Last week the SKWAWKBOX covered events in County Durham, where a Labour-led county council (DCC) is planning to sack and re-engage all its teaching assistants in order to deprive them of pay and conditions to which they are contractually entitled. Shamefully, only Labour councillors voted for the move, with LibDems voting against and Tories abstaining.
It has come to the attention of this blog that Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) – another Labour-led council, was planning to use similar tactics, with a ‘drastic’ cut to the pay of nursery staff, although fortunately they were successfully pressured by unions into cancelling the move:
Today we have managed to persuade Brighton Hove city council to reconsider its drastic pay cut to all members in the nursery Service
— GMB Sussex Branch (@GMBSussexBranch) October 3, 2016
Durham and BHCC have these deplorable tactics in common. They also appear to share something else.
BHCC is led by Warren Morgan, who is well known to be a prominent member of Progress, Labour’s right-wing ‘party within a party’, which has been at the heart of attempts to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party and Labour’s electoral prospects under him. Mr Morgan was also deeply involved in the allegations that led to the suspension and planned break-up of Brighton and Hove district Labour party (DLP) and which seem to be as flawed as the allegations that led to the suspension of Wallasey CLP.
Mr Henig, the leader of DCC, also appears to be a Progress member:
and has written on council matters for the organisation.
He and Mr Morgan also appear to have some kind of friendly acquaintance:
Progress is a severe hindrance to the Labour party and has made clear its intent to continue agitating against the party’s leader and its new direction under him, to such an extent that it has no legitimate place within the Labour party.
Now it appears to be linked to moves by Labour-controlled councils to act in an unconscionable fashion by cutting the pay of some of their lowest-paid staff.
Is the fact that the two Labour councils known to be executing or to have attempted such a disreputable move purely coincidental? Did Messrs Morgan and Henig concoct the idea between them? Is it part of a wider move by Progress?
At the very least the questions deserve to be posed – and answered.