Rochdale Labour councillors prepare revolt to depose leader over Knowl View


The SKWAWKBOX has reported on the dire situation in Rochdale Labour, where the council leader has been accused of covering up abuse at Knowl View school in the 1990s – and of misleading the public inquiry into child abuse.

Members have complained of anti-democratic manoeuvres to prevent them voting in support of his suspension pending investigation – and have described the local CLP (constituency Labour party) as ‘imploding’ under a barrage from those determined to keep the council leader in post.

Now word has reached this blog that the town’s LibDem councillors are putting through a vote of no confidence in the council leader next Wednesday at full council and that he will try and ‘whip’ Labour councillors into voting against.

If he does, over half of the town’s councillors could vote with the LibDems – which could lead to their suspension from the Labour group.

The revolt is not limited to council level. Four Labour wards have passed their own resolutions for him to be suspended with two more set to do so.

On top of that, members are now contacting their councillors and telling them that the members have no confidence in the council leader.

Members of one branch also say that their secretary – a ‘loyalist’ to the council leader – has been refusing to send out invitations to the branch’s meeting scheduled for this Friday to prevent the branch passing the resolution.

Another ‘loyalist’ – who is facing a police complaint for abusive behaviour toward a member – is alleged to have taken a private email from Iain McNicol to a local MP from her MP email account, without her knowledge, and to have tried and use it to stop ward meetings that happened last week. If true, this would raise concerns about breaches of confidentiality, parliamentary protocol, Labour Party rules and the Data Protection Act.

The meetings still went ahead – and passed the resolution.

As one senior local figure told the SKWAWKBOX, Labour’s NEC needs to take urgent action before the party’s reputation in the eyes of the town’s is irretrievably lost.

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