Excl: Labour’s supposed ‘crackdown on ‘whistleblowers’ before Panorama was sent 3 months ago

Lawyers’ letter published as evidence of Labour ‘crackdown’ in preparation for this weeks BBC ‘documentary’ by reporter with well-documented bias – but was sent in April

Last night, a Murdoch Times journalist tweeted an ‘exclusive’ that Labour had ‘launched a crackdown on whistleblowers’ in the run-up to this week’s ‘bombshell’ BBC documentary claiming to examine whether the Labour Party is antisemitic:

The documentary, by a former BBC reporter with well-attested political issues with Labour, is expected to be a regurgitation of the very same allegations made by the Times based on leaks by disgruntled former staff.

The supposed evidence for this ‘crackdown’ was a letter sent by legal firm Carter Ruck on behalf of the Labour Party to former senior employee Sam Matthews.

The letter warns Mr Matthews that Labour believes Matthews is responsible for a number of ‘selective’ and misleading leaks to media – which are not covered by laws about protected whistleblowing – and gives him until “within seven days of the date of this letter” to respond to the letter’s requirements:

The ‘exclusive’ and the accompanying tweet imply that Labour has taken this action when the Panorama programme was imminent, as a defensive action. The tweet led to the predictable and potentially coordinated campaign of smears against Labour’s attempts to ‘cover up’ antisemitism.

However, while the letter unequivocally refers to a date, no date is visible. An area at the top of the first page has been blocked out:

The SKWAWKBOX can exclusively reveal that, far from being sent as the Panorama documentary grew imminent, it was sent to Matthews around three months ago, in April.

Yet the letter has appeared only now, misleadingly presented.

Whistleblowers are protected for disclosing information, but only if they make the disclosure to an appropriate party – an employer, a legal firm for advice, or a ‘prescribed’, usually statutory, body – but it must be one with recognised responsibility for the issue reported:

SKWAWKBOX view:

Non-disclosure agreements are entirely routine when senior employees leave an organisation. Whistleblower protection laws limit the type of body that the information can be given to. These basics have been ignored in this misrepresented story as the attacks on the Labour Party and its key staff continue.

‘Whistleblowers’ also do not get to destroy information at their former employer’s office to hinder them in dealing with problems and then leak to the media. This happened in the case of departing right-wing staff who, before quitting, shredded thousands of documents relating to disciplinary cases.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

20 responses to “Excl: Labour’s supposed ‘crackdown on ‘whistleblowers’ before Panorama was sent 3 months ago

  1. My expulsion letter was signed by the one and same Sam Matthews; the evidence presented to show that I was a supporter of the “Communist Party” (which communist party not specified) was a Facebook post where I explained that I had left the French Communist Party in order to be eligible to join Labour International for the purposes of supporting Jeremy Corbyn against the coup plotters.

    I’m minded of Ewan McColl’s song about scabs in 1984/5 and left wondering whether perhaps Sam Matthews was working for somebody else:

    “Daddy, what did you do in the strike? Did you stand beside your mates and join the fight? Or did you show a yellow belly, spill your guts out on the telly; did you let the bosses fill you full of shite?”

    • Labrebisgalloise…I did not realise communism was illegal!especially when the Labour party are socialist.I don’t want a lecture on the difference because communism has given much to the socialist movment.The difference between us is we will prevail were human nature fails.

  2. Labour’s machinery is in complete dissaray because they are running scared of the Isreali Lobby some of whom are in the ‘works’ and Labour is terrified to upset them. Gordon Nardell who I have had some less than satisfactory dealings with was brought in to help sort out the mess and has now resigned.

    Surely there is someone at Southside who can see the problem clearly and has the courage to deal with it before Labour implodes.

    • You need psychiatric help with your serious personal obsession with “Zionism” (or is it just Jews ?) , Jack T. Not every, or even most, Right Wing shit-stirring in our Party is in any way connected with Israel or Zionism. It’s about a much wider set of Left versus Right Labourism political issues and corrupt careerism issues – which “Corbynism” seriously threatens. It is of course possible that your constant diversionary “beware the Zionists in our midst” rants are not about a personal psychosis – but just an attempt to divert attention to the bigger issue of the corruption and neoliberal politics of the Labour Right.

      • JPenny,

        It would seem its you that has issues with ‘Zionism’, given no where in Jack T’s post is any reference to Zionism. He has, quite correctly, noted the corrosive effect of the Israeli Lobby within the Labour Party, specifically LFI & JLM. Alas, and unlike our cousins in the USA, best not mention the Israeli Lobby, which according to some does not exist – if we cannot confront truth and reality I’m afraid to say the Party is buggered.

      • “Not every, or even most, Right Wing shit-stirring in our Party is in any way connected with Israel or Zionism.”

        Uh? If you can’t join up these dots, I think that there’s little chance of finding your arse using both hands.

        The two issues are not ‘the same’ – but there is a clear overlap between the interests of the right-wing Israel lobby and the domestic right – and anyone who is more than semi-conscious would recognize the mucky fingerprints of both interests in the attacks on Labour.

        FFS!

    • My CLP had it’s monthly meeting on Friday and for the first time, to my knowledge, without any help from me, there were calls to remove the LFI and JLM from the Party and not before time.

    • Appropriate that and sorry to divert things a bit but just received-

      Subject: Questions for the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM)

      Dear friends,

      We were in touch when you signed ‘After the Gaza massacre: call for an immediate two-way arms embargo between UK and Israel’. We hope you will endorse the ‘Questions for the Jewish Labour Movement’ (JLM) which we will soon be posting about its position on the leadership of the Labour Party.

      The JLM, an affiliate of the Labour Party, said publicly on 7 April that in an election they will not support Jeremy Corbyn or any Labour candidate who accepts his leadership. We think people have a right to know this, as the implications are wide.

      We hope that you will endorse these questions and circulate them widely. Please say if you are signing as an individual or for an organisation.

      You can contact us on QuestionsForJLM@yahoo.com or Facebook

      Warmest regards,

      Sara Callaway, Pete Firmin, Owen Holland, Selma James, Michael Kalmanovitz, Nina Lopez, Sam Weinstein, Aurora Yaacov

      Initial signatories
      Dr. Swee Ang
      Dr. Haim Bresheeth
      Dr. Ghada Karmi
      Emeritus professor Moshe Machover
      Ian Macdonald QC
      Leon Rosselson
      Alexei Sayle
      Avi Shlaim, FBA
      Asa Winstanley

      QUESTIONS FOR THE JEWISH LABOUR MOVEMENT (JLM)

      The JLM’s AGM on 7 April 2019 passed resolutions denouncing the leadership of the Labour Party and the Labour Party itself. This is extraordinary coming from an organisation affiliated to the Labour Party. We therefore have some questions to ask the JLM and their supporters.

      The JLM passed resolutions that said:

      the Labour Party is institutionally antisemitic;
      the leadership of the Labour Party have demonstrated that they are antisemitic; and Jeremy Corbyn is therefore unfit to be prime minister and a Labour government led by him would not be in the interest of British Jews.
      …[we] withhold endorsement, support or campaign time from any candidate who is not an ally in the fight against antisemitism in the Labour Party…

      Q
      In the Peterborough by-election in May, the JLM decided not to campaign for Labour parliamentary candidate Lisa Forbes, and after she won you called for her to have the whip suspended immediately. Does that mean that you were so opposed to her election that you did not care who was elected instead? Undermining the Labour candidate enhanced the chances of the Brexit party, led by an extreme right-winger who has connections with the antisemitic racist right in Europe. Would you have preferred the Brexit candidate to be elected?

      Q
      Is the JLM in favour of the Labour Party manifesto which Corbyn’s leadership has produced, against austerity, for re-nationalisation and an ethical foreign policy?

      Q
      When there is a general election, what other party would the JLM encourage Jewish people to vote for, or would you propose that Jewish people abstain from voting? Would the JLM tell people not to vote Labour, allowing the possibility of a racist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, pro-austerity, extremist right wing Tory prime minister?

      There is an increasing threat of war against Iran by the US, backed by Israel and Saudi Arabia. A Corbyn government would ensure that Britain uses its power to deflate such a horrendous possibility and would not back such a war.

      Q
      Would the JLM support the Corbyn-led anti-war Party or support this highly dangerous promotion of war?

      The Al Jazeera documentary, The Lobby, revealed that leading members of the JLM was working with Israeli agent Shai Masot based at the Israeli embassy, who was plotting to “take down” Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan and discredit the then chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Crispin Blunt for disagreeing with Israel’s policies towards Palestinians.

      The then chair of the JLM, Jeremy Newmark, was filmed at the 2016 Labour Party conference in a meeting with Masot and Israel’s ambassador to the UK Mark Regev discussing how to undermine Party members’ support for Palestine.

      In undercover footage, Ella Rose, then director of JLM, now Equalities Officer, defended the JLM’s relationship with Masot saying she knew him “very well” and that she had worked with him when she was a public affairs officer at the Israeli embassy. She admitted that the JLM brought an Israeli delegation to the conference on behalf of the embassy.

      Q
      In the light of this we have to ask what is the relationship between the JLM and the Israeli embassy in London?

      Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry called for an investigation into the apparent Israeli interference exposed by Al Jazeera.

      Q
      Does the JLM support such an investigation?

      The JLM website states:

      In addition to the UK Labour Party, the Jewish Labour Movement is also affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation of the UK, and organise within the World Zionist Organisation alongside our sister party in Israel, Havodah – the Israeli Labor Party . . .

      According to the UN, the World Zionist Organisation was allocated $35 million by Israel to fund and organise Israeli settlements on Occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law. The Zionist Federation of the UK demonstrated in support of the 2014 bombing of Gaza where over 2,000 Palestinian civilians were killed, including 500 children. The Board of Deputies of British Jews attempted to justify the widely condemned intentional killing of unarmed Palestinians by the Israeli military during the Great March of Return. So far this has resulted in 277 killed, including 52 children, media, medical personnel and disabled people, and 28,000 wounded and deliberately disabled.

      Q
      We see no references to these tragedies on the JLM website: how do you explain being affiliated to these organisations which defend illegal incursions into Palestinian land and life, and the organised murder and maiming of unarmed civilians?

      Isaac Herzog, while leader of the JLM’s ‘sister party’ the Israeli Labor Party (ILP) stated his apartheid view to: “separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible . . . We want to . . . complete the barrier that separates us.” Last year he stated that intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews is a “plague”. ILP leader Gabbay has said: “the Arabs have to be afraid of us” and “We will not share a government with the [Arab majority party] Joint List, period.”, and joined the racists in trying to legislate for 35,000 African asylum seekers to be either deported or indefinitely incarcerated.

      Q
      Has the JLM challenged these views?

      The JLM’s no-confidence resolution in Jeremy Corbyn also says:

      Solidarity for those less fortunate than us or who suffered discrimination or injustice are both Jewish and Labour values.

      Q
      Yet the JLM seems to focus only on antisemitism in the Labour Party and has little to say about antisemitism by other political parties, even by the far right. Other forms of racism, including Islamophobia, and discrimination and injustice, such as the hostile immigration environment are rarely mentioned. Can you say why this is so?

      The JLM AGM also attacked other Labour organisations, including a Jewish organisation:

      CLPD [Campaign for Labour Party Democracy], LRC [Labour Representation Committee] and JVL [Jewish Voice for Labour] are a malign influence in the Labour Party.

      One of the JLM’s ‘values’ is: To promote the centrality of Israel in Jewish life . . .

      Q
      The JLM often refer to ‘the Jewish community’ as if Jewish people are of one mind and whose political views you represent; at the same time you attack a Jewish organisation. How can you justify this?

      Since you consider the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn institutionally antisemitic and therefore claim he is ‘unfit’ to govern, are we right to assume that you stay in the Labour Party to prevent it becoming the government?

  3. What is clear is it is a fight to the death,
    Make sure if the law has been broken individuals are prosecuted and where vexatious claims have been made kick them out
    What a complete and utter bunch of scumbags these centrists are!

  4. jpenney I think it is you and not Jack T who is obsessed. Whats with the unjustified personal attack? This is a place to express differing opinions, whereas all you did was attack. I do believe that there are those in the labour party pro Zionist and/ or centrist/ ‘moderates’ that will do anything in their power to get rid of Corbyn, including using antisemitism as a weapon because they adhere to their neo-liberal ideologies. I am speaking of Tom Watson, Jess Phillips, Luciana Berger, Ruth Smeeth, Joan Ryan and Hodges to name a few. Most if not all of these also belong to Labour Friends of Israel.

  5. AAAAAAAnyways, back to the topic; is it not Matthews’ address that has been redacted? I always thought the date goes on the right hand side of a letter; or on the left, with a line’s gap below the address.

    An address usually consists of three or sometimes four lines, and a postcode making an extra line.

    (House number/name and name of street)
    (Town/City)
    (County)
    (Country – If applicable/necessary)
    [Postcode]

    That redacted part looks like three lines only, so if there IS a redacted date in there, it’s fairly sloppy writing from the country’s foremost libel lawyers.

    • You make a somewhat tenuous point regarding what you consider should be the correct arrangement of the address and date on the letter.

      Does not the fact that the offending articles that the letter refers to were both published on 5th March 2019 suggest something? Is it likely that the Labour Party instructed its lawyers to take action against the publication of these damaging breaches of confidentiality months after they appeared rather than as soon as party procedures would permit? Was it not in the interests of the LP to stop the leaking of confidenial information as soon a possible rather than take no action at all for several months or else why did bother to take any action at all after such a time lapse and the damage long done? Were there not any recent breaches of confidentiality after March 2019 that could have been cited?

      Finally If the letter which deals with matters that occured in the first week of March this year was sent as recently as has been suggested describing it as a “crackdown” as apparently these journalists have done is quite laughable.

  6. Anyone know when the Panorama programme on Conservative Islamophobia goes out?

    Anyone…?

  7. This makes VERY interesting reading. Sam Mathews was in charge when my membership of Labour was suspended, and also when details of Labour’s case against me (such as it was) were leaked to a Sunday Times reporter named Gabriel Pogrund – the same Gabriel Pogrund who used this letter to Sam Mathews as evidence of a Labour crackdown against whistleblowers.

    It seems to me that Mr Mathews may have been pursuing his own agenda throughout his time in charge of Labour’s disciplinary process. As Labour has demanded information on what was divulged to third parties, I will be getting in touch – to find out whether Mr Mathews was responsible for the publication of the allegations against me. Of course this would have prejudiced my case in the most serious way.

  8. Be careful when writing about whistle-blowing. It is indeed the law that protected disclosures can only be made to relevant authorities, but that is highly contentious. Many people believe that disclosures to the media SHOULD be protected, when employers and agencies are likely if not certain to be hostile abnd obstructive. Skwawkbox does not want to be on the side of vindictive employers I hope!

  9. Gordon Brown 2019:

    “We should automatically expel – and not just suspend – in cases where there is irrefutable evidence of antisemitism or any kind of racism.”

    Gordon Brown’s Conference speech 24 September 2007:

    Andrew Rawnsley:

    “In the most shameless section, he implied that immigrants were the main cause of drug dealing and crime. They would be thrown out. For that excursion into Tebbitry, he was rewarded with the endorsement of the retired Tory polecat. In an ugly phrase that would come to haunt him Brown, he talked of ‘British jobs for British workers’

    This was a slogan of the BNP and a promise that could not be kept unless Britain left the European Union”.

    “The End of the Party: The Rise and Fall of New Labour” by Andrew Rawnsley (Viking 2010) hardback edition, p502.

    What a truly sickening hypocrite this man is.

  10. Arnt they all comrade just wonder how we have had to put up with these traitors for so long

Leave a Reply to Itsa Witch-hunt Cancel reply