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When I took over as Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) from my predecessor, Jeremy Newmark, in 2013, the organisation began a new chapter. However, over the last week, the JLC has come under significant scrutiny concerning Jeremy’s alleged conduct as chief executive, the lead up to his exit, and the way in which it was managed.
Today, it is an undisputed fact that the JLC is a very different organisation, operationally and otherwise, to the one that I took control of in 2013. It not only has a new chief executive, but also a new chairman, Jonathan Goldstein – a former lawyer like myself – seven new trustees, and a new strategic direction.
Following a media enquiry about the conduct of the JLC’s former CEO, Jeremy Newmark, who left the JLC in September 2013, the JLC has issued the following statements to the Jewish Chronicle.
Simon Johnson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Leadership Council said:
“I was made aware of this matter as soon as I was appointed as Chief Executive Officer. I am satisfied that the then Chairman acted at all times with the knowledge and full support of the Trustees.
“Immediately upon my appointment, working closely with our auditors and our Trustees, I put in place additional measures to enhance and improve the JLC’s financial control procedures. We improved management accounting, tightened spending authority levels and put in additional approvals relating to payments from the bank. We have established best practice conflict of interest procedures and reporting of related party transactions. These are all documented in detail in our Annual Statutory Accounts.”
Former Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, Sir Mick Davis who was the Chairman at the time of the alleged incidents said:
“At all times I acted with the full knowledge and support of the Trustees. As soon as the Board of Trustees became aware of the issues it acted immediately and in accordance with the advice it received. Individual Trustees ensured that the JLC’s accounts were made good and whole. Jeremy resigned due to ill health and the Trustees agreed, with due regard to his welfare and that of his family, that no further action was warranted.”