Why do I worry about John Hemming?

This is a post by Sarah Phillimore

It seems that a lot of people genuinely have no idea about the full extent of John Hemming’s activities and the kind of people he supports. I am often asked on Twitter and elsewhere – but why don’t you support John Hemming? He does so much good and has exposed so much wrong doing?

So I am going to collect here the reasons why, so if I am asked that question again, my response can be speedy and efficient.

I accept that John Hemming has done some good for the family law system. I accept for example that he was right to be concerned about applications to send people to prison which were not being publicised or reported. He was right to be concerned about LA’s historic ignorance of and failure to comply with the Vienna Convention.

But. But. But. The harm he has done by his promotion of and support for the most malignant of the conspiracy cottage industry fantasists I am afraid far outweighs the good. And what is worse, he keeps on going and now appears to be the voice of our country to the European Parliament.

This is not right. This is not acceptable. This is positively dangerous.

But don’t take my word for it. Read these links and make up your own mind. I will probably be adding to this list

HIs historic activities



His distortion and misreporting of important cases




Including his eagerness to make serious accusations with no evidence in abuse of his position


See in particular para 88 of that judgment:

I find it not only unacceptable but shocking, that a man in Mr Hemming’s position should feel able to make so serious an allegation without any evidence to support it. In my judgment, it is irresponsible and an abuse of his position. Unfortunately, as other aspects of this judgment will make clear, it is not the only part of the case in which Mr Hemming has been willing to scatter unfounded allegations of professional impropriety and malpractice without any evidence to support them.

His support for Belinda McKenzie and Sabine McNeill




[And if you don’t know why these women are dangerous, read the judgment in the P and Q case or this blog post by Barrister Blogger.]


His association with Ian Josephs and others of questionable repute



He gives vulnerable people really bad advice


Some credible people seem to accept him as legitimate





And his refusal to ever accept that he has done anything unwise or wrong…



EDIT. John Hemming is concerned that I ‘misrepresent his views’ about my claim that the refuses to accept wrongdoing over his patronage of Sabine McNeill and Belinda McKenzie.

Apparently he had no idea what they were up to prior to January 2015 and therefore should not be criticised for failing to withdraw earlier as their patron.

So the questions must be now:

  • if you DID NOT know what they were up to before 2015, despite your longstanding involvement with Sabine McNeill, why didn’t you? and
  • if you DID NOT know what they were up to, why on earth did you offer them your patronage without at least some cursory investigation of their activities?

Read what Sabine was up to in 2011. And how commentators Avalon111 and Jimmy were able to recognise what John Hemming apparently cannot.

As of May 2016, Sabine doesn’t seem to realise she has been cut adrift by John Hemming. Her support for him remains strong.

EDIT December 2018

Hoaxstead Research are covering the trial of Sabine McNeil for the breach of her restraining order which attempted to stop her continued harassment of the parents in the Hampstead case. Read here Sabine’s own account of the support and encouragement given to her by Hemming in her battle against the secret family courts.


So yes, I am afraid I remain really worried about John Hemming.



26 thoughts on “Why do I worry about John Hemming?

  1. John Hemming

    One of the blogs you cite criticised me for being concerned about a case where there was a secret prosecution going on. However, you have said that I was right on the general issue.

    You cannot have these things both ways. If I am/was right about secret jailings then you should not cite a blog which criticises me for my campaigning on the issue.

    SImilarly there are responses to the other points. On RP v the United Kingdom I did a detailed explanation of the reasoning why a particular document had been forged and what the evidence for this was. The European Court of Human Rights did accept that this case was admissible and provided accelerated proceedings. You will find that the Official Solicitors office changed practice after the RP appeal. Sadly I did not manage to make contact RP to get the case into the Grand Chamber.

    However, you do not put my side of the argument on these (and other points). That is fair enough if you don’t claim to be balanced, however.

    [John Hemming claims I am not balanced. Readers can see the judgment in the European decision re RP themselves and make up their own mind. Their findings are set at at paragraph 90:



    1. Declares the first applicant’s complaints under Articles 6 § 1 of the Convention and her complaint under Article 8 of the Convention that she did not have an opportunity to challenge the decision to remove K.P. from her care admissible and the remainder of the application inadmissible;

    2. Holds that there has been no violation of the first applicant’s rights under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention;

    3. Holds that there is no need to examine the first applicant’s complaints under Article 8 of the Convention]

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Of course I can recognise what you did right, whilst at the same time being highly critical of what you have done wrong.

      The fact that you do some things right is neither justification or absolution for the things you do which are wrong.

      Will you accept that offering your support to Sabine McNeill and Belinda McKenzie was wrong and ill advised?

  2. John Hemming

    I note that you also refer to the Italian woman case (sectioning, forced caesarian then forced adoption). You are aware that the Rome Family court on the same facts agreed with me and not the English and Welsh Family Courts.

    I have support from a number of foreign governments, but not the English Government.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I was not aware the Rome Family court agreed with you. Can you explain the basis of their ‘agreement’ with you?

      The fact that you have support from a number of foreign governments is precisely why you are so troubling.

      Are these foreign governments aware of your activities and who you have supported?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      So you claim complete ignorance of their activities and associations when you became patron? Which was some time in 2014? You really had no idea of their roles in the Haigh case for e.g.? I am sorry, but I find that an incredible assertion.

      If you didn’t know – don’t you think you should have dug a little deeper into the activities and characters of those to whom you offered patronage whilst a serving MP?

  3. John Hemming

    The Haigh case was where an attempt was made to jail someone in secret in part for asking a question in parliament.

    I thought you agreed with me that people should not be imprisoned in secret.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I do agree with you that people should not be imprisoned in secret.

      What on earth does that have to do with the issue of whether or not your patronage of Sabine McNeill and her chums was incredibly unwise? That it gave them a credibility that they did not deserve? That allowed them to suck more vulnerable and desperate parents into their maw?

      Have a read of the comments on this. Avalon111 recognised in 2011 what you were apparently utterly ignorant of until Jan 2015. I am afraid I simply don’t believe you when you say you didn’t know what she was up to until then.


      I’m sure UK Column are very dedicated, but you are deep into ‘Holly Grieg’ territory with any dealings with them, and then but a breath away from David Icke and his crowd.

    2. Molly

      Whoever is either by corruption or ignorance trying to put down Vicky,John,Sabine,Ian Joseph &Belinda Christopher Booker etc,obviously has no idea how deep the deceit of so called children services,police and other people who claim to protect children. They think they can keep this up,and keep those who they care most about safe due to as they call themselves ‘Professional in child protection’ they are so wrong. Rhian Scott-Thomas aka Molly

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        I am not trying to ‘put down’ Haigh, Hemming etc. I simply describe what they do.

        If you think what they do is ‘keeping children safe’ then you are entitled to your opinion of course. Just as I am entitled to think you are dangerously wrong.

  4. Gail Levita Andros

    It’s people like Sarah Phililimore that are the worst people to have anything to do with children what so ever. She promotes the agenda that everything is ok in the current system in the UK and uses John Hemmings as a vehicle for her promoting her own career.
    Sarah, I look forward to any human response you give

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I will let your comment stand just this once Gail, however my new policy is to simply delete anything that is abusive.

      Either you have a very low level of reading comprehension or you are deliberately being provocative OR you just haven’t bothered to read anything.

      No one with a reading age above 8 years could possibly be confused about what I have said on this site. No where do I claim ‘everything is ok in the current system’. Quite the opposite in fact.

      Would that my involvement in my ‘crusade’ against John Hemming had helped my career! Ironic laugh. He made a complaint about me to the Bar Council – which of course was not upheld as they agreed that I had a right to discuss matters of public importance. That complaint will certainly not assist my career. I imagine if I did have any ambitions for judicial office, that is the kind of thing that would be a serious impediment.

      Luckily for me, I don’t have any such ambitions. So those who insist that I only do this because I think it is going to propel my career to some stratospheric legal heights must excuse me whilst I go and have a really good laugh.

      Feel free to post again Gail. But if its more witless abuse, you will simply be deleted with no further comment from me.

  5. angelo granda

    You appear to be opposing the flow of popular opinion,Sarah,which is never a good move career-wise.
    I read somewhere recently that the P.M. has spoken of his prediction that sometime in the next thirty years or so,the government will be forced to apologise for the crimes against human rights now being committed as a result of the child-protection system.Parents write to him all the time and tell him of what is going on.I don’t think the Court can stop them from doing so.
    Obviously,the political and career-wise course would be to go with the flow,make a din and help topple the walls of Jericho! So , I must admire you for your total honesty without thought of personal gain;indeed you finance this resource and support the debate money-wise in other ways.
    I think by the time the day of reckoning finally comes and the expected apology comes,your name will be prominent amongst all those who have worked for reform.Most of us are not very far apart after all.You are tireless in your efforts.
    By comparison,i am not a professional so i can do little except comment and hope it helps.
    Well done,Sarah,for keeping the CPR going.
    When the apology is issued,I hope there will be scope for retrospect compensation claims.If you can prepare case arguments in anticipation,you may be able to make a good living bringing claims against LA’s..

  6. angelo granda

    Of course,you don’t oppose popular opinion about the need for reform; you just appear to oppose it on the need to ABOLISH forced adoption.

  7. Sam

    I think the key for the site is in the title and the intro. It’s a resource for everyone. Admittedly all of us have gone off at our own angle at some stage but actually through talking subjects through some good points have emerged and there have been moments of consensus. What I find more important is when a petrified parent finds the site whether biological, foster or adoptive and receives help. Sarah is to be commended to care enough to run the site.

  8. helenSparkles

    Nobody involved in child protection, whether that be families, social workers, lawyers or whoever, would be surprised if the face of adoption changed. It is perfectly possible that there will be apologies and the use of adoption should be subject to rigorous debate. I am always pleased that it is. To surmise that popular opinion is against forced adoption is probably a step too far because most people understand that very few of the 68000 children in care are adopted and only about half of those are non consensual adoptions. Most children remain with their family of origin. What would be helpful is to be able to discuss adoption with all involved without some of the conspiracy theories, myths and untruths being perpetuated. A lot of this are frightening for parents who have social work involvement, we get past that, but we don’t want people to be scared unnecessarily.

    1. angelo granda

      Does anyone know how many long-term foster-care placements are non-consensual (i.e.forced)?

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        No idea I am afraid. I think about 70,000 children are currently ‘looked after’ by LA foster carers. I think its a minority who will be on care orders that parents fought. A lot will be on respite and most do end up going home.

  9. Kate Wells

    I can only applaud your continued endeavours Sarah to demonstrate the erroneous and often ridiculous assertions made by John Hemming and Booker. If JH has a modicum of sense he will “throw the towel in” or he is no match for you. The sad fact is he doesn’t realise this although I know he often fails to answer something pertinent to the debate and comes up with something that is irrelevant.

    I’m so glad Hemming is no longer an MP. When he was I think he was perceived to be something of a “loose cannon” and someone to be avoided. I saw the end of some debate in the Commons and then Hemming got to his feet and there was a mass exodus – MPs falling over each other to get away, and the few that remained (less than 10) one was asleep, one reading something, one gazing at her phone.

    I think if he was perceived as a harmless buffoon it wouldn’t matter so much, but he is spreading lies about serious issues and totally misrepresenting the facts about cases in court. I didn’t understand when he was an MP how he could get away with it – but that’s the Liberals for you. RIP. The people I feel sorry for are the parents who are caught up in care proceedings, because Hemming runs some organisation that “supports” these people, whereas in fact he can’t help them, and in fact makes things worse as on occasions he has advised them to disassociate themselves from their lawyer and have an untrained member of his organisation to act as a McKenzie friend, who are very limited in the court arena.

    I once asked John Hemming how many cases had been “won” in the sense that the children were returned to the parents. His reply: “We don’t keep those figures” – dear god I’d have thought he’d have come up with something slightly better – other times if he as been asked about cases in which his organisation is involved, they are always “in the court of appeal” – I think the number of cases where his organisation has been of positive help to parents is a nice round figure!

    As for Booker – I find him creepy and much of what I’ve said about Hemming apply to him too. We know the motivation for Hemming’s campaign, but I do wonder about Booker and Ian Josephs. I really would like to understand their motivation.

    Anyway well done Sarah – I admire your tenacity and determination to show these men up for what they really are.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Thanks Kate. I am happy to keep on keeping on, as you know.

      I think more and more people are becoming aware of and shocked by Hemming’s willingness to get into bed with some really shocking people and organisations. And I hope this will further diminish whatever credibility he retains.

  10. Winston Smith


    John Hemming campaigns on two very major scandals;-

    the way taking children into Care and the Family Court system work

    the scandal of Forced Adoption.

    Unfortunately his views are correct.

    Ian Josephs is not a dangerous person.

    Like virtuallly all many campaigners on this, John Hemming started after his family was effected and he was shocked.

    Christopher Booker is genuine and feels he must campaign for what shocks him about the child protection system and Forced Adoption.

    You should see the comments columns to his articles.

    Other journalists have similarly campaigned.

    John Hemming was warned by his own staff that the Hampstead Hoax was related to the SRA theory and someone had clearly been reading the literature of 25 years ago.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      you have your views, I have mine. I support mine with evidence. For example, i say ian Josephs is dangerous as he has given money to at least one convicted paedophile to leave the jurisdiction, and there may in fact be many more as he states explicitly that he carries out no risk assessment, indeed precious little assessment at all. This is clearly dangerous.

      What word would you chose for that kind of behaviour?

      1. Winston Smith

        As a barrister I would have thought you would be concerned about details of this case.

        The older children were apparrently questioned for up to two years in foster homes by the foster carers.

        This is regarded as dangerous in both Britain in America.

        A social worker extensively edited the accounts.

        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          As a barrister, I respect the rule of law. Marie Black was found guilty by a jury of her peers and her appeal failed. Therefore in the eyes of the law, and the eyes of society in general – she is guilty.

  11. Clarice

    The British Government is cruel and Evil. They take kids away on their thoughts of what a good parent os or isn’t not facts. Especially when like me from US and didnt know the system or the laws or other because i am American and we habe freedoms that UK do not apparently have. They have no proof no crimes have been commited only hear say and yet they can destroy kids lives my kids are 13 10 and 8. They are being mentally abused by the system they are begging and screaming to get to come home that we are great parents and that they love us and feel safe. Yet the system refues to listen. They’d rather try and prove where bad parents than figure out what makes us good parents. Its a backwards messed up system and we need to get as many people involved as we can and form an Alliance that we can take to Parliment and to Prime Minister and other. They need to pay for what they are
    doing to kids and families its a form of abuse and injustice. This nightmare needs to stop. My kids and I born US not UK we came here for a better life. But this Government is Evil. John Hemmings please contact me asap we need you [number redacted. John Hemming has his own website, please contact him there, I have removed your telephone number]

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