Fair Cop are increasingly concerned by the clear signs of ideological capture of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the independent prosecuting authority for England and Wales.
We will let you know if we get any response to this letter we have sent them and our next steps.
Dear Mr Hill
We are writing to you in our capacity as the founder and member of the campaigning organisation Fair Cop.
We wish to outline our serious concerns that the CPS has been and is being influenced by an ideological faction pertaining to ‘gender identity’. The impression given by the CPS is that it is not impartial in its administration of justice or as an employer. It appears biased in favour of supporters of transgender ideology and hostile to those who hold protected “gender critical” beliefs.
We note for example the successful appeals of Kate Scottow, preacher David McConnell, the recent refusal of the CPS to charge a serving police officer for harassment of Harry Miller and the advice given to Wiltshire police by Paul Giannasi in 2021 that they were correct to record Sarah Phillimore as a ‘barrister posting hate’. Wiltshire later conceded this was unlawful and paid Ms Phillimore’s costs of £12K in her application for judicial review.
We set out further evidence for our concerns below and ask a number of questions to seek your reassurances that the CPS is an impartial prosecuting authority and abides by its Public Sector Equality Duty. It is clearly very important that the public can rely upon your organisation’s political neutrality and its commitment to treat everyone fairly.
We would be grateful for your response within a month of receipt of this letter; please treat it as a request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.
As we consider this is an issue of significant public importance we will publish this letter on our website in the interests of transparency and open public debate. Your response will inform our next steps which may include taking legal advice as to the merits of any judicial review application.
CONCERNS REGARDING CPS LACK OF IMPARTIALITY
Domestic abuse guidance now includes ‘refusing money for transition’ or refusing to use preferred pronouns.
On 31st May 2022 the CPS appointed a trans identifying male, Sophie Cook as its ‘Speak Out Champion’, a role that involves embedding ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ in the work force. Cook has a history of public social media posts which are derogatory and discriminatory against individuals and organisations that hold the protected belief that sex is immutable and materially important. Sarah Phillimore set out her concerns in The Critic in June 2022.
Earlier this year Sophie Cook shared a report on LinkedIn accusing the gender critical movement of planning a genocide against trans people, adding: ‘If you don’t understand the deeply dangerous elements of the Gender Critical anti-trans movement then please read this report’. The post was liked and shared by CPS prosecuting lawyer Darren Sexton.
In our view Sophie Cook’s presence in the CPS creates a hostile environment for personnel with gender critical views. We are concerned that Cook’s appointment – and your public approval of it – has effectively removed the internal checks and balances within the CPS that would otherwise have acted to prevent or reduce its ideological capture.
Further information about Cook’s social media activities can be found here.
Saba Ali and Eva Echo are members of the CPS hate crime local involvement and scrutiny panels (LISPs) for London. Ali also sits on the VAWG LISP. It is unclear if they also sit on the external consultation groups (ECGs) for hate crime and VAWG. Saba Ali was described in a recent CPS newsletter as ‘Gender Equity and Hate Crime Team ESS Co-founder’.
It is clear from Ali and Echo’s social media accounts that they are trans rights activists. They believe that males should be allowed to self identify as women, and that having done so, that these males should have unfettered access to spaces, services, sports and opportunities reserved for females. Further, Ali has repeatedly made inaccurate claims on social media that misgendering is in itself a hate crime.
Their social media accounts denigrate as ‘transphobic’ anyone with opposing views regarding gender identity, including politicians and women with safety concerns about males accessing single-sex spaces.
Saba Ali tweets as @sabacelebritypa and identifies herself on her profile as associated with the CPS as ‘hate crime and VAWG’. Her ‘pinned tweet’ from December 2020 identifies her as a ‘community panel member for the CPS’. She makes frequent public reference to her attendance at CPS roundtable meetings.
Eva Echo is a trans identifying man who tweets as @EvaEch0 and identifies himself as a member of the CPS Hate Crime panel in his Twitter biography.
Examples of abusive and discriminatory social media posts
On June 19th 2023 she tweeted that the Prime Minister was a ‘transphobic bigot’.
On the same day she accused a Muslim councillor of ‘religious homophobia’ and should ‘hang his head in shame’.
On May 23rd 2023 she tweeted that Baroness Falkner, Chair of the EHRC, ‘disgusted’ her and was an ‘embarrassment’ to British Pakistani culture.
On 2nd July 2023 he retweeted a tweet which declared I’m not comfortable with TERFs in the women’s bathroom. Let’s keep these dangerous people out of our private spaces. ‘Terf’ is a derogatory term used against women with the protected characteristic of belief in the immutability of biological sex.
On 5th June 2023 that gender critical people were ‘lame’ and ‘desperate’.
Also 5th June 2023 that Baroness Nicholson was ‘chatting shit’ and should take time to educate her crusty privileged white-ass self.
Commenting on the recent Parliamentary debate on amending the Equality Act, Echo said the debate had come about due to: “misinformation, lies and hate”.
In 2021 Echo said the following in response to an interview question about the status of transgender women in the UK:
We’re under attack by anti-trans groups that claim to have no problem with us but masquerade their hate by trying to pass it off as concern for women. Let’s face it, they can’t claim to represent the interests of all women if they’re so ready to exclude certain ones. Unfortunately, their words do gain traction, especially in the press/media and those that don’t understand us. They push misinformation (for example, trans women are sexual predators) and dangerous rhetoric in order to scare others into believing they’re protecting society. The only thing they’re protecting is their own transphobia.
These represent just a handful of the many 100s of comments in a similar vein, made by your ‘advisors’ which are in the public domain. We do not think any person with a protected gender critical belief could have any confidence they would be treated fairly by people willing to express themselves in such abusive and discriminatory terms and who seem determined to view any challenge to gender identity ideology as ‘hate’.
We are very concerned that the influence of such ‘advisors’ has created within the CPS a bias against people with gender critical views in the organisation’s policy and practice and that this puts women in particular at risk of harm.
The May newsletter initially contained reference under the heading ‘Spotlight on transphobic hate crime’ to the ‘transphobic’ ‘murder’ of teenager Brianna Ghey. This reference was removed after it was publicised on Twitter, presumably because the CPS realised that to make such comments prior to the trial of the defendants was highly prejudicial and contrary to the CPS’ own Reporting Restrictions Guidance. Note the tweet from the Women’s Rights Network on July 3rd 2023 which highlighted this.
The June newsletter includes, under the heading “successful hate crime prosecutions’, the following text:
The London South Team are currently handling a number of cases where the homophobic chant has been used, as well as a case involving the Drag Queen, Aida AD, who was subjected to transphobic abuse at the Tate Britain where she had attended for a book reading.
So far as we are aware there was only one prosecution related to the Tate Britain Drag Queen protests, the criminal proceedings have not yet concluded and the defendant has pleaded not guilty. We consider this a prejudicial and wholly inappropriate public comment and the defendant’s solicitors have been informed.
We note the attendance of Stonewall at the ‘round table meetings’ as a ‘special guest’. We have serious concerns about the appropriateness of a public body’s continued engagement with Stonewall in light of the women and equalities minister’s recommendations in 2021 that all Government departments cut ties with Stonewall on grounds that it lobbies for workplace policies that are at odds with the 2010 Equality Act. At the very least we would expect to see an invitation to be a ‘special guest’ extended to a variety of groups.
The round table meeting also refers to a ‘Global narrative now attacking the rights of all protected characteristics’. This is not explained in the text and we do not understand what is meant by this.
We would therefore be grateful if you answer these questions
Did the CPS carry out an impact assessment with regards to the protected characteristics of sex and belief in the immutability of sex before making these amendments? If so please share this assessment. What groups were consulted prior to these amendments?
What assessment has been made of Sophie Cook’s impact on CPS employees holding gender critical beliefs?
What action are you taking to ensure that employees with gender critical beliefs within the CPS are able to “speak out” given Sophie Cook’s declared opposition to these views?
Do you condone the social media posts of your advisors, which refer in derogatory and discriminatory terms to those who hold a protected belief?
Please explain why an activist who primarily campaigns for transgender rights sits on a VAWG panel, when women’s and transgender rights are currently in conflict?
What steps have you taken to ensure that people with gender critical beliefs are represented on CPS panels and forums?
Please provide, for each panel and ECG:
Names of the members
Details of the process for their selection for the role including any vetting that takes place
The length of term members serve
Why did the newsletters of 12 and May and 23 June 2023 refer to two live criminal cases as examples of transphobic hate? Do you agree that these references constitute contempt of court? Who approved these documents for publication?
Please detail the CPS’ relationship with Stonewall including details of meetings between the CPS and Stonewall in the last three years and details of any policies or practices on which Stonewall has been consulted.
Please detail all meetings with other organisational or individual campaigners for transgender rights in the past three years and provide details of any policies or practices on which they have been consulted.
Please explain what you understand to be the ‘Global narrative attacking the rights of all protected characteristics’?
Please detail any action by the CPS not previously mentioned that is aimed at making the CPS an inclusive environment for those with gender critical views and ensuring these are taken into account in policy and practice.
What steps have been taken to educate staff and panel members on the need to be inclusive of those with protected ‘gender critical’ views.
Please provide copies of any CPS employee guidance or other documents that refer to gender critical views.
Thank you for considering this letter and we look forward to your response within a month of receipt.
Subscribe to Fair Cop News to receive the latest campaign updates, blogs and Fair Cop news coverage.
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the footer of any of the emails.