ONE WOULD expect the regulatory authority of a professional body to back one of its members when that member is the victim of racist abuse. The Solicitors Regulation Authority believes differently. Its response to the antisemitic harassment, attacks, threats and abuse of Mark Lewis has been to support those who have targeted him for many years.
His attackers attempted to make it impossible for him to carry out his professional life — such as complaining to the SRA, taunting him with the idea that were he to respond to their attacks, his own regulator would condemn him. And that is exactly what the SRA has done.
When neo-Nazis told him they were anticipating his death, he replied with understandable anger. For responding to death threats, the SRA has chosen to punish Mr Lewis. To be blunt: the SRA has chosen to punish Mr Lewis for being Jewish. If Mr Lewis was not Jewish, he would not have been the subject of the repeated, numerous and frightening attacks which he has had to endure. By punishing him for responding to a tiny fraction of those attacks, the SRA has shown that it does not believe Jews should be allowed to defend themselves against racism. These are the members of the SRA’s Board: Julia Black, Sharon Darcy, David Heath, Paul Loft, Barry Matthews, Geoff Nicholas, Dame Denise Platt, Chris Randall, Enid Rowlands, Tony Williams, Elaine Williams and David Willis. If they allow this punishment to stand, their inaction will show they agree that Jews should not be permitted to respond to antisemitism.