Labour peer steps down from frontbench, just for attending Presidents Club dinner. What’s happening about Zahawi?

Jonathan Mendelsohn in his robes in the House of Lords [Image: BBC].

Misleading headline from The Guardian: ‘Presidents Club furore claims Labour scalp as party ejects peer’.

It makes it appear that Lord Mendelsohn has been expelled from the Labour Party, which isn’t right.

He was asked to step back from the party’s front bench but will still sit in the Lords as a Labour peer.

Labour is saying he attended the dinner but not the after-party, and didn’t witness any of the events that have shocked the nation over the last day or so. He is therefore not being asked to take responsibility for participation in any of those events.

But merely attending that disgrace of an event is enough to justify his removal, according to Labour.

Where does that leave the Conservatives, and Nadhim Zahawi?

He’s the Minister for Children and Families – but the only punishment he received for attending the decidedly un-family-friendly event was a “dressing down” from Theresa May.

She can’t afford to sack him. It’s less than three weeks since she reshuffled her Cabinet, and some of the people she promoted – like Ben Bradley, have already proved to be embarrassments.

Now Mr Zahawi – an experienced hand in Conservative government affairs, has been found in a compromising position.

And Labour has made matters worse for the Minister, who was previously famous for fiddling with his expenses so the taxpayer subsidised his heated stables.

No matter what Mrs May wants, his job is still at stake.

How long can he keep his grip on it?

Afterword: Immediately after I published this article, the following tweet arrived. Enjoy – but is this person correct?

Labour peer Jonathan Mendelsohn has been effectively sacked from the party’s frontbench after he attended the men-only Presidents Club dinner, where “hostesses” were allegedly sexually harassed and groped.

A Labour spokesman said on Thursday: “Jeremy Corbyn has this evening asked Lord Mendelsohn to step back from the frontbench as he attended the Presidents Club dinner, and he has agreed to do so.

“Lord Mendelsohn has previously made clear that he attended part of the dinner as president of a charity that received support from the event and he had no knowledge of an after-party. Lord Mendelsohn did not witness any of the appalling incidents described in reports and has unreservedly condemned such behaviour.”

A spokesperson for Corbyn said: “It’s right that Lord Mendelsohn has stepped down. The reports about this appalling event were deeply shocking and there can be no excuse for anyone’s attendance.”

The decision will increase pressure on Theresa May to take action over the children and families minister, Nadhim Zahawi, who was also a guest.

Source: Presidents Club furore claims Labour scalp as party ejects peer | UK news | The Guardian

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  1. gfranklinpercival January 26, 2018 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    There is a parliamentary petition, Sir.

  2. Barry January 27, 2018 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Seems the furore is a few over PC professionally upset, reports from the women involved says it is completely overblown.

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