Excl: ‘author’ of councillor’s ‘parasite’ resignation letter is PR ally of Labour council leader

There has been an interesting sequence of events on Merseyside this week – or to be more precise, on the Wirral peninsula.

Sheila Murphy

On Monday, the ‘Labour Uncut‘ website featured an interview with supposed ‘northern [Labour] legend’, former north-west regional director Sheila Murphy, who launched a blistering attack on the Labour Party’s newer members on the peninsula:

lu murphy.png

Ms Murphy, who also used to work as office manager for Blairite MP Luciana Berger and was a prominent member of Yvette Cooper’s 2015 leadership campaign team, accuses other Labour members of bullying, but has a not entirely unproblematic history in that regard, both historically and more recently – but that will be the topic of a separate article.

Michael Sullivan

Coincidentally, on the very next day the very same site featured a councillor also based on the Wirral, just a few miles south of Ms Murphy – Michael Sullivan – announcing his resignation of the Labour ‘whip’ in a blistering letter in which he dehumanises supposed ‘hard left’ Labour members as ‘parasites’ and compares them to worms:

lu sullivan.png

The letter, addressed to council leader Phil Davies, has featured prominently in the local press, as well as on Labour Uncut. Cllr Davies said he was “saddened and shocked” by news of the resignation.

So far, so ‘moderate’. But then things begin to turn odd.

0_MikeSullivan1

Ex-Labour councillor Michael Sullivan

The original Word document containing Sullivan’s resignation letter was also released – perhaps unintentionally – and was obtained by the SKWAWKBOX. And the document’s ‘properties’ present some interesting features.

Martin Liptrot

First, according to the properties of the Word document, the author of Mr Sullivan’s resignation letter is not, as you might expect, Mr Sullivan:

liptrot.png

liptrot crop.png

Instead, according to Microsoft, the author of the document is one Martin Liptrot. Mr Liptrot is a PR professional and former policy adviser to Wirral council leader Davies, who provoked ‘fury’ last year when the council appointed him to the £350-a-day position of ‘investor development manager’:

wg liptrot.png

Why would a now-former-Labour councillor’s letter show a close ally of the still-Labour council leader as its author?

But the interesting aspects are not yet exhausted.

Phil Davies

Phil Davies has been leader of Wirral council since 2012. He was also Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Wirral West in 2010, taking over from a Labour incumbent who was stepping down – but lost to Esther McVey.

Mr Davies also appears in the properties of “Mr Sullivan’s” resignation letter – as the last person to save the document:

davies save

davies save crop.png

The requests for comment

The SKWAWKBOX contacted, or attempted to contact, all the protagonists in this strange situation, starting with Mr Sullivan.

He insisted that he was the author of the letter and categorically denied that Martin Liptrot had been involved:

SKWAWKBOX: “I’ve been sent a copy of the original Word document and it indicates that the author of the document wasn’t you – it was Mr Liptrot, who is employed by Wirral council.”
Sullivan: “That’s not correct.”
SKWAWKBOX:  “His name is in the author field in the properties.”
Sullivan: “I don’t care what’s in the file, it’s not correct.
SKWAWKBOX: “So what’s Mr Liptrot’s involvement with it? Because it seems odd it’s been composed on his machine. This isn’t just a ‘read by’ field, this is the authorship.”
Sullivan: “I was the author of that letter, nobody else.”

He confirmed that he has also resigned as a Labour member, not merely from the Labour whip as a councillor, pointing out that he has two weeks to change his mind on the former decision.

Sullivan was also unrepentant about his dehumanising language of ‘parasites’, stating that he had chosen it for maximum impact.

Next the SKWAWKBOX called Martin Liptrot. He stated that he had received the Word document from Cllr Sullivan – but when asked how his name came to appear on the document, he initially said that he had ‘formatted’ it for Phil Davies:

SKWAWKBOX: “The properties on the document indicate that the author of the document is yourself and not the councillor.
Liptrot: “No, I think that – I think that the, the document that came through into – to Phil, Phil Davies, came-came, I-I-I formatted it for him.”

However, when it was pointed out to him that formatting someone else’s document would not result in his name appearing in the ‘author’ field, he somewhat breathlessly claimed that the line was breaking up and then ended the call.

Subsequent attempts to call again rang through on Liptrot’s device but were either unanswered or rejected and went to voicemail.

The SKWAWKBOX then called Phil Davies’ office and mobile lines, including multiple calls to the mobile, left a voicemail and sent an email requesting an urgent call back, but no response has been received.

The SKWAWKBOX also attempted to establish contact with Sheila Murphy, advising her via a Labour Party official that it concerned an article and she was invited to comment – but the Labour contact came back to say that she had declined to take a call.

Comment:

So-called ‘centrists’ attacking left-wing members with accusations of abuse or bullying have become almost routine.

But as far as the properties of the latest set of complaints in the resignation letter of Michael Sullivan are concerned, that letter was authored by a PR professional closely linked to the serving Labour leader of the council. Mr Sullivan has said that the letter was his own work – but when Mr Liptrot was asked to explain how his name came to be in the author field of the properties, he ended the call and declined to pick up when further attempts were made to call him.

Whoever wrote it, the letter also happened to feature the day after a similar set of accusations by another ‘centrist’ just a few miles away – published in the same publication.

The Sullivan case is not routine or typical of other centrist attacks around the country. Or is it?

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27 responses to “Excl: ‘author’ of councillor’s ‘parasite’ resignation letter is PR ally of Labour council leader

  1. Sheila Murphy quoted Madeline Albright in a speech at a women’s conference I went to in Liverpool and got a rousing applause from a group of women who must share her politics. I didn’t know who Albright was, so I looked her up when I got home and was sickened to find she was a war monger. That speaks volumes about the character of Sheila Murphy. Many on Labour’s right seem to value power more than lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM0uvgHKZe8

  2. That photo is priceless. It’s like a promotional photo for a really bad 1970’s westend farce. 😂

  3. In a piece posted on the Labour Uncut website a couple of days ago, and in relation to Sheila Murphy, it says:

    ‘….. she wants to speak out after facing bullying herself by some of the new members. “We have a new hard core whose behaviour is nasty, vicious, and controlling,” she says.

    The gist of the piece is that this has been going on for some time, so I assume she reported the incidents – and the individuals involved – to the NEC at the time they happened?

    Further on in the article it says the following:

    Her criticisms about the toxic culture in parts of her local party are specific. “My beef is not with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. I was often in the Green Room with him at events during the 2015 leadership campaign with Yvette and he was very kind to me,” she emphasises.

    “Jeremy is our leader and I’d never say anything in public against him personally, but we’ve now got some members, acting in his name, who are completely out of control,” she says.

    “He doesn’t seem to be directing them and neither does Jon Lansman [the founder of Momentum]. They are literally killing the party. Many long standing members have given up, choosing not to attend meetings or are simply resigning from the party.”

    (Ends)

    So she wouldn’t say anything in public about JC personally, but in the very next paragraph she does precisely THAT!

    I can only conclude that her allegations of bullying etc are bogus and fabricated, and for the obvious reason – ie if you experienced bullying you would of course make a formal complaint to the NEC on the occasion you first encountered it, and THAT would not only lead to the individual(s) concerned being suspended, but would of course in and of itself, deter anyone else from such behaviour.

    She criticises JC for not “directing them” – on odd phrase – but how can they be directed if she’s never made a formal complaint about them, or spoken out about it until NOW.

    Hmm…….

    • And isn’t it odd how in the majority of alleged cases of bullying happening in CLPs, it’s practically always a none-specific allegation. Well, it WOULD be wouldn’t it, given that it’s complete fabrication, and in the above case, carefully crafted…… she has no beef with JC….. and he was “very kind to me”. I mean it sounds so contrived precisely because it IS!

  4. No wonder Mr Liptrot did not wish to speak, this action is Gross Misconduct and he should be immediately suspended pending investigation….

  5. Fox news are embroiled in the frenzied attacks against Jeremy Corbyn. There has been no attempt of dissimulation by Fox news ,their videos on YouTube are quite hideous ,they also mentioned that the abuse to Luciana Berger comes from Merseyside and is the reason she needs security for the Labour conference., It would be easy for an American to conflate The Wirral and Liverpool. Easy to imagine also that one of the biggest labour areas would at some point be targeted .

    • ‘they also mentioned that the abuse to Luciana Berger comes from Merseyside and is the reason she needs security for the Labour conference.,’

      And what about the day-to-day business as a Merseyside MP? Does it need a bodyguard for that? Horridable, godawful shrieking twunt that it is.

      Can’t wait for the good people of Wavertree to get rid of the whining little sh*t. Wasn’t wanted in the first bleedin’ place.

      Bliar’s legacy to the people of Liverpool is all it is.

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  7. The funniest thing about this is how bad at conspiracy they are. It is very easy to make a Word document anonymous. Also they don’t see to know how Word works.

  8. I wish these right wing ‘moderates’ would just leave and join the Conservative Party.

  9. Murphy – berger’s former office manager. Makes claims to of bullying. Wonder where that came from?

    Northern legend, indeed.

    As for the rest of them, all you need know is that they STOLE money (@£750k, IIRC) from the disabled and covered it up.

    So who’s the ‘parasites’ , sullivan???

    That’s when they weren’t paying £30k for a metal clown on New Brighton waterfront (Probably some sort of sick reminder to us locals of who’s in charge of the council)

    Or getting shafted by chinese ‘investors’ that don’t exist…

    Paul’s https://wirralinittogether.blog/ does a marvellous job of exposing these rodents for what they are. Well worth a read

    Also check out wirraleaks.wordpress(dot)com. For an insight into the goings on at ‘the farm.’

  10. You’ve got to love Meta data I seem to remember The Times releasing a “damning letter” signed by various business leaders against labour a couple of years back and then the metadata revealing CCHQ as the author and several of the signatories denying all knowledge of the letter.

  11. What I don’t get in all this is why a man who can afford a quality suit like that has such a crap barber?

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