Statement from Chris Knowles of the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) in relation to being summarily dismissed from Leeds City Council in the absence of due process due to his political beliefs

By • on August 2, 2012

My name is Chris Knowles. I was formerly a Director of the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA).

Today I was summarily dismissed from my employment with the Children’s Services Department of Leeds City Council.  This follows a suspension that was initiated about seven months ago, as a result of an allegation about me that was published in The Sunday Times.

I intend to initiate proceedings in the Employment Tribunal for Unfair Dismissal, and proceedings for breach of human rights (freedom of expression).  I was sacked without any disciplinary hearing and without being told what it is I am alleged to have done wrong.

When I attended Leeds City Council, I was not told I was to be summarily dismissed. There was a Police Chief Inspector who proposed to attend the meeting, but my barrister said that if she remained present then he would also need to be present. The police officer then agreed to leave the meeting.

I still have not been told specifically what I have allegedly done wrong.  I believe that the police officer was there simply to intimidate me.

I have been a member of the trade union Unison for approximately seventeen years, but that union refused to represent me, apparently because my views disagree with Unison policy. I was notified of Unison’s refusal just a short time before I was summoned to this meeting, despite their being having been aware of my case for some time.

One would think that it is the job of a Trade Union to defend the rights of its members. Apparently that obligation does not extend to the defence of the right to freedom of expression.

— Chris Knowles


By EDL Buck on August 2nd, 2012 at 16:05

One of the great liberating things in life is having nothing left to loose, NFSE!

By Terry on August 2nd, 2012 at 19:22

Don’t let the bastards grate you down. Take them to the cleaners. Unions Council all of them. Since when did the UK become stalinist? Today you are sacked tomorrow you will be shot.

By Geraint on August 2nd, 2012 at 19:25

Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Take them all to the cleaners for not doing their job and breaking the labour law. Unions council etc. When did the UK become a stalinist 1984? Today you got fired. Tomorrow you will be shot.

By Rebecca on August 3rd, 2012 at 03:20

Terry asks ‘Since when did the UK become Stalinist?’ Answer – when Tony Blair became Prime Minister. Subtle repression of the people started sometimes with violence he knew about.
Mr Knowles needs to look carefully at the ethnicity and political background of those who have sacked him.
I’d like to know what views offended them in this democratic country.

By Kinana on August 3rd, 2012 at 05:54

Chris, this is horrible. Fight them all the way if you can, you will be doing a service for everyone else. Don’t hesitate to ask for a fund to help with your expenses. Ask the Sunday Times to make the first contribution. The Press are guilty (yet again) of intimidating, hounding and silencing people for political reasons. Exposing people with political views they disagree with is part of the process of shutting people up and creating a climate of fear, where dialogue and discourse is replaced by the ‘party line.’