Gerry Gable

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Gerry Gable (born 27 January 1937) is a British political activist. He was a long-serving editor of the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine.


The son of a Jewish woman and a nominally Church of England father, Gable grew up in post-war east London considering himself Jewish.[1] As a youth, Gable was a member of the Young Communist League and the Communist Party of Great Britain, and worked as a runner on the Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper, leaving after a year to become a Communist Party trade union organizer. He stood unsuccessfully for the Communist Party on 10 May 1962 at Northfield Ward, Stamford Hill, North London.[2] He finally quit the communist party because of their Anti-Israel policy and because "first and foremost [he has] always been a Jewish trade unionist".[1]

Joined by other Jews and anti-fascists, many ex-serviceman and members of the (Spanish) International Brigades the militant anti-fascist organisation 62 Group was formed, to confront fascists organising on the streets.[1][3][4]

Gable organised intelligence for the 62 Group on fascists, including using infiltrators to help build a defence policy for the community against fascist attacks. This led to the formation of the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight in the mid-1960s, along with Reg Freeson, Joan Lestor, Maurice Ludmer and others. Gable and Ludmer remained active in Searchlight Associates and re-launched the magazine in 1975.[1]

1963 burglary of David Irving's flat[edit]

By November 1963, David Irving was in England when he called the London Metropolitan Police with suspicions he had been the victim of a burglary by three men who had gained access to his Mayfair flat claiming to be General Post Office (GPO) engineers. Anti-fascist activist Gerry Gable was subsequently arrested and held at Hornsey police station, where on 14 January 1964, along with Manny Carpel and another, Gable admitted breaking in with intent to steal private papers. At the trial, counsel for the defence claimed that this was no ordinary crime, telling the court, "they hoped to find material they could take to Special Branch". The case was reported in the Daily Telegraph, 17 January 1964 and other newspapers.[5]

BBC libel litigation[edit]

In 1984 Gerry Gable was commissioned by the BBC to produce research for a BBC Panorama programme Maggie's Militant Tendency. The episode was to focus on a claim of right-wing extremism in the Conservative Party. Gable claimed that his research drew upon the information previously published in Searchlight.[6] The claims by Gable that two Conservative party figures, Neil Hamilton and Gerald Howarth, were secret extremist Nazi supporters was met with libel action against the BBC. The programme had alleged (not admitted as evidence in court) that Hamilton gave a Nazi salute in Berlin while 'messing around' on a Parliamentary visit in August 1983. The Guardian reported that "Writing for the Sunday Times after the collapse of the case, he admitted he did give a little salute with two fingers to his nose to give the impression of a toothbrush moustache. "Somebody on the trip clearly did not share our sense of humour," he wrote."[7]

The BBC capitulated on 21 October and paid the pair's legal costs. Hamilton and Howarth were awarded £20,000 each and in the next edition of Panorama on 27 October, the BBC made an unreserved apology to both.

In 1989 Private Eye magazine falsely claimed that Reginald Gulliver-Buckingham, a member of the military police, had plotted to abduct and murder Gable. The High Court ordered that substantial damages be paid due to the libellous claims.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Smashing Against Rocks at the Wayback Machine (archived June 14, 2011) 1999 Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council article on Gable
  2. ^ "Searchlight and the State", Anarchy 36, 1983, as reprinted on the Kate Sharpley website
  3. ^ Neo-Nazi leader Colin Jordan's legacy
  4. ^ Standing up to fascism: A celebration of the 43 Group
  5. ^ ""Searchlight" & the State". Kate Sharpley Library. 
  6. ^ Searchlight, No.130, April 1986, p2
  7. ^ Wilson, Jamie (December 22, 1999). "Who will listen to his story now?". The Guardian. London. 
  8. ^ "Eye pays security chief for libel". Evening Times. December 13, 1989. p. 25. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 

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