Sunday, 16 February 2014

UKIP Crawley Councillor threatens legal action after £512 an hour exposure


Say no to UKIP legal threat bullying tactics

Email sent yesterday evening by UKIP Crawley Councillor Karl Williamson.
From: "Williamson, Karl" <Karl.Williamson@crawley.gov.uk>
Date: 14 Feb 2014 19:25
Subject: Twitter
To: "Peck, Duncan" <
Duncan.Peck@crawley.gov.uk>
Cc: "Harris, Lee" <
Lee.Harris@crawley.gov.uk>, "Brown, Ann-Maria" <Ann-Maria.Brown@crawley.gov.uk>, "chairman.crawleyukip@gmail.com" <chairman.crawleyukip@gmail.com>, "Bloom, Howard" <Howard.Bloom@crawley.gov.uk>

Duncan,

Your recent 'tweet' from your Councillor twitter account - Cllr_Peck (see attached picture) where you spread untruths about me living in Los Angeles is totally unacceptable. Your posting is false, indefensible and defamatory about me.

Under English Libel laws, it has been established that a defamatory statement appearing on the internet is published at the place it is downloaded and subsequently read. Your twitter account is freely accessible within the UK, and as such is subject to the laws of defamation within this jurisdiction.

Now that you are on notice, please provide:

1) Your undertaking to immediately remove the defamatory information from your twitter account;

2) Your undertaking not to continue posting false, indefensible and defamatory information about me;

Please confirm your agreement to the above by midday Saturday, 15 February 2014.

Should you choose to ignore this request,  I will have no option but to instruct my lawyer to take further action against you and to seek the costs for doing so.

Regards

Karl

Cllr Karl Williamson
UKIP
Southgate Ward
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have always taken a very dim view of bullying and will not tolerate it when I see it. My own experience is that bullies like to dish it out but cannot take criticism, and that they do not like exposure of their bullying behaviour. The email reproduced above that was sent last night feels to me like bullying. However the "Duncan" the email was sent to is not myself, but Maidenbower Councillor Duncan Peck.
 
The only thing that Duncan did was to tweet a link to my blog article that highlighted the shockingly low number of meetings that UKIP Councillor for Southgate Karl Williamson had attended over the last year. I calculated that he had attended 8 meetings that amounted to a total of 18 hours of meetings in one year, and that he had received £9220.25 from Crawley taxpayers for this, with no obvious evidence of other activity. This equated to £1152 a meeting or £512 an hour.
 

Simply posting a link on Twitter to my blog post has generated the ridiculous email above, which had the following notable people copied in for effect to make it look important - the Council's Leader, Chief Executive, and Head of Legal and Democratic Services; and also copied in was UKIP Crawley Chairman Lee Gilroy. It is my personal opinion that this email is an attempt to bully my colleague. Concerns about bullying do seem to follow some people around.

It is of course completely absurd to suggest that asking if someone lives in Los Angeles could somehow constitute defamation.  I can confirm that I do not live in Los Angeles (or spend most of my spare time there rather than in the UK) but if anyone were to ask if I do,  I would not react badly and threaten them with legal action! 

I presume that Duncan will treat the above threat with the contempt it deserves, and ignore it. If he does, I guess that Karl Williamson “will have no option but to instruct my (his) lawyer to take further action against you (Duncan Peck) and to seek the costs for doing so”.

It will be interesting to see whether Cllr Williamson follows through on this threat or whether it is all bluster and idle threats. While I strongly suspect it will be the latter, I guess that anyone who receives £512 an hour could afford a pretty good lawyer!

I hadn't intended to write about this again but I will not stand by while UKIP (the email is written in his capacity as a UKIP Councillor) make such threats.  I repeat my call from yesterday and publicly call for the resignation of Cllr Karl Williamson so that Southgate can elect a Councillor who could easily prove they are performing the role and representing residents. Southgate  continues to be badly let down by UKIP and deserves better.

Update 18th February - My response to the Crawley News after UKIP have no answer but to claim a "smear campaign" 

15 comments:

Nicky said...

OMG! what a wally

must be the litigation culture they have in LA

Anonymous said...

Is Carl for real. I take its an email that you have posted? Is Duncan aware that you have posted this? It's not Carl who should be taking action , Duncan should be taking action. Shame !

Anonymous said...

How much is £512 in US dollars?

Anonymous said...

How could a so-called elected rep of this town serve the interests of the town whilst based elsewhere! Let's see what happens. It's all smoke.....

Jane S said...

Anon @23.17 Lol he must be paid in pounds and not dollars as its an English council. One thing for sure is that being ukip he won't be paid in euros!

Francis said...

I believe, but I am not sure :), that the entire population may want to sue Karl for defaming THEM for inferring that being accused of living in L.A. is defaming! :)

Considering that I couldn't get an entire webpage of insults aimed at me taken down because of free speech laws, specifically political satire laws, posted by a British man living in California 3 years ago (and I spoke to a American lawyer so I did try) I have my doubts that Karl will be 'pursuing' anyone over what is effectively, political verbal jostling. Just my two pence or dime's worth, depending on what suits! :) Not being funny, but surely every single PMQ's would end in multiple lawsuits if this kind of thing took off?

Anonymous said...

If you examine carefully the email that Williamson wrote, he gives it away that he is resident in Los Angeles and not the UK. He emphasises English civil law and and where the tweet was posted from and the jurisdiction he wants to apply. As has been noted, US free speech laws would laugh him out of court even more than English civil law would. The other givaway is how sensitive he appears to be about the question of his residency. He doth protest too much...

Anonymous said...

Karl Williamson is an embarrassment to Crawley, I am just and ordinary voter not a politician, I am not a councillor or have an links to any, nor would I want to be one because it is a position of responsibility within Crawley, and there lies the crux of it, a position of responsibility that Karl Williamson doesn't seem to grasp. He think's while he is not working it is OK to spend all his spare time in LA. No, Karl you should be serving the constituents of the Southgate ward where you were elected (all be it as a Tory Councillor before you defected)you should be working for them! Come on Karl do your bit of hand the reigns over to someone else, you know full well that if you resign you will NEVER be elected again certainly not under the UKIP banner. But look on the bright side, you can swan off to LA whenever you please without giving your constituents a backward glans....Oh you already do that don't you.

Mark said...

Do you have an update as the deadline has passed? It was not clear if it was midday GMT or midday Pacific Standard Time, but either way the deadline has passed.

Duncan Crow said...

I will be posting an update tomorrow morning.

Anonymous said...

Mr Crow, look forward to this. It would appear that Mr Peck is being bullied. Will the Conservative Administration make a formal complaint as well ?

Duncan Crow said...

Two weeks on and Karl Williamson's threats of legal action appear to be exactly what I predicted, threats and bluster.

Nothing has happened. Neither Duncan Peck or I have received anything in the post with a California postmark.

Duncan Crow said...

One month on and the bullying bluster of legal action threats has proved to be exactly that.

It is not the first time people in UKIP have threatened me with legal action but as ever, their bullying threats never amount to any action.

Duncan Crow said...

Nearly two months on and of course no legal action has been forthcoming. It was bullying bluster as I correctly predicted at the time.

Have the local press questioned Karl Williamson about this and reported it?

Of course not.

Duncan Crow said...

8.5 months on and as I predicted, nothing ever happened. He resigned from the Council on the 29th August after a year of doing nothing but claiming thousands of pounds in allowances.

People need to learn that bullying never works on me and that I will expose it. I consistently find that bullies do not like their actions highlighted in public.