Watson chief of staff accused of racially-driven bullying must be suspended. Why did he fail to act?

In an explosive story broken this evening, the Independent reveals that Baroness Alicia Kennedy, chief of staff Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, was accused of bullying and targeting a black Watson staffer – who also claims she was made redundant because she is black.

Kennedy is a former deputy general secretary of the party and considered a member of the West Midlands Labour right ‘royalty’.

Tom Watson has called for the summary suspension of a whole CLP (constituency Labour party) for bullying – merely for tabling motions of no confidence against an MP, even though there was no evidence that the CLP had acted wrongly.

Yet when his chief of staff, , was the subject of detailed allegations of bullying, harassment and possible racism toward a black colleague, Watson was not hammering down the door of Labour’s Southside HQ demanding her suspension.

On the contrary, he appears not to have acted at all.

A source close to Baroness Kennedy’s told the Independent the allegations were ‘untrue and highly damaging’.

Watson – who earlier today stormed out of a Shadow Cabinet meeting – has been accused of ‘foul’ and ‘appalling’ behaviour during inappropriate interventions recently in cases involving his allies or opponents. He was also accused by a woman councillor in his home borough of Sandwell of making her ‘life a misery’ by bullying her.

He has not responded when asked to comment.

The case will be heard by an employment tribunal in September.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Baroness Kennedy has not yet been ‘found guilty’ of anything and must be afforded due process in full. But she must certainly be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation – and Tom Watson must answer for his failure to act and his double-standards on disciplinary matters.

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  1. Racism and the hostile environment courses through the veins of some “moderate” New Labour leftovers as strongly as it does the Tories, who despise non-White faces and would have them deported soon as look at them.

  2. I am very concerned about the Tribunal Application. I think the party should carry out an immediate investigation into the staffers complaints and if they are upheld we should not defend the complaint at a tribunal.

  3. Why isn’t she suspended now while they investigate. Chris Williamson was suspended for alleged antisemitism which was completely wrong as evidenced when viewed publicly. Talk about double standards.

    1. Extremely telling point Cindy, why indeed .
      I still wonder if the revised process is fit for purpose, or maybe it’s how it’s being applied .

      1. “I still wonder if the revised process is fit for purpose, or maybe it’s how it’s being applied .”

        It isn’t See Jackie Walker.

      2. Yes thank you RH I have just seen it and its appalling.
        See my comment on respective thread

  4. A friend sent me this .Cant make out if this case is also a whistle blowing action ,little wonder he wanted to get his feet under the disciplinary process . Baroness Kennedy? She master minded fooling the membership into believing Watson’s campaign manifesto for Deputy leadership Is it true her husband was encouraged to stand down as Councillor by new members ”Kennedy’s purge of the hard-Left earned him rapid promotion at Labour HQ from Tony Blair – with Gordon Brown giving him a peerage in 2010.” Labour politician who has fought hard-Left infiltrators for a quarter of a century has fallen victim to a ‘revenge’ mission by Jeremy Corbyn’s Momentum activists,”
    It was around this time the slurs starting to appear in the media that all new members were trots including their children and the attacks on Momentum .
    Labour list produced 100 most powerful ,on the list (36) Baroness Alicia Kennedy
    Labour Peer
    ”Having run Tom Watson’s deputy leadership campaign Kennedy is the power behind the throne. A true party insider, she knows where a lot of bodies are buried” I cant see mention of Watson I am sure he must be on the list somewhere? https://labourlist.org/2017/09/revealed-the-lefts-top-100-power-list/?fbclid=IwAR0EwfCIollYoyNd5DpDO4NpzUCimSo3e5SbzRT7Bch2CkSjlbQzERq_NJc

    1. Its a bit of an odd list. I have nothing against the lad but Owen Jones is at No 9 two places above McCluskey – really? Someone has got to be having a laugh. He’s certainly the last man standing at the Guardian but that doesn’t say much these days
      And I think J K Rowling ceased to be a Labour Party donor some months ago. The list said it helped her to buy influence in the Party. so thank God she’s gone and its been put a stop to then

    2. It’s, on the one hand just a list of well-known names.

      On the other hand, the comments betray an oddness and lack of consistency or grip that puts ’em all in a bran-tub, mixes them together and strings a few words together at random.

      Note the date (18 months ago), and the lack of any sort of predictive foresight or insight – or indeed, political analysis.

      Take a few examples, and read them :

      Chris Leslie (now out of the Party)
      Jess Phillips (credited by the right and a Guardian mouth)
      John Lansman (now noted mainly for duplicity)
      Iain NcNichol (gone)
      Kevin Maguire (couldn’t identify a right-wing plot if he tripped over it)
      John Woodcock (gone)
      Luciana Berger (gone)
      Jason Cowley ( noted for turning the New Statesman into a right wing journal – consistently ducks investigation of the antisemitism scam) . Left wing???)
      Katherine Viner ( Competes with Cowley in her suppression of anything to do with the AS scam, and for publishing anti-Corbyn articles)

      So I would put the comments on Kennedy within that weird context. Unlike Watson, she has a pretty good, genuine record on justice and human rights issues.

      In short – a high bollocks quotient.

    3. I smell a big fat rat.

      We have Baroness Kennedy as his Deputy Leader election campaign manager and Ruth Smeeth, a Protected CIA Asset, as his PPS (Parliamentary Private Secretary).

      That’s some back-up!

    1. “Baroness Alicia Kennedy, chief of staff Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, was accused of bullying and targeting a black Watson staffer”

      One of our areas of agreement, Steve.

      ‘Accusation’ has become a meaningless excuse for dealing with people you disagree with. It has become too easy for any Tom, Margaret or Luciana to make a claim for someone to be suspended – and for ridiculous periods (back to Jackie Walker).

      Obviously, there are occasions when the accusations are of such a nature as to be appropriate for such action. But there should be more than a cursory nod when someone who *claims* to be jewish and claims to be ‘offended’ kicks off at someone they don’t agree with.

  5. The right in the Labour Party will eventually eat themselves!
    They all possess giant egos, believing their rhetoric, lies and undermining will collapse the centre left!
    We the members will not allow them the oxygen come the GE to survive as Labour MPs!

  6. Jackie Walker has been expelled from Labour – for “prejudicial and grossly detrimental” behaviour.

    1. The use of these entirely subjective so called crimes to eject members from the party is manifestly unjust.

    2. What does ‘NCC’ stand for? … I mean in the acronym sense – I know the middle C means ‘Creepy’ or ‘Cowardly’, and, I can guess at the final ‘C’, even if I’ too shy to specify. But ‘N’? Because ‘Knee’ or ‘Kneeling’ doesn’t start with ‘N’. I suppose ‘Nasty’ does. And ‘Nincompoop’. Or ‘Nitwit’, or ‘Nonsense’ …. ???

      Of course, in the philosophical sense, it currently ‘stands’ for absolutely nothing of worth. Dysfunctionality writ large.

      Shout at Watson, by all means. But he isn’t the totality of the rotten smell at the heart of Labour. The Augean stables are knee-deep in shit and need a deep clean before it can pose as a moral alternative to the Tories.

      I think branches and constituencies should take this as a signal to ignore any self-serving directives from the NEC until it becomes transparently worthy of its role.

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