It’s in all the mainstream media that Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) – or, more correctly, a sub-committee named the Disputes Panel, has upheld Labour MP Angela Eagle’s allegation against her own CLP (Wallasey) that she was subjected to ‘homophobic abuse’. Wallasey CLP’s suspension, already in force for some months, has been extended indefinitely.
Ms Eagle has been quoted in all the major media today saying
It is now clear and accepted by the NEC that homophobic abuse was perpetrated by some members of the local party; I will simply not tolerate it, and I know I have the backing of both Jeremy and union leaders when I say that there is no place for it in the Labour movement either.
The SKWAWKBOX has spoken to a number of members of the CLP who are outraged at both the egregious nature of the slur, which amounts to an allegation of hate crimes, and at the implication that officers – who include members with gay children – failed to deal with, or even encouraged, ‘abuse’.
This writer understands that a number of CLP members are taking legal advice with a view to an action against Labour’s Disputes Panel and against Ms Eagle personally for defamation concerning the latter’s allegations of ‘homophobic abuse’ and will be seeking crowdfunding for the legal action in view of the huge financial support shown by Labour members and others for the court case brought by members disenfranchised during the recent leadership election.
One long-standing and well-regarded member told this blog,
Angela appears to have forgotten that Parliamentary privilege [protection from legal action for MPs under certain circumstances for things said during parliamentary proceedings) does not extend to party hearings or to things said outside official proceedings at Westminster. She is therefore liable for defamation of character if she makes untrue accusations and not simply free to make things up for whatever purposes she has in mind. We’ve been slurred as a group, but also as individuals, as the expulsion and other sanctions threatened by Angela against members clearly show.
We’re fuming – she’s claiming she suffered homophobic abuse at a CLP meeting chaired by a woman with a gay daughter and whose CLP secretary has a gay son, both of whom they fully support.
What’s more, she wasn’t even at the bloody meeting – and there were absolutely no complaints about homophobic comments in her absence. She was at a meeting later that she described as ‘bullying and intimidating, but I was at that meeting and everybody was completely civil throughout.
As for that brick allegation, there’s no proof there even was a brick, let alone that it was thrown by a Labour member and nobody has been arrested, so the NEC’s opinion that it was targeting her office is just that, an opinion.
She has personally made accusations, including again today in the news, that have seriously damaged our collective and individual reputations, painting us as hateful bigots. But her claims just don’t stand up to scrutiny – how can they, when anyone who knows us knows they’re nonsense and the room was packed with witnesses who can confirm that.
We can’t let her get away with slander in front of the whole country just to get herself off the hook. If you look at what they’ve done to Brighton and Hove as well when the evidence shows clearly that there was no misbehaviour, it’s as plain as day that it’s all about silencing people and shoring up their own positions. It’s a stitch-up by the old party Establishment.