Four women councillors resign key Labour group positions over ‘systematic bullying’
Last week the SKWAWKBOX reported the news that the Enfield ‘Labour group’ of councillors running Enfield council had been dramatically banned by the party from holding meetings without the express permission of Labour’s ‘Governance and Legal Unit’ (GLU). A meeting is to be held today, but only with the permission and oversight of GLU.
Enfield Labour has long been under investigation by the national party after a series of complaints by local Labour members – including half the council’s cabinet – about bullying and anti-democratic practices.
A letter from outraged cabinet members and others – signed by Labour figures from the whole of Labour’s political spectrum and across Enfield’s ethnic communities – demanded an urgent inquiry by the party into the conduct of the new council leader when she was the borough’s ‘Local Campaign Forum’ Secretary in charge of the process of selecting candidates for last year’s local elections.
It also alleged that several female signatories had already suffered intimidation to try to force them to acquiesce.
And it seems that the intimidation has been ongoing, at least in the view of senior officers of the Labour group – because at the last meeting of the Labour group, held late last month, the Chair, Secretary, assistant Secretary and women’s officer all resigned from their positions in protest at ‘systematic bullying’.
Those resigning are said to represent all the female officers, with the exception of council leader Nesil Caliskan.
Ms Caliskan has previously indicated that she does not wish to be contacted for comment.
The outcome of Labour’s investigation – the announcement of which represented an earthquake in the Labour right – is expected within the next month. Local MP Joan Ryan jumped ship last month to join the ‘quitter group’.
Local government is the key area Labour needs to clean up in order to present a real Labour Party to the public. The process is underway – but of course, the right-wingers’ media friends will present each step as a ‘purge’ or ‘bullying, without a hint of irony.
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