The leaked internal Labour Party report

Statement by Jewish Voice for Labour

The leaked internal Labour Party report into the workings of its Governance and Legal Unit is now circulating widely on social media. It contains much that is relevant to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission investigation into Labour’s disciplinary procedures and it must be submitted to them.

The picture it reveals is of a small vindictive cabal at the most senior levels of the Party’s bureaucracy who worked to undermine and depose the elected leader Jeremy Corbyn. They are on record as helping to prevent a Labour electoral victory in 2017 that would have consolidated his position and saved us from a Tory government.

We note and support the open letter from UNISON members and the statement by the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs

and specifically the demands that:

  • the Report should be officially published by the Labour Party (in redacted form to protect the names of rank and file Labour members)
  • the NEC should establish a transparent process to investigate the alleged conduct of individuals while serving as senior salaried officials of the Party, allegations which include harassment, bullying, misogyny and racism; and where a case is proven take such action against them as is legally possible.

We note some of these officials were the same ‘innocents’ who gave such virtue-signalling testimony on the Panorama programme Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

We are deeply concerned that:

  • cases of outright antisemitism from a few Party members were put to one side while stretched definitions were employed to construct and progress cases against troublesome Party members who were overwhelmingly Corbyn supporters.
  • in a party that should be an exemplar of anti-racist practice, the Report demonstrates how BAME members were left exposed to racist and Islamophobic abuse, with no redress. If accurate, the account of the treatment of Diane Abbott was appalling.
  • Party officials continue to display a lack of knowledge of what antisemitic conduct is and how it can be combatted. Our leaflet  What is – and what is not – antisemitic misconduct should be required reading for Party staff.

The confidence of members, who work so hard for the Party must be regained. Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner’s proposal for an investigation, which concentrates on who leaked the report and not on its substance, will not do. We need a full report into the allegations that senior officials abused our trust, and conspired against our democratically elected Leader.

 

Comments (48)

  • Tony says:

    There were also Labour MPs who said that they met lots of voters who could not vote Labour because of Corbyn.

    They never told us what they did to try to persuade such people.

    Imagine you went to a football match and a player made no effort to kick the ball. That player would soon be replaced.

    Any candidate that refuses to try to engage and persuade such voters should be replaced too.

  • RC says:

    From a rapid read of the first 150 pages, and a still more rapid scan of the next 450, it seems to me that few if any genuine complainants are actually named. By genuine I mean one who has been directly targeted by abuse, not someone who has complained on another’s (alleged) behalf, let alone at random or indeed fraudulently; for example Euan Phillips of “LAAS” does not in my view count as a genuine complainant. He may be the one person who has by many accounts launched one third of all complaints (the other one I suppose may be “GnasherJew”, elsewhere identified). Phillips’ bad faith is well proven by his indicting as unacceptable attacks on Donald Trump, and as per the leaked report, was flailing around looking for targets to relieve his anger at being refused a position as a council candidate…LP functionaries have been played, perhaps knowingly, perhaps willingly, by these hostile critics. I am afraid the authors collude with Corbyn’s uncritical acceptance of the fraudulent accounts of the number of abusers.
    For example, Ken Livingstone was not expelled, rather twice suspended. This the authors take as sabotage of a legitimate demand by LOTO that he be expelled. Yet he had threatened the LP with a lawsuit were he to be expelled; and in such a suit it would have been very difficult to exclude the question of the veracity of his point that Hitler supported Zionism. His formulation was characteristically loose; but Edwyn Black and – albeit rather reluctantly, Francis Nicosia – adduce evidence that this was precisely the nature of the Ha’avara agreement. So the basic truth of KL’s contention is crystal clear. Indeed, he rather mildly refrained from pointing out the far more damaging fact that the Zionist breach of the massive boycott of the Third Reich helped rescue the tottering German economy at a point when Hitler could have been forced from office (so tottering that Neurath, the foreign Minister, resigned, albeit briefly and in a manner known only to Hitler’s cabinet)…. So refraining from expelling KL saved the LP an enormous risk – and indeed saved the blushes of Zionism from the charge of having helped perpetuate the Third Reich…
    Both sides, then, both LOTO and the LGU etc, were in serious error; and any reading or use of the leaked document must take this into account.
    Either the political crimes of the SMT and its acolytes, or their gross breach of all the imperatives of respect etc which figure so prominently in the Rule Book, taken on their own, should be enough to warrant dismissal. These people are class enemies. (Never was the description “a bourgeois workers’ party” more brutally justified.) And these are the people who have been running or governing the disciplinary proceedings against party members, many of them guilty of no more than a belief in socialism or indeed democracy; so the ‘confidentiality’ (pernicious secrecy) of future disciplinary proceedings must be ended. That is a necessary part of putting our house in order.

  • Linda Hubbard says:

    I totally agree all the hard work that was going on to get a Labour government was all for nothing and I think that is a slap in the face and should be dealt with very harshly

  • Barbara watson says:

    I am disgusted at the things I have read in this report the fact that action was taken to undermine a good honest man like Jeremy Corbyn defame his character and plot against him preventing us winning the election it’s shocking. Also appearing on Panaroma telling lies, surely something can be done about this legally

  • RH says:

    RC makes some very pertinent points. On the Livingstone affair, I would suggest a read of Moshe Machover’s analysis of the status and attitudes of Zionism in the first decades of the 20th century. It is a very cogent relating of the historical context.

    Of course, Machover’s cool analysis led to his victimisation and villification – which, fortunately, he faced down with aplomb.

    … which incidents once again bring the question of the validity of anonymous allegations to the surface. Lack of transparency and thus responsibility remains the key underlying issue displayed in this woeful tale of illegitimacy.

  • Alexander Gavin says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with the statement and the comments made but see no way that the Labour Party can be made to listen to what they don’t want to hear. I and many others joined the party because we believed in Jeremy Corbyn and we’ve been defrauded both emotionally and financially. Perhaps that fraud suggests a way to force the party to listen.

  • J Marks says:

    Come on, do the right thing. We all know it is not acceptable to concentrate on the whistle blower and not the real culprits who deliberately worked against our party leader, and the Labour party itself! You cannot sideline this report. We will not allow it. Let’s have justice!

  • Simon Lynn says:

    I have just read the accompanying notes on the report so far – these provide painful reading giving details of complaints of real antisemitic racism that were not dealt with properly at all by those who should have done so.
    The Chakrabarti report laid a basis for doing this and Jeremy wanted this to be done in a fair, appropriate and timely way. The neglectful and haphazard approach to doing this over that time undermined the left leadership.
    I do not think that what I have read so far gives comfort to those who do not think there has been anything significant to deal with.
    We have needed further development in understanding of antisemitic racism, consciousness raising, challenge and education, and where appropriate a fair, timely and decisive disciplinary process.
    It is topsy turvy that a leadership that tried to do this took the blame – This is truly sad.

  • Diane Miles says:

    I absolutely support the quoted Unison position.

  • Naomi Wayne says:

    The report is enormously complex – as well as exhaustingly long – and should not be boiled down into a few slogans. Which is why I think your JVL statement is very good – it is accurate in its description of the key issues the report raises and gets the balance right between them.

  • Mary Davies says:

    Those responsible should be accountable.

  • caroline robinson says:

    I came back to the LP because of Jeremy Corbyn after leaving because of T Blair and the Iraq war. Jeremy Corbyn was and is an inspiration to many of us on the left. To hear the media and the responses whilst campaigning during the last election was depressing and demoralising. Such a decent and honourable person such as Jeremy Corbyn should never have been subjected to such horrendous slanderous allegations that are still doing the rounds. To focus on finding the whistle blower misses the whole point. Those who have committed these criminal offences must be brought to book for interfering with democracy. I am sure that if this is not done in a timely fashion then we shall all be the poorer for that grave omission and none so more than the electorate and of course the Labour party itself.
    Those who were the plotters in this campaign against the then leadership have ushered in a Tory Government even more terrifying than Margaret Thatcher’s.
    All those who defamed Jeremy Corbyn must be publicly named and shamed if a court action is not forthcoming. I would gladly donate money to enable a court case to be instigated as I feel cheated and disgusted about this whole sordid matter that has brought the Labour Party and democracy into such ill repute.

  • Clare Palmer says:

    While being as shocked and angry as you about this report, I do think that the proposal from Starmer and Rayner for an independent enquiry is the right one. These are the three areas:

    1) The background and circumstances in which the report was commissioned and the process involved.
    2) The contents and wider culture and practices referred to in the report.
    3) The circumstances in which the report was put into the public domain.

    My understanding is that it will report to the NEC.

    At the Zoom meeting tonight, both of them were clear about their anger with much of what was revealed. But the fact that the report was leaked does need to be investigated too. It’s meant that people have seen various bits of it, and that it has been misrepresented, and that people’s names are in the public sphere who shouldn’t be there.

  • Dr Paul says:

    I think the Labour Party bureaucrats were using Moshé Machover as a test-piece. If they could expel a veteran socialist with a long and principled record, either on the basis of anti-Semitism — using an article on the history of Zionism as ‘proof’ — or writing for a non-LP paper and speaking on non-LP platforms, then they would have targetted a lot more party members and a purge would have taken place. But they bit off more than they could chew, as Moshé hit back and gathered a lot of support from many quarters, which the party bureaucrats didn’t expect.

  • rebekah hirsch says:

    How can any decent person even begin to think that the individuals named in this report should carry on in their posts? They must be suspended immediately, given a hearing and due process but if the leaked report is true, then they must be fired, expelled from Labour and in some cases, further legal action should be taken. Our new leader must take on his responsibility to remove this cancer of sabotage and betrayal from within the Labour party. If he avoids that responsibility then Labour will lose the trust of the entire embership and the party will die.

  • Margaret West says:

    After reading comments about the report on Social Media Im not too sure what is expected of Starmer? He made a statement this morning – that he will not preempt outcome of the investigation of report.

    I think this is correct – the allegations need to be investigated and those accused allowed to put up a defence – which is surely the proper response.

    Maybe then a start can be made into creating a fairer complaints procedure for the LP? This appears to be the main conclusion of the leaked report and the desire of those who have written here of their own experiences of being badly treated after complaints were made.

  • eleanor o'dwyer says:

    I worked hard on behalf of what I thought was our party (members) and I feel we are all owed justice after these people contributed to the loss of the 2017 election. The comments about BAME and other members is unacceptable and not what the party is about. These actions have caused misery for the many under the current government.

  • Andy Garcia says:

    I agree 100% with your statement. This must be submitted as part of the EHRC investigation. Any investigation should be aimed at those whose treachery cost us GE2017. Those at the heart of this underhand and covert action should face investigation and if necessary expulsion. In the meantime, they should be suspended.

    Sadly because many of these 5th columnists are still on post I am unwilling to give my name for fear of made-up allegations coming my way. A very sad state of affairs indeed.

  • John Bowley says:

    Well done, again, JVL. Keep up your good work.

    It is so sad that our Labour leader presently seems to be ignoring the actual problem of our vilely disloyal staff. Come on, Keir. Show us your leadership.

  • Adrian Chaffey says:

    Any investigation really needs to extend to when Starmer knew about the report, and what he did about it. For example did he appoint Iain McNicol to his whip role before or after being made aware of the report?

  • Teresa Steele says:

    I don’t think we are going to get justice, but I so want to see it. It’s not so much that we’ve been duped, and I really am angry and upset in equal measure about that, it’s more that it proves we have no democracy, we have an autocracy and that scares me more. We are simply living under an illusion of a fair system.

  • Julie Hope says:

    The inquiry has to be transparent and direct action taken by those who abused their positions. We must not allow a ‘cover up’ to happen. As Labour members we need these saboteurs fully exposed and dealt with and measures put in place to prevent anything like it happening again. Jeremy needs to be publicly and fully exonerated. The ‘whistleblower’ of this report should be applauded. As members, paying our subscriptions and their wages, have an absolute right to know of the deplorable behaviour and actions they perpetrated to prevent a Labour Government taking office.

  • Richard Ford says:

    I find Keir Starmer & Angela Rayners actions on this report quite astounding. The important thing is not who leaked it but the content and it’s implications for the party. If the document was fake then I could quite understand that they would wish to get to the crux of who published it, but clearly that is not the case. Not tackling the issues raised in the report simply robs them and indeed the party of any credibility. As a party member I am ashamed of the leaderships response though not really surprised. Shame on them.

  • AH says:

    Perhaps the launching of the EHRC investigation was not such a bad idea, as this treachery and fraud may not otherwise have come to light. Members in CLP’s up and down the country will recognise this behaviour and should begin to organise to put pressure on their EC’s to demand action, not another investigation. How can the LP go to the country and ask the electorate to put their trust in them after this?

  • Colin Lomas says:

    JVL, You so right. It’s not acceptable that the party leader appears to be concentrating on finding the whistle blowers rather than dealing with the devastating failures and mismanagement in the in the party adminintration.

  • William Johnston says:

    On the face of it the Starmer/Rayner statement does look a bit wet. On the other hand, maybe it should be regarded as a considered response to something that is potentially explosive and disruptive; when we don’t yet know how much of it is true.

    It is essential to investigate how much of the report is factually correct. After all, it may itself be completely made up. If there is good evidence of serious wrong-doing, then those accused must be brought to book; BUT: they need to be given the same rights to defend themselves that we constantly demand on behalf of those whom we see as accused without justification. Those rights include delaying any suspensions until the hearings are complete.

    An enquiry must be carried out properly and methodically, without either unseemly rush or undue delay.

    If the report turns out to be a load of codswallop, then those who compiled it and those who leaked it must also be subject to full disciplinary proceedings.

    And, if the report turns out to be largely factual, then those who compiled and/or leaked it deserve both praise, and a (very) mild slap on the wrist.

    Certainly, I should see it as a major concern if more effort were put into finding out who leaked the report than into acting on its contents. Shades of putting more effort into pursuing Assange and Manning than the murderers they exposed?

  • Yvonne Hanson says:

    A full investigation needs to be carried out and conducted now. It is too late to print a redacted form of the report as the individuals responsible are all out now within the public eye

    Whilst I welcome your request for this to be printed, I negate your statement that it is a ‘small vindictive caba,’. I believe that this is a much bigger operation that was carried out cleverly and systematically.

    Those responsible must be removed from office and prosecutions should be brought.

    Regarding the Labour leader and deputy, I believe that a new ballot should take place and not via electronic means, I do not trust that people will be honest and as been shown, my reasons for this are substantiated within the report and self explanatory.

  • Tricia McLaughlin says:

    Can’t stop crying. Lack of sleep > seizures > worsening mental health > the knowledge that it was not just Jeremy and ourselves who were betrayed, but the millions of people in our country whose lives would have either not been lost, children not forced into poverty, whilst these bitterites worked against us.

    Heads should and must roll over this – starting (and not ending) with IMMEDIATE suspensions!

  • Keith Hughes says:

    The Tories cut the nhs to the bone and caused many deaths even before the pandemic. These people helped cause this.

  • ST Sarah says:

    I wrote to my MP and an EC officer about my concerns and indeed outrage. Yet to have the courtesy of a reply. I sounded out an EC person – attitude: ”let’s leave it in the capable hands of KS and AR”.
    When will members learn that we play unity/nice, they kick our rears; time after time. When was there ever an inquiry into who leaked information getting left Palestine activists suspended? It’s always ”let’s move on from here”. No, no more. They need to eat humble pie and promise to review past suspensions and expulsions and then also tear up the 10 Pledges. The utter arrogance of this cabal made them feel completely unassailable – that this should have occurred must be the result of very fundamental failings at all levels of Labour Party HQ. Starmer rode with the huntsmen, he can’t now play at caring for the hares – he needs to prove that we can trust him and he can make a start by firstly acknowledging his role in stigmatising Corbyn unfairly and apologise for it.

  • Jennifer Long says:

    I am not alone in having smelled a rat concerning the anti-Corbyn comments which seeped into the public domain from what appeared to be ‘stage managed’ vitriol from people such as Neil Kinnock and Alastair Campbell. They not only helped to give the appearance of portraying a divided party, they also contributed to the idea that the Labour Party Membership were a bunch of misguided trouble-makers. As to the anti-Semititism issue, it was clear to me that this was a conspiracy of the Labour Party Right in conjunction with the right wing leaders of the BOD. Never at one moment did either me or my friends believe Jeremy Corbyn was anti-Semitic. There needs to be a full and independent report on the dirty tricks which have robbed us of the best Labour Party Leader we have had in more than a generation.

  • David Miller says:

    I have been an loyal and active member of the Labour Party for over 50yrs and have attended Conferences and CLPs. I have never heard a anti Jewish comment by a Labour member or MP. I personally have criticised some of the policies of Israel but no more than I have views on the actions of other countries! I am really sorry if any of my fellow members have been guilty of offending any Jewish people! Please don’t blame the Labour Party for the wrongdoing of a few. The new Party leadership will not allow any antisemitism to flourish within our great Labour Party!

  • Nassah says:

    Off topic, but I noticed someone on your twitter has made an assertion that JVL are fake. Are you going to respond to that ?

  • richard metters says:

    get it published and it really doen’t matter who leaked it

  • Gerald Tasker says:

    Keir Starmer must not undermine the NEC who must immediately be involved in the decision making process around this report.

    There must be no attempt to attack the whistle blower and Starmers apparent concentration on this begs the question, why?
    There was no attempt to discipline the “whistle blowers” attacking Jeremy and the Labour left leadership on the Panorama special into antisemitism, some of whom are now accused of betrayal, bullying and racism.
    The NEC must be involved in setting up a completely independent, open, transparent and far reaching investigation which should include the actions of MP’s hostile to Jeremy’s leadership.

    All members expelled in which the saboteurs may have had the slightest involvement or influence must be allowed to rejoin regardless of their actions (not withstanding racistism bullying etc) during and after their expulsion.
    Anyone found to be involved in this treachery must be expelled from the party for life and in addition paid staffers dismissed for gross misconduct and where appropriate police informed and or legal action implemented against them.

    A failure by Keir Starmer to act properly, transparently and decisively to rid our party of all and any involved in the betrayal of our party leadership and denying our country of a Labour govt will bring in to question his ability to unite and lead our party.
    This is his first test as leader and I hope he passes it with flying colours.

  • Diane Miles says:

    I hope our leadership will do the right thing. We need transparency and justice. I fear not.

  • Doug says:

    This report should bring us together to throw out the enemy within,
    KISS keep it simple stupid, agree candidates at every level and campaign 24/7
    Harold Wilson would have recommended this approach, when you have control of the important parts of the party then surely Keir Starmer will follow

  • Graeme Atkinson says:

    Ermmm…Harold Wilson was the Labour leader whose bureaucratic apparatus witch-hunted and expelled the Young Socialists in 1964. He is no role model in matters of LP democracy.

  • JanP says:

    There should be no enquiry into who put the report together, or into who leaked it. Those are not the issues. The enquiry should solely be into the contents of the report itself – and those involved should be suspended or sacked immediately. What Starmer does at this moment will be the litmus for how many members will decide to stay in the party.

  • Doug says:

    GMB’s Tim Roache elected by 3% of members
    Dave Prentis another example of out of control and undemocratic power brokers
    On any other planet those mentioned in the report would be sacked on the spot for Gross Misconduct or expelled subject to appeal
    The Left is a disorganised, soft as muck rabble, get your flipping acts together
    Graeme Atkinson can go back to 1964 to get a shot in, yet cannot organise more than 3% of GMB members to vote for a socialist
    Too many isms not enough Street fighting

  • Bob Shaw says:

    Well said!

  • None of this should be redacted. When they accused innocent members of antisemitism were their names redacted? No, they took great pleasure in destroying peoples lives.

  • childeroland says:

    I think it may be necessary, if Keir Starmer proves as ineffectual in dealing with this scandal, as I think he will, to remind him and his crew that everyone who paid their subs during the years in which very senior members of the upper echelons of the party were working to undermine its chances of winning an election have a pretty much cast iron case if they take the Party to any small claims court. This would certainly bankrupt Labour if a minority of those who joined the party to support Corbyn exercised their right to compensation. Since this is probably the strongest position any of us have been in since we nearly won the 2017 election we should not squander it. It might finally induce the current leadership to address the actions of the moral and political degenerates who have betrayed all Labour voters, and of which it would appear to be the principal beneficiary.

  • childeroland says:

    Can I just add that I am not Jewish, but the JVL, throughout this appalling and distressing campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, has been a source of immense comfort and hope to me through the sheer decency of its members and its views. You have been one of the few voices that has consistently restored my faith in the best of humanity at the worst of times. Thank you so very much.

  • I agree with David Bradely. No names should be redacted.

    When I was suspended in March 2016. I was not even told why I was suspended. I learnt what it was for when I read The Telegraph and Times 2 weeks later. This is a red herring. Names are necessary so that we can find out who are the guilty parties.

    The report confirms that there were only a handful of genuine anti-Semites in the Labour party. Probably less than 10. Is it seriously suggested that there was a 4.5 year antisemitism campaign because of them?

    It was clearly about something else, viz. the determination of the Right to depose Corbyn and Israel/anti-semitism was the means. Unfortunately Corbyn did’t call it out and as the Report shows he became his own gravedigger.

    The Report is long. What outrages me most was the suspension of my own party, Brighton and Hove. It was allegedly for spitting at the AGM. In fact the ‘investigator’ made it clear in the Report that she had already made up her mind… But many people’s names were dragged through the mud and the elected Secretary Greg Hadfield was suspended for no reason whatever.

    The fact that Corbyn and McDonnell not only did not call out the expulsions and suspension but even pressed for them in the belief that the more people they offered up as a sacrifice the more the gods would be appeased is a matter of shame.

    I have done a lengthy blog on the first part of the Report. The second will follow shortly

    https://tinyurl.com/y822awep

  • different frank says:

    Keir Starmer’s theme tune.
    https://streamable.com/kg0sa8

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