This is the substantive text of a letter which has been sent to various parties who have been involved in publishing and republishing an article which contained numerous false allegations.
Fax: 029 2055 7256
Our ref: SRB/RLW/
Date: 07 August 2014
Mr Guto Bebb
We refer to the “open letter” by one C Thomas relating to our client which, despite its description, was drawn to his attention by a third party.
Our client rightly recognises that a key virtue of a democracy in which we live is the right to challenge one’s elected representatives and to hold them to account for their actions. This is only proper. It is, however, equally proper that any criticisms which are laid against any individual have foundation and can be substantiated.
The letter makes a number of assertions and allegations which are simply incorrect and, indeed, we can only conclude these have been published with a view to denigrating our client’s reputation. We see no merit in iterating each and every assertion but make the following observations having paraphrased to some extent the wording adopted by C Thomas; the latter being italicised for ease of reference.
- Our client has shown his support for the current attack on Gaza by virtue of having visited Israel recently.
The visit was an Australian / Israeli / UK delegation to discuss many issues from the future of the peace process to the technological performance of the Israeli economy and any opportunities to increase trade between the three countries. No member of the British delegation, including our client, expressed any support for the war on that visit.
- Our client has received thousands of pounds from pro-Israeli sponsors including £5,000 from Alexander Temerko.
The letter does not particularise any other allegedly pro-Israeli sponsors other than Mr Temerko. Any campaign support monies our client has received have been declared in accordance with the relevant Parliamentary rules including one from Mr Temerko. Our client is unaware of any views Mr Temerko has or has expressed in relation to Israel. Our client’s dealings with Mr Temerko are in relation to Mr Temerko’s membership of the Leader’s Club which supports the Conservative Party.
- An article (entitled "Welsh MP Guto Bebb claimed he is the example of what lobbying politicians on behalf of Israel can achieve") from the Jewish Telegraph lauded our client for his commitment to Israel.
The context within which this article was written was of a generic nature to show what lobbying one’s MP can be effective. You may well be aware that our client has been heavily involved in an All Party Parliamentary Campaign relating to the mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products. This arose from a local constituent having lobbied him.
4. Parliamentary Questions have been raised of our client and votes cast in the interests of Israel. In addition, our client has been used as a sound box for the dissemination of Israeli Government messages.
If, as appears to be the case, the inference is that our client has shown any improper bias and / or abused his position of an MP then this is strongly denied. Of course, our client has asked Parliamentary Questions as, indeed, it is the duty of any elected representative to do. Our client did not participate in any vote to send any members of the United Kingdom’s armed forces to the war in Syria and we do not understand which Parliamentary motion these allegations relate to.
- Our client visited Israel in 2011, 2012 and 2014 as the guest of the Israeli Government and that the trip was paid for by foreign pro-Israel donors. These trips involved accommodation at luxury hotels and receiving secret briefings from Israel’s military and intelligence agencies.
Our client has never been on any visit funded by the Israeli government. The 2011 trip was as part of a CFI delegation which was declared in accordance with Parliamentary rules. The 2012 visit was part of an Australian / UK delegation funded by a Private Donor from Australia (which was again, duly declared). The 2014 visit was as part of a CFI delegation to discuss the Iranian nuclear threat.
Furthermore, our client has never received any secret briefing as alleged and discussions between UK / Australian and Israeli politicians are properly undertaken on a Chatham House basis. The hotel accommodation used by our client was of a four star category.
- Our client was a guest at the 2013 gala conference of AIPAC. Our client’s attendance at this conference was purposefully not disclosed to his constituents. This was an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington DC as the guest of foreign lobbyist.
Again, these allegations are fundamentally incorrect. The visit was declared. There were no outworkings of note from the conference. Had there been then, in accordance with our client’s practice, they would have been recorded on his website. Our client only seeks to transmit items of a newsworthy nature on his website.
Please have the author substantiate the above allegations within the next 5 working days or confirm that he/she withdraws those comments. In the meantime, would you please immediately remove this article from your website.
Whilst our client has no desire for any contention, nevertheless his rights are fully reserved.