Analysis comment

‘Vile’ Watson accused of breaching Equality Act in ‘harassment’ of Formby

Labour deputy leader’s behaviour described as ‘vile’ by Labour colleagues – and in contravention of law
Tom Watson and Jennie Formby

Tom Watson has been accused of a ‘vile’ – and potentially illegal – attack on Labour’s general secretary, Jennie Formby.

In spite of widespread derision of the BBC’s shambolic Panorama programme, which has been shown to have edited quoted emails, misrepresented discussions and omitted vital context from its ‘hatchet-job’ against Labour last night, Watson has persisted in treating it as credible – and as a platform for a concerted attack on Formby.

Watson wrote a letter to Formby demanding that she publish Labour’s response to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission – and the letter was promptly leaked to hostile media.

But it subsequently emerged that Formby had given the entire Shadow Cabinet an update on the response – and took time out from chemotherapy to do so – yet Watson asked no questions. Not only that, but she had also offered to meet him in person to provide him with the party’s response. Watson had not even asked questions during the Shadow Cabinet meeting:


A senior Labour MP told the SKWAWKBOX:

Watson’s behaviour toward Jennie has been awful and this latest episode is absolutely vile. For him to grandstand at her expense when she’s battling cancer is just unforgivable.

Ms Formby has been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer for some time and has provided some information on her condition and treatment, to encourage others facing cancer and to support the NHS.

Not a one-off

Watson’s behaviour toward the party’s general secretary is not a one-off. He has been rebuked by both female parliamentary colleagues and a woman councillor in his local area for his abusive conduct.

In February, Watson was severely chastised on the same day by Labour front-benchers Dawn Butler and Emily Thornberry for posturing and disrespect toward Formby and her team, after he tried to seize control of Labour’s disciplinary processes.

Formby herself was forced to issue a stern rebuke to Watson over the issue, which would have put the party at risk of unlimited fines for breaching GDPR data protection laws and threatened the outcome in antisemitism complaints.

The West Midlands MP was also publicly challenged by a senior local councillor in his home borough of Sandwell. Yvonne Davies, who said that Watson had also made her own life ‘a misery’, said:

[I] think his issue with Jennie Formby is that she’s a woman and she’s crossed him. How he can criticise anyone for their performance when he’s been such a terrible deputy leader is beyond me.

Watson’s repeated attacks on Formby have also formed the basis for a string of hit-pieces in the hostile media.

But Labour insiders say that his persistent targeting has put him at risk of legal sanction – for breaching equalities law.

Equality Act

The 2010 Equality Act defends people in a number of ‘protected’ categories from targeted abuse or harassment, including disabled people, who qualifies because:

You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

And the Act is explicit that this categories includes all cancer sufferers from the moment their condition is diagnosed:

Tom Watson has been well aware of Ms Formby’s condition – yet has continued to specifically target her with ‘vile’ behaviour.

Labour sources have told the SKWAWKBOX that they believe Watson’s conduct toward Jennie Formby has contravened this legislation. One said:

Tom wants anyone accused of contravening the Equality Act in their behaviour toward Jewish people to be auto-excluded [automatically expelled] – and by his own definition, he deserves to be kicked out himself.

He constantly targets her for criticism and makes public demands of her that he knows she can’t meet without breaking data laws. It’s harassment and I think he’s targeting her because he thinks she’s vulnerable.

Senior Labour MPs and officials have publicly echoed this sentiment:

Sadly, while right-wing back-benchers rallied to pregnant MP Ellie Reeves last week and said they would not ‘allow’ her to be democratically deselected by members, there appears to have been no such solidarity on their part with Jennie Formby.

However, if a complaint about Watson was made under the Equality Act, professionals in employee protection say that, subject to legal advice, he might be found in breach – and could even be dismissed as a result. Employers under the legislation have a duty to protect cancer sufferers and other disabled people from harassment or discrimination as a result of their condition.

Tom Watson was contacted for comment but did not respond.

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  1. I don’t like to use the words and rarely do – but Watson is a poisonous little cunt who needs to be dealt with pronto. I think, sadly, we’ve reached the point where it’s either us or them.

    1. ” I think, sadly, we’ve reached the point where it’s either us or them.”

      As an outsider I think it has been that way since Corbyn was elected as leader but many believed they could change hearts and minds and agree on policy and democratise the party. It was never going to happen when you are dealing with political ideologues and extremists that have few political morals and no political integrity.

  2. Watson is a psychopath, and all psychopaths have a fascist mindset. They are not ONLY completely devoid of empathy and a conscience, but they are in fact sadistic and, as such, literally get a buzz off of tormenting people and causing them stress and/or distress. They are bullies to the core, and just as there is anti-matter, THEY are anti-human.

    1. Too right……Allan Howard I have said just such an observation myself regarding his mental capacity and what has to be done.Watson’s sickness can’t be cured and he along with any psychopath will damage those around him.It might be noted than Tom revels in causing distress and pain to those on the receiving end of is attacks ….I note squawkey have suggested a solution and I hope we all will send a registered letter and e email to nail this malignant animal!

      1. If the letters fail then I’ve got this fearsome black box with two electrodes. One for each ear. There’s two switches; On/Off & Poached/Fried.

    2. Ah well, if he ends up getting booted out of the party, he can always go and work for the DWP! 😀

    3. watson ISN’T a psychopath.

      He’s a morally defunct shithouse who thinks the world revolves around him.

      But because it’s evident nobody in the party has the cojones to front him and put in a challenge the slimy bastard mistakes his not needing to go for reelection, for inconsequential autonomy.

      In essence, he’s nowt but a comical little Napoleon… But without the ‘comical’; oh, and change ‘Napoleon’ for ‘Shithouse’.

      What that says for the rest of the party…😕

      1. Oh, he’s a psychopath all right Toffee! Deceitful, devious and duplicitous and totally corrupt.

  3. Then call him an *asshole*, or some term that doesn’t use coarse words relating to the female anatomy. We are talking about an article about a woman with an illness. Or *pun* on his name TWat-son [although twat means something different in different areas of the country]. I always like “a wart on the backside of humanity” myself 🙂

    1. I think of him as a swollen, throbbing abscess on the same location – or possibly a bowel fistula – even more unpleasant.

    2. Jan Brooker – I apologise for my intemperate language but if you’ve worked in a shipyard or on a building site as I have, no other word carries the same force: hopefully, as my generation dies out, our language will become more forgiving and less offensive to women. I live in France these days and the word “con” is far more more ubiquitous here and used freely by both men and women. In even commoner usage is the derivative “connerie,” which means bullshit.

  4. So someone make a Fucking complaint! His behaviour is harassment and bullying and in my view misogynistic How dare he???

  5. What on earth will you do when we have killed brexshit? Who will you apologise to? (I say “we”, I’m a lifetime Labour voter and a Europhile.But I can’t vote for a leave party. Prove you aren’t one?)

    1. Bigger fish to fry my son…..chris lovett talk about off message.Just look around you unless we deal with Watson their will be no party for you to not vote for or winge about……Go to bed sunshine you will feel better tomorrow?

      1. I don’t have too much of an issue with OT comments normally, being one of the guilty – but that one seemed really incongruous, didn’t it? 🙂

  6. I put the following post together in the early hours of this morning (which is now yesterday morning), but I didn’t post it in the ‘Panorama hatchet-job’ thread because most people wouldn’t have got to see it (having already checked the thread out), so here it is:

    So I’m just watching the Panorama program again (I recorded it precisely so that I COULD), and it starts with a young woman saying that whilst she was handing out leaflets at a party conference, someone came up to her and screamed abuse in her face. It’s always good to get viewers ’emotionalised’ at the outset! And NO!, I DON’T believe for one millisecond that it happened AND that someone attending a party conference would do that. And then shortly afterwards, a young Jewish guy says “Since 2015 it’s been soul-destroying being a member of the Labour Party and Jewish”, and then goes on to say that “Jewish members across the Labour Party don’t know what to do….. no-one knows what to do”. I have no doubt whatsoever that HE is lying too! And then shortly after THAT, there’s another young guy who says “I am heart-broken and disgusted that the party I joined over a decade ago is now institutionanally racist”. Well we ALL know that THAT’S a load of codswallop and, as such, a Big Lie, and in true Josef Goebbels fashion.

    And WHO should happen to pop up next! YES, your friend and mine, Iain McNicol, who has done SO much for the Corbyn project! What a joke. What a giveaway!

    Funny, isn’t it, how there’s Jewish Voice for Labour, and Jewdas, and thousands of OTHER Jewish LP members who who have never had a single bad experience in the LP, hundreds of whom have written letters to that effect, saying they fully support Jeremy Corbyn and feel completely safe and at home in the Labour Party.

    Anyway, next in line (and the first to be actually named) is Dave Rich, who I’ve not heard of before and, as such, did a search to see what came up. Turns out he’s the head of policy for the Community Security Trust (which I AM familiar with) and has written a book (presumably in the past three years or so) about anti-semitism on the left, entitled ‘The Left’s Jewish Problem’ (aha, I just checked, and I see that it was published in 2016 – very quick off the mark! – and then an updated edition published in September 2018). Anyway, I’m only FIVE minutes into the program so far, and would no doubt end up writing a books-worth about the program at this rate, so I’m gonna leave it there for now, except to say that it was very upsetting to have these people saying at the end of the program how they ended up suffering with depression AND one guy saying how he was even contemplating suicide. So sad. IF you believe it that is! And I don’t believe a single word of it!

    The whole thing was choreographed from start to finish, including the ‘close-ups’ of Jeremy each time they had a clip of him saying something, and then jumping closer and closer. An exercise in black propaganda if ever there was one!

    1. Anyway, forgive my indulgence, but I (also) put the following together yesterday morning, as the dawn was dawning:

      It was of course predictable that the first example of ‘anti-semitism’ they would cover in the film would be the Ken Livingstone episode. And HOW did they decide/choose to cover it! By initially showing the attack on Ken by John Mann – ie the staged and totally contrived attack! Or are we supposed to believe that John Mann just happened to be there with a camera crew when Ken turned up! And whilst that clip is being shown, John Ware says the following (in a voice-over):

      ‘The former mayor of London Ken Livingstone has a history of false claims that Jews were in cahoots with Nazis in establishing Israel’.

      And then – having misrepresented what Ken actually said and told viewers that Ken’s ‘claim’ was ‘false’ – they then play a short excerpt from the radio interview (from the 28th March, 2016) – ie the now infamous bit where Ken says “Let’s remember that when Hitler won his election in 1932 [it was actually 1933] his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel” (in actual fact, the most oft-repeated and dissembled bit was Ken saying that “Hitler supported Zionism”, and that’s ALL). And then it cuts straight to a bit of film (from March 30th, 2017) where Ken is saying: ” …. so you had right up until the second world war, real collaboration…. and everyone who’s studied history knows this is true”, and then John Ware immediately says (in a voice-over): “In fact what historians know, is that this is a gross misreading of history, and one that’s deeply offensive to Jews”. But needless to say, Ware omits to mention just WHY it’s offensive to Jews. And no-one ever has of course in all the hundreds of articles written and published since the radio interview and in which Ken is vilified and condemned. You’ve heard of mind over matter, well here you have falsehood over truth/reality!

      And you can be 101% certain – and beyond any shadow of doubt – that John Ware (and whoever else was involved in producing this vile and despicable black propaganda fairytale) AND the former staff members who then throw in their tuppence worth of B/S about Ken, ALL knew that Ken was alluding to The Haavara Agreement – The Transfer Agreement – of August 1933, which led to the lifting of the Zionist boycott of Nazi Germany. There are dozens of results that come up if you do a web search for The Haavara Agreement, and the following is an excerpt from the beginning of the wikipedia entry on the topic:

      ‘The Haavara Agreement was an agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews signed on 25 August 1933. The agreement was finalized after three months of talks by the Zionist Federation of Germany, the Anglo-Palestine Bank and the economic authorities of Nazi Germany. It was a major factor in making possible the migration of approximately 60,000 German Jews to Palestine in 1933–1939.’

      Can I suggest that we ALL email the BBC AND the Panorama team en masse, citing The Haavara Agreement and pointing out that this is what Ken was alluding to, in passing, in his radio interview with Vanessa Feltz, and asking them why John Ware accused Ken of making false claims, as such, AND to provide the names of some of the historians who regard what Ken said as a “gross misreading of history”, as John Ware claimed shortly afterwards, and to provide evidence that they did, AND why they did and what they said exactly. And WHY an historical fact would be deeply offensive to Jews, as John Ware ALSO claimed.

    2. Allan Howard……..Looking at that sick disgusting farce of a programme will no doubt damage you,and I am gratfull that we have people on here who analyse and dissect the rotton corpse of panorama to help us fight this cruel and vindictive scam of AS rampant in the Labour party.according to the BBC Tom Watson .and half the PLP.Now they have moved on to the increase in the members being down to an invasion of fascist Corbyn supporters.again and I repeat panorama can damage your health if you are a Labour party member.I have not watched it because of an inability to control my anger,same as watching my first Orange lodges march as a child,and asking my mum,Why do they hate us.She replied that “they are frightened of US”Time for a letter to the Equality commission I think regarding the gutless freaks attack on the general secretary.

    3. Not forgetting that one of the “traumatised” had been an employee at the Israeli embassy and was a friend of the “diplomat” who was involved in secret schemes to target British politicians, then hurriedly removed after he was outed.

    4. “it starts with a young woman saying that whilst she was handing out leaflets at a party conference, someone came up to her and screamed abuse in her face. ”

      Allan – Have you clocked who this ‘young woman’ was? Ref. ‘The Lobby’.

      (I’m relying on Jonathan Cook here, as I’ve not committed mental hari-kiri by watching the Panorama stitch-up. But I’d trust to him being correct)

  7. Watson is none of the crude terms being attributed to him. He is just an out and out Zionist, the accurate descriptive name which we are constantly told we should not use because it upsets guess who? Zionsts!

    We are led to believe that there are many forms of Zionism …. but ultimately they all boil down to Palestine being a place where Jews can experience self determination. Nothing wrong with that you may think but when they grab part of Palestine (now nearly all of it) call it Israel and then install an apartheid regime where Palestinians are second class occupants in their own land, I beg to differ.

    Watson supports this racist endeavor but Jeremy Corbyn along with probably 90% of LP members don’t support it.

    In the Blair era Zionists had the upper hand and because Blair Zionised the Party to such an extent, we still have the legacy of people such as Watson, Mann and Hodge et al who are fighting, kicking and screaming, to try and maintain their control and thereby protect apartheid Israel. Anyone such as Chris Williamson who dares to fight back is villified and demonised.

    Because it looks increasingly likely that Jeremy Corbyn will become PM in the near future, the heavily Zionist influenced BBC decided to do a hatchet job on him and the LP, by enlisting the help of Zionists within the Party such as Watson to carry out their operation.

    It’s pretty clear now that the BBC cannot be trusted to be impartial, certainly not balanced and therefore needs a radical overhaul.

  8. I think it goes deeper than the BBC itself Jack deciding to do a hatchet-job on Jeremy. Dark fascist forces are at work, and they have been for a long time.

  9. BBC website reporting Ms Formbys response headline her as “Corbyn ally criticises irresponsible Watson.” How insulting to reduce the General Secretary of the Labour Party to “Corbyn ally”and further proof,if any were needed of the mindset at the BBC.

    1. It’s not just the antisemitism smears. In relation to the current crisis in the Middle East the BBC news regularly refers to Iran ‘breaching’ the agreement, yet it refers to the US simply ‘pulling out’.

      1. That’s another good example of the subtle exploitation of words that, I think, is the most telling and insidious weapon of propagandised language.

        It happens all the time (take the unqualified use of the word ‘moderate’) and is the background drip-feed of mind control.

  10. In summary, this is harassment – because it is a dogged and concerted campaign – and also “trial by media”, the likes of which has now become a go-to option for Labour hard right squatters. Because they *can* and because the Corbyn-hating outlets are knocking each other out of the way to get their claws into stuff like this.

    Exactly 3 years ago today my MP Angela Eagle noticed a window around the corner from her constituency office had been smashed but ran to the media anyway, aided by her long-term friend Police & Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy. There followed a silly season summer of bogus accusations of homophobia, bullying and intimidation, and “Corbyn supporters” were deemed responsible for the piece of masonry through the communal window, which ended in then General Sec. (now Lord) McNicol suspending the Wallasey CLP for 18 months. For absolutely nothing.

    These callous bastards won’t stop until you are metaphorically dying or dead. Literally, suffering from breast cancer and being treated via chemotherapy won’t cut the mustard. When they scent blood, forget empathy, compassion or loyalty to the party, it’s curtains for you.

    1. “Exactly 3 years ago today my MP Angela Eagle noticed a window around the corner from her constituency office had been smashed”

      … then there was a parallel case of (I think) a synagogue window being broken. It immediately became an ‘antisemitic’ incident attributed to the climate created by Corbyn, even though the evidence indicated it to be nothing but ordinary vandalism.

      The examples are legion.

  11. It’s all very well these good socialist MPs supporting Jenny , BUT that means little unless they can turn it into positive action.
    Perhaps they should now be quietly and confidently gathering support of those other plp Mps who are intimidated by Watson and are too scared to do anything about it , to get behind a challenge candidate

    I know that our best candidate Chris Williamson has been neutralized by Watson but really any of the others critisising Watson today would do fine

  12. When I was first elected to the borough council,I was surprised at the number of gutless wonders who followed the show of hands and stuck their hands up on somthing they knew nothing about.They were not leaders in our community,just mindless,gutless followers and that is very much reflected in our Labour mps in parliament.Most of the cream of the Labour party have been thrown out and demonized ..We desperately need to get some of our comrades back into the party.We have appeased enough,and apologized too often.We need these blooded stars back in the Labour party and fight back using the communication available to inform the public.Democracy and freedom itself are fragile and we need to get our comrades back soon and 2fingers to the media and our treacherous enemys within the party.

  13. I’ve adapted a few songs which could be sung at Conference.
    (To the tune of ‘John Brown’s Body):
    ‘Solidarity to Jennie!
    Solidarity to Jennie!
    Solidarity to Jennie!
    And we want Tom Watson Out! Out! Out!’
    (And one I’ve adapted for an up and coming Union Univeral Credit Day of Action ‘based on Elvis Costello’s ‘Oliver’s Army’ and the chorus could make a good Labour GE anthem?)
    ‘Universal credit.
    Is driving some people mad.
    And it’s no laughing matter.
    When you’ve been sanctioned for a while.
    Univeral credit we should ditch.
    For many it’s making life a bitch!
    Chorus: Jeremy’s Army is on its way!
    Jeremy’s Army is here to stay!
    And we’d rather have Labour in!
    Than the Tories any day!
    (Repeat chorus).’
    X & Solidarity!

  14. Oops! Texting on a train!
    Second last line, last song:
    ‘And we would rather have Labour in!’
    That’s better.
    All together now!

  15. I couldn’t bare to watch the Panorama program, I knew it was going to be full of shite and I feared for the safety of my nice telly. I could write and complain to the BBC and I would emphasise that I am not a LP member. The Zionists held a demo ‘enough is enough’ (and got huge media coverage). What about a demo ‘I stand with Corbyn etc’ in London, perhaps outside the BBC studio? They will try to ignore it of course. Beware of provocations.

  16. Yes, it’s not particularly pleasant watching people lying through their teeth and conspiring to destroy Jeremy Corbyn and, as such, subverting democracy. And paid for by the very people they are seeking to deceive.

  17. I’m not sure why RH is being reticent about naming “the young woman.” She is Ella Rose, former employee of the Israeli embassy, who featured in the Al Jazeera documentary “The Lobby” and the person against whom she threatened violence was Jackie Walker. One of the men asked for “expert” opinion was Alex Richardson, parliamentary aid to ex-Labour MP and chair of Labour Friends of Israel. The other “expert” was Alan Johnson of Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, an Israeli front organisation. These connections went unremarked by John Ware.

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