Rowan Laxton Parliamentary Question

12 12 2009

Category: Anti-Semitism, Middle East, Politics, Rowan Laxton

On 10th December Dr Julian Lewis MP (New Forest) asked Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons what role Rowan Laxton would have following his disciplinary procedure at the Foreign Office. Here is her non-answer:

Dr. Julian Lewis: During the holocaust, a Foreign Office official infamously wrote a minute in which he referred to the time being wasted by what he called “wailing Jews”. When Mr. Rowan Laxton, the head of the south Asia desk at the Foreign Office, was convicted in September of an outburst in which he referred to “f- Jews” and was fined £350, his barrister said that that was

“going to have very grave and long-term consequences”

and that

“whatever happens in court is secondary to the effect it will have on his career and reputation”.

Given that he has been reinstated in the Foreign Office and appointed to a new job and that that job has not been revealed, may we have a statement confirming that the job will have nothing whatsoever to do with the middle east?

Ms Harman: In the sort of situation that the hon. Gentleman has raised, which concerns an individual employee of the civil service, I am not in a position to answer the question. However, as regards his overall point about the horror of anti-Semitism, I know that I can look to him to support the measures that we will introduce in the Equality Bill to give proper, strong legal protection so that people are not discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of their religion.

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