How Members of Labour’s Senior Management Team Campaigned to Lose

JVL Introduction

Following the revelations on Sky News yesterday, here are the first detailed citations from the gigantic 811-page report.

More will now doubt follow soon

This article was originally published by Novara Media on Sun 12 Apr 2020. Read the original here.

'It’s going to be a long night’ – How Members of Labour’s Senior Management Team Campaigned to Lose

A leaked report, seen by Novara Media, reveals the extent to which senior Labour figures sought to undermine their own party’s chances in the 2017 general election.

 

The product of an extensive internal investigation, the report contains hundreds of pages of evidence, including WhatsApp messages and emails, implicating members of the party’s ‘senior management team’ (SMT), including the former general secretary Iain McNicol. 

The following conversations, which took place from 13 January 2017 to the week after the election result that June, depict a disloyal, dysfunctional culture at the top of the party – one which held Labour’s twice elected leadership, party members and any MPs they disagreed with, in contempt. Far from a few ‘bad apples’ the messages expose systematic and sustained efforts to undermine the leadership by multiple figures in director-level positions. For many what will make this material all the more appalling is that Labour was less than 2,500 votes away from forming a government in 2017, after winning 40% of the popular vote – the party’s best results since 1997.

Below is a conversation that took place on 13 January, after Tristram Hunt – Labour MP for Stoke Central – announced his resignation, triggering a by-election. Revealed here is how, less than six months after Jeremy Corbyn had won the party’s leadership for the second time in a row, members of the SMT remained intent on his removal.

It offers a glimpse of the hostile and coordinated attacks the party leadership was subjected to from senior, unelected members of the party’s bureaucracy.

13/01/2017, 17:31 – Julie Lawrence [then director of the general secretary’s office]: I may be jumping the gun here, and JC is a proud and selfish man with a team to match, but if we lose these elections [Stoke and Copeland] we could have another leadership election. We should set up at some stage a discrete WG [working group] to go over rules, timetable scenarios and staff servicing the process. Just so we’re prepared. Like Operation Cake.

13/01/2017, 17:32 – Patrick Heneghan [then executive director]: Hope…

13/01/2017, 17:32 – Julie Lawrence: Yeah

13/01/2017, 17:32 – Iain McNicol [then general secretary]: OK Julie can you pull together. Operation Cupcake

13/01/2017, 17:32 – Julie Lawrence: Yep

13/01/2017, 17:33 – Emilie Oldknow [then executive director for governance, membership and party services]: Iain and I spoke to TW [Tom Watson] about this

13/01/2017, 17:33 – Julie Lawrence: 👌

13/01/2017, 17:33 – Patrick Heneghan: What does that mean

13/01/2017, 17:34 – Emilie Oldknow: It means Iain told TW to prepare for being interim leader.

Here an executive director, Heneghan, explicitly states that he hopes Labour lose both by-elections, while Oldknow and McNicol make clear that the deputy leader of the party at the time, Tom Watson, was involved in plans to replace Corbyn.

The subsequent by-elections were a mixed bag however: Labour kept Stoke Central but lost Copeland meaning that, while weakened, Corbyn remained strong enough to stay on as leader.

On 18 April,  prime minister Theresa May called a snap general election. With Labour well behind in the polls the SMT decided early on to ‘throw cash’ at Watson’s seat of West Bromwich East (which he would keep with 58% of the vote that June):

22/04/2017, 22:44 – Patrick Heneghan: Ok. But we need to throw cash at Tom’s seat

22/04/2017, 22:44 – Patrick Heneghan: Even if just 50k for that

22/04/2017, 22:44 – Emilie Oldknow: We should do this

22/04/2017, 22:46 – Patrick Heneghan: We can’t let him lose for want of money

22/04/2017, 22:46 – Patrick Heneghan: We’re in meltdown

22/04/2017, 22:46 – Patrick Heneghan: 25 points down and they’ve not started on us

22/04/2017, 22:48 – Iain McNicol: Lets talk monday. Am off to bed. But obviously protect toms seat.

According to the report, the SMT went so far as to assign significant resources to a “secret key seats team” in May 2017, without the knowledge of Corbyn or his office (LOTO). Permanently based in a separate building, Ergon House, and “all secret to LOTO”, the team worked to protect MPs, including Watson, who were factionally aligned with the SMT – diverting funds away from marginals.

By early May, as it become clear that Labour was at least closing the gap on the Tories, though still well behind, senior staff members mocked those working for a Labour victory:

11/05/2017, 15:55 – Sarah Mulholland [then parliamentary Labour party – PLP – secretary]: The kitchen are whooping and cheering Jeremy’s words to the nation.

11/05/2017, 15:57 – Julie Lawrence: Shut the front door 😁

11/05/2017, 16:08 – Tracey Allen [executive assistant/office manager, general secretary’s office]: Aaah they should make the most of it. 28 days and they’ll be ashen and in tears 😂

Rather than idle words this eagerness to embrace defeat as a means to change leader, rather than to actually win the election, was reflected in concrete steps being taken.

Three days later, on 14 May, then director of the governance and legal unit (GLU) John Stolliday, saved a series of documents outlining procedures, codes of conduct and staff purdah rules for a “Labour leadership election 2017”. This included a timeline under a column labelled ‘quickest’, with the process for a new party leader beginning on 12 June 2017 and the result being announced on 19 August 2017.

Stolliday, now head of Unison’s ‘member liaison unit’, having previously been at the People’s Vote Campaign, would save a separate document, titled ‘Electoral College Rule Change’, less than two weeks later. This document proposed to replace Labour’s ‘one member, one vote system’, which had seen Corbyn win the leadership twice, with the electoral college that existed before 2013. The plan, then, wasn’t simply to change leader, but also the rules by which Corbyn’s successor would be chosen.

A focus on events after the election result, as opposed to trying to win it, was compounded by senior members of management who appeared to relish imminent defeat. That is reflected in the following messages between Neil Fleming, regional director for Greater London, and Patrick Heneghan – executive director for elections, campaigns and organisation.

19/05/2017, 23:43 – Neil Fleming: Just seen Nia [Griffith] iv [interview]. What a bloody hero. She doesn’t bullshit and she’s just just stabbed corbyn and thornberry.

19/05/2017, 23:45 – Patrick Heneghan: Yes she did

19/05/2017, 23:46 – Neil Fleming: Thornberry is awful. She should pay in the reckoning.

This dialogue reveals two things. Firstly the kind of inappropriate and sinister language frequently used by senior staff to talk about the party leader – but also how such enmity extended beyond Corbyn to anyone who was perceived to be trying to help him become prime minister – in this case Emily Thornberry MP.

The following day, on 20 May, Jeremy Corbyn met a rapturous welcome at Tranmere’s Prenton Park. It was here where ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ was sung to the tune of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army for the first time, in response to the party rising in the polls and an increasingly popular leader. The response by those at party HQ was hostile and negative:

20/05/2017, 19:59 – Julie Lawrence:

https://twitter.com/DavidPrescott/status/866001515382702080

20/05/2017, 20:08 – Tracey Allen: OMG I think this is what is making me feel ill!!!

20/05/2017, 20:13 – Neil Fleming: Has everyone in the north west gone a bit loopy Anna??

Concern for Labour’s success only grew. By 26 May, as Labour’s rise continued, Francis Grove-White – the party’s international policy officer – and Jo Greening, an international affairs advisor, discussed how a YouGov poll showing Labour on 36% made them feel “sick”. 

Francis Grove-White 09:11: I actually felt quite sick when I saw that YouGov poll last night.

Jo Greening 09:12: no its great

Francis Grove-White 09:12: Not that I think we will end up there or probably anywhere near.

Jo Greening 09:12: and I shall tell you why, it is a peak and the polling was done after the Manchester attack so with a bit of luck this speech will show a clear polling decline
and we shall all be able to point to how disgusting they truly are(now obviously we know it was never real – but that isnt the point in politics!)

Francis Grove-White 09:13: Yeah I’m sure that’s right

Francis Grove-White 09:16:My fears are that: a) the speech won’t go down as badly as it deserves to thanks to the large groundswell of ill-informed opposition to all western interventions. And b) they will use that poll to claim they were on course to win and then Manchester happened. And whether or not JC goes, lots of the membership will buy that argument

Such pessimism regarding Labour’s surprise buoyancy in national polling wasn’t confined to Greening and Grove-White. On 31 May, as the election looked increasingly tight, new polls suggested a hung parliament, or even a Labour government. Yet even now senior members of staff appeared to prefer those polls that continued to predict a Conservative victory:

31/05/2017, 16:47 – Patrick Heneghan: Westminster voting intention:

CON: 43% (+1) LAB: 33% (-1) LDEM: 11% (+2) UKIP: 4% (-) GRN: 3% (-1)

(via TNS_UK / 25 – 30 May)

31/05/2017, 16:49 – Neil Fleming: Always loved TNS. Gold Standard.

The following day even party general secretary Iain McNicol mocked the possibility of Corbyn becoming prime minister.

01/06/2017, 21:01 – Patrick Heneghan: Take a look at @jon_trickett’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/jon_trickett/status/870343944596574209?s=08

01/06/2017, 21:04 – Tracey Allen: What!!!!

01/06/2017, 21:06 – Julie Lawrence: Ich bin ein Trot!

01/06/2017, 21:06 – Iain McNicol: I am a Corbyn

01/06/2017, 21:07 – Iain McNicol: That doesn’t make sense

01/06/2017, 21:07 – Tracey Allen: I am a hamburger

01/06/2017, 21:07 – Iain McNicol: I am a trot

01/06/2017, 21:07 – Iain McNicol: That makes complete sense

01/06/2017, 21:08 – Iain McNicol: Ich bin prime minister

01/06/2017, 21:09 – Julie Lawrence: 😱

01/06/2017, 21:11 – Tracey Allen: I am getting seriously weirded out by all this PM talk. I don’t think I can cope with the idea. 6 more bloody days is too long.

The following day, as one poll put Labour on 40%:

02/06/2017, 11:46 – Patrick Heneghan: Take a look at @britainelects’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/870592083060543488?s=08

02/06/2017, 11:48 – Neil Fleming: Wowser

02/06/2017, 12:11 – Julie Lawrence: Nooo, really?

Less than a week before polling day, Survation cut the Conservative lead to just one point, while another pollster, ORB, had the Tories nine points ahead. Naturally Labour’s senior team viewed the worst poll as good news.

03/06/2017, 20:50 – Patrick Heneghan: Westminster voting intention:

CON: 40% (-6) LAB: 39% (+5) LDEM: 8% (-) UKIP: 5% (+2)

(via @Survation / 03 Jun)

03/06/2017, 20:50 – Neil Fleming: 😱

03/06/2017, 20:54 – Neil Fleming: Wtf is going on. Polling industry may as well fold up.

03/06/2017, 20:54 – Tracey Allen: It is doing my head in.

03/06/2017, 21:02 – Julie Lawrence: 😳

03/06/2017, 21:04 – Tracey Allen: Long 5 days to go

03/06/2017, 21:12 – Patrick Heneghan: Westminster voting intention:

CON: 45% (+1) LAB: 36% (-2) LDEM: 8% (+1) UKIP: 4% (-1)

(via ORB / 31 May – 01 Jun)

03/06/2017, 21:13 – Neil Fleming: Good old ORB

While senior staff admitted to hoping the most pessimistic polls were correct, Greg Cook, head of political strategy, on 4 June went further still, saying he hoped the “sheer hypocrisy” of a speech by Jeremy Corbyn would make other views of his “a legitimate topic” for attack, referring to Corbyn as “a lying little toerag”.

04/06/2017, 21:01 – Greg Cook: Hopefully the sheer hypocrisy of that speech will make his views on STK and abolishing the army a legitimate topic.

04/06/2017, 21:20 – Patrick Heneghan: Take a look at @jon_trickett’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/jon_trickett/status/871433303794089985?s=08

04/06/2017, 21:42 – Greg Cook: Absolutely right. It shows in detail what a lying little toerag he is.

These could almost be Tory spin doctors’ contriving lines of attack – but instead they came from Labour’s head of political strategy and executive director for elections, campaigns and organisation.

In keeping with the prevailing attitudes of his colleagues, Neil Fleming, the party’s head of press and broadcasting, celebrated a weaker poll for the party the day before the election.

07/06/2017, 18:01 – Patrick Heneghan: Westminster voting intention:

CON: 46% (+1) LAB: 34% (-) LDEM: 7% (-1) UKIP: 5% (-) GRN: 2% (-1)

(via @ICMResearch / 06 – 07 Jun)

07/06/2017, 18:02 – Neil Fleming: Boom

That same day, when discussing the well-attended final rally of the campaign – in the Union Chapel in Islington – staff joked about violence being used against Labour MPs, members and supporters.

07/06/2017, 22:02 – Carol Linforth (Head of party events): We got v close to the police stopping the event. There 4 police swots here.

07/06/2017, 22:03 – Carol Linforth: <Media omitted>

07/06/2017, 22:03 – Patrick Heneghan: Omg

07/06/2017, 22:03 – Julie Lawrence: Blimey.

07/06/2017, 22:03 – John Stolliday: Truncheons out lads, let’s knock some trots.

07/06/2017, 22:04 – Patrick Heneghan: Water cannons please.

On polling day, as party staff, MPs, members and supporters were getting the vote out across the country, rather than focus on doing likewise, senior staff were joking about the following day’s drinking session.

08/06/2017, 12:19 – Patrick Heneghan: We’ve got old star upstairs booked for tomorrow from 3ish

08/06/2017, 12:21 – Neil Fleming: Loto/Number 10 invited? 😂

08/06/2017, 12:21 – Patrick Heneghan: No.

08/06/2017, 12:22 – Neil Fleming: Hahahaha.

Humour would soon turn to sadness, however, and when the exit poll came in at 10pm, predicting a hung parliament, much of the senior staff at Southside, Labour’s headquarters, were in a state of shock with the director of the general secretary’s office offering a ‘safe space’ in Iain McNicol’s office.

08/06/2017, 22:24 – Julie Lawrence: Patrick if anyone in war room needs some safe space time they can come to gso .

08/06/2017, 22:25 – Tracey Allen: More like in need of counselling!

08/06/2017, 22:41 – Emilie Oldknow: What’s the atmosphere like there?

08/06/2017, 22:41 – Simon Mills: Depends which side of the building!

08/06/2017, 22:41 – Patrick Heneghan: Awful

08/06/2017, 22:41 – Patrick Heneghan: Help

08/06/2017, 22:42 – Simon Mills: Split between euphoria and shock

08/06/2017, 22:42 – Julie Lawrence: We are stunned and reeling.

08/06/2017, 22:45 – Tracey Allen: They are cheering and we are silent and grey faced. Opposite to what I had been working towards for the last couple of years!! 😞

08/06/2017, 22:46 – Emilie Oldknow: We have to be upbeat

08/06/2017, 22:46 – Emilie Oldknow: And not show it

08/06/2017, 22:47 – Emilie Oldknow: And at least we have loads of money now…

08/06/2017, 22:47 – Julie Lawrence: Not if we go into coalition and lose short money

08/06/2017, 22:47 – Julie Lawrence: “Steve” walking the floor

08/06/2017, 22:48 – Emilie Oldknow: Oh no

08/06/2017, 22:48 – Patrick Heneghan: Everyone needs to smile

08/06/2017, 22:48 – Patrick Heneghan: I’m going into room of death

08/06/2017, 22:48 – Emilie Oldknow: Everyone needs to be very up beat

08/06/2017, 22:48 – Julie Lawrence: Its hard but yes

08/06/2017, 22:52 – Iain McNicol: I’m not in smiling and mixing and doing the 2nd floor.

08/06/2017, 22:53 – Iain McNicol: Everyone else needs to do the same.

08/06/2017, 22:53 – Iain McNicol: It is going to be a long night.

“It’s going to be a long night” was the reaction of the party’s general secretary, after Labour had deprived the Tories of a governing majority and seen their highest share of the popular vote in twenty years. While an outrageous comment, given McNicol’s elevated status within the party, it is perhaps outdone by Julie Lawrence – former director of the general secretary’s office – who appears to have actively feared Labour entering government. Meanwhile, Emily Oldknow, now assistant General Secretary at UNISON, apparently saw a silver lining, saying: “at least we have loads of money now”.

Results continued to come in throughout the night, and with Labour making gains across the country, staff commented that “one highlight” would be Rhea Wolfson – a member of the NEC and Corbyn supporter – winning the Scottish seat of Livingston so she would be “off the NEC”.

09/06/2017, 00:07 – Sarah Mulholland: Scottish friends at the count say Rhea Wolfson doing well on samples…

09/06/2017, 00:07 – Emilie Oldknow: Brilliant

09/06/2017, 00:08 – Emilie Oldknow: Gets her off the NEC

09/06/2017, 00:09 – John Stolliday: Eddie Izzard on

09/06/2017, 00:09 – Julie Lawrence: One highlight

09/06/2017, 00:09 – John Stolliday: If Ellie Reeves wins as well

09/06/2017, 00:11 – Fiona Stanton (Senior Regional Director): Emily thornberry is sooo horrendous

Even as Labour appeared set to stop the Tory’s ‘dementia tax’, and potentially even form a government, the priority was gaining seats on the party’s national executive committee, evidence of how insular and factional Labour’s senior team was. 

The following morning, as the scale of Labour’s push across the country became clear, senior staff continued to express outright dismay – in addition to making concerning comments about ‘our loses’ which imply the SMT had a list of candidates it had agreed to support above others.

09/06/2017, 10:44 – Tracey Allen: We will have to suck this up. The people have spoken. Bastards

09/06/2017, 12:59 – Sarah Mulholland: What were our loses again – Winnick, Meale, Flello and Engel. Was there another I’ve missed?

09/06/2017, 13:00 – Greg Cook: No, the other losses were Copeland and Blenkinsopp’s seat

09/06/2017, 13:01 – Sarah Mulholland: 👍

09/06/2017, 13:01 – Sarah Mulholland: Thanks Greg

09/06/2017, 13:16 – Tracey Allen: We have a letter ready to go to them on Monday Iain

09/06/2017, 13:30 – Sarah Mulholland: Kensington and Chelsea? I’ve just woken up and confused by Twitter. Did we gain it???

09/06/2017, 13:30 – Patrick Heneghan: Count again at 6pm

09/06/2017, 13:31 – Sarah Mulholland: Omg. That Emma Coad is a grade 1 tool.

Sarah Mulholland, then director of political services for the parliamentary Labour party (PLP) – and today head of policy for the Northern Powerhouse Partnership – was dismayed Labour had gained a seat it had never held before. The invective expressed here is seen throughout other emails, including where she hopes a young Labour activist, whose mental health problems are well documented, “dies in a fire”, and how she “wishes there was a petrol can emoji”. Elsewhere she wrote how Diane Abbott “literally makes me sick”. 

After the next PLP meeting, where many MPs expressed support for Jeremy Corbyn following a positive election result, Oldknow described MPs including Yvette Cooper as “grovelling” and “embarrassing”.

13/06/2017, 18:54 – Emilie Oldknow: Loads of unity

13/06/2017, 18:55 – Emilie Oldknow: It’s really embarrassing seeing all these people grovel

13/06/2017, 18:56 – Emilie Oldknow: Saying how he was brilliant

13/06/2017, 18:56 – Julie Lawrence: Oh god

13/06/2017, 18:59 – Julie Lawrence: Iain, understand Andy Kerr is calling you after 7. He’s on hols but he texted to say fine about the review. So will send email out tomorrow morning.

13/06/2017, 18:59 – Emilie Oldknow: That sounds fine then

13/06/2017, 18:59 – Julie Lawrence: 👍

13/06/2017, 19:00 – Julie Lawrence: Also Ann B in tomorrow for a property meeting so no doubt will be round GLU/GSO for catch up

13/06/2017, 19:01 – Tracey Allen: Grovelling. This is what we have been reduced to 😩

13/06/2017, 19:02 – Emilie Oldknow: Angela Smith talked about how amazing the regional office was and they wouldn’t have done it without them

13/06/2017, 19:05 – Patrick Heneghan: Did Mike A speak?

13/06/2017, 19:08 – Emilie Oldknow: No

13/06/2017, 19:08 – Emilie Oldknow: Yvette. Grovelling

On 15 June, a week after polling day, senior staff were still sharing their negative feelings about the result.

15/06/2017, 22:08 – John Stolliday: A week since that exit poll…

15/06/2017, 22:08 – Julie Lawrence: Post traumatic stress.

Less than a year later, with Corbyn’s leadership firmly established, Iain McNicol was replaced as party general secretary by Jennie Formby – who took on the role that April. Within a few months figures like Oldknow, Stolliday and Heneghan would leave, while Fleming announced his departure in March alongside McNicol staffers like Tracey Allen and Julie Lawrence.

Unsurprisingly this was briefed to Kevin Schofield, a mouthpiece for the party’s right, as an ‘exodus’. Ironically Stolliday claimed that Labour must decide whether it wants to be a party of protest or government on his departure – although given his conduct less than a year earlier that would appear to be a more pertinent question for him.

These revelations should end any debate around whether Labour’s senior management team, including McNicol, were serious about a Labour government in 2017. To the contrary what this stunning cache of documents reveals is how McNicol – and a tight, unelected circle around him – made every effort to undermine and denigrate that year’s election campaign, frequently stating how they hoped it would fail while simultaneously planning to replace Jeremy Corbyn from as early as January.

The most senior individuals named in this article were all approached for comment, none responded.

Aaron Bastani is a Novara Media contributing editor and co-founder.

Comments (25)

  • Margaret West says:

    Glad to read that this report is now summarised on Labour List ..

    A huge injustice brought to light ..

  • Philip Ward says:

    Hopefully any of these characters still in the LP will be forced to resign: they were misusing our membership fees to work to rule and to undermine the party. That is close to fraud, in my view. Iain McNicol should have his peerage rescinded.

    For those who have moved on to pastures new, if I was their employer, I would seriously consider if their applications for their current posts were honest. Did they put on them for example: “In my previous post, I worked to ensure that my employers failed to attain its main objective and I used vile, racist, sexist, ablist and abusive language about them and said that they should be shot, burned alive etc.”?

    This is what the Jewish Chronicle said about the anti-Corbyn office staff on April 2nd:

    “Sir Keir’s team have told the Labour staff members who bravely spoke out over Mr Corbyn’s failure to tackle antisemitism, both to a BBC Panorama team and to the EHRC investigation into the party, that all moves by the party to pursue legal moves against them will be called off.

    “But the JC has learned that lawyers representing the whistleblowers are likely to still demand compensation payments for clients who were subjected to vicious slurs by senior members of Mr Corbyn’s team.

    “The party will also be asked to formally apologise to the whistleblowers.”

    Well, all of that is dead in the water now. (“Vicious slurs” – how ironic). That includes the EHRC investigation. Any investigations into the Panorama programme should be re-opened, now that the credibility of the office staff making accusations against the Labour Party has been completely destroyed.

    The whole report can be downloaded from the Labour Against the Witch-hunt web site. I suggest all JVL members download this and send it to the EHRC at [email protected], explaining that it shows that the issue of how the party handled complaints of antisemitism was clearly part of a factional campaign within the party and that it is no business of the EHRC, so they should drop the investigation.

  • Doug says:

    Leverage it
    JVL and a.n.other high profile representative, possible future leader, young MP should ask for a meeting with Keir, he is still just about in a honeymoon period
    Could JC be persuaded to tag along as a natural man of peace honest broker
    But most important thing to remember is
    It’s our party not theirs, dont spit the dummy out and put us back 100 years

  • RH says:

    … and McNicol becomes a ‘Lord’.

    ’nuff said. We know what floats.

  • RC says:

    Interesting to learn that Grove-White and Greening (and how many others?) in LP foreign policy desk/s appear to be unremitting warmongers (opposition to Western aggressions is ‘ill-informed’ – unlike Blair, A Campbell etc). Praise for Nia Griffith – formerly CND, I believe, but currently an ally of Tory mantra of ‘the nuclear deterrent is in use all the time’ – deterring – whom exactly?
    Moreover the line of MacDonagh and McTernan is that all opposition to capitalism is automatically antisemitic; this will presumably inform the remit of the ‘independent’ panel. Opposition to any Israeli aggression and repression will be ‘ill-informed’. In particular, the steady targeted murders of Gaza demonstrators is excused or whitewashed (later largely replaced by the still more cruel and socially damaging of rifle knee-capping); remember, the Zionists faced a big challenge in the public outcry at those murders. They and their gallant allies in this country leaped to their defence; any criticism – even mention – of the Israel lobby was prohibited (eg by Rhea Wolfson when chairing the Conference Palestine debate). The Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs – even Mike Pompeo – joined in. Imperialism has now won a great victory and we must face the consequences.
    One of those will be the remits (implicit and explicit) of the ‘independent’ disciplinary panel. Starmer’s expertise may be tested in cloaking the Zionist character of the former, and also in pressuring the NEC to adopt it; surely our job must be to make it as hard as possible, exposing and opposing it. Transparency and natural justice must be our slogan – virtual branch and CLP meetings must be pressed to deal with this struggle, vital for what remains of LP democracy. Otherwise socialism and democracy will be beaten down still further.

  • Geoff Lee says:

    Gut wrenching. It all needed to be revealed. Thanks to JVL for spreading it.

  • Philip Ward says:

    I haven’t read much of the report, just the stuff about Glynn Secker and the contortions the bureaucrats got into trying prove he is an antisemite and the pages on “denialism” (p774) which is just Kafkaesque (trawling people’s social media pages for “Greenstein”, for example). So correct me if I’m wrong, but Formby and co. have an agenda here and are unlikely to have published any stuff that explicitly indicates that many of these allegations against anti-zionists are cooked up. For example, the report pretty much states that the right wingers were wrong not to have Moshe Machover expelled. This means that I suspect the report has omitted some of the statements from these WhatsApp groups to suit their case. I can’t imagine that the idiots in these groups didn’t celebrate the framing of socialist members of the Labour party (“trots” to them) and praise the CAA, JLM and others for fitting them up.

    We should demand that all the posts in these groups are released, or find some way of getting them.

  • John Bowley says:

    It is disgusting that an entrenched minority with wrong and nasty attitudes towards democracy and social morality is able to damage our Labour Party.

    I was broadly aware of the foul disloyalty at the time that it was happening. The anti-socialist clique has been making lots of publicity in conjunction with anti-Labour biased media. They knew what they were doing.

    They were doing down the Party, the majority of the Labour membership and our country.

  • Stuart Goodman says:

    Well done to the JVL for sharing this.
    Did you hear Starmer say:
    1) Suspend those named,
    2) Publish the report
    3) Public apology to Corbyn.
    No? Me neither.

  • Jacob Ecclestone says:

    So far, I have read only 50 or 60 pages of the report dealing mainly with the attitudes and behaviour of senior officials working (if that is the right word) for the Labour Party between 2015 and 2019.

    My immediate reaction is that the report shows how a generation of senior Labour politicians – Blair, Brown, Mandelson, Clarke, Reid, Blunkett, Straw et al – corrupted the political values and operations of the party. Many people suspected as much: now we have irrefutable evidence of the legacy they left. Poison.

  • Paul Leach says:

    I thought I’d been inspired to rejoin a Democratic Party, not a corporate political institution commanded by a cabal of manipulative tricksters.

  • Stephen Williams says:

    A investigation? like the one promised after the Al Jazeera programme on Israeli Embassy infiltration?
    After nine complaints to the Compliance Unit, the most recent a couple of months ago, I have yet to receive a response. You can be sure that the same will happen again.

  • John Oarry says:

    Truly astonishing. A party within a party. A right wing clique with views that are not representative of the party that pays their no doubt very good wages. Disgusting does not describe it.

  • Thomas Darksen says:

    Democracy does not exist throw the lot of them out. Starmer asking for unity is a joke.

  • I rejoined the Labour Party in 2015, after Mr Corbyn was elected first time around. My politics are not informed from Leon Trotsky or Karl Marx, but my life experiences of being homeless under the Blair/Brown Governments, and of being made redundant under the Blair/Brown Governments. And being worse off under the Blair/Brown Governments. I could be an “I’m alright Jack” type as I have to date not been laid off when there is a Tory Government, and not being homeless when there is a Tory Government. And literally being better off under a Tory Government. But I am a Socialist at heart, and always will be.

    The biggest issue that I have is that at a time when I was donating to Labour, as much as I could afford, and as often as I could afford to, and when I was out campaigning for my local Labour representatives both locally and nationally, I was being undermined by my own side, some of whom held racist views towards Diane Abbot and Dawn Butler. Some of whom did not want people like me in the Labour Party. Some of whom were plotting at every turn to purge and expel me, and people like me. And some of whom did not want to see Jeremy Corbyn in No. 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister. That is what is most disappointing. That is what hurts the most.

    I expect to be purged or expelled from the party for sharing some of the leaked report, but I feel a duty to do so.

  • Diamond Versi says:

    Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have issued a statement,” We will commission an “urgent independent investigation” that will primarily look at how the report was leaked in the first place.” Surely we are not interested in how the report was leaked but need to know the leadership’s action or inaction!

  • Mark Francis says:

    Can we sue these people? Their obsession with shooting and hanging Party members might perhaps entitle them to some psychotherapy. I personally am implacably opposed to the death penalty, but if I were not these people would be first up against the wall… Just sayin…

  • Rob Davies says:

    What a disgrace. These people should be sacked from their jobs, thrown out of the party and prosecuted. Starmer had better do something about this because it’s an absolute scandal along with the AS smear campaign that went on as well. Shameful.

  • L wray says:

    We should demand a full investigation and publish the report and then take the culprits to task.

  • Ash Chapman says:

    Great article. Corbyn supporters like myself were devastated he had to step down. The leakimg of this report goes a little way to making us fwel better, just not with the Lanour Party.

  • Matthew Robson says:

    Such treachery – but not the first time for UK Labour.
    These people and the MPs ( current and ex) that they represented seemed to have a direct line into the brains of the NZ Labour Party MPs. They regurgitated this stuff to me many times.
    It is great to have this ” evidence”. Now for 2019!

  • Amanda Preston says:

    There must be a fully transparent investigation and those who are found to have undermined the Labour Party, bullied, encouraged sexist and racist abuse must be held to account. Suspension during investigation and expulsion for those found guilty.
    Thank you for this useful summary. It is shocking but chimes with what many members experienced

  • jonathan bellini says:

    We’ll one can only have contempt and ire at the senior party beaurocracy machine. They undermined the members trust and all those young people impressions in monementum were dashed. JC wasn’t recalcitrant or embarrassed for his AS assegnations .He wouldn’t apologise for the ill feelings and anxieties of the Jewish Members . The rallies called by CAA were outstanding in the way they coalesced . As a socialist I felt let down hard by JC as his policies represented a return to real SOCIALIST FREEDOMS.within the Labour movement the previous LP leaders being NEW LABOUR that was tinged with blue.

  • Richard Rose says:

    Unless Starmer gets to grips with this treacherous bunch of right wingers and stops promoting the false anti-semitism smear campaign, members will leave in droves. Corbyn offered hope and a sensible way forward and was stabbed in the back by this bunch.

  • Ann Mulqueen says:

    This is The New Tory Blairites in command of the Labour Party.
    The truth is the Labour electorate want a True Labour Socialist Government. Not Margaret Thatcher’s proudest achievement — A Tory Party in disguise Labour Party!

    This is what Labour is faced with. The most utterly corrupt Conservative Party. Which has been voted in power for so long. They are getting away with killing people with their laws, and getting away with it. Yet people are still voting conservative for one reason or another. They have chosen to believe the Tory lies about Jeremy Corbyn who has been on the right side of history, all his long political career. And have got away with all their lies, despite the facts, evidence, proof, that Jeremy Corbyn is non of the things the Tories say he is!
    This is a serious matter and needs to be addressed and laws made so that no government can get away with such corruption again.

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