Apol­ogy could lead to Pine read­mis­sion

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY BEN WEICH

ROSLYN PINE, who was sus­pended from the Board of Deputies for six years over com­ments which have been de­scribed as Is­lam­o­pho­bic and an­tiArab, may be able to re­turn early if she apol­o­gises.

Mrs Pine, who rep­re­sented Finch­ley United Syn­a­gogue, had shared tweets de­scrib­ing Mus­lims as “the vilest of an­i­mals” as well as call­ing Arabs “so evil”.

Speak­ing to the JC in June, she said she “de­tests the creed of Is­lam” and that “killing us and de­stroy­ing Is­rael is an Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal”. These com­ments were the sub­ject of a fresh com­plaint by for­mer deputy An­thony Tri­cot.

The Board gave her an “un­prece­dented” six-year sus­pen­sion in July after she was found to have brought the or­gani- sa­tion into dis­re­pute. But, fol­low­ing an ap­peal and a fight over whether the Board had the power to sus­pend Mrs Pine for that long, sev­eral sources have told the JC that the Board has pro­posed amend­ing the six-year sus­pen­sion to be re­viewed after two years, on the con­di­tion that Mrs Pine pub­licly ex­presses re­morse for her com­ments.

The JC un­der­stands that no for­mal de­ci­sion has yet been taken, and there re­main dis­agree­ments at the ex­ec­u­tive level over the dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.

The mat­ter was re­ferred back to the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, which con­vened a spe­cial meet­ing on Novem­ber 12. An­other meet­ing will be held in the com­ing weeks.

No de­tails of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee’s dis­cus­sions has been com­mu­ni­cated to deputies.

In a pre­vi­ous dis­ci­plinary case against Mrs Pine, re­gard­ing com­plaints that she re­ferred to fel­low deputies as “mod­ern day Ka­pos”, and that she joked dur­ing a meet­ing that the Swedish for­eign min­is­ter was “too old to be raped”, she re­fused to apol­o­gise de­spite be­ing asked to do so by the Board’s con­sti­tu­tion com­mit­tee. Mrs Pine was or­dered to is­sue an apol­ogy to mem­bers of the In­ter­na­tional Di­vi­sion but re­fused.

A Board spokesper­son said: “The process is on­go­ing and soon to be con­cluded by the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee. The re­sult will be con­veyed to Roslyn Pine. It is there­fore not ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment fur­ther at this time.”

When Mrs Pine ap­pealed her sus­pen­sion, the Board’s ap­peal panel found the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee had made a se­ries of fail­ings in its han­dling of her case, in­clud­ing “short­com­ings” in its record-keep­ing.

The Board’s ap­peal com­mit­tee said it chose not to up­hold the ini­tial sus­pen­sion partly due to the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee’s fail­ure to hold an of­fi­cial meet­ing be­fore an­nounc­ing her six-year sus­pen­sion. In­stead, the ap­peal panel’s re­port said, the Board’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Gil­lian Mer­ron con­ducted a “tele­phone poll” of other mem­bers of the ex­ec­u­tive.

Mrs Mer­ron pro­vided an un­dated record of the poll to the ap­peal panel. But it in­cluded “no notes of the con­ver­sa­tion she had… It merely shows a tick against the names,” the re­port said.

And given that there was no prece­dent for a six-year sus­pen­sion, the panel found that the dis­ci­plinary ac­tion cho­sen was “ir­reg­u­lar”.

But it also up­held the ear­lier rul­ing by the Board’s con­sti­tu­tion com­mit­tee that Mrs Pine had breached the code of con­duct.

No for­mal de­ci­sion has yet been taken

Roslyn Pine

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