Redbridge cllrs circle wagons for leader suspended re sex harassment complaint despite misleading defence

Local MP Streeting also continues support

A group of Labour councillors in Redbridge have announced that councillor and would-be parliamentary candidate Jas Athwal will remain as council leader in spite of his suspension by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) over allegations of ‘serious’ sexual harassment.

Redbridge Labour Group issued a statement on Facebook and Twitter:

Under normal circumstances – as demonstrated in the case of Sandwell Council’s then-leader Steve Eling – suspension by the party would require a council leader to step down. In spite of the claim of ‘full support’, the SKWAWKBOX understands that only a selection of local Labour councillors was contacted before the statement was issued.

Last weekend, Athwal issued a statement on his suspension via social media – implying that it was related to complaints about an incident on 13 August:

Athwal’s statement linking his suspension to an unrelated incident

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting retweeted both Athwal’s and Redbridge Labour Group’s statement.

However, Athwal’s suspension was not for the 13 August incident – in which members complained that his associates were handing out membership cards to non-members for a branch meeting to nominate a parliamentary candidate to stand for the constituency and behaved abusively during the meeting.

The results of that vote – which nominated Athwal – were annulled by the Labour Party – but the complaint leading to the suspension relates to allegations of sexual harassment, described as ‘serious’ by a Labour source – and dating back months earlier than August.

An anonymised report submitted by independent investigator’s – making Streeting’s and others’ claims of a ‘stitch-up’ nonsensical – after a substantial investigation was judged by an NEC panel to require referral to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), Labour’s highest disciplinary body.

Jas Athwal was contacted for comment on the statement and the actual reason for the suspension. Wes Streeting was asked about his sharing of the statement. Neither responded.


Mr Athwal’s case is undecided, so the suspension does not signify guilt and he is entitled to due process.

However, if he had been a left-wing council leader, many of the same voices raised in his defence would be loudly condemning any councillors or others who ‘circled the wagons’ to keep him in place during his suspension and demanding that he step down until the case was concluded.

And, as has already been seen in cases involving left-wingers whose cases were similarly ongoing, his guilt would be assumed from the outset and pre-judged in the media.

But of course, the right has never been shy of rank hypocrisy.

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.


  1. Sort of unilateral declaration of independence….Where have I heard that before from a bunch of right manipulation infiltrators

  2. Some non members were being handed out membership cards. Staggering and where would they come from then?

    1. This is not the first time I’ve heard this going on. In some Progress run CLP’s, who checks the membership cards for validity on important meetings?

  3. You can’t have it both ways. If the summary suspensions that we frequently complain about are corruptions of due process, so are those of members whose faces don’t fit preconceptions.

    The point is that the disciplinary process has lost all credibility as a neutral application of a rule-based system.

    1. RH. Exactly, the LPs disciplinary process is in tatters and requires a complete overhaul. It appears that anyone can accuse anyone else in the LP of almost anything and obtain an immediate suspension of the accused.

      We know of course how this came about. It was because the executive of the LP was frightened of its own shadow when accusations of A/S were made and they over reacted to pacify the Zionists in the Party who would run to the media screaming ‘anti-Semitism’ at the drop of a hat.

      It’s now become a case of guilty before you can prove yourself innocent and more proof, if any were needed, that appeasement and capitulation, as promoted by people such as Len McCluskey and Jon Lansman, have been a disaster and have put members in danger. Chris Williamson was correct and was suspended for his troubles QED.

      1. You never miss an opportunity, do you Jack, to reiterate the phony line about appeasement and capitulation etc, using Chris Williamson’s suspension to manipulate the emotions of people (who read Skwawkbox), just as a few other posters on here have done repeatedly since Chris was initially suspended. The usual line is that it’s the ‘leadership’ who have appeased and capitulated, but you’ve gone for Len McCluskey and Lansman this time (a first as far as I’m aware) just for a change. The following is an extract from the recently published book Bad News For Labour:

        In contrast to other contexts, the antisemitism issue by its very nature inhibits the development of a counter-narrative. This is because much of the discursive framing serves to pre-emptively delegitimise any defensive response as ‘part of the problem’.


        In other words, if someone is falsely accused of anti-semitism and someone comes to their defence and says they are NOT (and that they didn’t say anything remotely anti-semitic), then that person will be denounced by the saboteurs and the MSM and the Jewish newspapers as either being in denial, or defending the indefensible and, as such, is part of the problem.

        But perhaps you – or any of your chums who keep dissembling this falsehood – could explain just precisely what the ‘leadership’ can do to counter all the malicious claims and allegations of anti-semitism, and ALSO remind us of what happened when Chris was UNsuspended AND what led to his re-suspension a couple of days later, and also tell us what you imagine WOULD have then happened if Chris HADN’T been re-suspended.

        It’s no coincidence of course that none of you (who keep repeating and dissembling this falsehood) ever mention the massive big elephant in the room that has complete control over the narrative of the ‘anti-semitism’ story they have fabricated – ie the corporate media and the (half corporate) BBC and the Jewish newspapers – but then THAT would negate YOUR phony narrative, wouldn’t it!

        It is precisely because we have a totally corrupt and complicit media that has led to a reality in which people fed the daily diet of lies and falsehoods believe, on average, that 34% of Labour Party members have been reported for anti-semitism.

        If we had an honest and unbiased and impartial media, they would have ALL been reporting that seven out of the ten people who were presented as ordinary Jewish LP members in the Panorama program were executive committee members of the JLM, and that one of the other three was their former Campaigns Officer, but then John Ware and Co would never have conspired with the JLM to deceive millions of people but for the fact that they knew the media was totally corrupt and would keep stum about it. But then if we had an honest media, the whole phony ‘anti-semitism’ smear campaign would never have happened and taken off in the first place.


      2. Allan Howard, – White Flag man. That’s a hell of a long ramble just to support capitulation and appeasement. Is it only charges of A/S to which we should capitulate or is it all falsehoods aimed at Labour? If so, your arm is going get extremly tired waving that white flag! With friends like you….

      3. I can’t make any sense of Allan’s denial of the obvious fact that the NEC fell into a bear trap over the antisemitism issue – particularly in adopting the totally counterproductive IHRA gobbledy-gook.

        For anyone who has any doubts, a read of ‘Bad News for Labour’, with its clear analysis of the facts and the follies, should be a must-read. The adoption brought no benefits and no breathing space. Quite the contrary. The advocacy by such odd bedfellows as Gordon Brown and McCluskey was a totally weird illustration of what the term ‘running frit’ means.

        Meanwhile, good anti-racists remain suspended or expelled from the Party (at the behest of such moral icons as Vaz and Hodge!) whilst Ella Rose, captured on film threatening violence against another Party member remains to chatter falsehoods to the BBC!

        If that’s a strategic or even tactical success, or has helped to re-frame the narrative, then the Tories are forging ahead with progressive policies and succour to the poor in this Looking-Glass world.

  4. Funny they didn’t leave Chris Williamson in his place in his constituency till they investigated though, They wanted his head there and then with NO investigation.

    1. And how do you think the saboteurs and MSM would have reacted if they had!

      1. So – the MSM should control the Party in terms of fundamental procedural and policy issues?

        If there was one iota of benefit accruing, you might have an arguable point. But there isn’t.

        In effect, the Party says ‘bollocks’ to anything resembling proper procedure whilst agreeing that white is black in terms of what constitutes ‘antisemitism’.

        … and, rather than getting things on an even keel, actually confirms everything that the critics of the IHRA ‘examples’ said would happen.

  5. Stop interfering interfere they cry based on their own slanted views and bias. When are we going to be rid of the blue Labour MPs? They serve no purpose but their own. I wouldn’t be saying that if any of them had ever promoted any Labour policy since the last election or during it.

    1. Kick off 3pm. Big Benn promoted a document whilst grandstanding against Corbyn…now its been found to be full of legal holes that the Torys will drive a coach and horses through for a No deal.

  6. Just came across the following article in the Morning Star a bit earlier posted on July 19th and well worth reading. Here’s an extract:

    In Liverpool Riverside only months after many of us joined (or rejoined) the party following the election of Corbyn as leader, these unsubstantiated attacks began.

    A local councillor — also the election agent of our local MP Louise Ellman — tweeted: “thought I would never hear the anti-semitism views [sic] I heard from two members at a Labour Party meeting on Friday.” From this tweet onwards the attacks on new and left-wing party members in Liverpool has rarely ceased.

    The idea that Labour activists in Liverpool (many of whom are ardent life-long anti-racist campaigners) would tolerate any kind of anti-semitic behaviour in party meetings is an insult and smear to our constituency — something that the national media seems all too willing to accept unchallenged. We are a city that knows too well about the evils of discrimination (as well as misrepresentation in the press) — fighting prejudice (in all its forms) is at the heart of our activism.

    Despite calls to the regional office for this false claim to be investigated, we were ignored, as were other numerous complaints regarding the way the constituency was being run.

    1. … which rather confirms what we have been saying about the Right/JLM caucus since the adoption of the IHRA definition. Nothing has changed for the better.

      Everywhere I turn a page, I see the same embedded, taken-for-granted falsehoods about MPs like Ellman and Berger being targeted because they are Jewish.

      1. Perish the thought that Ellman and Berger could be supporters of the Zionist JLM whos main aim is to get rid of Corbyn as LP Leader, lest his condemnation of racist Israel for its brutal occupation and colonisation of Palestine gets even greater publicity when he becomes PM.

  7. I suppose that thinking we could remove the infiltrators of blairite politics from the Labour party was unrealistic in the short term..But we really must get a grip of the most damaging individuals and get them out before they destroy the socialism at the heart of the Corbyn project NO leader of any organisation can function with the team divided

  8. Its reported yesterday that the disciplinary hearing has started and there are three charges.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: