Wallasey CLP (constituency Labour party) vice-Chair Paul Davies is the subject of a disciplinary investigation by Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) for defending his local members from discredited but highly-publicised and apparently politically-driven allegations.
In exasperation at the lack of detail about what, exactly, he is under investigation for and the one-sidedness of situation, Mr Davies has reluctantly taken the step of writing to the NEC with a statement of his analysis of the situation – and releasing it for publication.
The full statement, which is 19 pages long, is available at the end of this article. Some key excerpts are below – including explosive information confirming a second proven-false allegation against Davies on top of the one already detailed on this blog, and again seemingly ignored as a factor by the NEC’s ‘Disputes Panel’.
Regardless of the fact that there are anonymous people making mainly unspecific allegations which allegedly occurred on unspecified dates, at places unknown and with no documentary evidence to support these allegations, the allegations have been believed by Labour Officials and reported to the NEC as fact. Unchallenged by the Labour Party they have of course been believed and widely covered by the Press.
Regardless of the documentary evidence provided by officers of the CLP to counter the false accusations, the Labour Disciplinary machine ploughs on as if such evidence had never been provided and then accuses those who defend themselves against false accusations as making the situation worse.
It is a situation akin to a person wrongly convicted to life imprisonment who is not allowed parole unless they admit they were guilty. They rightfully proclaim their innocence but as a result their punishment is worse! Their alternative is to say nothing and by implication admit their guilt.
Regardless of the fact that I have already proved beyond doubt that 2 false accusations have been made against me in the past this is has neither been acknowledged nor acted upon by the Labour Party officers.
I have been told by e mail that I am to be investigated because;
It is alleged that your conduct over a significant period of time are in breach of Rule 2.I.8: “No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party.”
Despite two requests I have not been told what actions of mine have led to this allegation, when they took place or who has made the accusations. Nevertheless I am expected to defend myself.
- There is no record of any complaint regarding Wallasey CLP or any member of it until after Angela Eagle announced her leadership bid..
- ..No amount of sympathy for the abuse Angela Eagle suffered by e mail or phone messages from persons unknown justifies the false description of the Wallasey CLP as portrayed in the press by a small number of politically motivated members who did not get their own way at the AGM or during the Leadership election.
- Despite assertions made at various times (by the same people who are making the general accusations against the CLP) I have never been a member of the Greens or a member, follower, reader etc. of Militant or Socialist Organiser (or any other such group). Nor was I ever expelled from the Labour Party.
- At no time was I contacted by Labour Party Officials and asked not to give press interviews or speak publicly or modify my behaviour.
Davies directs two questions at Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol and the NEC. The bold italics emphasis is his:
- If you were at a meeting at which you witnessed homophobic behaviour or intimidation would you stay silent and do nothing about it? I doubt it. What on earth makes you think that I and over 40 other Labour Party members would stay silent in that situation? What sort of people do you think we are?
- If you and your fellow Local Party members or indeed the NEC were wrongly accused in the national press and TV of allowing homophobia, threats and intimidation to go unchallenged would you stay silent and do nothing about it? I doubt it.
Why should I stay silent when false accusations are made against me and my fellow Party members?
He then goes on to detail both the accusations made against him that have already been proven to be false and to outline an allegation against his MP’s office of breaching the Data Protection Act, which is a serious matter:
Proven False Accusations
I will start my submission by detailing the two specific allegations that have been made against me in the past in the hope that someone in the Labour Party might come to the conclusion that this might explain the current accusations.
Unauthorised use of Labour Party data 1
I will deal with the background to this later but the accusation was laid out in a letter to me from John Stolliday Head of Constitutional Unit dated 18/2/16. Unfortunately I cannot lay my hands on his letter but this will be on record in Labour HQ under reference A414096
The accusation was that I had called an unauthorised meeting of Labour Party members in New Brighton, made unauthorised use of Labour Party data and unauthorised use of the Labour Party logo. I was told (before I had even been asked if the allegation was true) that I was on a final warning.
The meeting referred to had in fact been called by me (as campaign co-ordinator) on the instruction of the New Brighton Branch in the build up to our Council Election campaign. It was attended by one of our sitting Councillors Pat Hackett and our, successful, candidate last year Tony Jones. (our other sitting Councillor Christine Spriggs was on other Labour Party business and unable to attend)
I wrote to John Stolliday explaining this and so did the Chair of the branch appendix 1&1a. Not having any response I then sent a polite reminder. To date neither the chair nor I have received an acknowledgement that the accusation was false.
This accusation was easy to disprove as I knew exactly what it referred to. To this date I do not know who made the false accusation and wonder if that person is also one of my accusers this time around. No doubt the Investigating Officer can check this out and no doubt I will never be informed of the outcome.
Unauthorised use of Labour Party data 2
This accusation was in a letter to me from Katherine Buckingham dated 2/8/16 appendix 2.
I was accused of using Labour Party data, without authorisation, to distribute leaflets publicising a Public Meeting called by Wirral TUC.
If that letter had been all I had received then I would have had great difficulty disproving it as there was no date or location as to when and where the alleged activity took place. I certainly was not made aware of who had made the allegation. As it turned out it would have been 3 members’ word against mine and I presume they would have been believed.
Fortunately for me my accusers had copied in various Labour Party Officers including Iain McNicol, Jeremy Corbyn and the Chair and Secretary of the CLP. They also released their letter to the Liverpool Echo and various other media outlets. The CLP officers sent me a copy and asked to explain my actions.
Just before I received the copy of the letter from the CLP officers, an Echo Reporter contacted me to ask about the allegation as somebody had also contacted them by phone and this phone call was the first I had heard about this allegation.
I asked him the date I was supposed to have undertaken this leafleting and the time. He knew the date and got back to me, after speaking to my (at that time) anonymous accuser, regarding the time.
I was able to prove to him and provide evidence to the Labour Party that I was in London on the weekend in question and therefore could not have been leafleting in Wallasey.
I wrote to both Katherine Buckingham appendix 2a and Iain McNicol appendix 2b regarding this but to date I have had no response.
The Echo did not run the story but the author of the letter false accuser member (identity withheld) was reported on line www.politicshome.com 1st August 2016 (before I had even had a chance to respond) making the same accusations. I do not know if it was also reported elsewhere. I feel that in the absence of any response or assistance from the Labour Party I am entitled to defend myself publicly.
So two specific false allegations have been made against me which had no supporting evidence and which I could easily disprove. The approach from Labour Party Officials in both instances is an interesting switch from the presumption of innocence until proven guilty as it would appear that I am guilty until I can prove my innocence and even then this was not good enough for the Labour Party officers and I got no support whatsoever or any acknowledgment that the accusations had been disproved.
I also submitted a complaint regarding Angela Eagle apparently misusing Party data when she e mailed all members seeking support for Owen Smith but got no response. Several other members also submitted similar complaints but got no response.
There was a telephone banking of members in Wallasey by persons unknown saying they were ringing on behalf of Wallasey Labour Party and seeking support for Angela for Leader. Several members complained about and when the CLP Secretary raised it with the Labour Party she was told that these sorts of things happen.
Some members logged the number of the phone used to ring them. When I rang the one of the numbers I got the answer machine of Member of Angela’s staff (identity withheld in this version) in Angela Eagles office, the other number had been disconnected.
To keep this article from becoming unwieldy, I will refer those who wish to read the document in full to the download link below. But Davies addresses the false allegations against his CLP of homophobia and intimidation while highlighting the double-standard being applied by the Disputes Panel (DP) toward the behaviour of accusers whose accusations appear full of holes while their own behaviour is fully on record.
In addition, the fact that two accusations against Davies have been indisputably proven to be false raises grave concerns about the credibility of all the accusations against the CLP – even if they weren’t already full of gaping holes.
And the fact that the NEC and DP have seen fit to completely disregard that fact – and still referenced the claim in their report as if it had not been irrefutably disproven – raises serious questions about the integrity of the process and of those involved in instigating it and pursuing it.
In the opinion of this blog – and surely of many members in Wallasey and elsewhere – the NEC is investigating the wrong people and it certainly should be others and not Mr Davies who is facing possible expulsion as a result of this risible, misdirected investigation, and Wallasey CLP should be reinstated immediately with a full and unreserved apology from those responsible.
This farce brings the Labour Party into disrepute and those behind it must face the proper consequences, up to and including their permanent removal from the party and any roles they hold.
Response in full: for-circulation-disciiplinary-hearing-2
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