Excl: NEC puts Enfield into ‘special measures’ after complaints about right-wing bullying

Special measures package includes direct oversight of meetings and investigation of individuals by Labour’s governance unit

Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has imposed a series of special measures on the conduct of party officials in the Labour-run London borough of Enfield.

Meetings of the council’s Labour group had already been banned until 1 April – except by special permission and with NEC oversight -after a series of complaints of disgraceful behaviour by officials and their allies.

Complaints include:

  • ‘irregular’ conduct of council candidate selections by council leader Nesil Caliskan, who at the time was secretary of Enfield’s Local Campaign Forum (LCF)
  • the deselection of all the borough’s black councillors
  • threats and intimidation of whistleblowers
Don McGowan

Groups representing the borough’s ethnic communities have publicly expressed their outrage at events – an outrage shared across the full left-right spectrum of Enfield Labour, leading to a series of resignations and calls for the national party to take action:

  • half of Enfield council’s Labour cabinet wrote to the party demanding action and a full investigation
  • all of the Labour group’s female officers resigned in protest at the bullying, except for the council leader Caliskan
  • black councillor Don McGowan resigned his seat in protest
  • a black candidate also resigned in protest
  • local Labour members (CLPs) passed motions condemning Caliskan’s behaviour

NEC sources say that the allegations were discussed at this week’s full meeting of the NEC, which agreed that the following extensive package of special measures – although without using that specific term – be imposed on the borough with immediate effect:

  • an NEC observer must be present at all meetings of Enfield council’s Labour group, to be reviewed after six months
  • annual elections for the position of council leader, instead of the normal elections for the full term
  • a package of clean-up measures including:
  • NEC observers at annual general meetings (AGMs) of all three Enfield CLPs and of the LCF
  • all Westminster and local candidate selections will be overseen by the NEC
  • no councillors/candidates will be allowed any involvement in selection processes
  • selected candidates must be representative of the borough’s ethnic diversity of local community
  • ID checks at meetings
  • a review of local Labour membership lists

In addition, the individual members of the party facing allegations regarding their conduct have been referred to the complaints section of the Governance and Legal Unit (GLU) for investigation.

Cllr Caliskan has previously told the SKWAWKBOX that she does not wish to be contacted for comment. However, when the ban on meetings was revealed, she attempted to portray it as a measure taken at her request rather than imposed by the NEC – but the SKWAWKBOX revealed information disproving that claim.

In spite of the complaints made by a political and ethnic cross-section of the local party and community, Caliskan has also claimed that the complaints are racially motivated.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

A group of right-wingers in Enfield have attempted to dismiss the evidence and allegations brought by local members and elected officials and covered exclusively by the SKWAWKBOX. However, the NEC’s decision to impose special measures shows that they are being treated as serious and credible by Labour’s NEC.

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  1. I am glad that this action has been taken at last. I think it should have been taken immediately all Black councillors were deselected. Imagine the furore if any other ethnic group had been so treated.Disgraceful.

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