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Petition to Bear Grylls draws 900 in support of scout leader expelled on anti-Semitism claims

Bear Grylls [Wikimedia]
Bear Grylls [Wikimedia]

A petition from expelled scout leader Pete Gregson to Chief Scout Bear Grylls has raised 900 signatures, just a month after it was launched on Change.Org.

Gregson, treasurer of the 150th Craigalmond Scout Group, was expelled for being affiliated to the Campaign Against Bogus Antisemitism (CABA). He believes the Scouts appear to be working to the IHRA Definition of anti-Semitism which equates criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism, while Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta says: "Pete is in no way anti-Jewish."

Gregson was expelled after a complaint was lodged because his number was used on a CABA Facebook page five years after the same number was published in a 2017 advert on behalf of the Scout Group seeking volunteers for the committee. He was suspended and expelled on 30 June 2023.

"What is quite shocking is that the Scouts felt that my political activities were of relevance to them," Gregson said in response to the move.

"In March 2010 the World Scout Committee issued a statement on human rights issues which affirmed its 'unequivocal adherence to the principles of human rights expressed in the UN Declaration'. A key plank of the UN Declaration, Article 19, states 'Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.' It appears that the UK Scout Association has breached both my human rights and World Scout Committee declarations. For I am entitled to my political views, which I have never articulated in a scouting environment."

He had previously given ten years' service at Scout executive meetings, organising finances and payment for youth leader expenses, fundraising at fetes, preparing and submitting accounts for the Scout group for its charity registration, claiming Gift Aid from parents from HMRC, organising AGMs, Christmas sing-a-longs, etc.

In addition to setting up the petition, Gregson has submitted an appeal to the National Scout Safeguarding Officer.

READ: Palestinian teen, 17, dies after being shot by Israel settler 

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