Coyle’s investigation by Labour goes far beyond one bullying email

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‘Labour’ MP Neil Coyle

A very short while ago, Progress MP Neil Coyle appeared on Sky News to defend himself over his reporting by Jeremy Corbyn’s office – not by Corbyn himself – to the Labour Whips. He also appeared in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday with what appears to be a pre-emptive attack on Labour front-benchers over a supposed lack of parliamentary questions – and today in another right-wing rag, the Daily Mail, claiming he won’t be ‘intimidated’:

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Mr Coyle should be better able to recognise ‘intimidation’. He has a track record for publicly attacking Labour staff and colleagues, for example his weight jibe on Twitter against Shadow Cabinet member Richard Burgon – and that Sun article, claiming Labour front-benchers are not doing their job properly:

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This is not an isolated incident. Coyle’s behaviour on Twitter recently has deteriorated and he has been running to the Sun with increasing frequency:

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Coyle has not been referred to the Whips for discipline for attacking Jeremy Corbyn. Among Labour right-wingers, that’s ‘ten a penny’ stuff and nobody else has been reported.

A list of complaints

But Coyle’s troubles go a long way beyond his abuse toward Labour staff. In a string of incidents, according to a senior Labour source:

  • Coyle is the subject of a formal complaint about his alleged treatment of a Labour staff member at the PLP (parliamentary Labour party) meeting following the Copeland and Stoke by-elections
  • he is the subject of a formal complaint about alleged public bullying of a recently-appointed Labour staff member on social media
  • Coyle is the subject of a formal complaint regarding alleged public bullying of a recently-departed member of staff
  • he is under the spotlight for sending abusive emails to three members of the Shadow Cabinet – and then promptly leaking them to journalists
  • Coyle faces scrutiny for using social media to attempt to body-shame a parliamentary colleague

At least one of the complaints by staff has been referred to lawyers.

Among the most damning aspects of Coyle’s behaviour is that he gave his article to the Sun, and spoke to Sky, accusing the leader’s team of poor performance when he already knew well over two weeks ago that the criticisms by journalists that he has used as the basis for his comments were not about Corbyn’s team but rather about the official Labour media team, which does not report to the Labour leader.

The SKWAWKBOX has seen emails that confirm Coyle was reminded on 31 March that Marie le Conte and other journalists had clarified their original Twitter comments to make plain that they were not about Corbyn’s team

All of this is on top of criticism for offering quotes to the worst of the Murdoch press to gain attention for himself by attacking the Shadow Cabinet. In one case, a Shadow Cabinet member was attacked even though she had only briefly stood in for a colleague who was receiving serious medical treatment.

A fuller understanding of the context of Mr Coyle’s behaviour does not suggest a man ‘refusing to be intimidated’ by means of an unfair complaint.

Rather it suggests a man with an intimidation habit and a lack of concern for or control over his behaviour, even when he is the object of multiple formal complaints and a threat of legal action. One for whom staff members and colleagues alike are fair game for even comments known to be inaccurate – and who is ready to run to the worst of the right-wing media to justify his behaviour when it comes home to roost.

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  1. Neil Coyle is a bully and a thug.

    He is not a fit and proper person to be a Labour MP.

    It would be appropriate for the whip to be withdrawn from this thug to block him from standing as a Labour MP at the next election.

  2. Reblogged this on MAL's MURMURINGS and commented:
    Always thought of Progrees as a right-wing entryist group in the Labour Party – just imagine the PLPs reaction if a socialist was so dismissive of a career politician in the way Coyle & cronies attack a principled leader!

  3. So the Leader of the Labour Party doesn’t take any responsibility for the Labour Comms teams? His responsibility stops with his own office?

    You can’t see how ridiculous this is? You’re wanting somebody to be Prime Minister, head of an enormous bureaucracy. What are you going to do when a civil servant loses a data stick? “Not our fault, that’s the X team in the Department of Y, and quite frankly, they’re not loyal to Jeremy Corbyn”.

    I’ve no idea what Coyle is like. But he at least rebelled on Brexit, when Corbyn was chasing after Brexit pensioners, and hastening the UK’s catastrophic exit from the Single Market (which nobody voted for)- insofar as the UK is likely to exist for much longer.

    And if you’re going to pass on anonymous briefings by your allies like that, you’ve no place to call anybody out.

      1. I did, thanks. You’ve missed my point. As with your constant attack on MPs who oppose Corbyn.

        Leader can’t get his party working effectively, he has to walk. Try telling a voter that it’s really down to Ian McNicol. Or the Shadow Minister for Paperclips.

        By the way, I’m not sure “It’ll be much better when Corbyn supporters do it” is likely to convince anyway.

  4. “he is under the spotlight for sending abusive emails to three members of the Shadow Cabinet – and then promptly leaking them to journalists”

    You don’t see the irony here of you printing leaks about Neil Coyle? Can you find them? You made your reputation looking into stuff, with Mid Staffs, and fair play to you for that. But now you’re just sticking up leaks from your side.

    By the way, why a “pre-emptive” attack on the Shadow Cabinet? It is, in fairness, difficult for Shadows to make much impact. But it’s not a particularly outlandish thing to say.

      1. So leaking internal disciplinary stuff is just like an MP writing an open letter?

        Laughable, I’m afraid. And thoroughly inappropriate seeing the team you’re getting leaks off keep telling us how “decent” they are?

      2. You know nothing about this blog’s sources. But you seem to have a sudden obsession about posting comments on it.

      1. Seeing he’s a backbencher in another part of the country, I don’t really care about Neil Coyle at all.This constant “Look at Tom Blenkinsopp! Look at Ian Austin! Look at Michael Dugher!” isn’t convinving anybody. I don’t like any of them myself. But they’re yet to cause anything like the embarrassment Corbyn has to the Labour Party as a backbencher. Try NATO, the Falklands, Venezuela, Iran for starters. You’ll be hearing about these in the General Election from the Tories.

        Though I notice Coyle did the right thing on Brexit, so he can’t be all bad.

  5. Am I missing something? What does the tweet about pies have to do with anything?

    1. It’s a dig at Leeds MP Richard Burgon, who had tweeted an account of meeting constituents in Seacroft Tesco. Coyle was making a jib about Richard’s physique – not that there’s anything wrong with his physique.

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