Wirral Council’s Pensions Committee, which administers the Merseyside Pension Fund, has voted against a proposal to progress towards divesting from businesses operating in the West Bank.
UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) had written to Wirral Council’s Pensions Committee, explaining in detail why the Merseyside Pension Fund should not divest from certain businesses which operate in the West Bank and which appear on a database prepared by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The Committee considered a report on this issue in a meeting on 23 February 2022. They voted against the proposal, which was to carry out enhanced due diligence of the nine companies on the UNHRC database, in which they hold investments. This would have required those companies to respond to the allegation that they are supporting Israeli settlements as alleged in the UNHRC database.
The Merseyside Pension Fund provides pensions for retired employees of public authorities in Merseyside, which has a population of about 1.4 million.
Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI commented: “We are very pleased that the committee recognised the problematic nature of the recommendation to target companies on the UNHRC's discredited database.”