Dear Angela Eagle’s comms chief – never ask a question you don’t want answered

Interesting and very revealing passage on Twitter over the past day or so. After a TUC-arranged meeting in Wallasey on Tuesday evening about the continuing suspension of the local CLP (constituency Labour party), a Twitter user posted a rebuke to Wallasey MP Angela Eagle:


The commenter has a strong point. Labour rules require criminal abuse such as homophobia to be reported to police, but while Ms Eagle has proven more than willing to promote the accusation to the media, almost half a year later Merseyside police have received no complaint.

Of course, spouting to the media doesn’t carry the risk of criminal sanction in the same way that an accusation to the police would, should the allegations be shown to be false.

One Imran ‘Imi’ Ahmed, who was Ms Eagle’s communications chief during her short-lived and ill-fated bid for the Labour leadership, decided it was a good idea to jump in with a mix of bluster and attempted threat.


An attempt to intimidate that certainly doesn’t reflect well on him or Ms Eagle.

Don’t tell him, Pike!

Of course, it’s a well-known maxim in court or public discourse that you should never ask a question to which you don’t know the answer – or that you don’t want people to hear. Mr Ahmed presumably has a low opinion of the nous of Labour members and supporters, or else why would he ask a question that was a perfect ‘tee-up’ for someone to lay out facts that are a serious embarrassment for his boss?

Sure enough, it didn’t take long for someone to “specify the lie(s) Angela has told”. Allegedly, of course:


Oops. As the original poster observed:


Indeed. Or about heading political communications, for that matter, apparently.


Mr Ahmed has form, both in terms of trying to silence anyone challenging his boss and of being a bit useless at it. When the original ‘brickgate’ furore broke, a reporter for the Guardian newspaper decided to look into the allegations. He visited the building in which Ms Eagle’s office is located and here’s what he reported:


Of course, since then a local investigator has established that the police have no evidence that a brick was used to break the window, so you’d think a little circumspection would be in order on the part of Ms Eagle’s team, but no.

Instead, Mr Ahmed has continued his attempts to bluster and threaten:


He’s clearly a lot keener on asking questions than on answering him, even when his bluff is called.

Wonder what he thinks is defamatory about asking whether he’s the person who told the news media about the ‘brick breaking a window’, though? Asking whether someone reported something true would hardly be ‘defamation’, so…

The SKWAWKBOX Ms Eagle would be well advised to consider a new head of communications. One who knows that, when you’re in a hole of your own collective digging, it’s wise not to pick up the shovel again.

And, since his error simply created a platform for Ms Eagle’s alleged untruths to be pushed back up the media agenda, let’s end with that list again:


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Postscript: @fitzy_blue shared this post with Mr Ahmed. His response?


That ‘whooosshhh’ you just heard was “The Bleedin’ Obvious 101” flying straight over his head.


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