How do you know there’s a Labour election? Iain McNicol’s on holiday.

Have you ever noticed how hard Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol works when there’s a Labour election to fight?

No, neither has the SKWAWKBOX. In fact, it turns out that finding him around during an election campaign is like seeing both sides of a coin at the same time – very, very difficult.

In February, Labour faced not one but two critical by-election battles, following the resignation of two seat-fillers. Mr McNicol made a whistle-stop visit to Stoke, then leaped into the fray, all guns blazing – by going skiing in the French resort of Tignes:

mcnicol tignes.jpg

He returned to the UK just before the crucial by-elections – but his contribution to the campaigns was a quick tweet on polling day to both candidates. From south-west London:

mcnicol merton.png

In the aftermath of the election results, as the media largely ignored Stoke in order to focus on the supposed significance of the Copeland loss to the Labour Party, McNicol was in the thick of it in, defending the party’s reputation and its leader against nonsensical speculation.

Well, kind of. None of his sum-total of five tweets in the week following the election even mentioned the by-elections. His breakfast did, though:

mcnicol pancakes

One of the others makes you wonder just what he puts in his pancake mix:

mcnicol 8jj


Then in March, as Labour geared up for another vital by-election in Manchester after the sad death of Gerald Kaufman and a large number of local government elections, as well as facing a huge scandal because of Labour’s breach of the DPA by providing member data to Unite candidate Gerard Coyne, McNicol was going off on his travels again.


The first was on a jaunt to Israel, courtesy the LFI (Labour Friends of Israel) group that was recently at the centre of a still-uninvestigated controversy when an Israeli embassy official boasted of setting up groups inside the Labour party, including an LFI youth section:

mcnicol israel.jpg

The second, as the SKWAWKBOX can exclusively reveal, is a two-week holiday trip to Vietnam that he’s still on at the moment – which might explain why his Twitter account has all of six quick retweets for the whole of April so far. His snaps from that have not yet made their way onto Facebook as far as we know, but a source at Labour HQ told this blog:

He went straight to leave from Israel – guest of LFI. He hasn’t visited any of the Mayorals or local government election seats. He missed the local election launch and has no plans in his diary to go to the West Midlands!

The SKWAWKBOX wishes Mr McNicol a nice holiday and a safe eventual return. It also wishes for a General Secretary who isn’t somewhere else every time there’s a vital battle, but we may have to wait a while for that.

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  1. Despite all the attention on Ken Livingstone has McNichol and his vote rigging mates offered an apology to any of the suspended or purged members who were innocent. I haven’t forgot and never will. Their needs to be a total clear out and rebuild of the party. When the party has hit rock bottom then and only then can it rise again. I asked on labour list the other day, Who would be an acceptable leader if Jeremy stepped down. Not much in the way of a serious answer. I personally can’t see any one in the party at this time that could unite and make the party more electable. The right of the PLP and NEC have seen to that. The party does not respect the democratic choice of it’s members. This just reinforces the view that the party is simply a gravy train for the pocket liners. Do these people actually expect members to respect any future election of a leader???? I certainly won’t. I am afraid the party is heading for the wilderness years thanks to the right wingers. I just hope their CLPs deselect them.

  2. Iain McNicol wasted Labour Party funds taking Labour Party members to court to discriminate against them and deny them the right to vote in the leadership contest. The only candidate who benefited from the General Secretary’s legal action was Owen Smith.

    Iain McNicol did this whilst he was the returning officer for the contest. By doing so he was in clear breach of his duty of impartiality as the returning officer.

    In addition, the NEC proposal for a freeze date was copied from the DNC, which used freeze dates in the primaries, also for the purpose of disenfranchising voters.

    There are several examples of the right wing of the NEC and the corporatist Democrats in the DNC using identical tactics against members and supporters of their respective parties.

    The DNC claimed Sanders’ supporters acted violently at the Nevada caucus, and the NEC claimed members of the Brighton and Hove Labour Party acted violently at the elections for the CLP Executive Committee last year. Both claims were proven to be completely false.

    There is such an identical similarity between the tactics used against members by the NEC and DNC that they cannot be explained away as mere coincidence.

    If evidence came to light that members of the NEC have colluded and conspired with members of a foreign political organisation to attempt to topple the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition then that would be the political story of the decade.

  3. Why are certain members of the PLP and now Iain McNicol spending so much time in Israel as the guests of Labour Friends of Israel? There are questions here that need answering, because it looks like there is connivance between the Labour party and LFI.
    If anybody checks their MPs record, (especially if your MP is one of the usual suspects) under outside the UK visits you may be surprised. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mps/

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