Labour MP Margaret Hodge took to Twitter last night to condemn the disgraceful and potentially unlawful behaviour of Unite, which has been accused of covertly funding and deliberately orchestrating the deselection of Labour MPs. In a tweeted rant Hodge wrote that Unite should focus on the priorities of its members “not the political whims of a few trade barons”.
Unite should be focusing on the priorities of its members in the wake of COVID-19. Not the political whims of a few trade union barons.— Margaret Hodge (@margarethodge) June 3, 2021
If this was funded secretly by the union, it the very least, immoral, and potentially unlawful.
Things escalated pretty quickly once Guardian columnist and 24/7 Twitter warrior Owen Jones waded into the scandal. He compared Hodge’s language to that of a “Thatcherite union hater” and said her decision to report Unite to the police was “disturbing”.
It’s very disturbing to see a Labour MP - in a party founded by the trade union movement - use language like “trade union barons”, which is used by Thatcherite union haters.— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) June 4, 2021
It’s also disturbing to see a Labour MP resort to reporting a union to the police for factional reasons. https://t.co/lDsEiWg53K
Hodge refused to backdown noting the that the politically hostile plot to deselect MPs is what is actually “disturbing”. Guido would have to agree…
Let me tell you what is actually "disturbing," Owen.— Margaret Hodge (@margarethodge) June 4, 2021
Top Unite officials were allegedly engaged in a secretive and politically hostile plot to deselect Labour MPs.
There is now solid evidence suggesting Unite may have committed an unlawful offence.
THIS is what is disturbing. https://t.co/CbnRjWbp5l
Jones responded by dodging and side-stepping the very serious allegations made by Hodge. Jones didn’t attempt to defend Unite’s questionable behaviour…
The last time Unite was reported to the police, they were cleared and Labour changed its voting system in a desperate attempt to dilute trade union power, which instead enabled Jeremy Corbyn to become leader.— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) June 4, 2021
Let’s see how it goes this time https://t.co/V9TVgRLjas
As usual we will leave it up to Guido’s co-conspirators to decide who has won this bitch fight…
Airpod-gate seemingly has no end in sight. Guido’s been looking over the latest expenses data dump from IPSA and can reveal former Public Account Committee chair Margaret Hodge is the latest MP to stick the luxury Apple goods on their MP allowance, along with a new MacBook totalling £1178.95. Guido would have hoped this multi-millionaire silver surfer, who used to be in charge of monitoring public sector spending, would have thought twice about such unnecessary spending…
Hodge’s rush to use her Covid-boosted expenses on expensive tech is mirrored by Tory MP Crispin Blunt, who’s put in a claim for some equally-expensive £135 headphones, and Greg Smith who very generously bought his two researchers brand new Macbooks for a total of £2,443.20.
The oddest tech spend Guido’s found so far is James Sunderland’s £245 splurge on an autocue teleprompter – something every other MP has thus far managed to successfully do their job without. Is Sunderland planning on also launching a rival to GB News?
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds this morning admitted that the process by which Jeremy Corbyn has been readmitted to the Labour Party is “politically corrupted”. Speaking to the Today Programme, Dodds was confronted by the words of Margaret Hodge who called the readmission process “broken and politically corrupted”. Dodds agreed…
“Well, unfortunately, it’s not just been Margaret Hodge making that assessment. It has also been the EHRC, which of course, did investigate Labour’s processes around disciplinary matters related to antisemitism, and it’s a matter of huge regret and shame to my party that it found we were wanting, we have to sort out that system, it cannot remain as a politicised system.”
The obvious question, therefore, is why didn’t Labour’s NEC wait until the process is external, and no longer “broken and politically corrupted”, before assessing Corbyn’s case?
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?
Following last night’s Commons bust-up between Margaret Hodge and Jeremy Corbyn, in which she called him “an anti-Semite and a racist” and said “You have proved you don’t want people like me in the party”, Labour have announced they will be taking action… against Hodge. They say her behaviour was “clearly unacceptable”. Disciplining a Jewish MP for calling out anti-Semitism… great look.
Tax hypocrite Margaret Hodge took a kicking from Lorna Smith of British Virgin Islands Finance on the Today programme this morning, who accused the Labour grandee of “colonialism” for attempting to force them to introduce public ownership registers. Hodge’s amendment, backed by Corbyn, is in the Commons today. Well worth a listen to hear Hodge skewered…
As Guido has chronicled, Hodge had a £1.5 million shareholding in 0.01% tax rate-paying Stemcor. 96,000 Stemcor shares awarded to Hodge in 2011 came from the tax haven of Lichtenstein. Now she is attempting to enforce “colonialist” tax avoidance measures on the British Virgin Islands. You don’t get more hypocritical than that…