Gerry Gable

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Gerry Gable
Born (1937-01-27) 27 January 1937 (age 83)
OccupationEditor of the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine

Gerry Gable (born 27 January 1937) is a British political activist. He was a long-serving editor of the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine.


The son of a Jewish woman and a nominally Anglican father, Gable grew up in post-war east London identifying as Jewish.[1] As a youth, Gable was a member of the Young Communist League and the Communist Party of Great Britain, and worked as a runner on the Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper, leaving after a year to become a Communist Party trade union organizer. He stood unsuccessfully for the Communist Party on 10 May 1962 at Northfield Ward, Stamford Hill, North London.[2] He left the Communist Party because of their anti-Israel policy and because "first and foremost [he has] always been a Jewish trade unionist".[1]

Joined by other Jews and anti-fascists, many ex-serviceman and members of the (Spanish) International Brigades the militant anti-fascist organisation 62 Group was formed to confront fascists organising on the streets.[1][3][4]

Gable organised intelligence for the 62 Group on fascists, including using infiltrators to help build a defence policy for the community against fascist attacks. This led to the formation of the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight in the mid-1960s, along with Reg Freeson, Joan Lestor, Maurice Ludmer and others. Gable and Ludmer remained active in Searchlight Associates and re-launched the magazine in 1975.[1]

1963 burglary of David Irving's flat[edit]

By November 1963, Holocaust denier[5] David Irving was in England when he called the London Metropolitan Police with suspicions he had been the victim of a burglary by three men who had gained access to his Hornsey flat in London claiming to be General Post Office (GPO) telephone engineers. Gable was convicted in January 1964, along with Manny Carpel. They were fined £20 each, with Gable being fined an additional £5 for the theft of a GPO pass.[6]

BBC libel litigation[edit]

In 1984, Gerry Gable was commissioned by the BBC to produce research for a BBC Panorama programme Maggie's Militant Tendency. The episode was to focus on a claim of right-wing extremism in the Conservative Party. Gable claimed that his research drew upon the information previously published in Searchlight.[7] The claims by Gable that two Conservative party figures, Neil Hamilton and Gerald Howarth, were secret extremist Nazi supporters was met with libel action against the BBC. The programme had alleged (not admitted as evidence in court) that Hamilton gave a Nazi salute in Berlin while 'messing around' on a Parliamentary visit in August 1983. The Guardian reported that "Writing for the Sunday Times after the collapse of the case, he admitted he did give a little salute with two fingers to his nose to give the impression of a toothbrush moustache. "Somebody on the trip clearly did not share our sense of humour," he wrote."[8]

The BBC later capitulated and paid the pair's legal costs. Hamilton and Howarth were awarded £20,000 each and in a subsequent edition of Panorama, the BBC made an unreserved apology to both.[citation needed]

In 1989, Private Eye magazine falsely claimed that Reginald Gulliver-Buckingham, a member of the military police, had plotted to abduct and murder Gable. The High Court ordered that substantial damages be paid due to the libellous claims.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "Smashing Against Rocks". Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2006.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) 1999 Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council article on Gable
  2. ^ "Searchlight and the State", Anarchy 36, 1983, as reprinted on the Kate Sharpley website
  3. ^ Neo-Nazi leader Colin Jordan's legacy Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Standing up to fascism: A celebration of the 43 Group
  5. ^ Hare, Ivan; Weinstein, James (18 November 2010). Extreme Speech and Democracy. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780199601790.
  6. ^ Copsey, Nigel (2016). Anti-Fascism in Britain. Routledge. p. 194. ISBN 9781317397618.
  7. ^ Searchlight, No.130, April 1986, p2
  8. ^ Wilson, Jamie (22 December 1999). "Who will listen to his story now?". The Guardian. London.
  9. ^ "Eye pays security chief for libel". Evening Times. 13 December 1989. p. 25. Retrieved 28 January 2014.

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