The PSA will ask the High Court to quash a GPhC fitness to practise decision to issue a warning to a pharmacist for making highly “offensive” antisemitic remarks. 

The Professional Standards Authority will ask the High Court to quash a General Pharmaceutical Council fitness to practise committee decision to issue a warning to a pharmacist for making highly “offensive” antisemitic remarks.

A spokesperson for the PSA is reported by the Pharmaceutical Journal to have said the decision to file an appeal against the decision was taken “as a result of the authority’s concern that the committee had erred in its approach to a charge that the comments made by Mr Ali were antisemitic”.  

“Those errors could mean that it is not possible to know whether a different outcome would have been reached in the case had the correct approach been taken, and that therefore the decision taken by the committee was not sufficient to protect the public,” the spokesperson said.

The GPhC fitness to practise case was heard by the committee between 26 October and 5 November 2020. At the hearing, it was stated that, among other comments made at the rally, pharmacist Nazim Hussain Ali said: “They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party.” 

The Pharmaceutical Journal reported that the committee considered whether these remarks could be interpreted as antisemitic and offensive concluding that Mr Ali’s words had “brought disgrace upon the profession” and that, although “the comments were not made as a pharmacist”, “it was close to inevitable that he would be identified as a pharmacist, and in due course was”. 

However, the committee said that “most reasonable people”, when taking into account the context in which the comments were made, would not conclude that the comments were antisemitic. 

No date has yet been set for a High Court hearing. 

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