Following action from Campaign Against Antisemitism, the former barrister Ian Millard was convicted on Friday at Southampton Magistrates’ Court of five offences contrary to section 127(1)(a) Communications Act 2003 in relation to the posting of grossly offensive material relating to his assertions regarding the Jewish race on his blog.
However, Mr Millard was only prosecuted following seven years of work by Campaign Against Antisemitism, due to a reluctance to prosecute from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The charges relate to five blog entries dated between May 2021 and April 2022. Mr Millard posted the entries to his website.
In one post on 10th May 2021, Mr Millard wrote: “Where Jews exist in any but very small numbers, non-Jews will always be exploited, and can never be free. That is as true in Europe (and including the UK) as it is in the Middle East.”
On 15th May 2021, Mr Millard wrote: “I lived on and off in the USA, mostly in the early 1990s though I did also spend time there in 1999, 2001 and 2002. Many Americans are fine people, but the mass media there is almost, not quite, 100% owned and operated by Jews. TV, radio, film, newspapers, magazines, book publishing. Americans have little choice but to see the world largely through the Jewish, Zionist, and Israeli lens. Fact. They are also brainwashed from childhood with ‘holocaust’ propaganda and fake history.”
In another, dated 20th November 2021, Mr Millard posted an image of an arm — which had a Star of David emblazoned on the sleeve — holding a hammer above a computer with the words “free speech” on it. Above the image, text read: “Wherever Jews have power, non-Jews eventually become victims or slaves. Look at history. The ridiculous thing is that, in the UK, many of those who oppose Jewish supremacism in Israel or occupied Palestine, effectively support the Jewish lobby in Europe, eg in the UK itself; they pay lip-service to the ‘holocaust farrago’, in particular, and applaud the Zionist efforts to destroy free speech.”
Defending himself in court, Mr Millard admitted to ownership and editorial control of the blog, but did not admit to posting the offending posts. He did, however, state that he agreed with all the sentiments expressed in the posts.
During the course of his time on the stand, Mr Millard attempted to portray himself as the victim of a Jewish plot to crush free speech, telling the court that the CPS had been able to highlight only five blog posts out of more than 1,600 that he had published. A cursory glance at his blog reveals that it is strewn throughout with antisemitic conspiracy theories and imagery glorifying Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime.
He went on to brag about how he had visitors to his blog from all over the world.
When confronted with the opinions expressed in his posts, he maintained that they were “perfectly acceptable”.
Attempting to defend his Holocaust-denial, he said: “There’s history and there are views of history and people are entitled to adopt whichever view they want.”
He further professed that there were “a great number of hoaxes” around the Holocaust, going on to lament: “It’s the only history that’s acceptable and I disagree with that.”
Mr Millard told the court that “Jewish control of media is pervasive.”
He also made the claim that British politics is controlled by Zionists, citing as evidence of this the fact that the Star of David — the flag of Israel — had been projected onto 10 Downing Street as a display of solidarity with the Israeli public following the 7th October Hamas terror attacks.
Parroting the far-right antisemitic Great Replacement conspiracy theory, he asserted during his cross-examination that “They [Jews] are trying to get more immigrants into the country and the truth is coming out.”
While insisting that he could not recall if he had written any of the posts, owing to the fact that he allegedly blogs daily, he also said: “It’s not about whether I’m right or wrong. It’s about freedom of expression.”
He maintained that he had never set out with an intent to offend and that while some of the posts were “shocking”, they were not against the law and in fact merely satirical.
CPS Prosecutor Philip Allman noted that the offending was “at the high end of culpability”, while Judge Peter Greenfield condemned the posts as “Grossly offensive to Jews and a multiracial society.”
“This is antisemitic…it’s Holocaust-denial, and therefore it is grossly offensive,” Judge Greenfield said.
While Campaign Against Antisemitism is pleased that justice has finally been delivered, the road to it was made less easy resulting from repeated setbacks by the CPS.
In October 2016, the Bar Standards Board found Mr Millard to be guilty of professional misconduct due to his extensive use of Twitter as a vehicle to publicise his antisemitic and extreme right-wing views, leading to him being banned from the profession. Following the hearing, Campaign Against Antisemitism carried out a detailed investigation of Millard’s Twitter account. It was found that over a lengthy period he had tweeted a large quantity of opinions and images that were virulently antisemitic and promoted Nazi ideology.
In November of that year, Campaign Against Antisemitism reported Mr Millard to Essex Police, providing a substantial dossier of evidence in support of the complaint and by the following May, the police sent a file to the CPS, recommending that Mr Millard be charged with inciting racial hatred.
Seventeen months later, in October 2018, the CPS instructed the police to obtain Mr Millard’s Twitter account in its entirety, rather than just the antisemitic tweets that were included in the complaint. By this time, his account had been terminated by Twitter, and he had transferred his social media activities to Gab — a US-based platform used heavily by the far-right and which has a policy of non-cooperation with requests for information about its users. Given that it was now impossible for the police to provide the evidence requested by the CPS, the investigation was closed.
By this point, Mr Millard had subsequently turned his attention to his personal blog. In April 2021, based on the content of the blog, Campaign Against Antisemitism, for the second time, handed a dossier of evidence collected from Mr Millard’s blog to Hampshire Police.
However, nine months later, we were informed that the CPS would be taking no further action, citing “evidential difficulties which have arisen which present a conflict of evidence.”
In January 2022, we challenged this decision via the Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) scheme. Six months later, Lord Austin, an Honorary Patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism, wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions about the matter and subsequently received a reply stating that our VRR submission was being taken seriously and had been handed to counter-terrorism police, which had requested further evidence from the police.
In April of this year, fifteen months after the VRR submission, we were informed that the CPS intended to prosecute Mr Millard.
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “We are pleased that, after seven years, Ian Millard has finally been found guilty of these crimes. Holocaust-denial and antisemitic conspiracy theories have no place in decent British society. British Jews are under assault from antisemites in real life and online, and the fact that a former barrister could commit acts of anti-Jewish racism is utterly abhorrent.
“It is lamentable that, not for the first time, the CPS initially tried to avoid prosecuting and then dragged its feet after we brought criminal antisemitic behaviour to its attention. What hope are Jewish people in this country supposed to have if the CPS refuses to prosecute individuals spewing antisemitic bile? Justice has been served, albeit much later than it should have been. The reluctance of the CPS in prosecuting individuals like Mr Millard sadly just reinforces the importance of our work.”