The SKWAWKBOX has carried a series of exclusives on the Enfield council selections scandal, where Council leader Nesil Caliskan has been at the centre of an investigation by the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) into the ‘irregularities’ that occurred during the selection process to elect Labour candidates, including the deselection of all black candidates.
The beneficiaries of these and other ‘irregularities’ in a process overseen by Ms Caliskan then promptly elected her as the new council leader, ousting an incumbent popular across the local party. Ms Caliskan and her family are on the right of the party, close to Enfield North MP Joan Ryan who earlier this month lost a vote of no confidence after a membership rebellion. Caliskan’s sister, Eda Cazimoglu, was an unsuccessful candidate on the Labour First/Progress ‘slate’ in the recent NEC elections.
The complaints and and calls for an investigation into the numerous issues issues and Ms Caliskan’s role in them have come from a broad coalition of all wings of the party – including half of the Enfield Council cabinet and an array of other councillors. This is not a ‘left v right’ issue.
Now, in a new twist to that scandal, Ms Caliskan has been telling locals that the investigation into the selections – and by implication, into her – has been abandoned:
Ms Caliskan – who has said she will not answer media enquiries from this blog – claimed:
What the General Secretary has been very clear on, because she’s emailed me, is that the investigation that is being referred to is not into the selections. The Labour Party has been very clear that the selections were open, fair and transparent. What is being looked at the is the complaints that many, many members have submitted about unfortunately the racism they have experienced over the last few weeks.
There are several problems with this claim, not least that it is not correct.
A senior Labour source told the SKWAWKBOX:
The investigation is ongoing. It’s unlikely that the selections will be overturned, because the people selected have for the most part been elected as councillors, but that’s not at all the same as saying the party has concluded there was no problem with the process. But the investigation is ongoing and will be ramping up soon.
Ms Caliskan’s reference to complaints about racism could also mislead. A number of members in Enfield, particularly women members, involved in the complaints against Ms Caliskan and her allies have complained about threatening behaviour and racism toward them in what they view as an attempt to intimidate them into acquiescence. In turn, Caliskan and others have claimed – in spite of the mass deselection of black councillors – that the complaints against them are motivated by racism.
Perhaps Ms Caliskan uses ‘very clear’ in a similar way to Theresa May. According to the Labour Party, it’s not at all clear that the Labour Party has found no problems with the selections – in fact it’s not the case at all.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.