QC at the centre of Brexit legal challenge forced to defend working class background in wake of Twitter abuse

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By Katie King on

Yes my father is an ex-Etonian author, but he denied paternity, says Jolyon Maugham


Devereux Chambers’ Jolyon Maugham QC has come out swinging against Twitter trolls who doubted his working class background.

The top tax barrister has been faced with an onslaught of online abuse in recent weeks following his involvement in a number of Brexit legal challenges, some examples of which are embedded below.

This week, a number of tweeters rounded in on his claim he is from a working class background. In his blog’s ‘About Me’ section, Durham graduate Maugham said:

I had a difficult time at home and, from the age of 16, supported myself as a cleaner and then a secretary. At 17, I came to England [from New Zealand] initially living with an old family friend in a pit village in the North East where my grandfather’s family had lived. I worked for several years, initially as a clerk, at the BBC where I wrote a play for Radio 4 and a feature for Radio 3, before studying law. I feel keenly the need for more voices in public debate who have experienced poverty, who do not come from privileged backgrounds, and who view public policy as it impacts on people’s real lives.

But it seems the Twitter trolls can’t accept this, particularly Vote Leave’s Scottish “spokesman” Jack Montgomery.

A wave of abuse followed.

Eventually Montgomery asked Maugham whether he is the son of David Benedictus — an Eton-educated author and theatre director, whose most recent work is a Winnie the Pooh novel.

The leading barrister has remained dignified in his silence throughout the Twitter abuse, but it seems Montgomery’s question hit a nerve. Not only did he apparently block the Leave campaigner, he also made a series of tweets in seeming response.

His confessional has been met with a wave of support. One tweeter encouraged Maugham to ignore the “fools”, while another said she “never doubted” him.