First Hearing on the People versus Carmichael this Thursday!

petitioners 1
The four petitioners with the document that went to the Court of Session

The people behind the crowdfunding campaign for the legal case to hold Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael accountable for his behaviour before, during and after the 2015 General Election campaign have thanked the thousands of donors who helped surpass the £60,000 target.

A total of £61,448 was donated over the month that The People Versus Carmichael fundraiser was on Indiegogo. Representing 102% of the target, the cash came from 3,968 individuals – averaging approximately £15.50 each.

The fundraiser, to allow the legal case under the Representation of the People Act 1983, closed just before the news came that the first stage of the case, which is being defended by the Liberal Democrat MP, will be called at the Court of Session next week.

A “by order” hearing will be held in Edinburgh on Thursday by Lady Paton. This is a hearing of a case called by the court and not on motion by either of the involved parties.

The People Versus Carmichael group want the election result in the Orkney and Shetland constituency overturned after Carmichael, who was Scottish Secretary at the time, leaked and then lied about a memo claiming that Nicola Sturgeon would like to see David Cameron returned to Downing Street.

Legal arguments are likely to be heard on Thursday on the procedural aspects of the case, and a date could be set for a full hearing.

A spokesman for The People Versus Carmichael said: “We have been overwhelmed not just by the level of financial support that we have received but with the messages of support that have come from Orkney and Shetland, all over the UK and from abroad.

“We knew that a significant amount of money needed to be raised quickly to make the action possible as with all legal cases there is no guarantee of winning. However there is also a comprehensive programme in place for distribution of any unused funds to Scottish food bank charities.

“We await with interest the outcome of the first stage of the case.
“It is clear from the widespread support that we have had, and continue to have, that this campaign goes far beyond any political party, and is backed by residents of Orkney and Shetland who are disappointed in the behaviour of their MP and want our politics conducted honestly and without smears.”

The group also said that the silent protests in front of St Magnus Cathedral had been ended in part due to the risks supporters were facing, with one person having apparently lost their job due to their support of the campaign.

The spokesman said: “We were even being told that a peaceful demonstration was bad for the tourist trade. We are standing up for freedom of speech in small communities and call on everyone who participates in this debate to remember that we live in a democracy.”

Contributions are still being accepted the campaign – all excess funds raised will go to food banks in Scotland. Contribute here.

24 thoughts on “First Hearing on the People versus Carmichael this Thursday!

  1. Alfie Dickson June 30, 2015 / 10:39 am

    Do we know who is paying for Carmichael ‘s court expenses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Vole June 30, 2015 / 10:47 am

      The National reported a few weeks ago that both the Cabinet Office and Scottish Office were not. The Liberal Democrats have refused to comment.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Marsi June 30, 2015 / 11:06 am

    Proud to support this – am planning a picnic day out in court with the kids

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Vole June 30, 2015 / 11:13 am

      Don’t get too excited about this one – this should be quite short and will just decide the way ahead. This will give us the date, we hope, for the one that really matters.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. gm June 30, 2015 / 11:10 am

    Is this the extent of your costs or will there be more legal costs to come?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Vole June 30, 2015 / 11:12 am

      We don’t know yet. We think what we have raised will cover the cost of what is called a legal debate. A full trial could cost £250,000. If it comes to that we will have to come up and ask people what they would like us to do.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Teri June 30, 2015 / 1:31 pm

        I’m setting aside some money each week, in case you cant cover costs or if we decide to go to full trial if it comes to that. You need to know that everyone is going to chip in if the total cost is beyond what you have already. We dont want to see you severely out of pocket. Good Luck x

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sooz June 30, 2015 / 11:21 am

    I don’t follow the argument that a silent protest affects the tourist trade. Are they saying that all tourists are put off by the thought of a few people standing silently to protest an important issue? Are they suggesting that one should only protest when there are not likely to be any tourists (i.e. never) or that residents mustn’t hold protests about issues they feel strongly about (i.e. never). Does the tourist trade trump your legal and democratic rights to protest peacefully?

    However, nothing surprises me any more, and what a shame that is: that a jaundiced view is the default these days as far as Westminster politics are concerned. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Vole June 30, 2015 / 11:35 am

      Thats just what they are saying. We had tourists coming up and having their pictures taken with us and others writing it to say how exciting it was to see people engaged in the democratic processs.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Jan Cowan June 30, 2015 / 6:52 pm

      I met a young couple in Thurso last week who were on their way to Orkney – spurred on by “the courage shown by the people there”. So as far as they were concerned you’re actually helping the tourist trade! So, don’t worry. Your support is massive.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Sooz June 30, 2015 / 11:28 am

    Just seen the later posts. If it does go to full trial and the democratic view is to go ahead and raise the full amount, there will be a long period until the trial date which will give us plenty of time to work on fundraising.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Vole June 30, 2015 / 11:33 am

      Yes, I don’t really doubt that the amount would be raised, support has been overwhelming, it saddens me that we have to.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Barontorc June 30, 2015 / 11:37 am

    It can be taken that whoever is paying for Carmichael to deny he sought to harm the FM and indeed was the prime source of the leak to the Telegraph, along with others, will have very deep pockets, but that said, this farrago of cover-up and obfuscation can only be halted by the court and the process finished there.

    If it shows the legal system is so enrapt by the semantic wriggledom forwarded by Carmichael, that we lose – then we will have to face that issue and pay their costs – but one thing is for certain – we will support the Orkney folk through this but the legal system and Carmichael will never again be trusted.

    Qui Bono?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. diamondpro730 June 30, 2015 / 1:50 pm

    There needs to be a clear statement of who is funding Carmichaels defence

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Vole June 30, 2015 / 10:17 pm

      That is a question you have to ask him.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. David McDowell June 30, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    “Then it all happens. Witnesses can be called and two judges will take the decision”

    The way to win is to call Mundell as a witness. Let him answer under oath: “Which member of government was the memo addressed to?” The defence case will rapidly be dropped. Carmichael’s feet won’t touch the ground as he’s ushered out the door at Westminster.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JP July 1, 2015 / 8:08 pm

      Not just Mundell, the two journalists from the Telegraph need to be called as witnesses too; they saw the memo.

      Liked by 1 person

      • David McDowell July 4, 2015 / 1:12 pm

        I agree entirely JP – but unfortuntately it doesn’t look like they are going to call any witnesses at all – at the suggestion of the QC for the prosecution!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Vole July 4, 2015 / 4:13 pm
      • David McDowell July 4, 2015 / 6:26 pm

        I think it already is clear. A judge will decide on Wednesday whether or not there is going to be a trial. It’s true that such a decision does not require witnesses. However, to preconcede that any future trial would not require witnesses can only be seen as an unecessary concession at this stage.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sandra / June 30, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    I will dig deep to support you with funds. I applaud your stance, the man’s behaviour is disgraceful. I suspect there is a cover up for someone else going on here. Let’s take this all the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Proud Cybernat July 8, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    Well done the people of Prkney and Shetland. This is so important as it is, at its hearts, about our very democracy. You have my full support all the way–aye, even till my nose bleeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Vole July 9, 2015 / 8:13 am

      Now a nose bleeding cybergnat will only attract midgies and that would be a very big risk indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

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