Exclusive, huge: NEC confirms investigation into Enfield selections and leader

enfield road sign

The SKWAWKBOX has covered at length the huge controversy in the London Borough of Enfield, where the then-Secretary of Labour’s LCF (local campaign forum) oversaw a deeply-defective selection process in which numerous applicants were rubber-stamped to stand as candidate in spite of not being asked mandatory interview questions and in some cases being rejected by the interview panel – who then helped to elect the Secretary as council leader.

In what was called ‘a coup by one ethnic group against another’, all the borough’s sitting black councillors were also deselected.

As exclusively reported by this blog, the borough’s constituency Labour parties (CLPs), local community groups and half of the council’s Cabinet members including the deputy council leader all registered complaints, with many – including the Cabinet members and other senior officials – demanding an urgent investigation by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

Now the SKWAWKBOX can exclusively confirm that the email below was sent out today to well over a thousand Enfield Southgate members by the Enfield Southgate CLP chair:

Dear Member

At the CLP meeting in May, our members voted overwhelmingly to call on the National Executive Committee to hold an investigation into the irregularities surrounding the Council candidate selection process in Enfield, which was overseen by Nesil Caliskan, now Council leader.

I am pleased to report that the Party’s General Secretary, Jennie Formby, has written to me this morning confirming that the NEC will be conducting an investigation.

I will update members as and when I receive further information.


Valerie Lestrade
(Chair Enfield Southgate CLP)

The SKWAWKBOX understands from senior sources that the NEC will receive an interim report from investigators in around two weeks’ time.

Senior local sources told this blog that the position of the council’s leader (and former LCF Secretary) Nesil Caliskan is now untenable and that a call is being made for Labour to suspend her party membership pending the outcome of the investigation.

If her membership is suspended, this must surely amount to her de facto removal as leader of the Labour group on Enfield council and therefore as council leader.

Ms Caliskan was contacted for comment. She responded:

I don’t respond to smear campaigns.

The calls of Enfield Labour members and councillors for an investigation will have shaken the Labour right, as Ms Caliskan and her family are close to local ‘moderate’ MP Joan Ryan and her sister is a candidate on the Labour First/NEC slate for this summer’s NEC elections – but this news is a victory for the broad coalition from all parts of the party that stood up to call urgently for an investigation.

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  1. If, as we hope and anticipate, the selection process is found to be – let’s say, “flawed” – can/will all the confirmed candidates be deselected and the selection process begin again out in the open?
    If the rules need to be tightened am I right in guessing that would have to wait for Conference?
    I really am THAT ignorant… 🙁

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