‘Tis Pity He’s a Hoar

25 Jan

Francis Hoar, barrister

Democracy Newham Limited, the company behind the so-called ‘People’s Petition’, has been crowdfunding the legal costs for their case for against Newham Council. So far they have raised a little over £10,000.

The principal expense is hiring a barrister. And man they have engaged is called Francis Hoar. 

An interesting choice for a campaign based out of the home of a Labour councillor and endorsed by leading figures in Newham Momentum.

According to Mr Hoar’s profile on his chambers’ website

He recently acted successfully for Craig Mackinlay MP (in a criminal prosecution) and Darren Grimes (in an appeal against the Electoral Commission) and acted for the petitioner in an election petition challenging the result of the by-election in Peterborough in 2019.

Mackinley is a Tory MP and Grimes a right-wing activist and Brexiter. Many of the people backing DNL went to Peterborough in 2019 to campaign for the winning Labour candidate. I wonder how they feel about now being represented by the man that tried to overturn their efforts?

Fair enough, you might say, everyone is entitled to be represented in court – even Tories and Brexiters.

However, Mr Hoar is also a noted lockdown sceptic, arguing on Twitter that the current restrictions are 

a gigantic social experiment encouraged by a Communist state

In May he led a challenge to the first lockdown, claiming they were unlawful and 

a disproportionate breach of fundamental freedoms protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Last week he asked of government scientist Chris Whitty

Who gave this fanatic the power to suspend and destroy our society in order to reduce the numbers of very old people dying – as old people do – of respiratory infections, whenever those deaths go above the norm?

Again, everyone has a right to an opinion but those who gave money to DNL might wonder why it is being spent on a barrister with views that, if implemented as policy, would result in a lot of people from Newham – their friends, family and neighbours – getting ill and dying from COVID; other lawyers are available.

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