Exclusive: candid footage of key Labour reactions to news of ‘Southside’ resignations

News has broken of a series of resignations at Labour’s ‘Southside’ – or ‘Darkside’ to its critics – HQ ahead of the appointment of a new General Secretary by the party’s NEC (National Executive Committee) tomorrow. Unite’s Jennie Formby is strong favourite to take the post, but both shortlisted candidates are from the party’s left.

The usual ‘moderate’ sources have tried to portray this as a disaster for the party:

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However, many Labour members blame Southside’s negative approach to last year’s General Election campaign for the fact that Labour is not now in government.

Members and supporters around the country have not forgiven the mass suspensions and expulsions on largely spurious grounds during the 2016 challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – and those in the West Midlands borough of Sandwell will not miss Tom Watson ally John Stolliday or others whom they accuse of ignoring numerous complaints about the behaviour of influential Labour figures.

Former Corbyn staffer Matt Zarb-Cousin represented their take on the matter neatly:

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But in a world exclusive, the SKWAWKBOX brings you unverified but candid footage from around the Labour Party as the news broke. Corbyn aides Amy Jackson and Andrew Murray took the news of the resignations in their stride:

Jeremy Corbyn was said to be devastated by the resignations of decades of experience:

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Corbyn’s chief of staff, Karie Murphy, could barely contain her shock:

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Jennie Formby, the favourite to take over as General Secretary tomorrow, expressed her sadness at the departures and said she was getting ready to meet her remaining team if she was appointed:


Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was tight-lipped, but his body-language suggested he was able to deal with the developments with equanimity:

mcdonnell stoic

Not everyone seemed upset at the news. Labour Communications Director Seumas Milne was tight-lipped but used sign language to, well, communicate his verdict:


Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon seemed keen to close an uncomfortable chapter in Labour’s history and to look forward:


While front-bencher Clive Lewis took a moment for sober reflection as he arrived home to begin his paternity leave:


On the opposite wing of the party, centrists took the news especially hard. Labour First’s Luke Akehurst seemed tempted to shoot the messenger:


But when he ran to tell Birmingham MP Jess Phillips, he was almost on the receiving end:


One London MP, caught at the exact moment she received the news, appeared to be struggling to process the information. The SKWAWKBOX has been unable to confirm that the footage was captured at a music industry event or that her unnerved companion was a Conservative MP:

creasy news

Fellow centrist Wes Streeting, who dashed across London to say farewell to departing allies, showed unalloyed grief:


But around the country, Labour members took a moment to consider how the party will cope with such a loss of talent, then simply shrugged, rolled up their sleeves and continued preparing for the task of getting Labour into council seats and, ultimately, government:

[We shouldn’t need to say this, but based on experience we do: this is SATIRE!].

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  1. Looking beyond the spin and misdirection, they’d all rather resign than have to account for their actions during the leadership challenge … think about that for a second.

    Decades of talent and experience indeed, but a talent for, and experience of, what, exactly?

  2. This is all good fun but let’s not forget that many of these people are nothing more than common criminals who have, over long periods of time, intentionally broken data protection law.

    If they think they will evade police prosecution by leaving they are sorely mistaken.

    1. A corrupt recruitment process.

      The new GS would be well advised to make an investigation of staff recruitment a priority.

  3. Ok good to see the back of them , however , just what will all this ” decades of talent ” now do . Maybe if the rumours of a breakaway party possibly lead by Chukka ??? are true , they could be a ready made Admin and support staff for him and his mates . Look out for more resignations and even who knows defections of red Tory MPs to the new ” Start Again ” party .It’d be an absolute pleasure to support and fight against these red Tories in the constituencies , if they ever had the courage to stand outside of the convenient flag of Labour as Start Again or whatever shite they want to call themselves.

    1. I will confidently make this prediction: no Tory will leave their parliamentary party. They are too terrified of JC! Tory ‘rebels’ indeed! They have voted just once against their own govt over Brexit, for all their squawking.

      As for Chukka, you have to ask what family/personal problem stopped him running for Labour leader and whether they may emerge again.

      1. Stunning prediction that ,my prediction is that the sea is wet both are very true alas
        As for Chukka and the other red Tories then quite happy for them to ” just go away and shut up ” as some little Tory Turd recently said .

  4. SB you have excelled yourself in the satire Dept , I just can’t stop laughing at it ,,,,, brilliant , just brilliant !!!! and ohhh so spot on ;-))

  5. Why leave? Why not stay? If the party means that much to them, why resign? Are they scared of being treated as badly as they’ve treated others?

    1. Or perhaps they are scared that the dodgy things they have done will now be discovered and they will be sacked so best to avoid the humiliation?

      1. A bit like the Clintons then! We are just about to see what they’ve been hiding for years .. and it won’t be pretty … Decades of corruption and worse. Brace yourselves. It’ll make the previous incumbents of Southside look like an old ladies tea party. Good riddance. May they enjoy the loss of power and have time to reflect on the bullying policies they perpetrated on others.

  6. It’s time the party took steps to reassure members that staff will act with impartiality and fairness.
    A key way to ensure this is to review and reinforce the contractual relationships between staff and the party.
    IMO staff should not be able to hold elected office in the party and confidentiality of member data etc should be upheld
    Most of our staff are of course brilliant, talented people getting on with the complex task of administering our organisation but it is clear that a small minority have an agenda that is preventing a relationship of trust between members and the administration.
    Everyone is of course entitled to freedom of speech but not to alter the course of democracy and justice
    I am fully confident that either of the two candidates will bring the changes we need.

  7. Red on red fire is rather a sport on this blog. Whether it is fair or not I have yet to really understand. Essentially what some of you are saying is that the people leaving Labour HQ want a Tory government rather than a Labour government?!

    1. For ‘centrists’ to say that’s exactly what they’d prefer to a Corbyn-led government is not exactly unknown. Taking their lead from their blairite founder, presumably, since he said exactly that

    2. Sad, but true.
      It isn’t actually red-on-red, it’s red on a thin veneer of red.
      Would you prefer the Skwawkbox ket quiet about these ‘so-called reds’ constant and often proven attempts to undermine the Labour Party’s leadership and policies?
      Who would profit by silence, I wonder?

    3. The people leaving the LP want a neo-liberal government, whether by tory or Blue Labour is irelevant.

    4. Yes, they do, Wilson and his cronies would rather Labour were centre right! How that would help the underprivileged is beyond me! But if you’re Half Tory they obviously don’t care!! And is the reason no one is bothered they are going, indeed many are jubilant!

  8. Not at all. This blog needs to highlight this kind of debate within the Labour Party. I understand that passions can get very heated and every now and then it is and will continue to be hard to maintain the air of civility that is required for debates about the future direction of the Labour Party. Blue Labour seems a distant memory!

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