Top employment lawyer opens up after footage of him speaking at extremist group rally in Trafalgar Square surfaced on the internet
A partner at top London outfit Simons, Muirhead & Burton has described how he comes across like a “fucking nutter” in an old YouTube video in which he addresses crowds at an extremist group rally in Trafalgar Square.
The YouTube clip (embedded below), entitled “Makbool Javaid at the Rally Against Oppression” shows the senior lawyer using the derogatory term for non-Muslims “kufr” and calling for the re-establishment of an Islamic state.
Javaid, who was at the event operated by the now banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun, has now given his first interview since the footage emerged. Telling UK political website Politics.co.uk that the clip makes him look like a “fucking nutter”, the lawyer now admits “it is not a speech I would make today”.
Javaid — who qualified as a solicitor in 1988 at civil liberties and human rights firm Bindmans — claims that his attendance at the rally and subsequent speech was down to naivety and not radicalism. Appearing in the video wearing a skull cap — that he says he was handed as he about to go on stage — Javaid says his inner-advocate wanted to please those gathered at the foot of Nelson’s column that day.
Having spent seven years as head of litigation at the Commission for Racial Equality, Javaid landed a partner position at City giant DLA Piper — just a year before his rally speech — in 1998.
At the time the story broke Javaid told Legal Cheek he had been the victim of political point-scoring due to his connection to London mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan. Javaid was married to Khan’s sister Farhat Khan, who is also a lawyer, for 22 years, before their divorce in 2011.
Describing his ex-brother in-law Khan as “a little short arse”, the Simons, Muirhead & Burton lawyer reveals the pair haven’t spoken in “ten years”. Continuing his strong tone he says:
He [Khan] is a cold, calculating politician who wants to get on. I have mixed with politicians all my life. They are single-minded and ambitious and will do whatever it takes to get what they want.
With the press leaping on Khan’s connection to Javaid, the mayoral hopeful was keen to distance himself as much as possible from the employment specialist. Javaid reveals that Khan — as a result of the media scrutiny over the pair’s relationship — missed both of his nieces’ weddings to prevent any further political damage.
Despite everything that Javaid has been through in recent months he told the website that his core beliefs remain the same:
I don’t think my politics have changed. The context has changed for everybody, but I still believe deeply in the rule of law and that civil liberties should be protected. Minority groups shouldn’t be targeted.
Describing his speech as “stupid”, the now beardless, cigarette-smoking, devout Arsenal fan condemns extremist groups such as ISIS. They are “murderous barbarians” and “an abomination that is not going to last”. He claims that it is his legal career that has kept him going, adding:
Everything that’s happened to me… if I was an accountant or in any other profession, I’d be finished now. The only reason I am still standing — God knows for how long — is because this country has the greatest legal profession in the world and we have some of the best lawyers the world has ever produced.
With The Sun branding Javaid “evil” and slamming Khan’s connection to the lawyer, it was left to current affairs magazine Private Eye to point out the tabloid’s glaring hypocrisy. Having failed to do their research, The Sun overlooked the fact that they are clients of, yes you guessed it, Javaid’s firm.
According to Simons Muirhead & Burton’s website, the Soho outfit successfully defended the newspaper against a claim brought by Andrew Mitchell MP in 2012.