Austin’s remarkable hissy-fit over questions re attack on female NEC member

‘Thuggish’ Ian Austin

Dudley Labour MP Ian Austin has a reputation for boorish behaviour, having been called “thuggish” by a fellow MP and an “unpleasant bully” by a journalist after Austin disgraced himself by heckling his own party leader for daring to speak about Tony Blair’s involvement in the Iraq war.

Austin is also no fan of the SKWAWKBOX, which exposed his altercation with then-front bencher Chris Williamson and covered his graceless defeat by his CLP over nominations for the National Executive Committee (NEC) elections, as well as criticism by Labour veteran Dennis Skinner for Austin’s “wafting in the wind“.

So it’s safe to say honeyed words were not expected in response when we sent a press enquiry to Mr Austin about his crass attack on senior NEC member Christine Shawcroft:

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Austin received short shrift from Labour members on Twitter for his display of contempt for democracy. He was also grossly inaccurate, since the committee had not ‘been politicised’, as Ms Shawcroft had not voted during the committee meeting, so those voting were the same as before the change of chair.

We sent Austin a press enquiry about his verbal assault, asking:

You’ve tweeted comments criticising the ‘sacking’ of Ann Black from her position as chair of the disputes panel. Please advise:
  1. in what sense Ms Black has been ‘sacked’ when she lost a democratic vote that always takes place around this time of year
  2. in what sense has the panel been ‘politicised’ when Ms Shawcroft didn’t even vote, as her casting vote was not needed, so the same people voted on yesterday’s disciplinaries as would have anyway
  3. in what way Ms Shawcroft’s suspension is relevant when a suspension is not proof of wrongdoing and she was overwhelmingly voted onto the NEC by members – the same members who made Ann Black the first NEC candidate to get 100k votes

Mr Austin decided not to address these reasonable questions. But he did respond:

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Austin was as inaccurate in his response as he had been in his attack on Ms Shawcroft, since the SKWAWKBOX carries the IMPRESS Trust Mark and its editor is an accredited journalist. You might almost say Austin had ‘put utter garbage on the internet’.

We acknowledged his request not to contact him and suggested it might be unwise not to want the chance to comment on potential future articles. He responded by daring us to publish his initial comment – clearly not realising that they reflect on him rather than this blog or its editor.

So we confirmed that we would indeed be doing so – at which he ‘doubled down’ on his boorishness:

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You could be forgiven for thinking that Mr Austin must be a little rattled by being challenged, writing such emails from his official parliamentary account.

Perhaps that’s simply his normal style of communication.

But if he thought his tirade would prevent the questions about his fact-lite rudeness to a senior member of Labour’s NEC – and his failure to answer them – being published on the SKWAWKBOX, he miscalculated.

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  1. Ian Austin is one of the many Zionists in the Labour Party who now see that the power and influence they once wielded over the membership is rapidly diminishing. Their tantrums are indicative of the apartheid State they support when faced with strong and legitimate opposition from those who reject their control.

  2. The person replying to a question in that manner is actually an MP, a Labour MP?

    Rhetorical question.

  3. Ian Austin’s constant ill-disciplined and divisive briefing against the Labour Party, its members and supporters causes reputational and electoral damage to the party,

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

  4. This gentleman ( I use the term very loosely as he certainly is not ) is a disgrace to the office of MP , more so that of a Labour MP . His past record of behaviour towards the membership is frankly appalling and to the Leadership contemptuous.
    His utter contempt for the democratic process not to mention the office of Chair of the NEC now displayed for all to see, should now surely have some serious consequences from his CLP and branch .
    He is following the same pattern and path as his other detestable companion John Speller. These along with other notable outspoken party MPs persist in undermining in the public’s view the Labour party as a unified party ready for office . I cannot understand why the whip’s are not having a little word ?

  5. Austin should have been suspended when he told Jeremy Corbyn to shut up and sit dawn on PMQ this goes to show how out of touch this bullying man is we need to get rid of him as soon as possible

  6. Ian Austin!
    He’s like a neighbour who constantly blocks the entrance to your house then totally ignores your requests to move his obstruction!
    Not until you take drastic action does he take any notice!
    As an MP, his CLP, would be in their rights to deselect him, for his total boorishness along with his uncouthness!
    Being a dinosaur, he just doesn’t get, he’s not fit to lick anybodies boots!
    I say this to him, “RESIGN, BEFORE YOUR SACKED, BULLY BOY”!

  7. I do not know why people bothered to campaign for him at the last general election.

    The same is true of a number of other Labour MPs too.

    1. I had a discussion with a friend about campaigning for a certain Labour MP, initials JW I was unwilling to assist him in any way

      1. Quite right!

        I think I know the one you mean.

        Campaigning for people who oppose you is self-defeating.

        At the last general election, the Labour Party actually set up a facility so that you could donate to specific candidates. I thought it was a good idea and used it to donate to a candidate who I knew was worth supporting (that is not to say that I agreed with him on every issue, of course).

  8. Speaking to ANYONE in that manner from a parliamentary account should be an automatic disciplinary matter, that’s absolutely outrageous behaviour from an MP.

    I’d say he was childish but my youngest (8) is more mature than this

  9. Dudley Nth (as is the borough) is a problematical seat, won last year by 22 votes. Could another Labour candidate do any worse?

  10. Last election I gave up my time to campaign for the Labour MP for Enfield North. I didn’t know anything about her so at the end of the day thought I would look her up on Wikipedia and was shocked to find she had fraudulently claimed £50k for a second home and had to pay the money back to avoid prosecution. Didn’t go back the next day.

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