Following on from yesterday’s details of Councillor Christina Summers‘ deceitfulness and disputes with her political colleagues in the Green Party, today’s post reveals her financial relationship with a church, her second job and her playfulness with lethal weaponry in the run up to Christmas in 2008. Summers was a member of the the Calvary Evangelical Church in Brighton, which believes that,
“… human beings are unable to save themselves and are utterly dependent upon God’s grace.”
It’s website also says,
“… we have all rebelled against God and deserve to be punished for this – eternally. There’s no way we can make up for this by doing good things – we will still fall short of God’s perfect standards. But if we come to Jesus for help – whoever we are and whatever we have done – we will receive forgiveness of all of our sins and begin a new and eternal life.”
It is not governed by any larger church body and calls itself a “baptistic” church. Summers was an active member of the Church since at least the winter of 2007, according to their newsletters. The following year she describes her evangelical work in the nearby Open Market as,
“a real test of balancing kindness and gentleness with the need to confront them with the terrifying realities of an eternal future under God’s wrath”
The “Winter 2009/10″ edition of the church newsletter mentions that Summers was elected Vice-Chair of the newly formed London Road Area Local Action Team in 2008. It goes on to say,
“we now have to earn the right to testify to the gospel when the main agenda is already set on something else.”
The newsletter for the summer of 2010 reveals that a company owned by Christina Summers was being paid for “evangelism and discipleship” in the local community. Summers worked part-time in that capacity since at least 20th April 2010. The church “agreed to extend the contract supporting her for a further 12 months, until 19th April 2011.” Summers’ fees were paid to a company called Kairos Time Management Limited. Finally, the newsletter for the Winter of 2011/12 states that Summers asked for the contract between the church and her company to be terminated on 30th October. Presumably that means in 2011? Summers had to ask to be released from her membership of the Calvary Evangelical Church in order that she could attend another church.
Companies House holds documents relating to Kairos Time Management Ltd. These documents reveal that the company was incorporated on 1st November 2006. Summers was the first company secretary and a Mr Peter Deuk was another director. Deuk held a single share in the business. Summers held 999.
Deuk resigned his directorship on 28th August 2007. Four days earlier a Mr Stephen Patrick Lawrance joined the company as a director. It seems that Deuk’s share transferred to Lawrance. The annual return for 2008 states that the company traded in “business and management consultancy” as well as “other business activities”. Lawrance resigned on 1st November 2009. The company’s annual return for 2010 reveals that Summers held all 1,000 shares.
The company filed abbreviated accounts with Companies house, dated to 30th November 2007, which stated it had an income that year of £1,148, cash holdings of £1,015 and shareholders’ funds of £462. The following year it filed accounts (to 30th November 2008) which stated that it had an income of £8,430, administrative expenses of £7,650 and an operating profit of £780.The profit after tax was £724 and it held cash in the sum of £4,578.
In the year to 30th November 2009, its income had risen to £13,542, its administrative expenses to £6,062 and it had an operating profit £7,480. It’s profit after tax was £6,017 and it held cash in the sum of £10,676. Its shareholders funds were £6,759.
In the year to 30th November 2010, its income was £13,226, its administrative expenses were £11,395 and its operating profit had dropped to £2,919. Its profit after tax was £2,330 and it held cash in the sum of £12,210. Its shareholders’ funds were £8,897.
In the year to to 30th November 2011, its income was £9,554, its administrative expenses were £4,363 and its operating profit was £4,778. Its profit after tax was £3,766 and it held cash in the sum of £15,256. Its shareholder funds were £11,363.
If, like me, you find figures a little tricky to follow, you may find this chart easier to read. It shows some of the figures from the company’s filed accounts between 2009 and 2011.
The documents filed at Companies House do not reveal the client base of Summers’ company. Therefore, without further evidence, it is impossible to infer that all these sums were paid to the company by the Calvary Evangelical Church. Using a company to charge for work done by its directors is perfectly legal. There are a variety of reasons for taking this approach to a business. For example, it can limit a director’s legal liability or it can also be used to lessen a tax bill. There can be other reasons too. The reason for Summers’ adoption of this legal mechanism must be a matter for speculation, in the absence of an explanatory statement by her. However, it does appear that she was acting as a professional evangeliser for a period of time.
Summers’ political involvement with the Green Party followed an unusual path. Normally activists are party members. However, she worked hard for the party for some time before she joined it. She ensured the Calvary Evangelical Church hall was available to the party for political events (a valuable contribution for a poor party in an expensive city) and was a strong supporter of Caroline Lucas in her historic election campaign in 2010. Afterwards, Green Party activists invited Summers to join the party and suggested that she might stand as a councillor. With hindsight, that judgment is being severely regretted. At the time of her selection as a candidate, doubts as to her suitability led to every Green Party candidate in Brighton & Hove being obliged to sign a promise to advance equality:
“I understand that the Green Party is committed to achieving equality for all people, regardless of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion, social origin or any other prejudice, and I am committed to upholding and advancing these values if selected as a candidate and if elected to public office.”
Despite this promise and her apparent commitment to Green Party policies, Summers has lied to her councillor colleagues about her involvement in a campaign to harass women attending an abortion clinic and, on Thursday 19th July, voted against a Labour motion in a full meeting of Brighton & Hove City Council which supported the right of gays and lesbians to enter single gender civil marriages. Her position within the party is now a matter for urgent discussion and debate. She has few supporters. Her decision to take a week’s holiday from her political life from Friday 20th July hasn’t given them much ammunition.
Talking of ammunition, Christina apparently thinks playing with guns in the run up to Christmas is an acceptable pastime. The Green Party does not. The last sort of person you’d expect to advertise the fun they have with lethal weapons is a Green Party councillor. Yet in this post are a small sample of photographs which Summers shared with me on a social network, all taken in the run up to Christmas 2008.
The first photograph shows Summers trying out a Makarov 9mm. Being no gun expert, I’ve had to read up a little online. It seems that this was the standard issue Soviet side arm between 1951 & 1991. It is a semi-automatic pistol and is apparently popular as a concealed carry weapon in the US, where these photographs were taken. Here’s what it looks like in action:
The second photograph shows Summers’ with the Mossberg Maverick Model 88, which is a cheap version of a pump action shotgun. Here’s what it looks like in action:
The third photograph shows Summers with a Winchester .30-30 Lever Action Rifle. It is a 19th Century hunting rifle, although it is in modern production again. The fourth shows her with another ‘classic’ rifle. I’m not into this sort of shit, so I’ll stop with the videos. You get the picture. Although it is unclear precisely what Summers is doing in these photographs, she is evidently enjoying herself. In the way that Green Party activists do not when guns are brought into play. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that she is some kind of crazy survivalist nutter who enjoys dressing up in camoflage gear and planning for the apocalypse.
The point is that Christina Summers does not appear to endorse the core values which the Green Party holds dear. She isn’t just a devoted Christian, she has been employed as a professional recruiter to a church which considers ordinary social issues as an obstacle to their godly mission. She wasn’t just attending a prayer session for women with unwanted pregnancies, she was down at the clinic in their faces with her bigotry. She claims to suffer a crisis of conscience over her party’s policy on gay and lesbian marriage rights but instead of absenting herself or abstaining, she conspicuously votes against that policy and then refuses to explain herself to her party colleagues. She isn’t just a slightly naive politician caught out in a slightly suspect scenario, she’s actively sharing photographs of herself celebrating gun culture. We get to the point of wondering whether she shares any values at all in common with those she claims to represent? Perhaps she wasn’t shooting at animals. Perhaps she’s really into animal rights. She could be. So what if she eats meat? So what if she thinks its okay to wear the fur of animals slaughtered for clothing?
Surely she would draw the line at making jokes about hunting animals for sporting pleasure? That’s gotta be a subject which is off limits for even the mildest mannered Green Party member, right? Sorry…
I’ve had enough of this. Whatever mistakes were made by selecting Christina Summers to be a Green Party candidate must now be corrected. I have no doubt that she will shortly be expelled from the group of Green councillors on Brighton & Hove City Council. What possible place does she have in our party at all? We can tighten up our selection procedures, we can learn the lessons. We cannot allow Summers to continue to make a fool of us at any level.
Update on 24th July 2010: the Brighton & Hove Green Party has decided to call Christina Summers to a disciplinary panel.