Email to Labour councillors confirms measures already revealed by SKWAWKBOX and that multiple allegations serious enough to be sent up to next stages of party’s disciplinary process – and potentially to ultimate disciplinary body
Enfield Labour was put into ‘special measures‘ last month after a lengthy investigation by the party into allegations of serious wrongdoing against senior right-wing figures and their allies, including selection-rigging, discrimination, bullying and threatening behaviour.
The complaints were so severe that half of the council’s cabinet – across the whole Labour spectrum – signed a letter demanding an investigation and all of the group’s female officers resigned, except for the council leader.
The council’s leader had attempted to whitewash the suspension of meetings of the Labour group before the full special measures were imposed, but emails revealed by the SKWAWKBOX proved that it had been done to the group by the NEC (National Executive Committee), not at her request.
Now another email obtained by the SKWAWKBOX has confirmed the full range of special measures imposed by the NEC – and also that investigations into individuals are ongoing and likely to be escalated in Labour’s disciplinary process.
The email, from the party’s ‘Governance and Legal Unit’ (GLU) was sent to all the borough’s councillors:
As you will be aware the NEC undertook an investigation into complaints received from a variety of individuals in Enfield relating to the Labour Group, LCF and conduct at CLP meetings. The investigation was carried out between November 2018 and March 2019. We received a number of allegations that will need to be referred into the Disputes process and where there is evidence of a potential breach of rule individuals will be investigated by the Governance and Legal Unit.
Following the investigation the NEC agreed: –
A) That a programme of outreach, community engagement and community organising should be developed to target Black African, Black Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, other Asian, Chinese and other under-represented BAME communities in the three Enfield borough CLPs to encourage more people from these communities to become involved in the Labour Party and stand as candidates;
B) That formal mentoring should be put in place for Councillors who it is identified require support;
C) That a programme of development should be put together for Enfield Labour Group with ALC support and the Group should be required to undertake equality training;
D) That an observer from the ALC should be asked to attend all Enfield Labour Group meetings which will be reviewed in six months.
E) That further training and guidance should be provided for independent selection panels to ensure greater consistency in scoring and mandatory questions;
F) That Labour Group Standing Orders should be amended to allow annual elections for the Leader and all other Group Officers;
G) That a “cleansing” exercise should take place in the three Enfield CLPs prior to any selection processes;
H) That membership checking measures are put in place for all Enfield CLP AGMs and all Edmonton branch meetings. This will include requiring the presentation of a membership card, photo ID, recent proof of address, and evidence of inclusion on the electoral register;
I) That all CLPs should be encouraged to ensure an ethnically diverse EC is elected and to stand ethnically diverse candidates in all wards reflecting the community and further work should be undertaken on how we encourage members to consider this in internal elections and selections;
J) That the next Local Government Selection process and all processes connected with the selection of the Westminster candidates should be overseen by the National Executive Committee with full membership checks carried out at all meetings;
K) That no existing Councillor, or potential Council candidate in Enfield should be involved in the arrangements for the next Local Government Selection process. This includes having responsibility for administrative tasks, arrangements for panel interviews, the handling and photocopying of applications, ballot papers and other paperwork or the membership checks at selection meetings;
L) That should any member with a membership card attend a meeting who does not appear on the membership list then that membership card should be retained and passed to the national Party;
M) That any sexual harassment cases should be dealt with under the Sexual Harassment procedure.
The London Region will now lead on implementation for the NEC and from now on the person to contact should be the Regional Director Hazel Flynn. Hazel Flynn will be responsible for developing and delivering an implementation plan to ensure the above is delivered. Please note that this work is commencing and that Hazel Flynn will need some time to finalise all the details and has agreed to keep you informed of progress.
The Governance and Legal Unit
The Labour Party
Expect more attempts to spin this as something less serious than it is – but the right’s chickens are coming home to roost.
Referral to the NEC’s disputes panel is the last step before referral to the NCC (National Constitutional Committee), which has the power to expel members – including elected politicians – from the party.
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