Panorama Whistleblowers Point Finger at Seumas and Formby

The BBC have previewed details of their Panorama exposé on Labour anti-Semitism ahead of its broadcast tonight. The Labour whistleblowers are accusing two of Corbyn’s closest allies of interfering in Labour’s disciplinary processes around anti-Semitism – Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby and Corbyn’s right-hand man Seumas Milne. Helps to explain why the Labour response has been quite so aggressive in this particular case…

The Leader’s Office is accused of being “angry and obstructive” over anti-Semitism amidst numerous other allegations including Formby bringing in officials who “overruled” and “downgraded” disciplinary decisions, while deleting emails and using external email addresses to try to cover her tracks, and Corbyn’s office taking in various cases for his own aides to process them directly. Labour are sticking to the line that these are false allegations from “disaffected” former members of staff. Doesn’t look good…

Pete Willsman Suspended From Labour Party

Pete Willsman has now been suspended from the Labour Party after his outburst revealed this morning where he claimed that the Israeli Embassy was fuelling Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis. Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby emailed Labour NEC officers to say:

Dear all,

We have received a number of complaints, including from NEC members, about Peter Willsman’s latest comments, as reported on LBC this morning.

I am writing to let you know that we took the decision earlier this morning to administratively suspend Peter, pending disciplinary action.

Kind regards
Jennie

Willsman can’t attend NEC meetings while he’s suspended from the party but he’s still officially a member of Labour’s ruling body. What are the chances he ends up straight back on the NEC as soon as his suspension is lifted…

Labour Mayoral Candidate Suspended

Guido understands that the newly selected Mansfield Mayoral candidate has now been suspended this afternoon pending investigation by the Labour Party, following Guido’s article exposing his Facebook rants defending Ken Livingstone, Naz Shah’s comments, and calling Zionism as as “foul” as Nazism.

Labour MP John Mann tells Guido he has personally referred the case to Jenny Formby for immediate action. Mann says “It is one of the worst examples I have seen”…

Ten Times Labour Snubbed the Jewish Labour Movement

The Jewish Labour Movement are holding an emergency meeting tomorrow to decide whether to end their 99-year affiliation with the Labour Party. Given the number of times they’ve been snubbed, marginalised or ignored by the Labour leadership, it’s sadly not a surprise…

  • In April last year, JLM wrote to Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby with 19 suggestions for a transparent investigations process. 11 months later they have still had no response.
  • JLM were due to hold an anti-Semitism training session at Labour Conference last year. They were forced to withdraw after Labour “censored” their material.
  • JLM have repeatedly offered formal training to the Labour NEC, NCC and Party Staff. Labour have repeatedly rejected their offer.
  • JLM requested a formal investigation into Pete Willsman last July. Instead Willsman was re-elected to Labour’s NEC.
  • JLM wrote to the Labour chief whip asking for action to be taken against Chris Williamson in August 2018. Six months later their letter had still not been responded to before Williamson was finally suspended.
  • Two JLM representatives believed they had been invited to attend Labour NEC’s Working Group on anti-Semitism last May. They were forced to stand outside and barred from entering the meeting.
  • After JLM were finally invited back, the Working Group presented three papers to Labour’s NEC including a new version of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which they claimed JLM had signed off. They hadn’t.
  • Last month, they called for John McDonnell to step down as President of the Labour Representation Committee which claimed that anti-Semitism allegations were “propaganda” from the “ruling class”. McDonnell ignored them.
  • Given McDonnell’s failure to step down, JLM wrote to him asking him at least speak out against the anti-Semitism within the LRC at their conference last month. Instead, McDonnell gave a public defence of Jackie Walker.
  • Just last week, Corbyn told Labour MPs that he had reached out to JLM following Luciana Berger’s decision to quit the party. Corbyn was accused of a “deeply troubling” bid to “mislead” MPs after it turned out his office had literally only contacted JLM two minutes after Corbyn started his speech.

Tomorrow we will find out whether they’ve decided to end the affiliation that has stood since 1920…

Labour Have Only Expelled 12 Members Over Anti-Semitism

Labour’s General Secretary Jennie Formby has emailed all Labour MPs this afternoon with an update on how the party has been dealing with anti-Semitism cases. The statistics do not give the impression of a party cracking down on an serious endemic problem:

Of the 673 party members reported since April 2018:

  • 220 were let off due to lack of “sufficient evidence”
  • 146 received a “reminder of conduct”
  • 96 were suspended
  • 211 were issued with a “notice of investigation”

Of those who were suspended or formally investigated:

  • 44 resigned from the party
  • 25 received a “reminder of conduct”
  • 16 received a formal NEC warning
  • 7 had their cases closed with no further action
  • 42 were referred to the National Constitutional Committee

Of the 42 formally referred to the NCC, described as an “independent quasi-judicial body”, just 12 have been expelled from the party. This is less than 2% of the total number of reported incidents.

Given the huge proliferation of egregious anti-Semitism in the Labour Party since it moved sharply to the left, it speaks volumes that they have deemed so few cases worthy of outright explusion…

UPDATE: Margaret Hodge says she “can’t believe” there have been “only 12 expulsions”, adding that she is “not convinced leadership serious on rooting out anti Semitism”. She’s not the only one unconvinced…

Two Questions For Labour to Answer on Pete Willsman

The Board of Deputies has two questions for Labour on the Pete Willsman scandal:

Both Corbyn and Formby were present.

The Jewish Labour Movement have resubmitted their complaint to the Labour Party, meaning Jennie Formby now has a second chance to get it right, get rid of Willsman and admit she screwed up. Not a great look at all if Corbyn and Formby sat through Willsman’s rant about Jews, said and did nothing to oppose him, and then Formby failed to take any action…

UPDATE: Guido is told Jennie Formby wrote to Pete Willsman to remind him of the high standard of behaviour expected from labour members and warned him of possible disciplinary action if he were to repeat his behaviour.

PLP Protest Formby’s “Deeply Troubling” Power Grab

All kicking off between the Parliamentary Labour Party and their new general secretary Jennie Formby after she put PLP secretary Dan Simpson on gardening leave this week. PLP chair John Cryer has written to Labour MPs complaining it “shows a worrying set of priorities” and that the decision to replace him with a Corbyn crony without any interview or due process is “deeply troubling”.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to update you following yesterday’s decision by Jennie Formby, the Labour Party’s new General Secretary, to disallow Dan Simpson from working his notice period as the PLP Secretary and Director of Political Services, and force him into a period of ‘gardening leave’, rather than remaining in the service of the PLP until the summer as had been previously agreed.

Since this was communicated to Dan and to myself, I have made it absolutely clear to Jennie that to use her first day in the job to effectively remove our Secretary with immediate effect shows a worrying set of priorities.

Our Secretary has always enjoyed the confidence of the PLP, a confidence that has been necessary to carry out the demands of the role. This confidence has been derived from the fact that the PLP have been instrumental in their appointment. We, through the Chair, have always chosen who we trust to conduct affairs on our behalf. It is deeply troubling that we have not been afforded that right on this occasion.

I can inform you that Jennie has asked Ben Foley, who currently manages Jeremy’s relationship with the PLP, to act as Interim Secretary to fill the role until Sarah Mulholland returns from maternity leave during the summer recess. While I am deeply disappointed that no interview or due process has taken place, I know that Ben will work hard for the short period up until the summer recess to manage the support that is provided to our Frontbench. The Parliamentary Committee will, of course, continue to directly manage the business of the PLP and delegate the administration of our affairs as is appropriate.

More words and no actions from Labour moderates…

Corbynistas Hold Boozy Victory Party as Moderates Vacate HQ

As moderate staff resigned their jobs at Labour HQ and Jennie Formby replaced Iain McNicol as General Secretary last night, leading Corbynistas celebrated seizing control at a boozy victory party at the Two Chairmen pub. The guestlist for the private upstairs room was a who’s who of the hard-left. Diane Abbott was one of the first to arrive and stayed for hours, she was followed shortly afterwards by Seumas Milne, who as ever spent most of the night on the phone, and Emily Thornberry, who spent most of it chain smoking outside. They were joined later on by Len McCluskey, the father of Formby’s child, then Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, the disgraced Ian Lavery, and a host of Leader’s Office aides including Corbyn’s spokesman James Schneider. John McDonnell turned up late. The bash was organised by Jezza’s fixer Karie Murphy. Guido didn’t spot withdrawn candidate Jon Lansman – perhaps he was NFI. The night the Corbynistas took full control, toasted with Peronis as their comrades at Labour HQ lost their jobs…

Exitism: Labour HQ Departures Ahead of Formby

Ahead of the appointment of Jennie Formby as the Labour Party’s general-secretary, some long-standing HQ staff are jumping before they are pushed out. Exitism from the party by long-standing moderate activists is also on the rise as the once entryist crypto-commies and toytown trots are welcomed into the party by Corbyn…

John Stolliday, Director of Governance and Legal is off, as the ‘compliance unit’ boss he will be quitting before he inevitably gets pushed out. The PLP secretary Dan Simpson is also quitting. Along with the outgoing general secretary Iain McNicol; Patrick Heneghan,Tracey Allen, Julie Lawrence, Neil Fleming and Emilie Oldknow are going.

Most will be gone after the May local elections. If Chuka is going to launch his centre party he’ll have some experienced operators available to hire…

UPDATE: Simon Jackson, Labour’s Director of Policy And Research, has quit today.

Hat-tip: Paul Waugh

Labour MPs Endorsing Formby Accepted £140,000 From Unite

Labour MPs endorsing Jennie Formby for general secretary have accepted £140,000 worth of donations from Unite in the past year. Naturally none of them mentioned to their followers that they are bankrolled by Formby’s union…

In the last year Dan Carden has received £20,000 in cash from Unite, plus £11,475.75 to pay for staff and £1,380 to stay in the Grand Hotel at Labour conference.

In the last year Ian Lavery has received £10,000 in cash from Unite, plus £1,380 to stay in the Grand Hotel at Labour conference.

In the last year Laura Pidcock has received £20,000 in cash from Unite, plus £967 for her Christmas cards and £1,700 for hotel accommodation at Labour conference.

In the last year Grahame Morris has received £12,000 in cash from Unite, plus £1,380 for hotel accommodation at Labour conference.

In the last year Richard Burgon has received £9,000 in cash from Unite.

In the last year Karl Turner has received £4,000 in cash from Unite.

In the last year Ian Mearns has received £8,000 in cash from Unite, plus £1,380 to stay at the Grand Hotel for Labour conference.

In the last year Andrew Gwynne has received £5,000 in cash from Unite.

In the last year John McDonnell has received £4,000 in cash from Unite.

In the last year Lloyd Russell-Moyle has received £6,000 in cash from Unite.

Rebecca Long-Bailey and Kate Osamor are also reported to have endorsed Formby. Long-Bailey has received £8,000 in cash from Unite plus £1,035 for hotel accommodation, while Osamor has received £5,000 in cash from Unite.

Of course this doesn’t include the £3.5 million plus of donations Unite gave to the central party in the last year. How a trade union can buy control of the Labour Party…

RED ON RED: Corbynistas Launch Vicious Attacks on Lansman

Grab your popcorn: the Labour General Secretary race is already descending into bitter briefing and attacks from Corbynistas on Momentum’s Jon Lansman. Skwawkbox, the pro-Corbyn website which is regularly briefed by the Leader’s Office, has attacked Lansman’s pitch as “confusing” and called on him to explain why he is standing against a “widely-supported female applicant” (Jennie Formby, Lansman’s opponent, is the choice of the Leader’s Office.) Skwawkbox go on to say they “understand that Jon Lansman has spent the last twenty-four hours or so trying to persuade a female former employee of Jeremy Corbyn to stand. His announcement today may be a signal that he was unsuccessful”. Who could possibly have been behind that anti-Lansman briefing?

This from McDonnell last night was hardly subtle:

Meanwhile Labour Against the Witchhunt, the mental group led by Jackie Walker which tries to get anti-Semites let back into the party, has launched a vicious attack on Lansman and endorsed Formby. They say Lansman “lacks the democratic credentials to become the kind of general secretary that the Labour Party now needs” and “We believe that Unite’s Jennie Formby would be the best choice for general secretary”. Surely nothing to do with Lansman taking exception to Walker’s awful anti-Semitism and removing her as vice-chair of Momentum. How does Formby feel about having these people on her side?

Lansman v Formby: Momentum Chief v Unite and Leader’s Office

Iain McNicol’s last act as Labour General Secretary has been to give Ken Livingstone an indefinite suspension, top trolling of the Corbynistas who wanted to get Ken back in from the cold. This afternoon Jon Lansman has formally announced he is running for McNicol’s job “to open up the contest and ensure we have a wide range of candidates”.

You might have thought the Momentum boss would be the choice of the Leader’s Office, but instead Team Jezza are backing the Unite candidate Jennie Formby. Lansman has had a fractious relationship with Seumas Milne, Karie Murphy and Andrew Fisher ever since they refused to give him a job first time round. The Leader’s Office has clearly been whipping public declarations of support for Formby and against Lansman:

There is also talk Lansman sees himself as a kamikaze candidate to take out Formby and allow another woman to come through the middle – indeed in his statement he invites other candidates to throw their hats in and even calls for a woman to get the job. Guido took a look at the potential other names here. Hardly the best timing given this is in the middle of Labour’s local election campaign, for which Momentum are doing a lot of the groundwork and Unite are providing the cash. This is going to be bloody…

LEAK: Lansman Emails Mock “Clueless” Unite Chief

On Saturday Momentum’s 52 person National Committee convened for the first time, telling supporters that the purpose of the meeting was to elect a Steering Committee of 14 senior figures who will run the organisation. Yet in leaked emails sent the week before, Momentum chief Jon Lansman boasts that the election will be a “formality” because Steering Committee members had already been “confirmed“. In other words, it was a fix.

From: Jon Lansman
To: xxxx
Sent: Feb 1

Thanks for your email.

I too am looking forward to getting the structure confirmed at the meeting on Saturday. To a large extent, as you note, this will mostly be just a formality as we have already confirmed those who will be setting the direction for Momentum, myself included. These individuals will formally take their roles on the Steering Committee this Saturday.

This email was sent five days before the sham election, at which time Lansman already knew the result.

In another leaked email, Lansman is asked if the trade unions involved in Momentum will have concerns over bumper staff salaries. Lansman warns that the salaries must be kept confidential, writing that Unite political director Jennie Formby is “clueless“:

From: Jon Lansman
To: xxxx
Sent: Feb 1

Jennie is fairly clueless and as long as the proper procedures are followed on Saturday, I do not anticipate any issues.

So Lansman wants to keep Unite in the dark about how much Momentum are paying their top team, mocking Formby as “clueless” about salaries. Would be a shame if Jennie were to find out…

UPDATE: Lansman tells Guido the emails we have, sent from his email address and with his email signature, are “complete fabrications”. Lansman insists he is “good friends” with Formby and says he may have been hacked:

“I am not aware of anyone hacking into my emails but I can assure you I did not send either of those emails. If someone has hacked my email I would certainly like to know. I shall be changing my passwords.”

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