UPDATE 7 Feb: The NEC has now decided not to issue this statement.
The SKWAWKBOX understands that today’s protest will proceed as planned, as the HDV project has not yet been formally cancelled.
Haringey council leader Claire Kober has been a controversial figure in her borough for some time because of the ‘HDV‘ housing project she tried to push through in spite of widespread opposition from local residents, unions and Labour members.
Ms Kober announced that she would be standing down as leader after May’s local elections.
In spite of counter-allegations by local people including councillors and a letter by Haringey women objecting to her claims of sexism and bullying – and this blog’s exclusive revelation of her own admission by email that she prepared ‘dossiers’ against anti-HDV councillors – Ms Kober has been given considerable airtime by the mainstream media to voice her complaints.
In response to the situation and Ms Kober’s claims, the ‘mediation group’, set up by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to broker an agreement between the council and its opponents, has circulated a statement to all NEC members, ahead of its formal, general release.
The diplomatically-worded statement reaffirms both the sovereignty of Labour local government groups and the right of the NEC to participate in the resolution of disputes – and calls on activists to abandon any potential plans to protest at the council meeting scheduled for later today (Weds 7 Feb).
It also calls on anyone feeling they have a grievance over the behaviour of any Labour councillors or members to follow Labour’s established procedures and report such incidents to the party for investigation – something apparently absent regarding the public allegations so far:
On the afternoon of Monday 5th February 2018, the formal Labour Party – Haringey Labour Group mediation process began, involving the Shadow Secretary of State Communities and Local Government, representatives from the ALC and NEC. Councillors from both sides of the debate on the Haringey Development Vehicle were invited.
We reiterate the position of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, that it is not the place of the NEC, or of this Panel, to determine any Council Labour Group’s individual policy positions; that Council Labour Groups are sovereign bodies within the Labour Party rulebook; but also that, as a defined ‘Party unit’, it is incumbent on the NEC to resolve any significant internal disputes both within that Party unit, and between it and other Party units, as it has done on many previous occasions.
We thank Councillor Claire Kober for her leadership of Haringey Labour Group, and welcome her postponement of the final decision on the Haringey Development Vehicle for any new administration following the local elections on 3rd May 2018. We believe this will allow for there to be an appropriate period of reconciliation within the Labour Group and, indeed, within the wider Haringey Labour Party family, which we welcome and encourage all concerned to embrace.
We are encouraged by the work to bring the local membership in Haringey together to develop an exciting manifesto for the local election. The local constituency parties, Local Campaign Forum and the Labour Group members in Haringey should be congratulated for being inclusive in their future policy making.
The Labour Party, through the London Regional Office and the Local Government Association Labour Group, will help to facilitate further training, support and mentoring for Haringey Labour Group and its members where that can help to heal differences in, and further strengthen, the Group, ahead of the local elections; and to support and enable them in developing a fresh policy for improving social housing in the borough which the Labour Group in the new administration can fully support.
Given the postponement of the HDV, we would urge any planned protest ahead of the Extraordinary Council Meeting on 7th February to be called off.
We take any allegations of bullying behaviour within the Labour Group and wider Labour Party extremely seriously and encourage incidents to be reported via the Party’s complaints procedures for full investigation.
We will continue to offer our services in the future to assist in the process of bringing the Haringey Labour family together, should they be necessary.
(emphasis added by the SKWAWKBOX)
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