The SKWAWKBOX has covered the various stages in the debacle of the still-ongoing suspension of Wallasey CLP (constituency Labour party) and the murky goings-on leading up to and following it:
- claims that Wallasey Labour MP Angela Eagle’s constituency office was broken when it was the window of a shared stairwell on the other side of the building. Only the Guardian newspaper later corrected the ‘fake news’ – and this was called ‘depressing’ by opponents of Jeremy Corbyn
- a nonsensical, self-contradictory and misleadingly structured report with glaring omissions
- accusations of homophobia that didn’t stand up, should have been reported to police and still have not been – in the ‘face’ of an MP whose face wasn’t even present at the meeting
- the continued mention of the death threat against the MP as justification for the suspension of the Wallasey CLP- even by the official report – when the man already convicted of that threat is in Scotland and not even a Labour member
- that MP claiming Corbyn’s support at the NEC hearing, even though he went there to oppose the suspension
- the CLP’s own investigation report into the incident drawing no response from the party’s general secretary Iain McNicol – except to launch an investigation into them for writing it
- the MP issuing what was essentially a ‘booty call‘, expecting supporters to come out and campaign for her when they’re still suspended at her instigation
- and at least one proven false accusation by a supporter of Angela Eagle – with no action whatever taken against the false accuser
Now, thanks to sterling efforts by the excellent ‘Wirral in it Together’ blog, police have admitted that not only was it not Angela Eagle’s window that was broken, but that it wasn’t even a brick.
In a response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request, the police have finally revealed that the thing apparently used (they say they can’t conclusively say anything was) to break the window was a ‘piece of masonry’.
For those unsure of the difference, here’s a picture:
A ‘piece of masonry’ might include a bit of brick embedded in cement, but it wouldn’t be a description you’d apply to a brick in a report – you’d just say ‘brick’.
‘Brick’ might sound more premeditated, because you’d perhaps be less likely to have a handy, whole brick lying around than you would be to find a bit of rubble from, say, a nearby bit of waste ground.
It’s also a lot shorter so if, say, you wanted a snappy, high-impact headline. ‘Brick through window!!’ is a lot snappier than ‘piece of masonry through window!!’ – and ‘brickgate’ definitely has a ring to it than ‘pieceofmasonrygate’.
This police admission might, on its own, be not that compelling, but in the context of the above bullet list of troubling points it’s one more piece in a jigsaw that starts to look damning – but of the accusers rather than the accused.
In particular, the proven-false allegation – mentioned by the report but worded as if it meant the opposite of what it did – and Ms Eagle’s description of Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘support’ must raise questions about the veracity of the whole ‘case’ against the CLP.
One CLP officer was accused of doing something on a given day at a certain time in Wallasey, but was able to prove beyond doubt that he was hundreds of miles away. Oops.
And if Ms Eagle’s able to describe a concerted attempt to oppose the CLP’s suspension as ‘support’, then everything else she has claimed merits close scrutiny. Especially in light of her claim that a hotel in a different part of the country had cancelled one of her meetings because of ‘threats’, which was also later proven false.
When you take it all together, it’s a huge weight on the side of the scale marked ‘stitch-up’ – and it means that the only reliable way to come to a reasoned, substantive conclusion is to have an independent inquiry – because if it is a stitch-up, the NEC investigating itself as well as Wallasey members is a clear conflict of interest.
And this is not only for the sake of the Wallasey members.
Brighton and Hove Labour was suspended under similar circumstances – and eventually broken up.
A report into Riverside constituency just over the river Mersey from Wallasey, suspended because of what appear to be trumped-up allegations by right-wing members, is expected shortly and is likely to result in the suspension of that CLP.
Clacton CLP in Essex has suffered a de facto suspension just as it was about to vote no-confidence in its deeply right-wing and anti-Corbyn ‘exec’.
It’s looking more and more like accusation and suspension is becoming the go-to tool of the Labour right for dealing with ‘troublesome’, pro-Corbyn CLPs – which means that any right-thinking Labour member, and for that matter anyone who cares about Labour offering a genuine alternative to the damaging and discredited austerity agenda of the Tories, ought to care deeply. And should support the call for an independent inquiry into the Wallasey situation and the behaviour of its MP, councillors and of the NEC (national executive committee) itself.
So, what can you do about it? Below is a list of NEC members on Twitter – if you know details of any of the missing ones, please add them as a comment so I can update the list. Share this message on Twitter (and on Facebook/by email if you know the details) to these members to add your voice to the call for a proper, public and independent inquiry into the suspension of Wallasey CLP.
Pick a few or do them all in turn. Don’t be afraid to make a nuisance of yourself – sometimes democracy needs that.
This issue needs the disinfectant of sunlight before the disease spreads even further and hobbles Labour even further than the right-wing factions are already doing. Too many people in this country need a strong and unhindered Labour party to allow it to continue.
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NEC member Twitter accounts:
Jeremy Corbyn @jeremycorbyn
Tom Watson @tom_watson
Iain McNicol @iainmcnicol
Christine Shawcross @christine4nec
Pete Willsman @peterwillsman
Rhea Wolfson @rheawolfson
Claudia Webbe @claudiawebbe
Ann Black @
Rebecca Long-Bailey @rlong_bailey
Kate Osamor @kateosamor
Jon Trickett @jon_trickett
Glenis Willmott @gleniswillmott
Jasmin Beckett @jasmin_beckett
Darren Williams @darrenw_cardiff
Diana Holland @dianaholland_
Nick Forbes @nick_forbes
Keith Birch @
Jamie Bramwell @jaybramwell
Jennie Formby @jennieunite
Andi Fox @andydaisyfox
Alice Perry @aliceperryuk
James Asser @jamesasser
Shabana Mahmood @shabanamahmood
Kezia Dugdale @kezdugdale
Alun Davies @alundaviesAM
Martin Mayer @martinmayer46