Senior CPS lawyer is being probed by her employers after petition set up by far-right group Britain First calling for Nelson Mandela statue to be removed is posted on her Facebook page
- Kim Kendall, 59, was reported to bosses after the appeal went on her timeline
- The petition says the statue of the freedom fighter and peace icon should go
- CPS is probing if Mrs Kendall broke the code of conduct with the appeal post
- If allegation against her is proved, it could spark calls for series of case reviews
A senior Crown Prosecution Service lawyer is being investigated over a far-right petition calling for the removal of Nelson Mandela’s statue on her Facebook page.
Kim Kendall, 59, is being probed by colleagues over the Britain First-started appeal after it appeared on her social media feed.
Mrs Kendall – who works for the Yorkshire and Humberside CPS – is being investigated over whether she broke its strict code of conduct.
If she is found to have done anything wrong, it could pave the way for people involved in her cases to ask for them to be looked at again.
The petition accuses Mandela of being ‘a communist and terrorist mass murderer’ who should be ‘consigned to the dustbin of history’.
CPS lawyer Kim Kendall is being investigated after a petiton calling for the removal of Nelson Mandela’s statue. It was used in the Black Lives Matter protest earlier this month to hold a placard in Parliament Square in London
The Guardian claimed Mrs Kendall – who is married to Grimsby and North Lincolnshire coroner Mark Kendall – removed her Facebook page after it approached the CPS.
Statues have become a key part of the Black Lives Matter movement, with campaigners calling for ones depicting those involved in oppression to be taken down.
Peace icon and freedom fighter Mandela was once viewed less favourably than history now remembers him. Incredibly he remained on US watchlists up until as recently as 2008.
Mrs Kendall is a lawyer from Yorkshire and Humberside CPS, which deals with cases which end up in Grimsby Crown Court (pictured)
CPS workers are supposed to remain impartial, due to their role in deciding whether cases should go to court.
She was flagged up to her bosses by two other lawyers who saw the content on her social media platform. One of them said any of her cases involving black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) defendants or complainants should be reviewed.
Mandela: The freedom fighter who said he was neither saint nor sinner
Mandela was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election but was a controversial figure during his life.
He said himself ‘I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying’.
He joined the African National Congress in 1943 and committed to overthrowing the government after it established apartheid, a form of racial segregation.
Mandela – also called Madiba – was arrested on a number of occasions over his beliefs but was not prosecuted until the sixties.
Then he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe, which led a sabotage campaign against the government.
In 1962 he was arrested and jailed, serving 27 years , split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison.
He was released in 1990 and he and President F. W. de Klerk negotiated an end to apartheid.
He led the ANC to victory in the 1994 general elections and became president.
It was also alleged that she had posted other content on her timeline, including one about the murder of Lee Rigby.
The posting said ‘I don’t remember the UK rioting after 2 black immigrants hacked to death a white British soldier in broad daylight … Just saying!’
CPS Code of Conduct rules state they cannot post things on social media that goes against their political neutrality.
It also stresses personal views should not influence the way a member of staff does their job.
Richard Lunn, a solicitor and director at Haywood, Lunn and Allen, and Attiq Malik, a criminal lawyer, both flagged up her posts.
Mr Lunn said: “Lawyers need to be completely objective, not allow our personal views to influence our work, nor put anything on social media that would reduce faith in our profession.’
Mr Malik said it was disappointing to see another lawyer have Britain First posts on their social media.
A statement released from the CPS to the MailOnline said: ‘Impartiality and fairness are central CPS values and these are underpinned by a clear code of conduct.
‘Any allegations of inappropriate behaviour are taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly.’