Thursday, 1 October 2009
The Foreign Office, The BBC, The Guardian -- Anyone Left Out?


Undiplomatic British Diplomat Guilty of Anti-Semitic Rant

Rowan Laxton

According to a Daily Mail report, A British court, on Sept. 24, found the head of the South Asia desk of the British Foreign Office guilty of racially aggravated harassment. Rowan Laxton also faces loss of his job.

It seems that Mr. Laxton, working out at the London Business School gym in January, accomplished the indelicate maneuver of putting his foot in his mouth while pedaling an exercise bike. Watching a TV report about a farmer in the Gaza Strip allegedly killed by Israeli bombs, the diplomat shouted the well-known English profanity, often referred to as the F-bomb, which he aimed at Israelis and Jews.

Unfortunately for the diplomat, the rant was loud enough to be overheard by two gym patrons on a lower floor lifting weights. The patrons complained to staff at the gym and the complaint went to the authorities. Subsequently, Mr. Laxton, whose salary after tax is £3,000 (about $4,815) per month, was suspended from his Foreign Office job and faces a misconduct hearing. The court fined Mr Laxton £350 (about $562).

A London Times report in February had said about the incident:

He (Laxton) is also alleged to have said that Israeli soldiers should be "wiped off the face of the Earth" during the rant at the London Business School gym near Regents Park on January 27. The tirade reportedly continued even after other gym users asked him to stop.

Subsequently, Mr. Laxton apologized to fellow gym members who had overheard the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel remarks.

There’s been a history of anti-Semitism in the British foreign ministry - is this more of the same?

Posted on 10/01/2009 4:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
1 Oct 2009
Mary Jackson

He has a Muslim wife. See here and here.

2 Oct 2009
Sue R

He's not married to her any longer.  One of his excuses for his rant was that he was in the middle of a difficult divorce.  Let's hope she took him to the cleaners.

2 Oct 2009
Send an emailArtemis

A difficult divorce?  "Talaq, talaq, talaq."  There, was that so difficult?

And he didn't say he would wipe "Israeli soldiers" off the face of the earth, he said he would wipe "the Israelis" off the face of the earth.