Tim Tate

Author, Film-Maker & Investigative Journalist


The Truth Shall Make You Free Fret


I have today resigned from the Management Committee of the Society of Authors.

The Society of Authors has recently been under an intense spotlight over allegations about Twitter posts by Joanne Harris. On Thursday, November 17, members overwhelmingly rejected a motion at the AGM, calling on Joanne to step down from her role as Chair of the Management Committee.

I can only speak of my experience in Management Committee meetings in the past year, but in these I have always found Joanne a courteous and professional Chair.  Likewise, I have always found the Society’s CEO, Nicola Solomon, assiduously attentive to the issues which the Management Committee tried to address.  I do not know either well enough to be called a friend, but our discussions have always been collegiate and respectful.

Unfortunately, my recent experience of the Management Committee itself has been rather less congenial.

I was honoured to be elected to the Committee one year ago. I had hoped to use my background, and the lessons learned during my 40+ year career, to serve the Society’s 12,000+ members.

It was for my experience as an investigative journalist that at the start of this month I was appointed to a subcommittee, set up to examine formal complaints made against Joanne and Nicola by five individuals.

Sadly, the impartiality and integrity of that investigation subcommittee has been undermined internal disputes. Today, these made it impossible for me to continue, in good conscience, to serve on the Management Committee.

As a journalist, author and film-maker I have campaigned for openness and transparency. I am therefore posting below the full text of my resignation letter, submitted today.


I have always been – and remain – a believer in the importance of trade unions. The Society of Authors is a trade union and its staff do extraordinary and vital work on behalf of all authors. I am profoundly saddened that recently the Society’s Management Committee has not conducted itself as well as those staff, and the creative community we all belong to, deserve.

Posted on