Spellar recorded shouting ‘abuse’ at blind delegate

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John Spellar

Labour and Labour First MP John Spellar has been recorded insulting Momentum members – saying that even the term ‘Momentum member’ is an insult – and blocked delegates in 2017 saying it was unacceptable to have Momentum members ‘flooding’ the party’s conference.

Spellar was said to have ‘ranted‘ when he was not name-checked by Jeremy Corbyn during the Labour leader’s recent visit to Halesowen and earlier this year was accused by a young constituent from an ethnic minority background of making racist comments.

And this week, the SKWAWKBOX listened to a recording of Spellar at a Warley CLP (constituency Labour party) meeting, in which the MP is heard shouting loudly at a young, blind, ethnic minority delegate.

The delegate in question had raised concerns about the validity of a Spellar ally’s position as CLP secretary – the secretary had been elected while a CLP delegate from the retired section of union Unite, but his delegation was invalidated because he was not retired but employed – by John Spellar.

Spellar can be heard demanding to know how the young delegate dared question the honesty of the secretary – his employee – which he considered an outrage. Others insist that as the officer was now a delegate of Brandhall Labour Club, his position was valid. Spellar has his constituency office at the club – of which he is a part-owner according to Companies House documents, although this was not appear in his declaration of interests.

The young delegate, sounding shaken, insists that the election cannot be valid because he was not a valid delegate to the CLP’s ‘GC’ (general committee) at the time.

A formal complaint was lodged and Spellar said that he would apologise, but only if the young delegate withdrew his comments about the CLP secretary’s position – which was refused.

The recording cannot be released at this time as it contains information that would allow the person who made the recording to be identified and that person fears consequences if their identity becomes known.

Also heard during the row is former National Executive Committee (NEC) candidate Gurinder Singh Josan, another close ally of the MP and Labour First supporter, who naturally sides with the MP and his employee. A complaint about Josan was also lodged with the party several months ago over allegations of bullying toward the same blind member.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Mr Spellar several days ago for comment:


I’ve just been listening to a recording of a CLP meeting made by a delegate, in which you shouted at a blind delegate during a discussion of the validity of Vic Silvester’s delegacy and election as secretary. I understand you offered to apologise only on condition that the delegate withdraw his comments, but the issue of Silvester’s status as a retired union section delegate when he’s not retired appears clear-cut.

Also, please advise why you were speaking at the meeting at all, as I understand you are not delegated to the GC.

…If you wish to have any comment included in the article, please provide it no later than 5pm.

The email was sent to Spellar’s parliamentary and personal email addresses. However, no comment has been received.

Local members have described Spellar’s behaviour during the meeting as ‘abuse’ and ‘completely unacceptable’.

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  1. Like so many CLPs this one is firmly in the hands of an autocratic clique. Rules need changing, e-voting or secret ballots need to be introduced so the there is no intimidation. Democracy needs to spread to reform our party.

  2. +1 on rule changes but neither secret ballots nor e-voting are intimidation-proof or cheat-proof without additional measures. Parliament itself uses open voting and we enjoy the very useful ability to research MP’s voting records, which let us see them for what they are and what they’re not.

    We know about Spellar’s bullying because it was in public and in front of witnesses – the cherry on top being that it was apparently recorded.
    Bullying behind closed doors generally ends up in the he said/she said scenario we saw in the Lords this week – whereas I take it none of us here are in any doubt of Spellar’s actions?

    The recording devices we all carry with us at all times can catch ALL the bullies, cheats, racists, antisemites and murdering US cops – but it’s not enough that discovery is guaranteed if the sanctions aren’t tough enough that the fascist old boys’ networks fear them.

    1. Totally agree re. the secret ballots (although appropriate in some instances) and e-voting. They are not cure-alls.

    2. On the Lester v. Sanghera thing – her delay in reporting his alleged assaults had swayed me marginally in his favour until I read this:

      “Sanghera said that she immediately phoned friends including a district judge, a senior British embassy diplomat and a director of the CPS to tell them what had happened, all of whom confirmed her account to the committee as witnesses.”

      I find that compelling – conclusive even – and fail to see grounds for some lords claiming the case against Lester is not yet proved.

  3. The sooner that foul excrescence Spellar is prevented from having any connection with the Labour party ,the better.

  4. Now if there ever was a clear case of unacceptable behaviour , proven on record ” that he brings this party into disrepute ” , then it is this case.
    I don’t see any way for the NEC disciplinary committee to wriggle out of executing expulsion proceedings.If not, then the case will have been clearly made , for all members to behave in the same fashion to any other MP , and only expect the same treatment as given to Spellar.

    SB hopefully you’ll keep us all informed of any outcome

  5. Typical shithouse. He’d be the first to whinge about ‘abuse’ and ‘bullying’ if it’d been the other way around.

    Difference is, the prick’d deserve every bit of it – and more.

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