The former chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, Jeremy Newmark, has denounced as “a politically motivated witch-hunt” the allegations of financial wrongdoing against him, which led to a year-long independent inquiry and a file sent to the police.
Newmark was informed last week that the police had decided to take no action against him.
Police made the decision after an external inquiry into a series of historic financial irregularities, established at the behest of the Charity Commission. It pointed the finger at some of the trustees for their response to the allegations, saying a “professionally qualified trustee has a higher duty of skill and care in matters relevant to that qualification than other than other trustees” and insisting an internal inquiry should have been opened at the time. The report added that there was “potentially questionable expenditure of £111,734” which would have warranted further investigation.
In findings published in February, however,, it said the trustees actions were taken in good faith A parallel report by independent forensic accountants, Crowe UK LLP was submitted to the police but never made public.
Newmark was chief executive of the JLC for seven years until 2013 and stood down citing reasons of ill-health. A whistleblower alerted the JLC leaders to a series of allegations regarding thousands of pounds’ worth of improper spending, but Mr Newmark always denied the claims.
Speaking exclusively to the Jewish News, Newmark said: “Since the original anonymous ‘leaks’ of unsubstantiated complaints by a so-called whistleblower I have always been adamant that these allegations were malicious and false. After a year-long investigation by Judge Dawn Freedman’s panel (with whom I fully co-operated) and subsequent referral of their deliberations to the police, not a single one of the allegations against me has been proven”.
He said that he and his family had had to suffer “the consequences of a politically motivated witch-hunt, set against a backdrop of hysteria, fake news and nastiness”.
Newmark said he was taking legal advice as to how to proceed in the wake of the police decision. He said that there were “clearly lessons to be learned” by many of the parties involved.
But he was not ready to comment further as he was focusing on his bid to be re-elected as a Labour borough councillor in Borehamwood, as well as co-ordinating the campaign for 38 other Labour candidates in the area. He said: “I owe it to local people to give that my full attention and not to allow the fall-out from these historic matters to distract me from that.”