demolish

JCB challenged over machinery used to demolish Palestinian homes

The British heavy machinery firm JCB’s sale of equipment used in the destruction of Palestinian villages in the Israeli-occupied West Bank is being examined by a UK government body to determine whether its due diligence process complies with human rights guidelines set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.



Boris Johnson holding a sign: Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

The case is likely to test the degree to which multinationals are responsible if their export goods are sold by local distributors in ways that infringe human rights.

JCB, which has donated millions of pounds to the Conservative party and at least £25,000 to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign, can now enter into government-overseen mediation with the NGO that made the claim or it can outright contest the claim.

The claim was launched by Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights last December after JCB refused to communicate with the lobby group over claims that its tractors were being used to tear up Palestinian villages.

The little-known complaints procedure was set up in 2000 and is designed to give an avenue to press multinationals to abide by their corporate social responsibility undertakings as set out by the OECD.

The National Contact Point quango, a subsidiary of the Foreign Office that oversees the complaints, issued a statement on Monday. It said that after examining the Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights complaint and hearing JCB’s rebuttal, it deemed that JCB had a case to answer in relation to some claims and that the issue fell within its remit.



Boris Johnson holding a sign: Boris Johnson gives a Brexit speech at JCB headquarters in Rocester in 2019. The company has given the Tories more than £10m since 2010.


© Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA
Boris Johnson gives a Brexit speech at JCB headquarters in Rocester in 2019. The company has given the Tories more than £10m since 2010.

The chair of JCB is Anthony Bamford, a Conservative peer. The company gave Johnson £25,000 for his leadership campaign. Overall the

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JCB challenged over machinery used to demolish Palestinian homes | Business

JCB, the British tractor and heavy machinery firm, which has donated millions of pounds to the Conservative party and at least £25,000 to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign, may be in breach of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s guidelines on exporting goods for use in the demolition of Palestinian villages in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a UK government body has assessed.

The case is likely to test the degree to which multinationals are responsible if their export goods are being sold by local distributors in ways that infringe human rights.

JCB can now enter into government-overseen mediation with the NGO that made the claim or it can outright contest the claim.

The claim was launched by Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights last December after JCB refused to communicate with the lobby group over claims that its tractors were being used to tear up Palestinian villages.

The little-known complaints procedure was set up by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government and is designed to give an avenue to press multinationals to abide by their corporate social responsibility undertakings as set out by the OECD.

The National Contact Point quango, a subsidiary of the Foreign Office that oversees the complaints, issued a statement on Monday. It said that after examining the Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights complaint and hearing JCB’s rebuttal, it deemed that JCB had a case to answer and that the issue fell within its remit. It added that the NGO’s claims were “material and substantiated”.

The chair of JCB is Anthony Bamford, a Conservative peer. The company gave Johnson £25,000 for his leadership campaign. Overall the firm has given the Conservatives more than £10m since 2010, according to the Electoral Commission.

JCB had defended itself to the National Contact Point by saying that it simply sold its equipment to

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