Sky’s Beth Rigby reported on Monday evening that Labour general secretary Jennie Formby was ‘hammered’ by a queue of seven MPs at the evening’s weekly ‘PLP’ (parliamentary Labour party) meeting:
The ‘news’ was apparently leaked by an MP present at the meeting.
But the reality of the meeting was rather different – although seven MPs did behave atrociously.
One member present told the SKWAWKBOX:
It was nowhere near as bad as was reported, because they ended up making a bit of an arse of themselves. They made the mistake of focusing on the Observer story [about staff consulting on disciplinary cases] – but it seemed they hadn’t actually read to the end of the article.
McNicol’s (Formby’s predecessor’s) team started sending complaints to staff outside governance and legal to consult on their opinions – this was all going on long before Jennie was general secretary.
No decisions were taken, just views given – and it stopped within a month of her becoming GS because it wasn’t appropriate for anyone outside governance to be asked for views on cases.
But by the end of the evening she received really positive feedback from shadow cabinet members and some back-benchers as well.
According to witnesses, a distinctly unintimidated Formby – who is not answerable to MPs – told MPs she would be happy to meet any of them individually or in groups to try to allay their concerns and listen to their suggestions.
She also took the ‘high road’, telling them she is actively working to reinforce the message to all Labour members to attack the Tories and not each other.
The SKWAWKBOX understands that Formby is working with the party’s regional directors to ensure that all local party meetings are conducted with dignity and respect for people of all views – and that the party is a place where all Jewish people feel welcome.
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