The High Court has ruled that the General Pharmaceutical Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee (FPC) erred in law when it decided that Nazim Ali had not used antisemitic words during a public speech made at the Al Quds Rally in June 2017. Their ruling on this point has now been quashed and the case has been sent back to the FPC for reconsideration.
Mr Nazim Ali is a pharmacist registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (“the Council”). Disciplinary proceedings were brought against him, alleging that he had used antisemitic and offensive words during a public speech. A Fitness to Practise Committee (“the FPC”) found that the words he had used had not been antisemitic, but that they had been offensive, that this amounted to misconduct, that Mr Ali’s fitness to practise was impaired, and that he should be given a warning.
In December 2020 The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) decided that the FPC erred in its approach to determining whether the comments made by Mr Nazim Ali were antisemitic. The PSA referred the decision to the High Court, which held a hearing on 9 June 2021 and published its Judgment today (23 June 2021).
The PSA’s intervention followed a letter to them from UKLFI Charitable Trust on 16 November 2020 showing that the General Pharmaceutical Council had applied an incorrect test. UKLFI Charitable Trust argued that a referral to the Court was required to maintain public confidence in the pharmacy profession and proper professional standards and conduct.
Mr Nazim Ali is the managing partner of Chelsea Pharmacy in London. On 18 June 2017 Mr Ali attended the Al Quds Day rally, an event which is held to demonstrate support for Palestinian rights. Mr Ali led the rally and used a loudhailer. In the course of a long speech during the rally, he made the following comments, amongst others (with lettering added):
“a. It’s in their genes. The Zionists are here to occupy Regent Street. It’s in their genes, it’s in their genetic code.
European alleged Jews. Remember brothers and sisters, Zionists are not Jews.
Any Zionist, any Jew coming into your centre supporting Israel, any Jew coming into your centre who is a Zionist. Any Jew coming in to your centre who is a member for the Board of Deputies, is not a Rabbi, he’s an imposter.
They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory party.”