Audit uncovered several candidates failed crucial ‘panel’ interview – but were allowed to stand by LCF secretary they then elected as council leader
Last week the SKWAWKBOX revealed the ‘civil war’ triggered in the London borough of Enfield, after a broad coalition of ‘anti-corruption’ councillors withdrew from the nomination process for key positions at the council Labour group’s AGM (annual general meeting) – in protest at the ‘unconstitutional’ process and disenfranchisement of local members.
This week, the SKWAWKBOX can reveal more exclusive information.
The core of the councillors’ complaint is the ‘irregular‘ process used to select a number of candidates for last year’s local elections – along with the associated deselection of all the borough’s black councillors and alleged bullying and threats.
The irregular process was uncovered by an audit ordered by the area’s ‘local campaign forum’ (LCF) – which revealed that a number of candidates had been marked as failed after passing the process, while others had failed but were shown as successful in the official report to the Labour Party.
The right-wing LCF secretary who oversaw the process – and admitted that the results had been falsely reported – was elected as leader of the council with the help of the same councillors who had only been able to stand because of the false reporting.
And one of those councillors – as a result of last week’s Labour group AGM fiasco – is now Enfield’s deputy leader: Ian Barnes. The SKWAWKBOX has obtained Cllr Barnes’ interview results, which were reported to the LCF after the audit.
Interviewers were required to answer the following question in relation to each would-be candidate:
Having conducted the interview with the nominee, observed the exercise, and considered all the information available to you, are you confident that this nominee would be a good Labour Party representative, who would contribute as an effective member of the team within the Labour group and the party’?
Only those candidates who scored a ‘yes’ according to a majority of the three interviewers were entitled to go forward on the ‘panel’ of candidates. But Mr Barnes was rated only as ‘potential’ – not suitable, but might possibly become suitable at some future date subject to training or other development:
In the opinion of all three interviewers, Ian Barnes was not ready to be a candidate, although he might be at some point – yet the result reported to the LCF at the time was changed to ‘yes’.
He was subsequently selected, was elected – and is now the council’s deputy leader – only because the person now leader of the council, Nesil Caliskan, admittedly oversaw a process that reported false results.
Ian Barnes was contacted for comment but did not respond. Nesil Caliskan – whom her former deputy described last week as unfit for office – has previously indicated that she does not wish to be contacted by the SKWAWKBOX.
Ian Barnes is not the only such case – nor the only such case in such a senior position. More information will follow shortly.
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