EHRC director failed to declare donations to Tory party – and EHRC defends her

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Pavita Cooper raised £7,000 for Conservative party and MP. EHRC has repeatedly refused to investigate Tories for anti-Muslim bigotry, while pursuing Labour Party

A huge Newsweek exclusive has revealed that a director of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) failed to declare significant financial support given to a Tory MP and to the Conservative party itself.

When Cooper was appointed by the government she did not declare any political activity, according to a statement by the Cabinet Office – which went on to underline the obligation on all appointees to declare such activity.

Worse still, when presented with the information the EHRC defended Cooper’s failure – telling Newsweek:

A donation was made at an event in 2013 to support a personal friend who was running as an MP. Pavita Cooper has not made a donation to any political party and is not a member of any party.

However, the Electoral Commission’s donations website lists two donations, for a total of £7,000:

But the EHRC’s own governance manual is clear that:

members must register their own or close family members’ or associates’ relevant non-pecuniary interests…

[including] membership or active involvement with any, public bodies, political parties, campaigning groups, professional and trade bodies or charities and other voluntary and community sector bodies, which, even if not remunerated, may have a direct bearing on the business of the Commission, or which a fair-minded person might reasonably think could influence a members’ judgment.

The EHRC has pursued an investigation against the Labour Party for antisemitism in spite of the very low incidence of anti-Jewish prejudice in the party – and the fact that it reduced under Jeremy Corbyn.

The EHRC has also repeatedly refused to investigate anti-Muslim bigotry in the Tory party, in spite of multiple instances and a huge dossier of evidence presented by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and evidence presented by Conservative whistleblowers.

The organisation is expected to release its report on its Labour investigation shortly. A leaked Labour internal report revealed that right-wing senior HQ staff had delayed investigations into antisemitism complaints and coordinated light discipline of some found guilty, expressly in order to embarrass and implicate then-leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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