Excl: Labour suspends leader of major borough council

Labour has suspended the leader of a major council following a lengthy investigation by the party’s National Executive Committee

Cllr Steve Eling

The SKWAWKBOX has covered at length the unfolding scandals and allegations in the West Midlands borough of Sandwell – the heartland of the Labour right, which covers the seat of right-wing MPs Tom Watson and John Spellar and the HQ of Labour First – and has broken a series of exclusives.

The borough’s Local Campaign Forum (LCF), the body that oversees candidate selections and election campaigns in the area, was suspended last year in a move which sent tremors through the Labour right nationally.

The SKWAWKBOX has learned this morning that council leader Cllr Steve Eling – who is alleged to have bullied a female councillor and the former deputy chief executive of the council and to have pressured police to expend disproportionate resources pursuing an inconvenient local blogger – has been suspended following a long investigation by representatives of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) into the behaviour of local Labour bodies.

An NEC source told the SKWAWKBOX:

A report with a number of recommendations was presented to the NEC and was agreed unanimously – including the administrative suspension of Steve Eling. The report was anonymised and covered a number of individuals, but it did refer to the council leader so he was the only identifiable person.

An NEC soiurce

Eling, considered a close ally of the two local MPs, is understood to have called an emergency meeting of the council’s cabinet this morning, which is already underway.

The suspension automatically removes Eling as leader of the council’s Labour group, but the party does not have the power to remove him as council leader, although the matter of a new leader is likely to be tabled by councillors at the first opportunity.

Steve Eling, who was informed of his suspension last night, has been asked to comment.

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  1. I have no other information about this issue – but good if the NEC has done a proper investigation in this issue.

    What worries me are the continued outstanding cases where perfectly innocent members have been suspended on the basis of ‘antisemitism’ fakery.

    1. For once , on this topic at least , RH I agree with you .
      George Galloway , Ken Livingstone etc springs to mind re innocent members being suspended .

      1. Glad we can agree on something.

        Livingstone actually resigned in order to not cause problems for the Party – but that is an even more sinister situation, since he was only stating historical, documented fact about the history of zionism (not judaism) – albeit a bit cack-handedly. The term ‘McCarthyism’ comes to mind.

        But Jackie Walker is still suspended for a non-breach that was actually recorded on film, and others have been actually ejected from the party on spurious charges.

        Meanwhile, others haveactually been suspended from their work on specious grounds – although the two I have in mind,I think, have now been reinstated – basically because employment law would have made proper examination necessary and would have cost the employers dearly.

        But the NEC seems to be hanging fire – probably for the same reason of fear that led to the adoption of the IHRA ‘definition’.

    2. Expulsion of Marc Wadsworth shall forever remain the memento of that ‘antisemitism’ fakery. As someone remarked at the time, it was quite a scene of the macabre witnessing those 40 Labour MPs and Lords (all white) accompanying Smeeth to what appeared like lynching of a black man! When we finally have an inquiry into these antisemitism smears, this case should be top of the list.

      1. If Smeeth is/was, as Wikileaks states, a protected U.S. Informant, then it’s safe to say she is actively working to destroy Corbyn and prevent socialism. By extension this makes her morally culpable for the deaths caused by Tory austerity.

        I don’t understand why this didn’t become headline news at the time.

  2. Bravo NEC. These rightwing malcontents have been running down Labour councils everywhere.

    People like to talk about how we have rightwing dead weights within the PLP but local government is equally bad if not worse. Its of course Tony Blair who initiated the changes that gave us these ‘manageriap’ politicians.

    Thank you for the coverage Swkwawkbox.

    1. And your evidence for this generalization is …..???

      And your answer to the logical extension – the pathetic failure of the progressive left is …..??

      Or is it just a cunning conspiracy that left the left bemused?

      Or is it just a wild generalization?

      Sorry – but the actuality about the right wing working class ‘deadweights’ in local politics that you despise is more subtle.

  3. People in search of more information – and I mean one HELL of a lot more information – should browse to…


    This has been a LONG TIME coming.

    Another one to watch is Sandwell Monitoring Officer and ex-Wirral Council fixer Surjit Tour. I’d imagine he will be frantically getting his minions in the legal dept to do a lot of shredding right now.

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