Labour First’s McKenzie accused of question-tampering at Lewisham East hustings

Lewisham East chair and Labour First trainer Ian McKenzie has triggered disgust on social media by tweets making vile reference to sex-slavery, the sale of women and beheading – including one referring to Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry.

Complaints have flooded into Labour’s HQ and to Newham’s elected mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, for whom McKenzie works as a ‘political adviser’.

The lid appears to have come off, as McKenzie has now been publicly accused of untoward interference with Lewisham East members’ questions at Saturday’s hustings to select a candidate for the by-election triggered by Heidi Alexander’s departure to the London mayor’s office.

Six questions were meant to be selected at random from a box of questions submitted by members and put to the three candidates. But pictures have been posted on social media allegedly showing McKenzie ‘rifling through’ the questions:

sami mck.png

McKenzie is also the subject of a still-unresolved complaint from a local member regarding alleged rule-breaches relating to his conduct as secretary of the Labour ‘Local Campaign Forum’ (LCF) during recent local candidate selections:

mck complaint1.png

The complainant goes on to elaborate that s/he believes that McKenzie’s actions led to BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) candidates being excluded from council candidate selections.

Comment:

Janet Daby’s selection as Labour’s candidate for the by-election was by a substantial margin – she took 68% of the first-round vote – and there is no realistic likelihood that any actions at the hustings would have changed the selection.

However, right-wingers such as the odious Dan Hodges are attempting to paint outrage about McKenzie’s misogynist tweets as anti-democratic behaviour by Corbyn supporters after Saturday’s result.

The fact that there are allegations against McKenzie of anti-democratic behaviour – including at least one complaint predating the selection meeting by almost four months – make a nonsense of such right-wing apologism.

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19 responses to “Labour First’s McKenzie accused of question-tampering at Lewisham East hustings

  1. Yet again, Regional staff seem to be implicated in activities which ignore the Labour Party rules that they are duty bound to uphold.

    There appears to be a pattern of corrupt and underhand behaviour by individuals at regional level.

    It will be necessary to hold a review and investigations into this activity. Members need to be protected against arbitrary and corrupt behaviour of Regional officials.

    I recommend a whistleblower mechanism for members to be able to report corrupt local or Regional activity to ensure the integrity of the party’s policies, procedures and rules.

    This can be achieved by creating a new members’ rights committee (MRC) to be set up by the NEC to receive and process whistleblowers’ reports and present them to the NEC where appropriate. To prevent the reporting process being compromised or tampered with, the MRC should be controlled by Labour Party members (excluding Labour Party staff, MPs, councillors or Labour members who are also members of another political party, i.e. the Cooperative Party).

    It is quite clear that this enhanced level of protection urgently needs to be provided to Labour Party members.

    • Excellent idea , have you submitted it to anyone in authority who could take this forward ?
      IMO the whole selection process in now nul and void and should be re-run even if the end result is the same , any shadow of doubt regarding Ms Darby’s selection can be resolved.
      An URGENT investigation into Regional Officials is a MUST .

  2. I am working with others to build a consensus around this proposal.

    There is currently a flaw in the complaints process whereby corrupt branch/CLP officers and regional staff are working together to prevent complaints made at branch and CLP level from reaching the NEC. This activity undermines the ability of the NEC to apply the rules of the Labour Party and is therefore undermining the authority of the NEC.

    MRC addresses and corrects this flaw by creating a direct channel between members and the NEC to circumvent this abuse of power by branch/CLP officers and Regional staff.

    • The nub of the problems in the Labour party currently is the undemocratic disputes/complaints procedures. I know from my own experience that the regions are not protecting members from bullying and bad behaviour from the right.

      I wrote to McNicol last November, with my concerns that the North West Regional Office was protecting some members at the expense of others and that complaints were not being investigated (including my complaint of bullying and harassment).

      I got expelled from the party for my troubles, by the same members on the CLP executive that I had complained about. How’s that for justice?

      • That’s just appalling Janet , I hope that under the new Management you might have some sort of redress?

      • Thanks Rob, but it doesn’t look like the party are interested. I have written to Jennie Formby with details of what has gone on in the CLP. I can support my assertions with emails and an audio of a meeting where inaccurate minutes were accepted, to cover over a bullying outburst (all choreographed) of a delegate at the previous meeting. A member of the NEC was present at the meeting.

        Despite two emails to Jennie Formby and her team I have had no response. A subject access request needed the intervention of the Information Commissioners Office before the party would let me see exactly what the charges were. A solicitors letter has, so far been ignored.

  3. Excellent suggestion,I am sure we are all aware of unscrupulous practice over the years but the current factionalism highlights the problems and gives fuel to media attacks on the party. The main BBC news on Saturday evening featured the Lewisham hustings,has that ever been a news item before and,needless to say there was no mention of the Colchester decision. I know Mr Corbyn wants to bring harmony and inclusivity to the party but question if this is possible when so many on the right are not prepared to give an inch.

  4. “The complainant goes on to elaborate that s/he believes that McKenzie’s actions led to BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) candidates being excluded from council candidate selections.”

    Hmmm…

    In the interests of balance I’d like to point out that I didn’t notice a single white candidate for the by-election.

    Marc Wadsworth was (disgracefully) expelled from the party for highlighting a lack of BAME faces at the chakrabarti antisemitism report launch…charges that were brought under spurious – nay – non-existent allegations of antisemitism.

    Now I’m not saying that allegation against mckenzie’s untrue, but there seems to me to be an all-too-ready approach to use race as an excuse to cause havoc within the party if certain sectors don’t get their own way.

    • And by the way – Has john mann been informed about the BAME candidacy allegations? I’m sure he’ll be grateful for it, seeing as he wants examples of racism so people can be hauled up in front of the NCC/NEC to be expelled…

      Although I’m still waiting for his reply when I reported stella greasy’s racist tweet to him – the one that she ‘didn’t realise was racist’ not 8 weeks after calling out star sports betting for ‘casual racism’ for their tweet of a man ‘blacked up’ to apparently be a parody of diane abbott.

      john mann – self-proclaimed champion of anti-semitism. Nothing else matters…

  5. The trouble is so many officials in the LP have been used to years of corruption and stitch up. Their removal is becoming really urgent.

  6. With the continuing murders at the border, people must left in doubt that the overwhelming majority of Brits find the actions of the killers disgusting and inexcusable. Why the deafening silence in the house? Regards

  7. I understood he was one of the founders of Labour Friends of Britain First 🙃

  8. Is there any Labour First or Progress,preferably LF, link to Enfield? Just asking as all five BAME councillors there were deselected for the recent local government elections?

    Because if there is, a prima facie case for racism might just exist for the NEC to consider, in the light of the above complaint from Lewisham. If it has happened elsewhere under another guise, that is corroborative evidence of it.

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