Daily archives: December 19, 2022

Not a Fit and Proper Person 116

After a two year process, the NUJ Executive have finally rejected the renewal of my NUJ membership based on social media posts I allegedly made which they refuse to show me and of content and subject of which I genuinely have not a clue.

But apparently these social media posts make me not a fit and proper person to be a member of the NUJ.

Murdoch employees are fit and proper persons. The Guardian journalists who produced the front page of lies about Manafort meeting Assange are fit and proper persons.  The security service mouthpieces at the BBC are fit and proper persons.

The NUJ even accepts for membership copywriters for corporations working in PR companies. All these people are fine.

But I am not a fit and proper person because of some things I allegedly said on social media, which I am not allowed to see or to explain.

I am also not a fit and proper person because I published the NUJ’s incredibly deceitful handling of my renewal application, when apparently the NUJ believes it should have been secret (why?).

Finally I have failed to produce evidence of my income from journalism. I provided them with a download from Paypal of my monthly subscription totals. Apparently this was not sufficient, but they refuse to say what would be sufficient.

I have appealed against the decision, but given it is plainly politically motivated I do not expect much joy. There appears to be a universal effort across the political establishment to deplatform and isolate anybody who queries official narratives. Given that mainstream media are such a large part of that, it is perhaps not as surprising as it should be to find the National Union of Journalists an enthusiastic part of the process.

I hardly dare to imagine the long-suffering readers of this blog would support yet another legal case, but in the New Year we may need to try.


Craig Murray


18 December 2022

Thank you for your email of 18 November informing me that my application for renewal of my NUJ membership has been refused, on the grounds that I am not a fit and proper person to be a member, and that I have not provided sufficient evidence of income from journalism.

I wish to appeal this decision.

Point 1 – The Evidence Against Me

The first test of natural justice has been failed by the NUJ. I have no idea at all what are the social media posts and correspondence which you state render me not a fit and proper person to renew my NUJ membership.

I have never seen these. You have never put them to me. I have been given no chance to check if they are genuine nor to explain their context. There are two sides to every story and you have made no attempt at all to hear my side.

I have been very active on social media for 15 years and I have never been suspended nor, to my knowledge, reported for inappropriate content. I genuinely have no idea what you are talking about.

I believe the “fit and proper person test” may here be being used as a tool for an exclusion actually based on difference of political opinion.

I am myself continually subject to unprovoked attacks on social media by mainstream media journalists, many of whom I presume will be members of the NUJ. One that I know is a member is Mr David Leask, because you name him as one of the complainers against me.

Here is a link to just Mr Leask’s latest unprovoked rant against me on twitter, in which he casts aspersions on my linguistic skills for no other reason than to malign me (in fact I passed the FCO’s extremely difficult operational level exams in both Polish and Russian).


I am really not certain why Mr Leask remains a fit and proper person if he attacks my output, but it makes me not a fit and proper person if I attack his? I should be grateful for an explanation on this point. To be plain, I see no reason why sharp disagrrement should bar either of us from the NUJ.

I am equally often subject to unprovoked attack by mainstream media journalists in their publications. Here is a link to one one by Mr Paul Hutcheson of the Daily Record, in which he published a photo of my home next to an article inciting against me, and put me in fear for the safety of my wife and infant children.


It is highly probable that either Mr Hutcheson or some of the editorial chain who approved doing this to me are members of the NUJ. Why does that behaviour not call into question their fit and proper person status, and how is my alleged behaviour – and I still do not know what it is – worse than that?

Again, that is not rhetorical, it is a question to which I should like to see an answer.

Point 2 – Proper Procedure Wilfully Ignored

The NUJ rulebook is perfectly plain that when an application is received, it should be sent to the applicant’s own branch or chapter for comment by members.

This rule was breached in my case. My own branch, Edinburgh Freelance, has still never had sight of my application, plainly contrary to the rulebook. I was a member for three years quite happily, with zero friction or adverse comment.

Instead what happened was that NUJ officials politically hostile to me circulated my application for comment, not to my own branch as the rules dictate, but only to a secret selected cabal of colleagues of similar political persuasion, in order to generate objections.

The chronology is important here – objections were generated before I published the fact of my application.

Point 3 – Publicising My Application

When an organisation is behaving deviously, maliciously and not in accordance with its own rules, it is of the essence of good journalism to publish it – even when that organisation is the NUJ.

I can see no reason at all why a NUJ membership renewal application should be secret if the applicant does not wish it to be. To claim my publicising the NUJ’s extraordinary handling of my application, as in itself evidence I am not a fit and proper person to be an NUJ member, is self-serving nonsense of a particularly devious kind.

Point 4 – Earnings From Journalism

I am really at a loss here. I do get more than 50% of my income from journalism, from subscriptions and donations to my blog. I have provided you with a printout from Paypal showing a year’s monthly subscriptions.

In response your membership department stated that you need to see payment per article, rather than payment by subscription. Is it really the case that journalists in new media who receive their income by subscribers are excluded from NUJ membership? If so, what is the legal basis for excluding this particular method of payment? It is the most common form of new media operation.

My last letter to your membership department specifically asked what further evidence was required, and volunteered to pay my membership fees based on gross subscription income rather than net if that were easier.

I never did receive any reply to my offer to provide whatever proof you need, provided it is also what is asked of others. To simply state I have failed to satisfy, while refusing to advise what would satisfy, is yet further evidence this has been a politically motivated process aimed at justifying refusing renewal.

Point 5 – The Purpose of the NUJ

The NUJ does not exist purely to provide those with comfortable berths in corporate media, the BBC or PR firms with their press cards, It has a particular responsibility to support journalists with views that are disliked by the political establishment, and to uphold their freedom of speech.

The sub-committee agreed that my output of articles does meet the criterion of journalism. I therefore have a right to join the union. The “fit and proper person test” is not meant to exclude people some members dislike or disagree with.

To pretend that I am in any way more aggressive in dialogue with those members objecting than they are with me is a fake made possible only by the outrageous device of the sub-committee never putting the allegations and evidence to me.

Point 6 – Health

It is true that very occasionally I have made social media posts I subsequently regret. I generally apologise very quickly. It is fairly widely known that I have been diagnosed bipolar my whole adult life, and can therefore sometimes be intemperate. That puts me in a class the NUJ should particularly seek to protect. It may well be relevant to the evidence before the committee – I do not know as I was not shown it. Nor was I given the chance to make this, nor any other, point to the sub-committee.

Point 7 – Late Appeal

I hope you will accept this appeal which is just beyond the 28 day cut-off point due entirely to force majeure. My laptop was stolen two weeks ago while on a month long tour of Germany, Austria, Slovenia and France with the Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign – a cause the NUJ supports.

I lost my draft reply to you when my laptop was stolen. Astonishingly, five days later my replacement laptop was also stolen in extraordinary circumstances. At that point I also lost access to my email accounts, including your email and the sub-committee report. I only recovered the material on return home this weekend .

May I conclude by wishing all the best to you and yours in this the festive season.


Craig J Murray



Dear Mr Murray,

Further to you application for membership of the NUJ I wish to advise that the application was considered directly by the National Executive Council in accordance with Rule 3 (b) of the union’s rules.

At a meeting on Friday 11th November the NEC accepted the report of the panel set up to consider your application.

The panel found that you do not meet the membership criteria in relation to proven earnings from journalism.

The committee also considers objections to the application based on published material in the public domain and your conduct towards NUJ members.

The NEC accepted the recommendation that:

you should be considered not a fit and proper person to be a member of the NUJ within the context of Rule 3 of the NUJ Rule Book, specifically the NUJ Code of Conduct and the obligation under Membership Responsibilities.

If you wish to appeal the determination to the Appeals Tribunal you may do so in writing within 28 working days of the decision.

Please address your appeal to the General Secretary by email to [email protected]

For reference I attach a copy of the report to the NEC.

Membership Application:  Craig Murray

Background: The NEC appointed a subcommittee to consider the membership application of Craig Murray comprising the Honorary General Treasurer, the Chair of Finance Committee, and the NUJ Vice President. The committee held two meetings and reviewed substantial material relating to the application.

Mr Murray’s previous application, in March 2020 was the subject of a number of objections. It was not processed because the application form was not complete, in accordance with the NUJ Rule Book. 

Context: Mr Murray applied for membership on 5th March 2020. In May 2020, the General Secretary appointed the Assistant General Secretary (AGS) to carry out a preliminary investigation into objections to Mr Murray’s application.

Two objectors confirmed that they wished to proceed with their objection in accordance with the provisions of Rule 3 (iii): Chris Diamond and David Leask.

A third applicant had confirmed that they wished to proceed with their objection but

following the decision of the applicant to publish details of private correspondence between himself and the AGS, and the comments made by the applicant in his post and subsequent comments on his social media blog, the third complainant advised the AGS that he wished to request anonymity due to the perceived risk of social media abuse. 

Two other members sought to raise objections but requested anonymity.

The objectors raised concerns that their objections and personal details could be posted on social media and that they may be the subject of online abuse or harassment.

An NEC panel was established to review the applications and to consider the complaint.

Since the application did not meet the membership criteria the complaints were moot and not considered at that time.

It was recommended that the complaints be noted and, in the event of a future application by Mr Murray would be considered by the NEC. 

New application:  A fresh application by Mr Murray was received in February 2022. The application was referred directly to the NEC.

The NEC established a sub committee comprising of the Vice President, Chair of Finance and Hon Gen Treasurer.

The subcommittee considered a significant volume of correspondence between Mr Murray and the Membership Department relating to his application.

The committee also noted correspondence from third parties relating to the application.

It was also obliged to consider previous objections.

The subcommittee was satisfied that, subject to proof of income, Mr Murray would satisfy the requirement for membership in terms of membership criteria.

Mr Murray did not provide sufficient information regarding his earnings from journalism to satisfy the panel as to his entitlement to full membership. On that basis Mr Murray was deemed ineligible for membership.

The subcommittee then reviewed the objections to the original application and the material cited in the complaints, including social media posts and Mr Murray’s blog.

The committee noted with concern Mr Murray’s behaviour towards NUJ members and office holders.

The subcommittee viewed his behaviour towards NUJ members as being inconsistent with the NUJ Membership Responsibilities and the NUJ Code of Conduct.

The committee felt that those who sought anonymity were justified in doing so, given Mr Murray’s published comments and his decision to publish correspondence relating to the investigation while the process was underway.

The committee recommends to the NEC that Mr Murray is not a fit and proper person to be a member of the NUJ within the context of Rule 3 of the NUJ Rule Book.

November 11, 2022

Yours sincerely

Jackie Clark

Head of Finance and Membership

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