This is a cross post by Dendry
It took a Freedom of Information request to find out what happened to Rowan Laxton. I attach the form sent to me (click below), which sets out my questions and their very limited answer.
The Foreign Office say they take “any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour very seriously” and that Rowan Laxton “was issued with a final written warning putting him on notice for the next 12 months”
It’s not much to go on but let’s have a look at what there is:
“Any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour”
There wasn’t a “suggestion of inappropriate behaviour”. This was a conviction for anti-semitic public disorder. Such language by the Foreign Office seeks to downplay the offence and the fact that they seek to do that sends out a signal; this is an official communication about a very senior official which has been approved at the very highest levels. Their response is to use language which attempts to reduce the import of the offence. He is a senior diplomat. He is a convicted anti-semite (“f***ing Jews”) who has loudly and publicly expressed his view that Israelis should be “…blown off the face of the f***ing Earth.”
“A final written warning putting him on notice”
We don’t know any of the details of the warning nor what ‘notice’ they are talking about. Notice has to be about something. Notice of what? Notice not to go to a gym and shout about the f***ing Jews? The man who expressed those thoughts has stepped out of his sweaty gym clothes and back into his suit and retakes his seat at the highest levels of international politics. He still feels that way, still thinks that way, and carries out his responsibilities with those thoughts in his mind.
I will be asking for an internal review of the limited answers to my questions but I can’t help thinking a phone call to the Foreign Office from a journalist or MP would work rather better at getting all the relevant information out of them.
The message that the FCO is sending out with the release of this information is not that they ‘take seriously any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour’; it is a great deal pithier than that and it is directed at British Jews, and at Israel.