Board of Deputies admits it's powerless to expel deputy accused of expressing 'Islamophobic' views

It follows JC investigation into Roslyn Pine


The Board of Deputies has admitted it is powerless to expel one of its members who has been accused of expressing “Islamophobic and anti-Arab” views.

Following a JC investigation into the conduct of Roslyn Pine, the deputy for Finchley United Synagogue, Board president Marie van der Zyl ordered an “urgent and detailed case review” earlier this month.

Mrs Pine had shared tweets describing Muslims as “the vilest of animals”, and Arab migrants as “an invading army” and “battle-hardened Jihadists”.

The JC understands she is the subject of at least one pending Board disciplinary investigation.

On Wednesday, the Board announced Mrs van der Zyl had made eight recommendations for changes to the code of conduct after receiving the report at the end of last week.

Her recommendations will be reviewed by the constitution committee before they are put to a vote by deputies in November.

Mrs van der Zyl said on Wednesday it was “clear that we need to revise the code of conduct".

She added: “It was created in 2013 and it is right that after five years we should have a far-reaching review to make sure that it keeps pace with our organisation.”

It was also revealed the Board has no power to expel deputies even for serious infringements of its code of conduct – including instances of racism or criminal acts, nor can it suspend deputies while investigations are pending.

One anonymous deputy told the JC he was “shocked” to learn the Board was unable to take greater action than “a slap on the wrist”.

“This step is a good start but we know from past experience that the wheels of the constitution committee grind very slowly," he added.

“It would be great if the new president uses her powers to ensure the constitution committee starts dealing with pending cases.”

Another called for the removal of the current chair of the constitution committee, Tony Leifer, who is said to have “lost the trust of deputies”.

Mrs van der Zyl also recommended greater transparency in disciplinary matters, and said no case should take longer than four months to resolve.

The Board has attracted criticism for its “inaction” over the allegations against Mrs Pine. Fiyaz Mughal, an anti-Islamophobia campaigner with links to the Board, said it could undermine interfaith work between the Jewish and Muslim communities.

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