specified: “The Labour celebration stopped working to examine antisemitism complaints based on likes, retweets and shares on social media.”
After being gotten in touch with by the Guardian, the commission said it would look into Henderson’s usage of social networks. He is one of nine EHRC commissioners and has been on the watchdog board because 2018.
While commissioners are political appointments, the watchdog is an independent body established “to encourage equality and variety, remove unlawful discrimination, and protect and promote the human rights of everyone in Britain”.
On 3 September, Henderson liked a tweet which checked out: “It’s incredible to me that Tory ministers still go to pieces and flub when some media idiot incants the magic words ‘misogynist’ and ‘homophobe’, as if those are empirical declarations about reality, not highly ideological propaganda terms.”
On 1 July, he retweeted a comment which said: “All the anti-fascists in Europe protesting versus America, an actually free country, are too cowardly to do the very same for Hong Kong, which is virtually a dictatorship now.”
Henderson is the latest commissioner whose views have actually come under examination after the announcement that David Goodhart and Jessica Butcher would be appointed to the board by Liz Truss, the equalities minister.
Goodhart has actually praised the federal government’s “hostile environment” policy while Butcher urged ladies who have actually been discriminated against at work not to “go cry to someone” however to “take the onus to circumvent the scenario”.
Lord Woolley, a previous commissioner, stated: “What has been the procedure to veterinarian individuals entering into the commission for equality? There’s a treatment that’s supposed to take a look at these people and veterinarian them and yet this person [Henderson] is doing this on Twitter? What was the procedure when David Goodhart went through, with the litany of remarks that he has said which are deeply troubling?”
Woolley, director and co-founder of Operation Black Vote, stated that while the EHRC still produced good work, such as its current Windrush report, he feared it has ended up being “deeply politicised”, highlighting its rejection to conduct a questions into Islamophobia in the Conservative celebration.
” We need now more than ever an EHRC that is fiercely independent, varied and all set to face the huge inequalities of the day,” he stated.
Scruton, the thinker and writer who passed away in January, was implicated of antisemitism, when, after being designated as the government’s housing consultant in November 2018, it emerged he had previously explained Jews in Budapest as forming part of a “Soros empire”, declared Islamophobia and homophobia were “invented” and that homosexuality was not “regular”.
As the story broke, Henderson liked a tweet which said: “If Roger Scruton, one of our most esteemed thinkers and authors is drummed out of public life by the offence-taking zealots, we might too evacuate and go house.”
On 24 June, Henderson liked a tweet by Douglas Murray in which, reacting to a declaration by Cambridge University protecting the right of academic personnel to hold personal and questionable views, Murray stated: “Nope. Nobody believes that. We keep in mind the cases of Noah Carl and Jordan Peterson. Your institution dropped them in 2 secs when the mob came for them. But it’s intriguing you’re standing up for someone who in fact is a race-baiter this time.”
In 2006, Murray made a speech in the Dutch parliament, stating “all migration into Europe from Muslim nations must stop” and “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder throughout the board”. Noah Carl was sacked from a Cambridge University college after a panel discovered he had worked together with far-right extremists in his writings connecting intelligence to race.
Carl has actually defended his deal with race and genetics, arguing that “suppressing dispute around taboo subjects can itself do active damage”. Peterson, the self-styled “teacher against political correctness”, has actually said identity politics are “equally harmful” on the left and right which he champs private duty. Murray later on stated his speech in the Netherlands “does not show my opinions” he but continues to caution about the “societal questions” presented by Islam.
In June the outbound EHRC chair, David Isaac, stated: “The Covid pandemic and the Black Lives Matter projects have actually sharpened society’s awareness of inequality, and the need for human rights.”
However in the exact same month Henderson liked a tweet thread that included: “The Met are plainly dealing with the (unlawful under the Covid regs) BLM demonstrations far more indulgently than they have dealt with other demonstrations and gatherings. This is poison to an open society, however no-one appears to care.”
The appointment of Goodhart and Butcher to the EHRC from 1 December was announced the exact same day parliament’s joint committee on human rights released a report concluding that the EHRC had failed “to offer management and acquire trust in tackling racial equality”. The report required the entertainment of a body similar to the Commission for Racial Equality, which was dissolved and folded into the EHRC.
Goodhart said the Windrush scandal “was not the so-called ‘hostile environment’ working, it was an outright mistake. The genuine question is how we make status-checking reasonable”. He said he was dedicated to “a reasonable and transparent system”. Butcher has actually declined to answer questions about her views but stated she would work “to advance equality problems in the UK”.
A representative from the EHRC said: “We will be looking into this usage of social media and the concerns raised.” Henderson declined to comment.