Deselected councillor defended by Watson refuses to apologise for calling female colleague “gutter wench”

Tom Watson and (inset) deselected councillor David Hosell

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson went on record this week attacking the deselection of a number of councillors in his West Midlands borough of Sandwell, after Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) appointed other candidates in the borough.

Watson described the deselections as ‘outrageous‘, ‘brutal factional politics‘ and as “the hard left wreaking retribution on long serving councillors for no reason whatsoever“.

However, his claim that there is ‘no reason whatsoever’ for the deselections is looking a little thin today, after one of the deselected councillors refused to apologise for the use of misogynist language to a female colleage yesterday on Twitter.

Cllr David Hosell – who immediately resigned from Labour along with his wife in order to stand as independents – was one of the Sandwell Labour councillors who complained to the party about Cllr Yvonne Davies, resulting in her suspension – even though witnesses confirmed that Davies had been subjected to extremely aggressive behaviour by male councillors present. Cllr Davies was subsequently completely cleared and fully reinstated.

“She’s thick-skinned, she should be able to take it.”

Cllr Hosell took exception to a comment on Twitter by a local blogger about the abuse Cllr Davies had received – and repeated his claim that Cllr Davies had been abusive.

But when Davies joined the discussion to point out that she had been exonerated and reinstated, Hosell lashed out in astonishing terms:

Cllr Davies subsequently blocked Hosell on the social media platform.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Cllr Hosell about his choice of language, but he was unrepentant:

She’s thick-skinned, she should be able to take it. It’s what she acts like, so I can’t withdraw that. It’s the only way to get to Yvonne… she’s that kind of person – if she’s put under fire she can’t take it. If I know anything about politics, that’s mild.

Yvonne Davies is the councillor who witnesses say was hounded out of a council meeting for criticising a now-disgraced ex-councillor – to the extent that she was even pursued into the car park. Allegations have been made that male councillors present falsified records of the meeting to incriminate Davies – and those allegations were not denied.

Cllr Davies has also said that Tom Watson ‘made [her] life a misery’ by bullying her, to such an extent that she changed wards in order to avoid having to interact with him.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Tom Watson:

You’ve gone on record this week criticising the deselection of Sandwell councillors by the NEC. The outstanding complaints against Steve Eling are well known, but another of the councillors whose deselection you attacked, David Hosell, has refused this morning to apologise for calling a female colleague a “lid [sic] mouthed gutter wench who brings distress to every ward you’ve served” in a tweet.
In addition, Mr Hosell and his wife have already resigned from the Labour Party and announced their intention to run as independents.
Questions:

1. do you condemn Mr Hosell’s language and refusal to apologise?
2. do you recognise that the NEC appears to have shown good judgment in deselecting Mr Hosell?
3. do you agree that the Hosells’ immediate resignation from the party suggests they were not that committed to it in the first place – and that again this would support the decision to deselect them?

No response had been received by the time of publication.

Watson has recently been heavily criticised by members of the NEC and others for ‘foul’ behaviour and interference in disciplinary proceedings concerning Eling and other Sandwell figures.

In February, he was taken to task by front-bench Labour MPs Emily Thornberry and Dawn Butler during a Shadow Cabinet meeting over his behaviour toward the party’s general secretary, Jennie Formby and for a cavalier attitude toward data protection laws.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Watson and the media have presented the deselections as “retribution for no reason whatsoever” – even though retribution by definition is payback for something.

But former council leader Steve Eling is currently suspended in relation to a number of serious complaints about his behaviour, including toward female councillors. Meanwhile, David Hosell’s comment this week to Yvonne Davies – and his refusal to apologise – lend support to the NEC’s judgment.

By contrast, they raise serious questions about Tom Watson’s judgment – and make his claims of ‘outrageous’ ‘factional politics’ look cheap and politically motivated.

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37 responses to “Deselected councillor defended by Watson refuses to apologise for calling female colleague “gutter wench”

  1. “Gutter wench”, wat a weird turn of phrase. I imagine only a posho Tory, totally out of touch would use such archaic terms.

    • Not many posho tories in Sandwell. But it is a strange phrase. Very old fashioned. Age rather than class is the reason, I suspect.

    • Maybe his Mam filleted fish for a living and he heard it on the dock?
      Fishwives were apparently quite unkind to the pretty ones making money from their husbands while the kids went hungry.

      • What the hell has his mother got to do with it? They are not always responsible for their sons growing up to be assholes, you know. Plus the reference to “fishwives” being “quite unkind to the pretty ones making money from their husbands”. I don’t dare to think what the implication of this is. Still, the “fishwife” deserves her fate. She shouldn’t be so ugly or strident, should she? And she should watch her language.

        All in all, it’s a bit sexist, innit? Not really what you would expect to hear in progressive discourse.

      • Just mentioned one possible source of the phrase he used.
        Nothing sexist about describing the culture of fishing communities I knew as a boy.
        The poor timid women here will be relieved to know you’re ready with the smelling salts when they faint away at my coarseness though.
        Seriously – get a grip.

    • You want to be a south Londoner living in North Yorkshire. Oh yeah and funnily coloured. I luv it up here politics apart. Best wishes.

  2. Skwawky, I suspect that this is one enquiry you’re definitely not going to get a reply to. But I hope it gets mentioned next time TW appears in front of the NEC.

  3. With the likes of Watson and too many others in the PLP blatantly expressing their reactionary views towards the progressives in Labour is it not time for drastic action to be taken to neutralise these reactionary elements well before a GE becomes a reality! If they are not dealt with then Labour is likely to win Parliamentary seats but suffer from blatant divisive behaviour by Watson and his ilk which will just lead to a Labour Government once again disappointing the electorate and failing to consolidate their rightful position as a Government that can and will take on the ‘few’ on behalf of the ‘many’!👿

    • I wonder how many of the PLP Corbyn-haters have taken to social media to condemn the use of his image as target practice by the army.

      Do we really need to look to know the answer?

  4. Feel poetic tonight:
    ‘Willy Wonka Watson.
    Slimmed down he ex of cake.
    A Right Wing Labour Barbarian?
    Some suggesteth related to a snake?
    Meanwhile an unelected Sultan.
    The Barbarian of Brunei.
    Kick him in the economic bollocks!
    And see this capitalist Neandertholl cry.’
    From the US to Turkey there are too many Right Wing Barbarian Leaders in the World.
    Need to peacefully and democratically replace then with left wing democtratic socialist leaders who will transform societies for the better and WITH diverse working people.
    Solidarity!

  5. Agree 100 per cent with your comments on Watson.

    However, there seems a lot of sexism here today. I have already commented on the “fishwife” reference above, but that, unfortunately is not all.

    In the main article Skwawkbox asks Watson several questions. One concerns the female councillor who happens to be David Hosell;s wife. We are told that she apparently left the council along with her husband, and at a guess, she is probably a Blairite of a very similar stripe to him. However, there is a reference to her also being deselected. For what, precisely? Are we to understand that she was implicated in her husband’s bad behaviour towards Yvonne Davies, and if so, do we not have the right to know precisely what she was guilty of? She is apparently nothing but an appendage of the man she is married to, and does not even have a name! We are told about him, but how is it that she was “not committed”, and, again, precisely why was she deselected? Because she happened to be married to the wrong man?

    Perhaps Skwawkbox should reflect on its own (?unconscious) sexism and misogyny.

    • “Was it just coincidence?”

      Probably. You can get too conspiracy minded.

      Interesting how the bye-election hasn’t raised much comment. Tho’ to be honest – there’s not much to comment on beyond the low turnout and the lack of enthusiasm for either of the two main parties.

      • Probably not a coincidence in my opinion. However I will now more than likely be mocked as Conspiracy Theorist for believing that when Jeremy gets smeared more than usual in the run up to a by election it is a deliberate attempt to prejudice the electorate against him and our party. Doesn’t work of course as the Newport election result shows.

    • Oh, right, so the ‘anti-semitism’ black op Smear Campaign isn’t orchestrated, and is just a bunch of scores and scores of well-meaning decent people who just happen to have got it all wrong about Jeremy and the left.

      And what else was there now…….

    • Daily Mail article from March 17th with the headline:

      Fury as Jeremy Corbyn suggests British soldiers SHOULD be prosecuted over The Troubles, days after one paratrooper was told he faces two murder charges over 1972 Bloody Sunday

      And it says the following in the article:

      Matthew Jury, of McCue & Partners, who is representing the families of the victims of the Hyde Park bombings, told MailOnline: ‘Shamefully, Corbyn and co continue to stand by Blair’s outrageous decision to do a back-room deal with the IRA to grant terrorists on-the-run effective amnesty – and remember, whatever their protestations, this was not a part of the Good Friday Agreement.

      ‘All the while they sermonise about no one being above the law. They can’t have it both ways.

      ‘If they’re going to demonise and pillory Britain’s veterans, then they must also back, not only an unequivocal revocation of the on-the-run letters, but a swooping up of the terrorists themselves to finally face justice.’

      Demonise and pilliory Britain’s veterans? It’s amazing, isn’t it, how Jeremy’s enemies can transform what he said into demonising and pillorying Britain’s veterans. And in another article I read a couple of days ago it said:

      Trevor Coult MC, founder of the charity For Our Veterans, said he “felt sorry” for the soldiers.

      “They are under extreme pressure and they’ve found a stupid way to blow off some steam.

      “I would ask – is it any wonder that they are using a picture of Corbyn, after his comments on Bloody Sunday last month? The feeling among the troops, I’m afraid, is that this man despises the Parachute Regiment.”

      Notice a pattern?! So what did Jeremy say?:

      Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Corbyn said: ‘The law must apply to everyone, and I don’t think we should have statutory limitations on this.’

      So how does anyone get any demonising or pillorying out of THAT, or conclude that JC despises the Parachute Regiment?! I smell a very large rat going on here! Now I confess I know nothing about why this paratrooper has been told he faces two murder charges, but it does seem extraordinary that it should happen NOW, some fifty years later. Does anyone know how it happened to come about after five decades?

  6. Just came across this from March 22nd in the Sun (and the folowing below on the BBC website, from April 3rd, the same day as the JC target practice video was being widely reported by the MSM). So all this has happened at the same time – ie an inquest into the IRA Birmingham pub bombings, a paratooper being charged with the murder of two people on Bloody Sunday AND the target practice episode. And I should point out that I hadn’t heard about the inquest about the pub bombings, and only did so in the process of going on to the Sky News website to see if the Sophy Ridge interview with JC was available to watch, and ended up clicking on the ‘UK’ heading at the top of the page, and up came an article posted today about it:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8697204/birmingham-pub-bombings-ira-1974/

  7. I just found the Sophy Ridge interview with Jeremy Corbyn on youtube, and as I suspected, they got him on to discuss Brexit, but then (at 15 mins 55 secs), Sophy Ridge says “now whilst we’ve got you on here”, and proceeds to ask him about the former paratrooper/soldier who is facing murder charges etc, and I would suggest that THAT is the sole reason they got him on there, but it would have been too obvious had she ONLY asked him about THAT after discussing the Brexit issue, so she says there’s a COUPLE of things she’d like to ask him about (the second of which was the New Zealand killings and something Tom Watson said about it). I have no doubt whatsoever that he was set up, and I was of course thinking about the time (a couple of years ago) when he was interviewed on Sky and asked to condemn the IRA etc – which he DID – but was then widely reported as refusing to do so despite being asked five times (and even her demeanor as she introduces him comes across as if she’s got something up her sleeve, so to speak):

    • Allan, thanks for the link. It’s clear that all JC is saying is that he upholds the law of the land and doesn’t believe in a statute of limitations for crimes. He’s not the one who’s made the decision to prosecute (or to prosecute just one of the soldiers involved in the Bloody Sunday killings for that matter). But we all know that the truth is irrelevant to the Daily Mail.

    • “Shamefully, Corbyn and co continue to stand by Blair’s outrageous decision to do a back-room deal with the IRA to grant terrorists on-the-run effective amnesty – and remember, whatever their protestations, this was not a part of the Good Friday Agreement.”

      Not a part of it but essential to it.
      Fucking lawyers.

      • Hey , David not all of us! And the argument from the Mail appears to be that ‘it’s appalling that IHRA members have been given an amnesty- and we want exactly the same for people in the army.’ We can’t expect logic from the DM where JC is concerned.

  8. Earlier on today I posted a link to a BBC article about the result of the Newport West by-election result in which it says the following:

    ‘The result saw a swing from Labour to the Conservative of 2.4%.’

    And yet – by chance – I just came across an article in the New Statesman which says the following:

    Labour have won the Newport West by-election. The scores on the door, with the changes since 2017.

    Ruth Jones (Labour Party): 39.6 per cent (-12.7%)
    Matthew Evans (Conservative): 31.3 per cent (-8.0%)
    Neil Hamilton (Ukip) 8.6 per cent (+6.1%)
    Jonathan Clark (Plaid Cymru) 5.0 per cent (+2.5 per cent)
    Ryan Jones (Liberal Democrat) 4.6 per cent (+2.4)
    Amelia Womack (Green) 3.9 per cent (+2.8)

    Do they add up to the same thing, or is the BBC News coverage misleading?

    • Allan, one is a reduction in the percentage of votes for each party (labour down from 52 to 39% it seems), the other is the swing from one party to the other, much smaller as both parties’ percentage of votes went down, while those of other parties went up.

    • Allan, when one of the BBC talking arses announced the result he described it as “Labour & Conservative vote shares fell while UKIP tripled its vote.”
      I looked up the actual numbers and Labour was 9308, Cons 7357 and UKIP 2023. Other parties 4827 total.
      “UKIP tripled its vote” would be all many people would remember from that broadcast.
      Very misleading.
      Talking up UKIP might suit the Tories in seats they can’t win.
      I don’t see tripling from what must have been a rock bottom base of 6 to 800 as grounds for massive UKIP optimism though.

      • “Talking up UKIP might suit the Tories”

        Nah. It’s just innumeracy looking for a headline. There;s enough conspiracies around without looking for extras.

      • RH, I wasn’t theorising any kind of conspiracy, just that the take-away from the piece would be “UKIP on a roll” for those not given to analysis – which I think you’ll agree is the definitive essence of the kipper.

    • It;s easy to get too uptight about this. Basically, it’s just sloppy analysis that ignores the overall pattern (low turnout) and still quotes ‘swings’. A bit like Sqwawkbox’s wish-fulfilment analysis yesterday.

  9. Re the falsehood that Jeremy refused to condemn the IRA, I’d completely forgotten about the Tory Party video of the interview which they edited to make it look as if he DID refuse. But then millions of people had already been led by most of the daily papers to believe that he refused to answer the question five times (I think the Mirror added one for luck to make it six times):

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/corbyn-ira-video-tories-attacked-fake-news-edited-labour-leader-refusal-condemn-sky-news-election-a7770026.html

      • Agreed. It provides a solid rock of sanity in a welter of sectarian misinformation.

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