Formby’s email to Wavertree empathises with Berger but exonerates CLP

Jennie Formby has written to Wavertree CLP

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson called last week for the suspension of Wavertree CLP (constituency Labour party) in Liverpool, after the CLP tabled – and subsequently withdrew – two motions of no-confidence in their MP Luciana Berger.

The media and centrist politicians attempted to exploit the situation to claim – as did Watson – that the CLP had bullied Berger or even behaved antisemitically. The CLP rejected the accusations emphatically.

In spite of the ignorance of ‘mainstream’ journalists on the workings of the Labour Party, the tabling of the motions – which had not been debated or voted on – meant only that four members felt strongly enough about the issue to put forward and second the two motions.

As the SKWAWKBOX showed exclusively on Friday, Labour insiders found no grounds for any action against the CLP – but now Labour general secretary Jennie Formby has gone on record to confirm the CLP acted entirely properly according to the rules of the party in exercising their democratic rights, and also outlined the measures she had put in place to support Berger through the process.

Formby’s email to CLP Chair Alex Scott-Samuel – who is also Jewish – states:

Dear Alex

Further to the huge amount of attention on social media to the recent motions of no confidence in your MP, I felt it important to write to you to clarify the position in this regard.

I welcomed the withdrawal of the motions as with Luciana being nearly 9 months pregnant, and under pressure from continuous abuse and threats, I felt they were ill-judged.

However, I have seen the wording of the motions in question, neither of which make any mention of antisemitism but which instead refer to Luciana’s lack of support for the Leader of the Opposition. I have also seen the statement from the Executive of the CLP which states: ‘..we as an Executive have always and continue now to express total solidarity with Luciana as a victim of misogyny and of antisemitism – coming mostly from the far right. Our Chair himself is Jewish’. I also spoke with the Regional Director on Friday who confirmed that the motions were in order and had been submitted in accordance with rule.

CLPs are at liberty to discuss motions of no confidence in their elected representatives, including MPs, and in the case of Wavertree, to date I have seen no evidence of any behaviours that constitute potential bullying or antisemitism other than the complaints about one individual which are being investigated. Before the motions were withdrawn, I had taken steps with the region to ensure that Luciana felt supported if she attended the meeting and to arrange for regional staff to be present to ensure the meeting was run in an orderly manner, something which I am sure you will understand.

I am therefore clear that there is no justification for suspending the CLP and should be grateful if you would share this with your Executive.

Kind regards


This sensitive handling of the issue should be applauded, while the exoneration of the CLP from any allegations of bullying or antisemitism – apart from a single individual under investigation – is unlikely to be given the attention it deserves by the mainstream media.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Tom Watson to ask whether he would publicly apologise for attempting to have Wavertree members punished for the legitimate exercise of their membership rights. He had not responded by the time of publication.

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  1. Unfortunately, Watson has already been on MSM discrediting Wavertree CLP (constituency Labour party) in Liverpool and bringing shame on the whole of the Labour Party in general. His actions and the damage it has caused cannot be undone now. He should practice what he preaches and step down from his role as Deputy Leader immediately. .

  2. So what if berger is or was 9 months pregnant? That’s only a reason for postponement – not withdrawal.

    Wavertree has had 9 YEARS of substandard representation from a candidate they weren’t happy about being imposed upon them from the start.

    And I’m in little doubt the member under investigation will be found guilty. Pound of flesh and all that…

  3. The ‘usual suspects’ are going to feel like they are invincible. All they have to do is cry victim and self evidently pressure will be applied to ‘persuade’ members to drop any motions of no confidence.

    1. The ‘usual suspects’ are going to feel like they are invincible

      What do you mean: ‘they are going to’? They already DO ffs. There’s more bollocks on show at a eunuch’s convention than there is the NEC.

      Lily-livered, the bleedin’ lot of them. You get the party you deserve if you fail to take the fight to the *ahem* ‘mischief-makers’. and beat them at their own game.

      1. All this could have been avoided if the unions hadn’t sabotaged the adoption of mandatory reselection by OMOV.

      2. The unions and who else?

        Lansman. Keeps him relevant, I suppose.

      3. @SteveH All this could have been avoided if the unions hadn’t sabotaged the adoption of mandatory reselection by OMOV.

        THIS A 1000 times , 100% agree , and I think this is now going to create a groundswell amongst the grassroots for a real gloves of fight with these fuckers , and the Leadership and NEC Chair need to grasp the anger there is within the grassroots activists , Seema Chandwani’s thread on twitter puts this over so well

  4. Thanks for continuing to stick your neck out Steve W to help enable democracy to be seen to be done

  5. Yes has perhaps been a shot across a bough but we need to move on from these deliberate distractions.
    We need to counter the potential rise of the Far Right and to also continue to fight the Tories as they continue to codemn millions of working people and particularly the poor and disabled to misery.
    Left wing democratic socialists need to debate ideas and win peacefully by democtratic voting. Then could I suggest left wing democratic socialists vote for left wing democtratic socialists.

  6. BBC radio news currently reporting Watson has told the BBC the party is investigating Wavertree branch regarding allegations of bullying their MP. Also stating the meeting to discuss the no confidence motion has been cancelled following an angry backlash on social media. The BBC visits schools offering advice to pupils on identifying fake news.

  7. what is it with Ms Berger ? while the tory govt are treating ordinary people to misery and penury, she is crying over perceived bullying. Has she been evicted ? sanctioned ? had to use a foodbank ? had her benefits inexplicably taken off her or told she owes them money ? she does not like the way labour party are going, back to their roots. so we can live in a fair and just society, giving hope to all and life chances to our young.

    1. Great comment. The Tory austerity dead are the real victims. And those suffering right now from Work Capability Assessments, Universal Credit, the Bedroom Tax, DWP sanctions, zero hour contracts, homelessness etc etc.

  8. I don’t think that is going to be end of it. Wavertree are now being investigated for bullying – note bullying and not antisemitism; Always changes to suit!!! Utterly deplorable action towards folk at Wavertree.

    It is utterly disgusting. I’ve never been so ashamed of MY party accusing Jewish members (in a predominantly Jewish Area) being called antisemites, racists & bullies. Moreover, one MP has called the whole of Liverpool racist and idiots. How can the Labour Party sit by & allow hard right MPs to continue to bully members & fellow members with impunity? It is surely time for these MPs to be deselected. I for one have just about had enough of their sick, bullying, racist attacks.

    1. It is Jewish members who have been particular victims of the right-wing Israel lobby, because they break apart some of the fictions, such as the sanctity of Israel, the notion that zionism equates to Judaism, and the representativeness of the Board of Deputies.

      Some of the most intellectually coherent criticisms of the pretended order have come from Jewish members of the Party. That is why they are hated by the right – they actually make unanswerable arguments from the inside that can only be met by the sort of bullying and pretend victimhood that we see.

  9. Despite what Mr Blair said today that antisemitic abuse never happened during his day, it just isn’t so. During Mr Blair’s leadership when a lady resigned from university Labour group due to antisemitism. Who do you think the lady was? You get one guess and one guess only!!!!

    1. A good, non-ranting, examination of the facts about Berger – hardly the saint that she is portrayed as being.

      But you won’t get the same facts in any MSM reporting.

  10. Apparently MP Dan Carden was on Radio Merseyside this morning supporting Berger and saying the Wavertee CLP is under investigation.

    Always had my doubts about Carden.

  11. Just heard the ‘World at One’ item on the scam, where some unknown member from the right of the PLP was interviewed.

    In a way it was interesting, because it didn’t confirm out-and-out conscious bias on the part of the BBC. The bias was very definitely in the laziness of journalism on the issue, picking up a taken-for-granted narrative that doesn’t question what is taken-for-granted amongst the metro-journo class. Far more insidious.

    The interviewer did, in fact, ask some pertinent questions- even if they weren’t followed up – such as what was wrong with Jenny Formby’s letter to Wavetree CLP? And the measures taken by the Party were put forward to challenge the false claims.

    But what was obvious was the underlying assumptions that are simply accepted – principally that the ‘antisemitism’ fictions have some substance, and that Berger’s situation in her constituency has something to do with ‘antisemitism’.

    Is the Party’s press organisation up to combating this sort of sloppiness?

    One thing did strike me was to turn the right wing’s demands for ‘transparency’ against them.

    I think we should demand the same – but not in the sense of revealing simple statistics that will be bent to nefarious ends, using ‘accusations’ as evidence as opposed to proven guilt.

    The left should demand chapter and verse, subject to appropriate anonymity for individuals, if desired (although that shouldn’t include accusing MPs). Only than will the substance and the origin of allegations be shown, and the justice of any proceedings be transparent.

    1. Note that the Israeli lobby in the Party have done exactly as predicted – now that figures have been released, they dispute their validity.

      Utterly predictable, and proof that this has nothing to do with ‘antisemitism’ – or the truth.

    2. … but note the following :

      “Formby said she rejected claims from some quarters that antisemitism allegations were a smear.”

      Of course, *some* will be valid … but we *know* that a significant proportion aren’t – and are, indeed ‘smears’ – or, at best, ludicrous allegations with no substance. The evidence is on film of that smearing – and that’s only when cameras are around.

      1. Feck off agent privacateur with SH, these political imbeciles are trying to set you up comrades.

      2. Bazza 11/02/2019 at 10:42 pm

        What did RH say to prompt your little outburst?

      3. I’ll keep it simple.

        Go look at the footage contained in ‘The Lobby’. It’s easily available.

        Then you’ll see precisely what I mean.

  12. Instead of all this internal bickering the NEC and Jennie Formby needs to write to each CLP across the country to make it clear that:

    *Public attacks on our twice democratically elected leader will no longer be tolerated
    * If an MP/councillor/Labour member does this then a disciplinary hearing will follow.
    * Any MP writing in the Tory MSM denigrating the party will face disciplinary action
    * Any MP going live on TV and radio ding the same will also face disciplinary action.
    * Any MP who cannot publicly and unequivocally say that they are not thinking of or taking action to forming or joining another party will face immediates suspension and if found guilty then expulsion from the party.
    Any MP/Member of the shadow cabinet who brings the party into disrepute will face immediate suspension

    Yes Ms Berger, Mr Watson and Mr Umunna #EnoughIsEnough your behaviour thus far has been tolerated but it should now cease immediately, if you have difficulty with that then exercise your democratic right resign the Labour whip and have the courage to ask you CLP and the NEC to call an immediate by-election and let he people decide if they sill want you as their MP, we could term it #PeoplesVote2.

    1. Add to that:

      No MP may appear on any mainstream media news programme more than once a week!

  13. I am deeply disappointed in Jennie to be honest. I had high expectation of the disloyal MP’s being brought to account with Nicholl gone and Jennie taking up her position. But nothing changes! Mp’s continue to attack the membership and nothing is done. I am starting to regret rejoining the party as all that is happening at the moment is Chukka and the other boys in the band are allowed to keep hold of the destruct button which they press at every opportunity, if this continues the party will never recover.

  14. Starting to have doubts in Formby. Think she’s a plant. Proper Machiavellian.

  15. I am sick to death of the AS attacks on Jeremy (Take 5).
    Left wing democratic socialists will be on the front confronting the Barbarains re AS, Islamophobia, Homophobia, attacks on disabled people and all diverse working people.
    We will put our lives on the line but will our critics be with us or are they cowards, all gob and heckling us from behind?
    Stand with us on the front-line against Fascism or Feck Off!

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