The SKWAWKBOX has come into possession of a confidential report by a Labour North investigator into the workings of a Labour council group within Labour MP and arch-critic of Jeremy Corbyn Tom Blenkinsop’s Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland (MSEC) constituency.
The report dates back to the end of 2012, but its contents bear out the idea – completely contrary to his attempts to offload the blame for a recent council seat loss onto the Labour leader – that Blenkinsop allegedly presides over a relationship with councillors and constituents so deeply dysfunctional that Labour’s standing in the area has been deeply damaged.
In 2012, the state of Redcar & Cleveland council’s Labour Group had reached such a pass that Nick Wallis, a member of Labour North’s regional board, had to intervene over a period of five months – and he described what he found as a ‘sorry state of affairs‘ that had caused multiple complaints to Labour’s regional and national HQs, including bullying behaviour. Things were so bad that Wallis described himself as ‘frankly appalled‘ by what he found when he attended meetings.
Most damningly, the Wallis Report described a near-complete breakdown in trust and communication between Blenkinsop and the Labour group. A breakdown that was so complete that one councillor, even knowing the board member to be present, described Blenkinsop to his face as,
the enemy within
Wallis described a ‘completely unacceptable‘ – and almost incredible – situation in which trust was so absent between the council and the MP’s office that the council had effectively shut up shop and refused to take any questions from Blenkinsop or his team unless they submitted a Freedom of Information Act request.
Extraordinary, but clearly not a one-off, as things do not appear to have improved in the intervening four years, at least as regards the behaviour of the MP.
An MSEC Labour member told the SKWAWKBOX:
As a Labour member in Tom Blenkinsop’s constituency I can honestly say that Tom is a very rare visitor to the area. He pops up for photo opportunities but never engages with people. He hides in his many bolt holes, actively avoiding interaction with the local constituents.
He always finds reasons to not attend meetings, now giving excuses that this is to avoid the merciless and savage behaviour of the far left faction of the Labour Party locally who in his opinion are hell bent on ruining his Labour Party.
He has his hard man image now he is a military policeman. However I think this is more of a ploy to try and win votes from servicemen, ex servicemen, veterans and relatives, without even having to talk to them, which might not be a good idea as I think they would see right through him.
His behaviour over the last couple of years has given the impression that he believes a successful politician must behave like a petulant child to be successful, His days of engaging positively and constructively with workers, businesses, communities and individuals are sadly long gone.
And this is the MP who tried to blame Jeremy Corbyn for the loss of a council seat in his constituency for which Blenkinsop seems to have done next to nothing to help win and, judging by reports of his behaviour, plenty to help lose.
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