Holiday Inn did not report Williamson event threats to police – refuses to comment on duty of care to staff

Williamson event booking cancelled by hotel after threatening emails, calls, social media messages – and a sinister visit – but did not report the incidents to police
The Brighton Holiday Inn and Chris Williamson MP

An event featuring MP Chris Williamson, who was reinstated and then resuspended by the Labour Party, had to be held outdoors after the Holiday Inn Brighton and another venue cancelled bookings following a series of threatening and abusive messages from opponents.

“There will be consequences” – the sinister message delivered in person to hotel staff

The Holiday Inn cancelled its booking on Monday, after an avalanche of abuse. In an email to the event organiser, it stated that “our hotel and employees have been subjected to abuse and threats from members of the public on the phone, on email and on social media outlets”:

But the threats were not limited to electronic media. In a deeply sinister turn of events, two men turned up at the hotel reception and warned that “There will be consequences” if the booking was not declined.

Staff were traumatised, with one so upset that she could not face coming into work the next day. The men were captured on CCTV and the footage has been viewed by hotel management – but when the SKWAWKBOX contacted Sussex Police for an update on the case, the force advised that no report of any of the incidents has been made by the hotel.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted the hotel management to ask why it had not involved police when it has video and documentary evidence and a statutory duty of care to its staff that would require full investigation and prosecution.

The management refused to comment on its duty of care or why it had not yet reported the threats to Sussex Police.

A second venue cancelled the event after a Twitter ‘storm’ believed to have been started by a criminal recently convicted of ‘disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress’ for his ‘aggressive, bullying behaviour’ toward pro-Palestinian protesters.

Opponents of the event resorted to tweeting from what appears to have been a resurrected, disused Twitter handle in order to create the appearance of a third venue cancelling a booking:

The account making the clumsy tweet was quickly deleted after it was exposed:

How the obsolete account looks at the time of writing

One of the event organisers told the SKWAWKBOX that he felt the behaviour of a neighbouring Labour MP had ‘given permission to [Williamson]’s opponents to behave in this appalling and frightening manner”, adding that “it’s an absolute abuse of freedom of speech”.

The Chris Williamson event eventually took place outdoors in Brighton’s Regency Square, with an estimated two hundred supporters attending in spite of the last-minute change. A number of people told organisers they were staying away because of fears that they would be photographed and targeted. A small number of counter-protesters did turn up and were seen filming the crowd.


The Holiday Inn owes a duty to its staff to report this matter to police and to provide the force with all available evidence, so that those behind the threats can be prevented from abusing others.

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  1. Time was when the local Co-op would likely have had a hall open to events of this kind. Or a Trade Union hall or even a Church meeting place would have been open to such events. It should come as no surprise that, just as the Daily Mail and The Guardian spew anti-socialist filth because they are capitalist enterprises, so will Holiday Inns and their ilk not be welcoming to movements intent on socialising their properties, raising the living standards of their workers and promoting justice and equality.
    Just as the Labour Party refuses to give priority to arming itself with a newspaper and associated media do it has got accustomed to borrowing facilities from its deadliest enemies. This can only succeed by following Blair’s example of going cap in hand to the Murdochs of this world and purchasing their assistance by compromising principles.

  2. Must be awful to live in fear of your own shadow.
    Hotels are staffed 24/7 and have security cameras – anyone attacking a guest or staff of a hotel or threatening to do so has a limited prospect of escaping detection and a prison sentence.
    I wonder if the threats were real or an excuse.
    Such threats are criminal offences I believe and failing to report them would itself be a crime – I think – can’t now remember where I learned that though so I could be wrong.

    Can’t let that hotel’s refusal to do the right thing stand, can we?

    1. David McNiven 09/08/2019 at 3:01 pm

      David there is no offence covering “” failing to report an offence / crime “” . However I think Skwawkbox has got it right – it is morally indefensible for an employer not to protect its staff .

      I hope they will accept that and co-operate with Police .

      Appeasing bullies is cowardly and never works .

      1. Thanks, had a feeling it might have been apocryphal.
        Hard to remember where you ‘know’ stuff from at my age 🙂

    2. Exactly. If the desk staff had had the balls to tell the men to go fuck themselves, you can bet the resulting violence would’ve been caught on camera and reported to the Police!

    3. No, I am going to write to ‘Panorama’ and get them to make a documentary about it.

  3. I thought at the time, it was extremely unusual, given the ‘evidence,’ that the Holiday Inn management hadn’t gone straight to the police!

    1. It seems that the Quakers also allowed themselves to be intimidated by bullies and cancelled a booking for their meeting house.

  4. Chris needs our help,Let Labour party governance know your thoughts and disgust regarding the Chris Williamson hearing by the NCC.Let them know by telephoning 0207 7831498,or e-mail.Let them know that you will not stand idle and watch another decent human being cast out for using the freedom of expression,and warn them of the damage that will happen if Chris is expelled from the Labour party……go on…pick up the phone ☎call them…people power and solidarity with comrades for the democratic socialist Labour party……Please!

    1. I disagree. We do no good and considerable harm to the argument that the Labour process should not be subject to ‘independent’ supervision when you claim that pressures brought by outsiders can have an affect on the outcome.

      Labour Party disciplinary processes have to rest on the merits or lack of merits of the case not the number on interfering outsiders who have only partial information at the most. To win by means of external pressures demonstrates the processes are not fit for the job.

      1. You are absolutely right, Felicity.

        The problem that we face, however, is that of getting the processes to a state where they are fit for purpose, and those operating the system are beyond reproach.

        We are sadly far from that situation. But berating or appealing to those responsible won’t redress that essential lack of fitness for purpose.

      2. We already know the processes are not fit for the job.
        The disciplinary process is blatantly being interfered with by the right wing of the party or the PLP wouldn’t have been able to turn ‘not guilty’ into ‘retrial’ by shouting ‘foul’ would it?

        If the external pressure Joseph means is to let ‘the process’ know we’re watching it and not inclined to let it get away with a witch hunt then I agree with him – ‘interference’ in a corrupt process is mandatory surely?

      3. Felicity you said it yourself they are not fit for the job and don’t forget that Chris Williamson was reinstated,then passed on to another higher court……realy get on board and support a true socialist with guts or will you run away?

  5. When he spoke in my City after at least one private organisation (a hotel) had been bullied into backing out, we had it in a trade Union social club. Lots of cloak and dagger stuff, venue secret till the last minute etc etc

  6. I have many fond memories of Brighton and first met my Jewish wife there ,she lived in Regency square.I campaigned for Lloyd Russell moyle to help in getting the Tory out and Lloyd elected.Whilst staying with my wifes relatives in Brighton I bumped into Peter kyles canvassers and asked them why they were canvassing,because it had been agreed that we suspend electioneering for 1 day in respect to the people who were killed in the Manchester theatre suicide bomber attack.Of course I was met with threats and abuse from Corbyn hating Labour mp kyle supporters and was shocked at the venom when I pointed to the contrast in the Russell moyle canvassers respect and the complete opposite from the right wing Kyle canvess.I suspect that we look no further than the obvious for who have made threats to the holiday inn?

  7. Why cloak and dagger,
    surely good opportunity to confront your opponents, let them hang themselves, if you seriously think there is a chance of breach of the peace then warn the police, they are duty bound to attend and defend you,
    Record everything yourselves,
    The criminal mentioned above would unlikely turn up if he had convictions for previous,
    If there was further harassment, hopefully court would set an exemplary sentence

    1. This is the same police force that handcuffed a man having an epileptic fit,thought he was drunk?…..He was thrown inside the van and died inside the police van being held down by four officers?…Sussex police??

  8. Did these threats actually exist in the first instance, something is not right. Anyone worried about staff would certainly report it to the police, not forgetting to have the CCTV analysis done also. Very suspicious if you ask me.

    1. It does need reporting to the police and the CTV evidence needs utilising otherwise the two Right Wing Barbarians have set a precedent and will do it again.
      But I do wonder what I would do if I was in in a certain person’s position?
      I think I would wait for the outcome of the Complaints Committee whilst offering a critique of Johnson, then.

      1. Bazza…..And I would carry on canvassing for a democratic socialist Labour party,which is exactly what Chris Williamson has done.. An innocent man does not run and hide but carrys on with the vision of our democratic socialist Labour party.just as he was doing before the fit up and now the illegal witchtrial..?

  9. I’m more shocked by the Quakers cancelling. I would have expected them to read beyond the very selective and misleading quotes in the media.

    1. labrebisgalloise….You are correct in showing that Brighton Labour have rather a complicated set up. Different waring factions and strong influence from ivor caplin former Labour blairite mp for hove and still a strong influence both politicaly and business wise.Teamed up with peter kyle to run a nasty little group inside the council and the party.Chris Williamson chose a difficult venue to launch the fight back.I suspect influence in boycotts plus violence were the new norm.We have to fight back against the Labour scum and remember we are at war….they know it and are not held back by the Queensbury rules

  10. Having seen the CCTV from my bike being nicked, I wouldn’t actually be surprised if it was so poor you couldn’t see their faces or numberplate.
    I wouldn’t have bothered the cash strapped police either if you had no evidence. It would also make public how bad the camera quality was. If they remembered to turn it on…

  11. Reminiscent of the bomb scare threat at last year’s Conference which created a similar silence of outrage in a media that had no energy left after pursuing fairy stories.about antisemitism.

    We have a new fascist movement : ‘anti-truthism’.

    Meanwhile, can I draw attention to a recent general article by the distinguished Israeli historian Ilan Pappe about the actuality of the desperate Hasbara initiative to silence history regarding the ethnic cleansing of Palestine under the colonial-settler regime of Israel :

  12. I think the appropriate comparison to draw when discussing such matters with the police is Jo Cox.
    Remember how Thatcher made a point of bunging the police and the army before she attacked the unions though – BlowJob’ll do the same so we can probably expect deaf ears however serious the threat.

  13. Would it not be best if CW simply kept his head down until his case has been heard? Is he being politically astute here, thinking about the interests of the Party or, perish the thought, could it be all about him (sadly, very common in politics). Just my point of view which I expect to be respectfully heard.

    1. John,
      I agree.
      At this moment, when Johnson and the Tories are facing a VONC leading to a GE, we need all positive support from the electorate to vote Jeremy into power.
      This negative publicity just adds fuel to the fire of those who want to see the Labour Party defeated.
      Don’t wake unnecessary waves.

    2. John, the answer to your question is NO NO NO. The Zionist opposition did not hesitate to create merry hell to get Chris Williamson suspended and re-suspend. We should express our outrage as loudly and widely as possible at the totally inept actions of the Party and the way it keeps appeasing the Zionists out to destroy Corbyn and anyone who supports him.

      Over to you Bad Penney.

    3. Completely agree, in fact all Williamson supporting members should resign in solidarity with the smear machine to get good press. Anyone with any form of socialist inclination should write to Corbyn asking him to stand down and hand over the reigns to the extremely popular Ant and Dec. We also need weekly wickermen meetings officiated over by Tom Watson to demonstrate adherence to solidarity with Francis Rossi.

      1. So you’re saying Corbyn should, as Rossi sang, “Roll Over, Lay Down”?

      2. Andy, absolutely NO to resigning, we need to take the Party back from the JLM not give it to them to continue their destruction of Corbyn!

      3. Andy.. I am beyond anger. But I am waiting for the decision on Chris Williamson!We need our younger comrades to stick in their and fight fight against the corrupt politicians trying to hijack our party!… At times I despair and I am sure that the direct action against the apartheid SAfrica and the campaign for civil rights for the Catholic population in the occupied part of Ireland have worn me down.But more likely old age…We can only hope and call Labour governance Waiting for a miracle…Surely their must be some honest and decent people who believe in justice inside the NCC

  14. Good article. I wonder whether similar mafia-style tactics were used against staff at Hebden Bridge Town Hall last week, where a similar meeting with Chris Williamson MP was also cancelled at the last minute. Their first excuse was that there was a wedding going on next door. Eh? Their second was that the Lib Dems were staging a counter-protest – raffles and hymn-singing, presumably. The Lib Dems aren’t exactly National Action are they? I now strongly suspect that there was probably something much darker going on behind the scenes. In response to this ongoing assault on democracy, Labour needs to end the witch hunt by reinstating Chris, and protect him and his supporters before somebody gets seriously hurt.

    1. More than a witchhunt paulstanway…..A fight for the soul of the Labour party,and some advise run away and hide…..We know who your comrades are in times of strife! Phone ☎ the number 0207 7831498 and speak to Labour governance,and support Chris Williamson,who had previously been exonerated.Don’t let the scum use Labour party subscriptions to fight a Court case against Chris Williamson if he is stitched up in the hearing!….fight back we’re not rabbits blinded in the headlights.We are the democratic socialist Labour party and we will have our say!

      1. This is becoming a fight to the finish. I fully expect us to be similar to UK and worse. Cue mass media fed resignations. Could be v. Bad but maybe more people will see things more clearly? Seconds out! Regards

  15. It’s really not that hard, John.
    If you’re on the left of Labour you’re there to change things for the benefit of the many.
    If you’re on the right you’re there for the perks.

  16. Apropos of nothing above. We have just been to see the film Gaza by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell and I don’t wish to beat the drum for any particular film and realise this film will not be widely available outside London but I defy anyone not to have a tear in their eye at the end of this documentary. There is no pretence at propoganda,despite the BBC Today programme suggesting it was pro Hamas and should be given wide release. I cannot for a moment imagine Streeting,Watson and Creasey making the effort to watch this but I expect they will be quick to criticise. Incidentally well done BBC radio 5 whose film review programme made it film of the week. Please try and watch if you get a chance.

  17. Can’t believe I didn’t think of the twats at “Sussex Friends of Israel” as soon as I read this post.

      1. Jim, if you enter “Sussex Friends of Israel” into Skwawkbox’s search box it’ll take you to this article:


        Not alleging the fuckers are guilty of anything of course…

  18. Mr McNiven read the article,strongly suspect people like that,and the BoD,will picket outlets showing the film as free speech seems only to be important to them if it supports their view. The film is balanced in its content which,naturally,results in showing how awful the situation for the ordinary Palestinian citizen is.

    1. “free speech seems only to be important to them if it supports their view.”

      … which – tell it as it is – means : they are NOT in favour of free speech.

      … which means they are on the same ‘side’ as all oppressors.

      … which is what we always knew.

    1. Brighton police,are underfunded and understaffed,same as everywhere.Many officers are representative of our establishment and looking for police action against intimidation would be a no go!,Maybe if the Labour party had proper governance we would boycott holiday inn at conference this year?…..

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