The LGA does not endorse how this recent communication was sent, nor the hurt, worry and distress that this has caused.
27 November 2023
On Monday 20 November, the LGA issued a statement in response to complaints about the unsolicited email circulated by Cllr James Giles to 19,000 councillors across the UK. The email sought signatures to a letter to the Prime Minister and included a perceived threat that the names of councillors choosing not to sign would be published. The wording of that email implied that Councillor Jamal Chohan had co-authored both the letter and the covering email.
Based on that wording, our statement identified Councillors James Giles and Jamal Chohan as co-authors of the letter and the covering email. Councillor Chohan has since clarified that whilst he co-authored the letter, he was not involved in drafting, nor did he endorse the wording, of Councillor James’ email.
We have now amended the statement on our website and would ask you to note that Councillor Jamal did not endorse or sign the original covering email.
STATEMENT UPDATED 22 NOVEMBER 2023
Following a letter and email sent to all councillors from Cllr James Giles from The Royal Borough of Kingston, calling for recipients to sign up to a call for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza, with those not signing being publicly named, Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association, united with all LGA Group Leaders, said:
“The LGA does not endorse how this recent communication was sent, nor the hurt, worry and distress that this has caused. We can also confirm that the LGA did not share any councillor email contact information.
“Pending investigation, Cllr Giles has stood down from all formal positions within the Local Government Association and all upcoming speaking opportunities at our events, with immediate effect.
“We understand that The Royal Borough of Kingston’s Monitoring Officer, the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Metropolitan Police are aware of this ongoing situation.”
Note to Editors
This statement is jointly made by Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the LGA together with:
Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Leader of the LGA’s Labour Group
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Leader of the LGA’s Conservative Group
Cllr Joe Harris, Leader of the LGA’s Liberal Democrat Group
Cllr Marianne Overton, Leader of the LGA’s Independent Group