Claims of “bullying and intimidation” provided an opportunity for Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee to suspend Wallasey Constituency Labour Party – meaning it could not hold a meeting at which members planned to deselect Ms Eagle, so she would be unable to stand as a Labour candidate for Wallasey in a future general election.
The suspension also means Wallasey cannot submit motions to Labour’s national conference in September.
Was there any “bullying and intimidation” at the meeting? No.
(At least, not according to the video evidence from Liverpool Echo reporter Liam Murphy.)
There was anger – but that is a different thing. Speakers accused party bosses of removing their democratic rights, and there were calls for a legal challenge to the party’s suspension. This was rejected as it would take too long and cost too much.
Ms Eagle – who had been invited to attend but did not turn up – came in for criticism as she has welcomed the suspension of her own constituency party while investigations into it take place.
The party’s vice-chair, Paul Davies, said he did not blame party bosses for the suspension, given the claims made against members – but added “if they were true”.
He has maintained throughout this controversy that the allegations are false.
He said officers from North West Labour had been invited to attend, but had turned down the opportunity because they feared expulsion from the party.
Does this seem like the behaviour of a group of bullies to you?
That’s what Angela Eagle wants you to think.
Ahead of the meeting, she said: “The 17 whistleblowers who wrote to the Labour Party with eye-witness testimony of homophobic language and actions, threats of violence and other behaviour unbecoming of Labour members did so because they want the same as we all should – for the Labour Party to be a safe welcoming campaigning environment, free of bigotry and bullying.
“That is why I am so saddened and disappointed that Labour Party constituency officers are seeking to challenge in public the private testimony of whistleblowers.
“If this was happening in a workplace, the unions – for which I worked for many years – Jeremy, myself, the whole Labour movement would be aghast. Whistleblowers have rights to anonymity and for their evidence to be considered in private as part of due process.”
Nobody violated any whistleblower’s right to anonymity, of course. As for their evidence being considered in private – This Writer would not consider that to be “due process”. Evidence against anybody should be considered in public, with the accused offered full opportunity to present their own case, supported by their own witnesses.
Justice demands equal treatment of both sides in any case. We must question Ms Eagle’s actions in opposing this.
More than 400 people packed into Wallasey town hall for a “rebel” meeting of the suspended local Labour party .The meeting had been called amid allegations of threats and homophobic abuse which led to the local party being stopped from operating by national Labour bosses.
It was organised by Wirral TUC and party members had been invited – although it was billed as a public meeting.
Leaflets advertising the meeting said it was to allow members a “chance to find out what’s really going on”.
However, just ahead of the meeting Wallasey MP Angela Eagle described it as “bullying and intimidation” of whistleblowers who had raised concerns.
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