New twist in Wirral smear saga as councillor resigns facing bullying allegations

The national media has been helping to propagate a series of attacks on the Labour left in the Merseyside borough of Wirral, just across the river from the site of Labour’s annual conference that begins this weekend.

The saga began with accusations by former regional director Sheila Murphy and encompassed Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s ‘jumped before pushed’ resignation accusing local members of bullying and antisemitism – a claim vigorously condemned by a newly-elected Jewish councillor.

Between the two, as the SKWAWKBOX exclusively revealed, 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 – who went on to publicly support Field’s accusations.

In a bizarre twist, the ‘author’ of the letter, Martin Liptrot, was then revealed to be the man ‘helping police with their enquiries’ after a public appeal for his identification from CCTV footage.

Local Labour members complained bitterly about a ‘choreographed‘ smear campaign and have publicly called on Labour general secretary Jennie Formby to launch an immediate, formal investigation.

Now, in a new twist, another Labour councillor has quit – but this time as a councillor altogether.

mpatrick wirral.png
Matthew Patrick’s Wirral Council councillor page

Matthew Patrick, well known among in the area as a figure of the Labour right, has announced his resignation, which will become effective in October, but local members say they fear fresh smears.

Sources in the borough have pointed out, however, that Patrick was facing a complaint regarding alleged bullying of a female party member.

The SKWAWKBOX called Mr Patrick for comment. He did not deny that there is a bullying complaint outstanding against him, but declined to answer any questions by phone. No answer has yet been received to a follow-up email asking:

– is your decision connected in any way with the outstanding complaint against you regarding alleged bullying of a female party member?
– why have you opted to take this step just before Labour’s conference in Liverpool?
– will you be publishing a resignation letter and when?

Update 21/9/18 20.45hrs: other local sources say Patrick has put out a Facebook post saying that his decision is because of a new job in London.

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      1. He looks like a cross between Alfred E. Neuman and Tintin auditioning for a part in Jeeves and Wooster.
        If Stephen Fry has anything to do with it he’ll definitely get it…

  1. “– will you be publishing a resignation letter and when?”

    Probably when Martin Liptrot has finished helping Inspector Knacker with his enquiries.

    1. Hahaha! My first thought on seeing that photo was to wonder if someone had taken his lunch money off him.

  2. If he’s got himself another job then good luck to him. If this is the case then Skwawkbox should acknowledge that there is no conspiracy involving Mr. Patrick.

    As for the other posters in the comments, what the guy looks like shouldn’t be an excuse for sneering comparisons.

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