‘Anonymised’ investigations only used in sexual harassment cases
Earlier today, the SKWAWKBOX reported the suspension by Labour of Redbridge Council leader and would-be Ilford South parliamentary candidate Jas Athwal after an anonymised hearing by a Labour Party panel.
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, who has supported Athwal’s campaign to become Ilford South candidate, reacted with outrage to what he called a ‘stitch up’.
Such outrage, in fact, that his Twitter feed since the news broke has consisted of little more than condemnations of the suspension and expressions of support for Athwal, including comments that Athwal’s suspension represents ‘a new low’ and that the selection ‘can no longer be considered democratic’:
The widely-reported anonymisation of the case heard by the panel makes claims of a stitch-up nonsense – even more so when the SKWAWKBOX understands that four cases were heard at the same time and all were anonymised.
However, Labour only anonymises cases involving sexual harassment allegations.
Cllr Athwal has been contacted for comment but has not responded so far.
Mr Streeting has previously said publicly that political parties need to ‘look at ourselves hard in the mirror… on sexual harassment‘:
The SKWAWKBOX attempted to ask Wes Streeting whether he regretted and would be retracting his tweets of today, given the nature of the allegations leading to the suspension.
However, he hung up and has not responded to a texted enquiry in spite of notification of the imminence of publication.
The Ilford South selection process had already been postponed after party leader Jeremy Corbyn asked for and obtained the agreement of the remaining candidates to delay in order to allow new applicants to come forward to widen members’ options.
This morning’s selection meeting had already convened when the news broke. Locals report 6-800 members were in attendance and that left-wing candidate Sam Tarry looked well-placed to win.
Cllr Athwal’s suspension is administrative pending the hearing of his case and does not imply guilt.
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