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Since first being told I was not going to be accredited for the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, it has been a whirlwind of emotions. After winning an Emergency Judicial Review at the High Court on Saturday morning, Sussex Police were forced to reconsider my case and give their reasoning behind their refusal. Now this process is complete, it has become a serious matter given what they are accusing me of without proof.
I have never shied away from my past. In-fact, I have used it to demonstrate the effects of un-diagnosed Mental Health Conditions.
For those of you unaware of my past I will quickly bring you up to date.
On June 6th 2017, I was in the midst of a mental health breakdown. I ended up drinking a lot of alcohol and falling deeper into a depression. I decided that I wanted to take my own life, but was too scared to do it myself.
I took it upon myself to text a friend from my local mosque, yes I am Muslim, and tell him I wanted to “kill the unbelievers”. Knowing him well, I knew he would report this to the police as he rightly should.
I ended up being arrested for Breach of the Peace. I was interviewed, I answered everything they asked, they seized my electronics and I was remanded in custody so as they could carry out further investigations. This is totally acceptable and I would expect nothing else.
After 75 days of trwling my life and past the Police and Security Service determined that I had no terrorist links, ideology or thoughts. I was therefore charged with a Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licencing Act 2005 (Scotland) – Threatening and Abusive Behaviour with Religious Prejudice.
This is the equivalent of Breach of the Peace in England and Wales. It is very important to note that at NO time was I ever held or charged under any terrorism act.
I plead guilty immediate and in the Sheriff Court the Prosecutor stated;
“It has been established by the Police and other agencies, that Mr Tiffin is not a terrorist, but an idiot.”
As you can imagine the Press was quick to jump all over this and immediately framed me as a “terrorist” by using quotation marks to infer it, basically they gas-lit me.
They failed to note that whilst in custody, it had been established that I had un-diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and that was what had caused me to act as I did.
After having my sentence deferred for 6 months to prove I could behave, the Sheriff Admonished me meaning that the case was over. The is the equivalent to an absolute discharge in England and Wales meaning that I was guilty of the offence but no sentence was deemed necessary. Unsurprisingly the media didn’t report this as it didn’t make sensationalist headlines.
I have never hidden the fact that what I did was incredibly wrong and caused a lot of hurt to my friends and family and unnecessary costs to the Police.
I could have stayed anonymous, but the way I see it, it is part of who I am and people can judge me from my present actions.
Labour Party Conference 2019
I planned on attending the main Labour Party Conference in Brighton this year. As required I submitted my application for accreditation early to give plenty of time for it to be considered.
As time wore on, and I heard nothing, I chased the Labour party for an update to be told that;
“Labour has accepted your application and it is now going through the required checks. You will be sent your pass in early September if successful.”
On Monday 16th July I received an email at 11pm at night from the Greater Manchester Police National Accreditation Unit (NAU) advising me that I was not being granted accreditation and that “there are no grounds to appeal.”
Regardless, I challenged the decision on the grounds that they had not given me a clear reason for refusal, nor was it fair I couldn’t appeal. An Inspector from Sussex Police, who have the final say as it is their force area, responded that he had looked at my case again and that the decision would not be changing.
I was very unhappy with this purely for the reason they had not actually said why. Although it isn’t a stretch to guess why.
As The World Transformed (TWT) runs alongside the Conference, and doesn’t require security checks, I travelled to Brighton arriving on Friday 20th September to volunteer there.
On Friday evening, I received an unexpected call offering me legal help to challenge Sussex Police’s decision. I was put in contact with ITN Solicitors who offered to take my case on under Legal Aid.
They advised that Sussex Police had been found to have acted unlawfully by refusing accreditation to Michael Segalov in 2017. This is important as it set a precedent as too how refusals and appeals should be dealt with for Party Conference Security Checks.
On Friday evening they launched an emergency out of hours Judicial Review at the High Court in London. The Judge decided that the case would be heard at 11am on Saturday.
The Judge ruled that Sussex Police had acted unlawfully in how the made their decision as they had not, a) provided their policy on the criteria, b) allowed me an appeal, c) allowed me sufficient time to launch a fair challenge.
This ruling quashed the original decision and Sussex Police had 24 hours to make a new one giving me the full reasons and a chance for me to challenge it.
Still Barred But Alarmed at Why.
at 12.30pm on Sunday, 22nd September, I received an email with Sussex Police’s decision and, as expected I was still being refused. However I was immediately alarmed as to why.
The Detective Inspector and Silver Commander of “Operation Otter”, the code-name for the Labour Party Conference Security, set out hos reasons as to why.
The 2017 conviction of mine was mentioned and some weight was given to it but, he cited an incident in March 2019 as the main reasoning.
He alledged that in March 2019, Police Scotland visited me after I
“threatened to kill people with my 4×4 and a handgun”
He added that it was determined “not to be a credible threat” but that it is was so concerning in itself, that it would bar me from getting accredited. He labelled it as a “Risk to National Security.”
With regards to this incident, I categorically deny that it ever happened.
- I do NOT have a handgun.
- I do NOT have a 4×4
- I was NEVER visited
- It would have been all over the press
- I would have been arrested
If I or anyone else made such a threat, I would expect them to be detained and interviewed under caution, at the very least. They say this didn’t happen, a concern in itself if I’m honest.
Given my past mentioned above you can almost guarantee it would have been picked up by the press. It was not, as it did not happen.
I would have mentioned this publicly had it occurred.
Appeal Raised Further Concerns
As Legal Aid does not cover representations out of court, I had to set up a crowdfunder to cover the costs. As of writing it has reached £890 of a £2000 target. The support I have had, has been amazing and really helpful and keeping me positive.
After the appeal was submitted challenging this, Sussex Police advised me they would respond by 12.30pm today, 23rd September.
At 12pm today, I received this response. The Silver Commander set out that he had not changed his decision but added a few additional details.
He claims that the March 2019 incident came from “an intelligence” tip-off. Basically someone reported me and they are now using it against me despite accepting it wasn’t real.
What then alarmed me was that he stated that he had made this decision “based on intelligence that I cannot share with you”, and that it was to protect National Security.
He added that my actions are extremely concerning and pose a threat to the conference and National Security.
Unfounded and Unproven
I take great offence at being branded a threat to National Security and find it odd that I can sit 3ft for Jeremy Corbyn at a TWT event, but not 100ft in a conference centre.
I again deny that the March 2019 “incident” happened and I will challenge this in the courts.
I find it extremely concerning that they can use an allegation they didn’t think was real against me, and do so without showing me evidence I had made such a threat. This means that anyone maliciously reported could have it used against them.
I am also very concerned at this “additional intelligence” they cannot share. This can only be done when National Security is at risk, and even then it could be deemed unlawful as it prevents me from being able to make a meaningful challenge. As this is new information from their first decision, I will be challenging it again.
I am aware that I won’t make the Conference now, but I cannot have such a serious and unfounded charge hanging over me like this. It is patently clear that I will be on a form of Police and Security Services Watchlist.
Fight to Clear My Name
To be clear, I am not going to let this slide. I intend to use ever available avenue to challenge this unjust action.
I would rather actually be arrested and investigated so as my name can be cleared. In a so-called “liberal society”, how can an allegation that I have never even been arrested for, be used against me? I can understand if someone is charged with a terrorist offence, but I HAVE NOT.
I have suffered a loss of earning as I lost interviews I had planned in the Conference Centre, my reputation has been damaged, and my financial sponsors, of whom I am so grateful too, I feel have been let down. I plan to ask those who helped me get here, if they want repaid.
We are meant to live in a just country where the rule of law is applied fairly. That people are innocent until proven guilty, and that evidence must be provided for any claim, civil or criminal.
I am an accredited Journalist with The National Union of Journalist (NUJ). I am not a threat to National Security. I am a threat to the DWP as I might unearth more of their errors and falsehoods.
I will keep you updated of any developments. Meanwhile, please consider donating to either my crowdfunder here, or to my PayPal to help support my work as a Journalist. I don’t use ads and rely on my amazing readers to keep me going.
To all those who have supported me so far, and those who do in the future, thank you. I have been truly humbled by the supportive messages I have gotten in the last 72 hours.
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