Analysis Exclusive

Excl: right-wing Labour MPs’ coordinated attempt to avoid deselection exposed – raises data/funding issues

‘Centrists’ messaging some members and excluding others – but message same across country. But who is accessing data and who is paying?

The SKWAWKBOX has learned that centrists across the country are conducting a centrally-coordinated campaign to prepare to fight deselection, even before the deadline for them to inform the Labour Party whether they want to stand again has expired.

Centrist MPs from north to south are sending text messages to local members – but not to all of them. And the wording of the texts is identical, except for the details of the MP and constituency:

The texts have almost exclusively been sent to less experienced or established members or to those less well known as left-wingers in each local party. There is no option to respond ‘no’ to the question – only to say ‘yes’ or to opt out.

GDPR/funding issues

A number of members with experience of data protection have pointed out that these unsolicited text messages – on the MPs’ personal business rather than official party matters – raise serious concerns under GDPR data laws. As well as being unsolicited they appear to have been sent from some central system, meaning that members’ data has been shared to a central database without their consent.

The syntax of the text – “July 8th” rather than “8th July” or similar – might be coincidence, but may also suggest that data has been sent out of the country, to a location that uses US-format dates.

In addition, no information is available about who is paying for the system and messages.


Centrist MPs are clearly concerned that the prospects of their deselection are concrete – and are clearly trying to bank support long and harvest data before the formal trigger process begins.

So much is to be expected. But the manner in which they are doing so suggests the same kind of contempt for data laws and the rights of members that has characterised right-wing campaigns such as Gerard Coyne’s attempt to oust Corbyn supporter Len McCluskey from the head of the Unite union with data provided by the campaign organisations of other right-wingers, judged a breach of data protection by the Information Commissioners Office.

The revelation of these tactics should increase the likelihood of centrist MPs being deselected, if it becomes well known.

Left members organising for selection battles becomes more essential by the day.

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  1. Did they appear to be from the local MP’s account, or from a central address?
    Were they sent at the same date / time (or close)?
    Had they been reported, or just weaponised?

    1. Has anyone else not been getting emails from their CLP recently?
      Not sure if it’s related to boundary changes or a lefty-ish Corbyn-supporting response from me to my Co-op MP’s questionnaire, or his supporters wanting to avoid lefties deselecting him – but it’s also possible that I may have unsubscribed in a geriatric fit of pique at something or other…
      It wouldn’t be the first time 🙂

      1. ps No emails from Branch either but with a Co-op MP I haven’t been active.
        If there’s going to be a vote on deselecting him though I’ll definitely want to be there.

      2. Oh heck. I’d always assumed the issues with the new email system were just ineptitude and/or poor programming. Could the seemingly totally inexplicable exclusions actually be deliberate?!?

  2. I did wonder if this was part of Tom Watson’s schooling in how to avoid deselection, as I received the same text from my MP, exactly the same wording, but without the 8th July date.

    1. Yes seems to ride a coach and horses through data protection act and may be a criminal offence?
      NEC should contact CLPs ASAP telling them to put the trigger option to the members by Sept 2019 by latest and candidates to be selected before 31 Oct 2019 (pencilled in Brexit Day).
      Tories with DUP only have a majority of 3 and GE could come at any time.

    2. The text doesn’t offer the option, or anticipate that reply, but has anyone tried responding with a big fat “NO?”
      I don’t know of any way for the sender to prevent that in a text.

  3. Makes me wonder if our left wing mps realise the secrets that their colleagues are keeping whilst they walk the corridors of Westminster blissfully unaware of the plotters around them?Not a whisper have we heard and that is worrying.Loyal party members have gone on a database and put together for what purpose.If laws have been broken we need to know urgently.Staff at HQ maybe can help us to trackdown the criminals that have set up an illegal database.The record’s are kept of party members at HQwe need an Investigation ASAP.Which clowns on here said only yesterday we were wasting our time and so much hot air by constantly going on about the treacherous dogs,?…Looks like we’ve all been desperately worried for good reason..We all know that the security services keep records of what they consider extremists We need to know urgently .I have no doubt that my name as been on an intelligence database for years due to my activity with the cival rights movment in the 1960S in N Ireland,questions by the special branch,job refusals,We sometimes are hounded because of our veiws,but we do need to wake up to the damage done by traitors in our party.

  4. ……….& if Chris Williamson’s membership of the Labour Party is still ‘re-suspended’ until after 8th July?

    1. Just who’s controlling the fiasco of chris Williamson suspension.double quick to suspend and we need double quick justice to lift the suspension!

      1. In reply to your question about who is controlling the Chris Williamson fiasco, I’ll hazard a guess that it’s Twatson.

        Chris is popular with the members and has been touted as a candidate to stand against Twatson for the deputy leadership. Then he was suspended, readmitted then re-suspended after a letter signed by the right wing mob. Who’s name was first on the list of signatures? You’ve guessed it – Tom Watson.

        This has Twatsons prints all over it. He’s protecting his own position because he knows he will lose the deputy leadership if Chris Williamson stands against him.

      2. I’m concerned about the way the whole suspension of Chris has been handled. No matter if you agree or disagree with him, he is entitled to a process that anyone in the workplace would expect in such situations. A lynch mob of MP’s and clapped out Lords & Ladies is not the way to go. I believe some where emboldened by Jenny’s absence due to ill health and it needs someone just as strong in her absence remind the PLP that they’d be up in arms if it happened to them. Deselection is the only way to get rid of this rabble.

  5. Could anyone point me to a good link to the steps required to instigate the formal trigger processes for each MP? Is the process automatic now, or do we have to request that it is insticated?

    I’ve asked my local CLP for one (I’m in Peter Kyle’s Hove), but have not had a reply yet. We’ve still got the delegate system here which may effect things. Thanks in advance. I’m hoping the acceptance won’t just be waved through for him here – our branch meeting is tomorrow, but agendas have still not been sent out.

    1. Good luck with that Adrian ….You may get a lashback from kyle supporters,but you will need the support of at least one branch in your CLP but do check,I am an old man waiting to see my lifes ambition…..A democratic socialist Labour party elected for the first time in my lifetime before I pop my clogs.Youve got Russell moyle so now we need to give a true socialist a chance by removing Kyle the traitors favourite. Pin up boy!

  6. Even LabourList readers want Chris Williamson readmitted.

    1. Do you believe that Chris Williamson should be readmitted to Labour?
    Yes – 61.3% (6,169)
    No – 31% (3,117)
    Don’t know – 7.8% (780)

    2. Should Labour have an independent complaints procedure?
    Yes – 73.8% (7,429)
    No – 17.0% (1,710)
    Don’t know – 9.2% (927)

    1. Steve H thanks for the info,and I am staggered that31%of even Labour list readers cannot see the injustice of the charges against chris Williamson?… I wondered why I felt nauseated by that one woman band publication… Now I know!

      1. Joseph OKEEFE 02/07/2019 at 6:12 pm

        one woman band publication…

        As opposed to this one man band publication – grow up.

  7. When considering triggering, members should bear in mind that within the Labour Party there is a massive problem and it is not with anti-Semitism it is with Zionism.

    As long as the Labour Party leader, or any of our political party leaders for that matter, keeps their head down and stays quiet about the atrocities committed by Israel and the colonisation of Palestine, all is well.

    Virtually every Tory is a Zionist, including all their Leaders, therefore they play ball with Israel and keep any criticisms low key and consequently are left alone.

    The Labour Party is different to all the other Parties in so far as we have tens of thousands of members who will NOT keep quiet about those atrocities and when we have a Leader such as Jeremy Corbyn who speaks with us, the whole apparatus of the Israeli State as shown by “The Lobby” documentary comes down upon us.

    If we are to be a Party of integrity and be able to criticise murderous regimes wherever they are we must have MPs who we can trust and defend them when they are attacked. We have seen the disgusting spectacle of fellow MPs attacking Chris Williamson for daring to speak the truth. We must defend him and get rid of those MPs who are now showing their true Zionist colours or face the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn not becoming our next PM and revert back to a Blairite Zionist Party.

  8. Jack T, I think most of us here fully understand that the Z word carries no inherent antisemitism – but the fact that the far right IS antisemitic and habitually SPITS the word out makes some of us wary of being tarred with the same brush.
    If refraining from using the word feels like a concession too far that’s your choice of course.

    1. David, if Jewish groups such as the JVP and FSOI are not afraid to openly criticise Zionism we should support them and not be constrained by what the right wing does or says.

      Zionism, the hate that dare not speak its name – but we should.

      1. I think David makes a very important point, that expresses, more succinctly something similar to my own concerns, as commented on, in some detail in the “Vaz Nonsense…” thread. I don’t want to dilute, or Hijack David’s point by reiterating my comments here.

        Suffice it to say, that the LP manifesto, whether we like it or not, has a conciliatory response to a Zionist objective, in that it supports a two party state. There are LP supporting Jews, and there are Jews on the verge of joining and those on the verge of leaving. It is in this context that I think David is right when he urges some caution with the word.

        I’m not sure that I agree with totally refraining, from using it (if I did, I know that RH would be all over me again!). I gave Red Veg a” like” for their comment 11/0611 31, partly because the reference to “Zionist forces” was deployed in a context and style that made its intentions clear. However, making a decontextualised, campaigning slogan out of the word is another story altogether and in my view carries every kind of risk, most importantly, the one that David refers to.

      2. Apologies for mangled Red Veg date reference, which should read: 30/062019 11:31

      3. Paulo, this tactic of tip toeing around using the word ‘Zionism’ has self evidently failed and Zionists count on it to stifle debate. We need to call a spade a spade as the Jewish Voice For Peace does.

        Why talk in hushed tones about a ruthless enemy? Carrying on like that pleases the Zionsts and attracts more attacks. Name me another group which strikes the same fear into the Labour Party?

      4. RedVeg wasn’t tiptoeing around and I fully endorsed their use of the word and comment. There’s an abundance of critical comment on the JVL site; it has never set off any alarm bells for me. Your sloganising does.

    2. Zionism is a political choice and a political power base.We should never be afraid to use the word any more than socialist Tory or any other political affiliation.its non religions jews who have been nowhere near a synagogue and political Zionists who are orchestrating the attacks carried out by Watson fanatics and the Labour friends of Israel who do most of the Legwork.and most of the damage.If you want it to stop we walk away from Palestine and . Corbyn and aceppt a clearout of socialism in the Labour party……..We did not fight a war to allow tyreny of a foreign country to tell us who are Leaders should be and our support of the Palestinian state and that
      applys to the current Israeli government and the USA. ….

      1. “If you want it to stop we walk away from Palestine…”
        Joseph, that wouldn’t stop any of it – wouldn’t even slow it down.
        This would be happening even if Israel wasn’t paying people to make shit up – because it’s not even about AS – it’s about neoliberals hanging on to the Big Bang gravy train.
        You think Tories actually care about Israel? About antisemitism? Islamophobia? About any other variety of ‘W*g’?
        Tories are the heirs of imperialist England and they still see everything on the other side of the Channel, with the possible exception of Tuscany and the Dordogne, as ‘W*gland’.
        I’ve seen and heard them in their ‘safe space’ – the Conservative Club – and it’s not pleasant.
        If Tories gave a fuck about ‘abroad’ they wouldn’t bomb it and they wouldn’t have threatened it with an economy-destabilising, legs-open, mother of all tax havens on its doorstep.

        AS is just a tool – a distraction from the real issues – whenever confronted with the BBC Noose “What about AS” our MPs should respond every time with “Broadcast ‘The Lobby’. THEN I’ll discuss it. Until then there are OTHER Tory lies your viewers need to be aware of, LIKE x… LIKE y… & LIKE z.”
        Got to start banging fists on desks.

  9. These MPs lobbying for their careers are the people who called us, the membership, scum, dogs Trots ,anti semites, bullies etc. Now having realised that they are dependent on us for their well paid jobs and all the perks that go with them they are desperately trying to ensure they are reselected – won’t happen. In their arrogance they bit the hand that fed them and now will have to face the consequences .

    1. Somones seriously off kilter! The Guardian publishing the truth? yes you’re right heads will roll!

    2. Whenever, The Guardian’s news desk, or editorial, or opinion columns reach the point where even the average subscriber is likely to feel that credibility has reached its limit, there are tiny moments of “balance” like this – all part of their strategy I suspect. Extraordinary to find it on the comments page though, I agree.

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