Enforcement action is once again been taken against Unite and Skwawkbox, after both failed to cough up the £680,000 accrued in legal fees following former Labour MP Anna Turley’s libel victory against them in December 2019. This after they were already forced to fork out £75,000 to Turley personally…
Turley sued Unite and Skwawkbox’s Steve Walker after Walker ran an article accusing her of joining the union using a 50p membership rate intended for the unemployed, with Turley claiming Walker and Unite damaged her reputation and misused her private information. The expensive High Court hearing found in her favour.
Now it turns out the legal bills Unite and Skwawkbox racked up in their failed defence are still unpaid, so bailiffs will be knocking at the union’s offices today. Turley’s lawyers have also commenced bankruptcy proceedings against Walker. Of course this all reflects on the judgement of Howard Beckett, who currently is the union’s legal officer standing as the hard-left’s candidate for general secretary…
The new Labour MP for Jarrow, Kate Osborne, has been accused of trying to exploit prospective parliamentary staffers after putting up a job listing for a ‘Senior Caseworker’ which goes well beyond the typical list of responsibilities for the role. One current staffer described it as being “senior caseworker and researcher and office manager” all rolled into one, for no extra pay…
Kerri Prince, who is a Labour councillor and staffer for Alex Cunningham MP, said merely reading the job description gave her “burnout”, and commented that “A staff member would not get through this list of work even if they worked 8 days a week” before going on to alert the Unite union to the listing. Labour MP, Alex Sobel, and former MP Anna Turley, have also criticised the listing…
The full list of responsibilities the Labour MP is asking for – for as little as £27,324 a year – are:
As ever with Labour, on workers’ rights it’s ‘do as I say and not as I do’…
Back in December, the former MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, successfully won a court case against Unite and Skwawkbox for libel, with her winning £75,000 in damages, with both organisations being jointly liable for covering both the payout and the court cost.
Last night, Turley reared her head once more to announce the two have failed to pay the damages and costs, and subsequently her solicitors were starting enforcement proceedings.
Unite and Skwawkbox have failed to pay the damages and costs following my libel trial last month as ordered by the court. My solicitors are starting enforcement proceedings in the morning. pic.twitter.com/pS8wpwIekF— Anna Turley (@annaturley) January 16, 2020
In the latest development, the former MP has published a letter from her solicitors declaring given Unite’s failure to pay up, “The only conclusion we can draw is that your clients have deliberately chosen to cause further distress to Ms Turley or they are incompetent. Which is it?”, going on to say
“We have prepared enforcement papers that will permit bailiffs to attend at your clinets’ premises to enforce the two final judgements. We shall issue these when the Court opens on Monday morning if the full judgement debts, together with ongoing interest, have not been satisfied.”
This is much more entertaining than the Labour leadership contest…
UPDATE: Unite and Skwawkbox have finally coughed up
Unite & Skwawkbox have belatedly paid the damages and costs as ordered by the court. Proving after all that they are not above the law. What an avoidable waste of members’ money. Lesson is... don’t break the law.— Anna Turley (@annaturley) January 21, 2020
Despite losing her Redcar seat last week, Anna Turley’s fortunes have brightened today after emerging victorious from her high court libel fight with Skwawkbox and being awarded £75,000 in damages. Withhold your laughter…
The case in question surrounded a blog post on the site in 2017 containing a press statement from Unite, which gave the impression she had been dishonest when applying to join the union – in turn also misusing her private information. During the hearings, both Unite and Skwawkbox blogger Stephen Walker claimed she wasn’t fit to be an MP – something, ironically, the voters of Redcar agreed with…
Turley had wanted over £100,000, only to be haggled down to just £75,000 in damages – still thousands more than Guido presumes Skwawkbox can afford. Read Turley’s full statement below:
I am shocked, chilled and appalled by what I’ve just seen on Panorama. Hearing the testimony of party members and former staff was harrowing. They are not “disaffected”, they have been incredibly brave. Very serious questions now have to be answered.
— Tom Watson (@tom_watson) July 10, 2019
Truly, truly awful watching @BBCPanorama tonight – to see the stress of former staff members who were trying to stand up to antisemitism but most of all to see the pain of Jewish members who our party has so badly let down
— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) July 10, 2019
I know some of the staffers on tonight’s Panorama. They joined the Labour Party, like me and most party members, because they hate racism as much as they hate poverty. A statement accusing them of having “political axes to grind” is deeply wrong and indefensible
— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) July 10, 2019
Tonight’s @BBCPanorama powerful and shocking. Huge bravery shown by the young people who spoke out. This goes to the soul of what Labour stands for. And it’s not just about processes – it’s about the world view that created the permissive environment for all this.
— Pat McFadden (@patmcfaddenmp) July 10, 2019
Terrible to see vile abuse suffered by our Jewish comrades & the agonies of staff trying to kick racists out of our party, undermined at every turn by Leader’s office. #BBCPanorama
— Mary Creagh (@MaryCreaghMP) July 10, 2019
Attacking those who are brave enough to call out antisemitism is pathetic. And trying to silence anybody who challenges Corbyn’s failure to tackle Jew-hate is truly reprehensible.
If you deny Labour has a problem then you are part of the problem.
— Margaret Hodge (@margarethodge) July 10, 2019
After watching @BBCPanorama tonight, it’s hard not to conclude that Labour is being destroyed before our very eyes. We have been an anti-racist, internationalist, progressive party for a century. Corbyn & his clique are destroying our heritage, our reputation & our future 1/2
— Owen Smith (@OwenSmith_MP) July 10, 2019
Well I’m saying it even if no one else will. The buck stops with Jeremy Corbyn. I said at PLP a couple of months back that if we cannot deal with internal problems like this, we cannot ask the public to put us into Downing Street.
— Anna Turley MP (@annaturley) July 11, 2019
Is this the moment when Labour MPs finally stand up and do something about it? Or do they just go back to campaigning to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister anyway?
While everyone is distracted by the “Revenge Reshuffle” six Labour MPs are trying to push through in the Committee stage of the Charities Bill being discussed at this very moment. The MPs (all new members have tabled a New Clause that would green light to political lobbying by charities.
Power to make representations
(1) A charity may undertake political campaigning or political activity in the context of supporting the delivery of its charitable purposes.
(2) A charity may campaign to ensure support for, or to oppose, a change in the law, policy or decisions of central government, local authorities or other public bodies.
The newly elected Louise Haigh, Peter Kyle, Conor McGinn, Jo Stevens, Wes Streeting, Anna Turley are trying to legalise partisan left-wing charity sock-puppeting by the legislative back door. Surely the Tory MPs on the Committee will oppose this retrograde amendment?