As the SKWAWKBOX exclusively revealed last week, a bitter resignation letter issued by Wirral councillor Michael Sullivan that called local Labour members ‘parasites’ showed close ally of the council leader, ‘public affairs strategist‘ Martin Liptrot, as its author, not the councillor. The letter also showed that it was last saved by the council leader himself, Phil Davies.
The letter formed part of a string of attacks last week by right-wing Labour figures in the Merseyside borough on the party’s left-leaning majority, starting with a similar letter by former regional director Sheila Murphy and culminating in Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s ‘jumped before pushed’ resignation and public support for Field by the council leader.
Local Labour members have complained bitterly about a ‘choreographed‘ smear campaign and have publicly called on Labour general secretary Jennie Formby to launch an immediate, formal investigation.
But it appears Ms Formby is not the only one investigating at least one of the protagonists.
In August, British Transport Police (BTP) put out an appeal to find a man they wanted to interview about an alleged late-night assault in a Liverpool station. The same appeal was published by local paper the Wirral Globe.
But it suddenly disappeared from the Wirral Globe site before the BTP had identified the person of interest – but is available from archive here.
The Wirral Leaks site noticed that the man in the CCTV image bore a striking resemblance to Martin Liptrot – the author, according to Microsoft’s properties field, of Michael Sullivan’s letter:
The appeal remained on the BTP site until the weekend. BTP now say that a man in his fifties is ‘helping officers with their enquiries‘.
Mr Liptrot has refused to take calls or respond to messages on the matter.
Wirral Council declined to deny that he is the person helping police, or to comment other than to refer enquiries to British Transport Police.
The twists and turns on the Wirral continue, but members are adamant that any ‘toxic culture’ is on the right of the party. The sudden disappearance of a police appeal, apparently showing one of the protagonists in last week’s smears, from the local newspaper website before police had identified the person it showed will do little to dispel that belief.
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