Tag Archives: Iain McNicol

Treacherous ‘Labour’ campaign chiefs may have robbed the party of the 2017 election

A traitor to his party? Labour’s former general secretary Iain McNicol is among several suspects who may have helped engineer a Conservative victory in the 2017 general election.

Yes, ‘Labour’ – you have to put the word in quotation marks when describing these people because they do not in any way represent the party or its members and should be removed at once. Enough is enough.

It seems these people deliberately tried to sabotage Labour’s 2017 election campaign by manipulating social media advertising to ensure that it was targeted at the party leadership and known left-wingers, rather than the wider audience that would have benefited from it.

According to this Guardian article, the non-Corbyn-loyal members of the GE17 campaign team were Patrick Heneghan, Iain McNicol and Emilie Oldknow.

Which of them were the traitors? Or did they all conspire, against the national interest, to re-elect a Conservative government? And was anybody else involved?

Jeremy Corbyn must launch an investigation and expulsions must follow.

Astonishing new information has revealed that had it not been for the actions of a small number of disloyal anti-Corbyn Centrist Labour Officials who actively worked against the democratically elected leadership in the run up to the election, the Labour Party may well have been able to gain the extra votes they needed to form a government.

A new book written by Ed Miliband’s former Director of Communications, Tom Baldwin, has revealed that a number of so-called ‘moderate’ Labour Campaign Chiefs secretly refused to run numerous adverts devised by the Labour leadership team because they did not approve of the left-wing messages contained within them.

The Labour Officials are said to have been able to deceive Corbyn and his leadership team by specifically targeting the [online] adverts at the Labour leader and his closest allies, rather than the voting public as they were meant to.

The deceitful Labour Officials believed that adverts such as one urging people to register to vote were not worth spending money on, and instead decided to pour the money into running adverts with different messages.

Corbyn’s manifesto – entitled For The Many, Not The Few – was leaked early, with rumours emerging at the time that the same so-called moderate Labour Southside Campaign Chiefs who were later to deceive him had leaked the document in the belief that it would be widely ridiculed by the general public, and in order to hasten Corbyn’s exit as leader.

However, rather than go down like a lead balloon as the leakers had presumably imagined it would, the manifesto was received with adulation by both the general public as well as, astonishingly, a large section of the corporate media.

Source: Disloyal Blairite Labour Campaign Chiefs may have sabotaged Jeremy Corbyn’s 2017 General Election Campaign | Evolve Politics

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#ResignMcNicol protest upsets fragile Labour right-winger

I’m not sure it’s fair to say the protest against Labour’s ultra-right-wing secretary Iain McNicol caused outrage among the Labour right, just because Johanna Baxter may have turned on the water works again.

You’ll recall Ms Baxter criticised Jeremy Corbyn last year for opposing secret voting at a Labour NEC meeting on whether he should automatically go on the ballot paper for that year’s party leadership election.

Mr Corbyn’s supporters had threatened to hold Mr McNicol legally liable for the cost of high court action if the decision went against the Labour leader.

Ms Baxter had to be prompted by an interviewer before she remembered to suggest that open voting would lay some NEC members open to abuse by supporters of Mr Corbyn.

She had previously released her contact details to the public, calling for opinions on whether Mr Corbyn should be allowed onto the leadership ballot paper without nominations from the Parliamentary Labour Party – and then cried crocodile tears while falsely claiming bullies had published her details online as part of a campaign of intimidation against her and other NEC members, to make them support Mr Corbyn’s case.

In fact, she has been responsible for a lot of naughty behaviour. Here‘s an article listing some of it.

But she is still only one person.

This Writer brought a motion before my own Constituency Labour Party, demanding Mr McNicol’s removal, a year ago. It was rejected on the advice of the secretary – advice which I consider to have been mistaken.

I am therefore heartened to see that other CLPs were successful in putting through motions of censure against the errant party secretary.

I think his removal is probably supported by a large proportion of the party – especially those he tried to exclude from participation in party democracy last year.

The first of a series of direct-action protests against Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol took place a short time ago outside Labour’s Brighton Centre conference venue, as protestors held signs near the entrance to the centre, wearing t-shirts that spelled out their message.

It didn’t take long for the message to have an impact inside the hall. Johanna Baxter, who was overwhelmingly voted off the NEC (National Executive Committee) during last year’s election of CLP delegates, stood to express trembling outrage at the protest against ‘an employee of the party’. McNicol’s performance in his post was not a factor in her speech.

Source: #ResignMcNicol protest causes outrage among Labour right | The SKWAWKBOX


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My Labour branch wrote a motion to Labour’s NEC, Mr McNicol – where is it?

NEC chair Paddy Lillis. Here he is unhappily announcing Jeremy Corbyn’s retention of the Labour Party leadership, despite his NEC’s best efforts to prevent it [Image: BBC].

Yes, this is about the motion I wrote after Labour’s former NEC chair, Paddy Lillis, acted unconstitutionally in overruling the will of the party conference last year.

He refused to accept demands that a package of 15 changes, including the addition of unelected representative of Scottish and Welsh Labour to the NEC, should be considered individually.

This means that the additions – along with the other 14 changes – are not valid and party members should not consider themselves bound by them or any decision made as a result of them.

Steve Walker, who writes SKWAWKBOX, contacted me with the information he had received from the NEC member, and I said it would be better for him to write the article about it, as I am too closely involved.

I did ask the Brecon and Radnorshire CLP secretary if he could cast any light on the matter, and he told me the information he had received was that the motion had gone to the NEC for “noting”. He speculated that this could be the limit of any discussion as the motion asks the NEC to do something it cannot constitutionally do – overrule conference.

But then, Mr Lillis overruled conference too – something he could not constitutionally do, in order to get his changes passed.

So, in constitutional terms, if my CLP secretary is right, I think the NEC is on very thin ice indeed!

As for the motion… Time is moving on. It would probably be better to bring a new resolution to this year’s conference, calling for the nullification of the package of 15 changes, and for each measure to be re-considered individually; for those responsible for pushing through the package, against the will of conference, to be reprimanded and for an ad hoc, independent body, separate from the NEC, to be set up to consider whether these people should be removed from any positions of responsibility.

That sort of thing. We take our democracy seriously in the Labour Party nowadays.

Last October the Welsh CLP of Brecon and Radnorshire (B&R), approved a motion declaring the unlawful addition of two unelected members to the NEC during Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool.

In accordance with normal procedure, as soon as it was approved the B&R motion was sent forward by a member of the CLP’s executive for the NEC to discuss – and acknowledged by the General Secretary.

But the SKWAWKBOX has obtained emails between a north-west Labour member and a well-known member of the NEC, which culminates in the latter denying that the motion was ever received by the committee.

Either Mr McNicol appears not to have sent the motion forward to the NEC or he sent it to someone in the NEC and they didn’t give it to the rest of the organisation committee.

Another NEC member, in a separate discussion, commented that

“CLP motions never get to the NEC.”

If the latter NEC member’s claim is true – and the confirmed instance involving the Brecon motion tends to support that conclusion – then it is further evidence of the apparent disdain with which many at Labour HQ regard their members.

Source: McNicol/NEC ‘disappearing’ inconvenient Labour documents? | The SKWAWKBOX

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Labour MP tweets in support of Tory. Will he be purged from the party as so many others were?

This ReTweet by Labour MP Wes Streeting shows him supporting a view taken by a member of another political party, in direct contradiction of current Labour membership rules.

Thousands of rank-and-file Labour members were “purged” from the party – their memberships either suspended or revoked – in the run-up to last year’s leadership election, on the basis of claims that they supported the views of other parties (mostly the Green Party, which often promotes ideas that are attractive to – or the same as – Labour’s.

Mr Streeting has chosen to support a Conservative – a member of Labour’s natural political enemy. While the sentiment expressed is one with which we can all agree (right?), it is unacceptable that Mr Streeting has chosen to support a Conservative MP’s comments. Such an action is banned under current Labour Party rules.

So when will Mr Streeting receive his email from Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol?

Today? Tomorrow?

Or does Mr McNicol take the view that right-wing Labour MPs are somehow exempt from the rules that govern the rest of the party?

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Thousands of Labour members have suspensions lifted. They should protest

[Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images.]

[Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images.]

I know. It runs against common sense to protest against the lifting of a suspension – from any organisation.

But the way the Labour Party has organised the thousands of suspensions that were handed down in the run-up to the leader election on September 24 is a disgrace that wronged far too many people and shamed the party as a whole.

Here’s a fairly typical reaction:

Restitution is required – for several reasons.

Firstly, the mass lifting of these suspensions indicates that they were only imposed to prevent people from voting in the election, in an attempt by the party’s main organising committee to influence the result.

Secondly, in support of the first reason, the grounds on which many of these suspensions were made had no substance to them.

Finally, although the suspensions have been lifted, they are to lie on each affected member’s file, and may be used against them in the future. This is unacceptable. It suggests guilt where none has been proved.

This Blog urges Labour Party members, whose membership had been suspended but who have had their suspension lifted under these unacceptable conditions, to unite and challenge this unjust, prejudicial and discriminatory treatment.

Constituency Labour Parties should be preparing motions to the NEC, demanding the reversal of the actions details in the letters and a full apology for members who have been assumed guilty even though no evidence has been tested in any disciplinary hearing.

Here’s a copy of one letter, used as an example by the Skwawkbox blog:

161105-labour-letter-1
161105-labour-letter-2

The blog states:

Note that there is no trace of apology in the letter and that a ‘formal NEC warning’ is issued – in this instance, nonsensically. The tweet in question put a caption on an image of a senior Tory MP, showing the MP in question calling a homeless person ‘scum’ who is homeless because they deserve it – in other words, it was attacking Tory attitudes, had no bearing on any Labour member and was certainly not in any way ‘detrimental to the Party’.

If it had, in fact, been the person receiving the letter who had called a homeless person ‘scum’, they would have no place in the Labour party. But they didn’t. To issue a formal warning in those circumstances is both ridiculous and confirms that no proper investigation was undertaken.

Those suspended – even for the most flimsy of reasons – have a sword hanging over them. The letter will remain on file – no time limit is given – and any future infringement (for example pointing out the arrogance of Tories to the homeless) could, as the preceding page makes clear, result in the end of ‘continued membership of the Party’.

The fact that these letters are being sent out in huge batches – and the fact that the real, obvious point of some of the supposedly-offensive messages has so obviously been missed – shows that no proper investigation took place. The fact that so many suspensions could be imposed and then just be lifted at the same time, suggests forcefully that the reasons for them were never the point and are now being lifted because they’ve served their real purpose.

And with a threat hanging over members who are overwhelmingly pro-Corbyn, just for good measure.

This behaviour on the part of a section of the party bureaucracy reflects extremely poorly on the party. It’s their behaviour that brings the party into disrepute – and which needs sanction.

Apparently the letters will continue to be issued until November 17. Anybody who has been suspended but has not heard anything within several days of that date will need to take action to find out what is happening with their case.

While Iain McNicol’s name is on each letter, some have argued that he is only carrying out the will of the NEC as general secretary. He cannot be absolved of all responsibility, however, as he has a responsibility to ensure that everything Labour does is legal and the suspensions weren’t – a recent court case showed that combining publicly-known information (such as that from Twitter or other social media) with confidential information held by the Labour Party (such as membership details) breaches the Data Protection Act.

This Blog therefore recommends pursuit of both Mr McNicol for carrying out the NEC’s orders without checking their legality, and those members of the NEC who voted in favour of this heavy-handed election-rigging in the first place.

Source: Labour’s suspension-lifting mass mailing makes mockery of process | The SKWAWKBOX

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Jackie Walker’s crowdfunded action means Labour’s general secretary is facing TWO legal cases against him

Jackie Walker [Image: Andy Hall for the Observer].

Jackie Walker [Image: Andy Hall for the Observer].

It’s turning into a bad autumn for Labour Party general secretary Iain McNicol.

First he incurred litigation by party member Glynis Millward, on grounds that he excluded her from the Labour Party leadership election for no reason. Mr McNicol’s name was on the letter of suspension she received, for taking part in “recruitment” practices prohibited by the party. Except, of course, Ms Millward has never done so.

Part of her case is that Mr McNicol breached Data Protection law by combining publicly-held social media information with privately-held Labour Party data in order to reach his conclusion.

Then he was forced, as party treasurer, to pay a £20,000 fine after the Electoral Commission found major irregularities in Labour’s declaration of its spending on the 2015 general election – including the cost of that monumental embarrassment, the ‘Ed Stone’.

Now Jackie Walker is crowdfunding a legal case against Mr McNicol, again over a breach of Data Protection law.

Ms Walker, a lifelong anti-racist campaigner and socialist, was suspended from the Labour Party in May amidst allegations of anti-Semitism. She was reinstated but has been suspended again after apparently being “set up” at a training event organised by the Jewish Labour Movement during the party’s national conference in September.

She writes [boldings mine]: “I was suspended from the Labour Party in May of this year, amidst what appears to have been a breach of Data Protection law by Iain McNicol as General Secretary of the Labour Party.

“This is my campaign to raise money in order to bring legal proceedings against Iain McNicol for this serious breach of data – briefing a major community media publication or other parties before informing me of my suspension from the party. This is not acceptable in his position as General Secretary of the Labour Party.

“As General Secretary, Iain McNicol is directly responsible for the damage caused to me, my family and friends.

“I was suspended for the alleged (subsequently cleared) charge of antisemitism. As a Jewish person, whose partner is Jewish, this was heart-breaking.

“Since May I have continued to be targeted by the media, in print, online and in other places.

“Currently I am suspended for questions asked at a training session on ‘Confronting Antisemitism & Engaging Jewish Voters’ at this year’s Labour Conference, after being unethically filmed by a Jewish Labour Movement campaigns officer who is also a Labour councillor. It seems this training was not a ‘safe space for all Jews’ by any means.

“As soon as the first article was released before my notification had even arrived, trolls circled for the kill, posting spooky blacked up faces (and worse) to my Facebook account. The community and national newspapers led the attacks, querying my Jewish identity (a racist move in itself), my work as an anti-racist activist and my political commitment.

“When my suspension was lifted things got worse. Indignation at my alleged breach reached the heights of irony when Nigel Farage, anxious not to miss out on the fun being had by among others, the Spectator, a number of Labour MPs and officers of the Party, dedicated an article in Breitbart and a good dose of righteous indignation on national TV to publicly calling me out as a racist.

“The widespread hate campaign against me led to public abuse, strangers shouting ‘racist’ as I walked to the tube. With the murderous racist political discourse now taking the place of debate, I became conscious I was recognisable on the street.

“My story is just one of many where Labour members have found themselves in a similar position. While this may not be the only case where a breach has occurred, as I was abroad at the time it may well be the most provable.

“We invite anybody who has a personal interest in this case or the wider public to contribute.”

Solicitor Martin Howe, representing Ms Walker, added: “Jackie Walker has faced a barrage of hurtful, threatening and nasty abuse since the private details of her investigation by the Labour Party over alleged anti-Semitism was leaked to the press before even she knew of her suspension by the Party.

“This apparent breach of her private data has had a devastating impact on her public and private well-being and has led directly to her being pre-judged and unfairly cast as a racist before she was given any opportunity to tell her side of the story.

“Data Protection laws are there to protect all of us and any breach is a very serious matter.”

Anybody wishing to support Ms Walker financially can do so by visiting the Walker v McNicol page on the CrowdJustice website.

Ms Walker is hoping to raise £10,000. At the time of writing she has already raised £7,260, with 28 days to go.

If you would like to contribute to her fund, details are on the web page.

Source: CrowdJustice – Crowdfund public interest law

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Labour fined £20,000 for undeclared election spending – including Ed Stone 

Ed Miliband has Labour’s six election pledges inscribed in stone - then Iain McNicol failed to list it as an election expense.

Ed Miliband has Labour’s six election pledges inscribed in stone – then Iain McNicol failed to list it as an election expense.

How will Labour’s right-wingers manage to blame Jeremy Corbyn for this?

Seriously, the fine raises further concerns about the party’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, at a time when his conduct is already being questioned in relation to his role in the ‘purge’ of members prior to the leadership election that ended in September.

Let’s not forget, also that a much larger investigation, involving dozens of police forces, is looking into the possibility that many Conservative MPs overspent their way into Parliament and failed to declare it.

The findings of that inquiry may render this fine insignificant and could even topple the Conservative government’s precarious 12-seat majority in the House of Commons.

That is something to remember when perusing press coverage of both investigations.

Or, as this Twitter user put it:

Labour has been fined £20,000 by the Electoral Commission, the largest imposed by the body in its history, for undeclared election spending during the 2015 campaign, including more than £7,000 on the so-called “Ed Stone”.

The commission launched an investigation into two payments totalling £7,614 missing from the party’s election return that were spent on the stone tablet on which then Labour leader, Ed Miliband, had carved his six key election pledges, promising to display it in the Downing Street rose garden if he won the election.

The problems with the party’s spending came to light when the commission published the return in January, and journalists immediately contacted the commission because they could not find any reference to the 8ft 6in, two-tonne slab of limestone. The commission then found the item was indeed missing from the return, and began a full inquiry.

After the commission launched its investigation, the party undertook an internal review, unearthing 24 other undeclared election expenses totalling £109,777.

However, the commission’s investigation then identified 49 further missing payments totalling £11,357 that related to the transport of the party’s activists on the Labour Express tour and Labour Students tour during the election.

The commission also found invoices were missing from the Labour party’s return, with 33 bills totalling £34,392 absent from the accounts.

The commission said Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, who is also its registered treasurer, had committed two election offences, involving missing payments of £123,748 from the campaign spending return and for failing to deliver invoices and receipts of more than £200 for payments totalling £34,392.

Source: Labour fined £20,000 for undeclared election spending including for Ed Stone | Politics | The Guardian

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