Gina Miller

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Gina Miller
Born (1965-04-19) 19 April 1965 (age 53)
British Guiana
Residence Chelsea, London[1][2]
Education Moira House Girls School
Alma mater University of East London
University of London
Occupation Investment management
Known for Challenging Her Majesty's Government's right to invoke Article 50 without reference to Parliament
Spouse(s) Jon Maguire (m. 2000; div. 2002)[3]
Children 3
Relatives Doodnauth Singh (father)

Gina Miller (née Singh; born 19 April 1965)[4] is a GuyaneseBritish business owner who initiated the 2016 R (Miller and Dos Santos) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union court case against the British government over its authority to implement Brexit without approval from Parliament.[5]

Miller also co-founded SCM Direct in 2009 and founded the True and Fair Campaign in 2012 calling for an end to financial misconduct in the investment and pension industries. She also founded the True and Fair Foundation.[6][7]

Biography[edit]

Miller was born in British Guiana to Savitri and Doodnauth Singh, who later became Attorney General of Guyana. She is of Indian descent.[8][9] She grew up in the newly independent Guyana before being sent to England by her parents at the age of 10[10][11] to be educated at Moira House Girls School.[9][12] She studied law at the Polytechnic of East London (now University of East London) but left without completing her finals because her parents wanted her in Guyana.[9] She gained a degree in marketing, and an MSc in human resource management at the University of London.[4]

She owned a property photographic laboratory in 1987, before becoming a marketing and event manager at BMW Fleet Division in 1990. She started a specialist financial services marketing agency in 1992, and launched the Senate investment conference programme in 1996. She became a marketing consultant in 2006.[4] In February 2009,[13] Miller co-founded the investment firm SCM Private (now SCM Direct) with her husband Alan Miller.[10][14] She has been a leading campaigner against hidden charges in pensions and investment and what she has described as "flagrant mis-selling within the asset management market". She set up Miller Philanthropy (now rebranded the True and Fair Foundation) in 2009, and established MoneyShe.com in 2014, as a female-focused investment brand.[4][9]

She is married for the third time, and has three children.[4][15]

In October 2017, Gina Miller was named by Powerlist as the "UK's most influential black person" which recognises those of African and African Caribbean heritage. Those nominated were decided by an independent panel – including former High Court judge Dame Linda Dobbs and former Apprentice winner Tim Campbell. They rated nominees on their "ability to change lives and alter events".[16]

True and Fair Foundation[edit]

Miller set up the True and Fair Foundation in 2009, with the stated aim of increasing philanthropy and common good in an era of growing inequality, social fragmentation and small state funding. It aims to encourage those who have been successful to give back to the communities that afforded them their success, lessening the burden of giving for donors and philanthropists who wish to give smarter and in an efficient and transparent manner but may be time poor.[17]

True and Fair Campaign[edit]

In January 2012,[13][18] she set up the True and Fair Campaign, with the stated aim to "limit the possibility of future mis-selling or financial scandals through greater transparency."[11] This initiative attracted the animosity of part of the City, earning her the nickname of "black widow spider".[14] She reported being called "a disgrace [whose] lobbying efforts would bring down the entire City",[10] and the Daily Mail reported that she had been criticised because her firm SCM had not disclosed the size of the fund it is managing for its clients.[19][20]

Brexit legal challenge[edit]

In June 2016, in the aftermath of the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, Miller privately engaged the City of London law firm Mishcon de Reya to challenge the authority of the British Government to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union using prerogative powers, arguing that only Parliament can take away rights that Parliament has granted.[14]

On 3 November 2016, the High Court of Justice ruled that Parliament had to legislate before the Government could invoke Article 50.[21][22] Miller said outside the High Court: "The judgment, I hope – when it's read by the Government and they contemplate the full judgment – that they will make the wise decision of not appealing but pressing forward and having a proper debate in our sovereign Parliament, our mother of parliaments that we are so admired for all over the world".[23]

Miller stated why she was pressing on with the legal action in a newspaper article published the day before the Supreme Court appeal hearing opened on 5 December. She was not a committed Europhile, but she did have a legal training, a job in investment management, and "years of campaigning for transparency and accountability". She was concerned that experienced, senior politicians appeared not to know that only Parliament can take away from people rights that Parliament had granted; and were instead proposing to trigger withdrawal from the EU, without parliamentary authority, by using the royal prerogative, which she described as "an ancient self-serving right that Kings and Queens once used to rid themselves of their enemies". It was not the idea of Brexit that filled her with dread but the idea of an unchallenged, unanswerable government taking "us" back to 1610, "and ripping a hole through our democratic structures".[24]

The Government's appeal to the Supreme Court was heard in December 2016.[25] When closing the hearing, the Court President said that the appeal raised important constitutional issues, and the Justices would take time to give full consideration to the many arguments presented to them, orally and in writing, and they would do their best to resolve the case as quickly as possible.[26] When the Supreme Court delivered judgment in January 2017, it upheld the High Court ruling by a majority of 8–3.[27] Article 50 was subsequently 'triggered' by Theresa May on 29 March 2017.

Abuse and threats[edit]

The legal challenge met with a "torrent" of abuse from some of those supporting Brexit, including racial abuse and death threats.[14] Miller's solicitor, Mishcon de Reya, was subjected to abuse as a result of its involvement in the case, and Brexit supporters mounted a protest outside the firm's offices.[28] A man, aged 55, was arrested in November 2016 on suspicion of racially aggravated malicious communications over threats to Miller,[29] but was later told he would not be prosecuted.[30] Another man, aged 50, was arrested in January 2017, also in relation to the complaint made in November;[30] the second man was later named as Rhodri Philipps, 4th Viscount St Davids, who was charged on 7 March.[31] Philipps, of Knightsbridge, London, described Miller as a "boat jumper" and added: "If this is what we should expect from immigrants, send them back to their stinking jungles". Philipps also posted "£5,000 for the first person to 'accidentally' run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant" on Facebook.[32] He pleaded 'not guilty' to three charges of malicious communication under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 2 May 2017. At the May hearing, the prosecution said the crown would seek an extended sentence because of the racial aggravation factor.[33] He was found guilty of two charges at his trial on 11 July 2017, at which he defended himself.[34] Philipps described his own comments as "satire".[32] He was later sentenced to 12 weeks in prison.[35]

At least eight other people were issued with cease and desist notices by the police.[36] In August 2017, Miller said she had faced continuing threats of acid attacks in recent months, and fears leaving her home.[37]

2017 general election[edit]

Miller organised a crowdfunding campaign to back candidates opposed to a 'hard Brexit' in the 2017 general election. As of 21 April 2017, the campaign had raised over £300,000.[38] On 26 April 2017, Miller launched the Best for Britain campaign at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. The campaign called for a tactical vote to ensure MPs elected would make the final vote on the Brexit deal a real one and encouraged young people to vote. She stated publicly that she personally would vote Liberal Democrat for the first time, having previously been a Labour supporter.[39]

She also launched a legal challenge against the Conservative–DUP agreement, the confidence-and-supply agreement secured by Theresa May's government in the aftermath of the election.[40]

People's Vote[edit]

On 23 June 2018 Miller appeared at the People's Vote march in London to mark the second anniversary of the referendum to leave the European Union. People's Vote is a campaign group calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the UK and the European Union.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Who is Gina Miller? Meet the millionaire Remainer behind the Supreme Court Brexit case". Daily Express. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Article 50 claimant Gina Miller: 'It isn't safe for me to go outside'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Who is Gina Miller? The woman leading the Brexit legal battle". Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Newlands, Chris (24 April 2016). "Racism and fees fire up Gina Miller"Paid subscription required. Financial Times. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden, "A woman suing the British government over Brexit is receiving a flood of sexist and racist threats", Business Insider UK, November 30, 2016 Archived 4 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Who is Gina Miller?". Daily Telegraph. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. 
  7. ^ "The True and Fair Foundation – Contact Us". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Kutchinsky, Serena (10 November 2016). "'This is bigger than just Brexit': how Gina Miller held the government to account over the EU". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d Butter, Susannah (4 November 2016). "Brexit legal challenge: Gina Miller argues 'defending democracy is the best way to spend my money'". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c "Brexit court case: Who is Gina Miller?". BBC News. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 6 November 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Masters, James (4 November 2016). "Guyana-born Gina Miller: The woman behind the Brexit bombshell". CNN. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Former Eastbourne pupil receives death threats after Brexit case". Eastbourne Herald. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  13. ^ a b "Gina Miller". LinkedIn. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Gina Miller on her Brexit legal challenge: 'This had to be done'". The Guardian. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. 
  15. ^ "Who is Gina Miller? Meet woman who won Article 50 High Court case and put brakes on Brexit". The Express. 4 November 2016. 
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  17. ^ "The True and Fair Foundation – Services – Smart giving". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. 
  18. ^ "Gina Miller: the woman taking on Theresa May over article 50". The Guardian. 13 October 2016. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. 
  19. ^ "What's the truth about Gina Miller?". Mail Online. Archived from the original on 25 January 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  20. ^ "Miller 'naive' to accuse active managers of price collusion". www.portfolio-adviser.com. Archived from the original on 20 March 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  21. ^ "High court says parliament must vote on triggering article 50 – as it happened". The Guardian. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. 
  22. ^ "UK court says Brexit needs parliament's approval, complicates government plans". Reuters. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. 
  23. ^ Payton, Matt (3 November 2016). "Gina Miller subjected to online abuse after Brexit legal challenge victory". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  24. ^ Yes we must have Brexit – but not by mob rule Archived 5 December 2016 at the Portuguese Web Archive, Gina Miller, Mail on Sunday, 4 December 2016
  25. ^ Court, The Supreme. "Article 50 Brexit Appeal – The Supreme Court". Archived from the original on 25 January 2017. 
  26. ^ SC Transcript, 8 December 2016, p.204 Archived 11 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ Supreme Court Judgment [2017] UKSC 5."Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  28. ^ Bowcott, Owen (19 July 2016). "Theresa May does not intend to trigger article 50 this year, court told". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 July 2016. 
  29. ^ "Man Arrested over Threats to Brexit's Case's Gina Miller". BBC News. 7 December 2016. Archived from the original on 7 December 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  30. ^ a b "Man held over 'threats' in Gina Miller Brexit case". BBC News. 25 January 2017. Archived from the original on 25 January 2017. 
  31. ^ "Man charged over 'threats' to Gina Miller". BBC News. 7 March 2017. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  32. ^ a b "Aristocrat guilty over 'menacing' Gina Miller Facebook post". BBC News. 11 July 2017. Archived from the original on 11 July 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  33. ^ Ross, Alice (2 May 2017). "Aristocrat in court over allegedly racist Facebook post about Gina Miller". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  34. ^ "Aristocrat facing jail over racist Facebook threat to Gina Miller". standard.co.uk. 11 July 2017. Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  35. ^ "Rhodri Colwyn Philipps jailed over Gina Miller post". BBC News. 13 July 2017. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  36. ^ O'Carroll, Lisa (25 January 2017). "Gina Miller: 'I've been told that "as a coloured woman", I'm not even human'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  37. ^ O'Carroll, Lisa (9 August 2017). "Gina Miller afraid to leave her home after threats of acid attacks". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017. 
  38. ^ O'Carroll, Lisa (26 April 2017). "Gina Miller raises £300,000 for candidates to oppose hard Brexit". Archived from the original on 8 May 2017 – via The Guardian. 
  39. ^ Olivia Marks, "Gina Miller: Why You Should Vote Tactically", Vogue, 31 May 2017 Archived 6 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
  40. ^ Maidment, Jack (11 September 2017). "Gina Miller in new challenge to Government over Commons approval for £1 billion DUP deal". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  41. ^ Staff writer (23 June 2018). "'At least 100,000' march for vote on final Brexit deal". Sky News. Retrieved 25 June 2018. 

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