Does anybody believe Labour mutineer Rob Marris?

Rob Marris MP [Image: Express and Star].

Rob Marris MP [Image: Express and Star].

Take a look at what follows, from deep within a Guardian report that mostly seeks to push Jeremy Corbyn out of the Labour leadership with the false claim about shadow cabinet members being refused access to him.

It refers to the deletion of files about the Finance Bill from a shared, Labour Party, hard drive by former shadow finance secretary Rob Marris or one of his team.

Mr Marris has reacted angrily, stating that the information did not belong to the Labour Party and was his.

In that case, why was it being stored on a Labour Party machine? Was he using Labour Party resources for his personal projects?

It seems unlikely, doesn’t it? The information was about a current Parliamentary bill and its loss was said to have hindered Labour in its response to the Finance Bill.

So we come back to the issue of whether Mr Marris should be punished and whether deselection would be appropriate.

If it is destruction of Labour Party property to sabotage the leadership – and remember, there appears to be precedent for believing in this, thanks to the strange behaviour of former Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander – then he should be kicked out of the party. If legal proceedings are possible, then they should be taken.

If it is destruction of Mr Marris’s property, then it is still sabotage of the Labour leadership, who should consider further action very carefully.

Whatever happens, it is likely to set a precedent.

Fundamental to all this is the following:

It seems very odd that an MP would describe material generated while he was a Shadow Minister, to help his party in its job as the official Opposition to the Conservative Government, as being nothing to do with that party.

On Saturday night, Corbyn’s allies accused the parliamentary party of sabotaging Labour’s ability to hold the government to account.

One Labour source said those at the top of the party were livid when it emerged that files on a shared Labour party hard drive relating to the finance bill going through parliament had been deleted as the shadow finance secretary Rob Marris resigned.

An internal email seen by this newspaper said: “Unfortunately, it looks like someone from Rob Marris’s office has deleted the vast majority of the finance bill records and notes on each clause from the shared drive.”

A Labour source raised the spectre of deselection, adding that it fitted in with a campaign of sabotage. He said: “The finance bill is a hugely important bit of legislation. Under normal times the party’s severest punishment to my knowledge for such transgression could go as high as deselection.

“This is because such a bill normally includes important measures involving things like tax avoidance and pensioners and working families.

“For example, in this case his actions could have led to undermining things such as our opposition to the tampon tax, which – if he had his way – would have prevented us from ending it sooner.”

Responding to the criticism, Marris said that the material he removed did not belong to the Labour party but had been funded through his own parliamentary staff allowance.

He said: “I have not removed Labour party material from a shared computer drive.

“The material removed did not belong to the Labour party. It was created by my own office to help me as a shadow Treasury minister. I paid for this material using my parliamentary staff allowance to help fulfil my role as a shadow minister. The Labour party did not pay a penny for it, and it had not been stored on a Labour party drive.”

Source: Jeremy Corbyn aides refuse Tom Watson one-on-one meeting | Politics | The Guardian


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13 thoughts on “Does anybody believe Labour mutineer Rob Marris?

  1. Brian

    Rob Marris really ought to consult the intellectual property rules. Anything written, or even conferred in the course of work belongs to the ’employer’. If any data was written or removed during his allotted hours, then he is responsible to his employer for it. Simple time logs will give the answer.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Right. So how many civil servants do you know who own any material they generate in their capacity as civil servants?

  2. jeffrey davies

    but had been funded through his own parliamentary staff allowance. hmmm but we paid for it through our taxes whot a back stabber deselection thrown out jeff3

  3. roybeiley

    He may have thought that he had deleted the files but there are 2 possible ways of recovering them.
    1) was the hard disk backed up?
    2) software engineers can recover deleted files if the hard disk was not re-formatted.
    JC should call upon IT experts who support him to look into this

  4. Joan Edington

    If the Labour party don’t keep several generations of backups of their hard drives then they deserve all they get. Surely these files can be recovered if they are that important.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If the money he spent on those files was paid to him to carry out his duty as a Labour shadow minister, then they didn’t belong to him and should have been left unharmed. Read the other comments about this.

  5. Philip Howard

    “”paid for this material using my parliamentary staff allowance to help fulfil my role as a shadow minister””

    .Which is money paid to the opposition to help them fund office and staff. So this person throws his dummy out and just because he bought it, thinks its ok to delete it, yes you bought it but out of money thats supplied to you by the Government, what a plonker, time Corbyn came down on these MPs with a iron rod

  6. Phil Lee

    Only deselection?
    Surely a report to the Data Protection Registrar, with a view to prosecution under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 would be appropriate – possibly with police involvement.
    Any conviction would of course remove him from his seat immediately, without having to await deselection. There is also the matter of his misbehaviour in public office. This was a position for which he was paid, so the data belongs to his employer.
    His destruction of it is a criminal act, which he has now apparently admitted to. Silly boy for not asking a lawyer first, because now it’s on the record.

    1. Brian

      Perhaps someone in Wolverhampton unconnected with the labour party could make a complaint then about Rob Marris’ conduct to Wolverhampton police.

Comments are closed.