Staff told move or be sacked to make room for ‘irregularly’-elected Enfield leader’s political assistant

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Over the last week, the SKWAWKBOX has reported on the outrage – across a broad spectrum of local Labour members and officials – at the serious flaws in the selection of council candidates for the recent Enfield local elections, which were revealed in an investigators’ report.

That process was overseen – and by her own admission influenced – by the then-Secretary of Labour’s ‘local campaign forum’ (LCF), Nesil Caliskan. Ms Caliskan was then elected as council leader by councillors including those selected because of the deeply-flawed process – ousting an incumbent leader who was popular across the local party.

Nesil Caliskan – née Cazimoglu – is the older sister of a candidate on the right-wing Labour First/Progress slate for this summer’s elections to Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC). Her mother, who works for right-wing Labour MP and LFI chair Joan Ryan, is also a councillor in the same ward.

Now local and union sources have told the SKWAWKBOX that the start of Ms Caliskan’s controversial term in office has been marked by an aide telling at least two ‘Labour group secretaries’ – a third is currently on maternity leave – that their jobs were to go, as Ms Caliskan wants to employ a political assistant. The secretaries serve the Labour group of councillors but are employed by the council.

According to sources, the information came as a complete shock to the employees and outraged their unions, who said the staff were called in without warning to receive the news, with none of the usual protocols or consultations. The employees were initially told that the council was looking at ‘redeployment’ options, but when they pressed to find out whether redundancy was a likely outcome, the answer was yes.

The backlash locally has been sufficiently intense that there has apparently been ‘considerable backtracking’ on the issue, so the secretaries’ positions may soon be safe. However, the repercussions continue.

One local Labour activist told the SKWAWKBOX that there was outrage across the party that this should be the ‘first move‘ of the new leader’s term and described recent revelations of the issues around the selection of councillors and their impact on the vote to replace the deposed council leader as ‘like a nuclear bomb going off in some circles‘.

There is already talk on the ground in Enfield about whether Nesil Caliskan’s leadership can survive, given the broad-based backlash against her oversight of the selections and the manner of her election as leader.

Labour’s NEC must surely soon move to intervene.

Nesil Caliskan and Enfield Council’s Press Office were contacted for comment but have not responded.

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  1. Is Joan Ryan aware of this nepotism and corrupt activity? If so, why didn’t she inform the Labour Party?

    Has she been involved or advised those involved?

    Has Joan Ryan any associations with those involved in this scandal, has she attended meetings with them? When did she meet them, how many times did she meet them, why did she meet them and are there any minutes of those meetings?

    The answer to these question may trigger the end of Joan Ryan’s career as a Labour MP.

  2. What this illustrates is the total unsuitability of any of these types – who try to manipulate and subvert established procedures – to any kind of executive or supervisory power.

    Because they have successfully ignored and manipulated Labour Party procedures they are confident they can show the same disregard for any other legislation or regulations, such as employment law; Data Protection Act etc.

    They are without any scruple or conscience as they pride themselves on their success in bypassing the regulations less deserving people waste time observing.

    See Sheffield council for a current example

    Obviously at some point they bump up against someone who will enforce the law and widespread embarrassment (although rarely the appropriate criminal justice sanction) ensues.

    I have no doubt the “political assistant” replacement for the Enfield Council secretaries was designed to ensure only a certain selective type of minutes; reports; and other documentation was ever created.

  3. Sometimes I lose the plot of how I got to a particular place on the internet – so if I nicked this link from one of you guys I didn’t mean to 🙂


    Very disappointed in Tony Greenstein though for dismissing Corbyn’s response to the anti-Semitism “issue” as being not sufficiently robust in defence with stuff like, “If Corbyn had a backbone…”

    Seems to me that not rising to the bait of ridiculous a-S accusations left the perps with nowhere to go but stretch them so far the more serious commentators had to question the glaring inconsistencies or lose credibility.

  4. As a former Labour Councillor who served in the last Council I think there needs to be an urgent investigation in to what has happened. Without one the problem will only intensify. I suggest the Leader of the party, the Chair of NEC, a BAME Labour, relevant trade union rep and General Secretary of the Party set up a Panel without delay to resolve what has happened. What has happened is not confined to just Enfield.

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