Is the report into claims of abuse in Wallasey Labour Party worth the time taken to write it?

Last Updated: October 19, 2016By

In the (slightly censored) words of John Wayne: “Who wrote this sh!{?”

It seems a confidential report on a Labour Party investigation into allegations of abuse and intimidation against MP Angela Eagle and her staff by members of Wallasey Constituency Labour Party has been leaked to the press, after it was used to persuade Labour’s National Executive Committee to support the claims.

But does it stand up to scrutiny? One of the main claims was that Ms Eagle was subjected to homophobic abuse at a meeting of Wallasey CLP on June 24 this year.

Tessa Jowell, speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics on July 8, said: “I talked to Angela [Eagle] about her meeting. She faced homophobic abuse at that meeting.”

But Angela Eagle did not attend that meeting and in addition – well, read this:

The confidential report on the investigation into Wallasey Constituency Labour Party says: “The investigation has found that some members have truthfully claimed that homophobic instances occurred during the AGM. Others truthfully said that they were not aware of those instances.

“It is possible for the events to have occurred without the knowledge of all members. The allegations are not that the CLP is institutionally homophobic or that members were aware of homophobia but took no action, but are specific to individuals. These allegations will be reported to the Disputes Panel regarding individual disciplinary action.”

It seems unlikely that Ms Eagle would have actually faced homophobic abuse if the alleged comments could only be heard by a certain number of people, while many others truthfully told Labour’s inquiry they never heard any such words at all.

While it is not acceptable that Labour members utter homophobic words – or any that single out a member of a particular group for abuse – the claim was that Ms Eagle was subjected to abuse by Labour members, and this is demonstrably false.

There is a connected claim that Ms Eagle received “hundreds of ‘abusive, homophobic and frightening’ messages from party members.” Considering the size of Wallasey CLP, this suggests that every member – or as near as makes no odds – sent abuse to her. Does this seem even remotely likely? Has anybody checked whether the messages came from Wallasey Labour members – or indeed, from Labour members at all?

It is entirely possible that one or two members behaved in this way – but the numbers described in the report? No.

Another claim was that Wallasey Labour members had thrown a brick through Ms Eagle’s constituency office window at Sherlock House:

“Untrue rumours were subsequently spread that the building was occupied by many companies and the window was in an unrelated stairwell. This was based on a Companies House search which found that the landlord had a number of companies registered there; in fact the only other occupant is the landlord on the upper floor. Once this incorrect rumour was spread, members repeated it as clear evidence that Angela Eagle was lying. This is categorically untrue.”

And see this:

The report said: “It’s highly likely that the brick thrown through the window of Angela Eagle’s office was related to her leadership challenge. The position of the window made it very unlikely that this was a random passer-by.” It said that claims it could have been targeting another company and Ms Eagle was “lying” about being targeted are “categorically untrue”.

Here’s a photograph of the broken window, along with the part of Sherlock House that it illuminates:

The fact: The broken window that Ms Eagle claimed belonged to her office in fact lights a communal stairwell at Sherwood House, Wallasey.

The fact: The broken window that Ms Eagle claimed belonged to her office in fact lights a communal stairwell at Sherwood House, Wallasey.

And here’s a video clip of Sherlock House, taken shortly after the incident, showing the locations of the stairwell and Ms Eagle’s constituency office (which is on another side of the building):

It is very clear that the brick (or whatever projectile was used; it was never recovered) certainly did not go through a window in Angela Eagle’s office.

Meanwhile, police concluded an investigation into the incident without identifying any suspect or motive for the crime. They say there is not enough evidence – so why is Labour’s NEC so keen to point the finger?

And, if a brick was thrown into the building, why was so much broken glass found on the ground outside?

[Image from the Daily Mail.]

[Image from the Daily Mail.]

Put it all together and this report is impossible to take seriously. You’d have to be stupid to accept the allegations in the report rather than the visual evidence.

And what does that suggest about all the other claims in this document?

Source: What the report into allegations of abuse in Wallasey Labour Party says – Liverpool Echo

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  1. Terry Casey (@tcliverpool) October 20, 2016 at 12:31 am - Reply

    A man was found guilty of threatening Ms Eagle with death, he was from Paisley and no mention in any media whether he was a member of the Labour party or just a random lunatic. Regarding the NEC finding truth in what was said or done re. Ms Eagle holds little validity especially when they have accused thousands including myself of various spurious offences without allowing me or them to see what the evidence was,

    • Mike Sivier October 21, 2016 at 12:46 pm - Reply

      The man you mention was not a Labour member, as far as I can recall. It was clarified.

  2. Rose October 20, 2016 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Why was the glass on th outside presuming that’s a true photo

  3. simplyshirah October 20, 2016 at 8:47 am - Reply

    As I understood it from a report in The New Statesman, Ms Eagle did not attend the meeting where she was allegedly homophobically abused. No one at the NEC appears to have taken any notice of this. Why is that?

    • Mike Sivier October 20, 2016 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      You are correct; I mention as much in the article.

      Your question is also well asked. I do not know the answer. Does anybody?

      Darren Williams, are you reading this?

  4. Dez October 20, 2016 at 9:50 am - Reply

    On the basis of this and how it appears to be a political stunt then she was rightly quickly removed from the leadership candidates list. There are enough incidents to stretching the truth in todays political climate. Feels like we are shifting to the USA way of media politics not helped by the media not checking the facts instead of just accepting what is shoved under their noses..

  5. Wirral In It Together October 20, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Google “Eagle Brick” and follow the first link of 9.9 million for even more evidence, should you need it, that the reading, watching and listening public are being played for fools.

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