Gina Nadira Singh
19 April 1965
|Education||Moira House Girls School|
|Alma mater||University of East London|
University of London
|Known for||Challenging Her Majesty's Government's right to invoke Article 50 without reference to Parliament|
|Spouse(s)||Adrian Beal (m. 1985; div.)|
(m. 2000; div. 2002)
Alan Miller (m. 2007)
Gina Nadira Miller (née Singh; born 19 April 1965) is a Guyanese-British business owner and activist who initiated the 2016 R (Miller) 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.
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.
Miller was born Gina Nadira Singh in British Guiana to Savitri and Doodnauth Singh, who later became Attorney General of Guyana. She is of Indian descent. She grew up in the newly independent Guyana before being sent to England by her parents at the age of 10 to be educated at Moira House Girls School. 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. She gained a degree in marketing, and an MSc in human resource management at the University of London.
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. In February 2009, Miller co-founded the investment firm SCM Private (now SCM Direct) with her husband Alan Miller. 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.
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".
True and Fair Foundation
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. The Foundation is a registered charity under English law.
True and Fair Campaign
In January 2012, 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." This initiative attracted the animosity of part of the City, earning her the nickname of "black widow spider". She reported being called "a disgrace [whose] lobbying efforts would bring down the entire City", 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.
Brexit legal challenge
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.
On 3 November 2016, the High Court of Justice ruled that Parliament had to legislate before the Government could invoke Article 50. 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".
Miller has frequently stated she was pressing on with the legal action as a matter of democracy, but she has also made clear her opposition to the result of the 2016 EU referendum: "I beg you, as Labour’s leader, to reject a policy that will so obviously turn our country into a laboratory for one of the most extreme rightwing experiments we have witnessed since the 1930s.". She has claimed to not be a committed Europhile; that her role came about from having legal training, a job in investment management, and "years of campaigning for transparency and accountability". She claimed concern 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". She claimed 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".
The Government's appeal to the Supreme Court was heard in December 2016. 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. When the Supreme Court delivered judgment in January 2017, it upheld the High Court ruling by a majority of 8–3. Article 50 was subsequently 'triggered' by Theresa May on 29 March 2017.
Abuse and threats
The legal challenge met with a "torrent" of abuse from some of those supporting Brexit, including racial abuse and death threats. In the two days following the judges' decision, more than 79,000 tweets mentioned her account, of which about 13 per cent were hostile. Many referred to her as a traitor and mentioned her perceived "foreign-ness". 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. A man, aged 55, was arrested in November 2016 on suspicion of racially aggravated malicious communications over threats to Miller, but was later told he would not be prosecuted. Another man, aged 50, was arrested in January 2017, also in relation to the complaint made in November; the second man was later named as Rhodri Philipps, 4th Viscount St Davids, who was charged on 7 March. 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. 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. He was found guilty of two charges at his trial on 11 July 2017, at which he defended himself. Philipps described his own comments as "satire". He was later sentenced to 12 weeks in prison.
At least eight other people were issued with cease and desist notices by the police. In August 2017, Miller said she had faced continuing threats of acid attacks in recent months, and fears leaving her home.
2017 general election
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. 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 elected MPs have a real final vote on the Brexit deal. It also encouraged young people to become actively engaged in the Brexit debate. She stated publicly that she personally would vote Liberal Democrat for the first time, having previously been a Labour supporter.
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