Analysis Exclusive

Smears v Murphy “lowest ever” “absolute lies” for which “no shred of evidence”, say senior Labour sources

Attack on Corbyn’s chief of staff dismissed – fact no complaint ever made makes claims reproduced by Huffington Post “literally unbelievable”
Karie Murphy

Anonymous claims made by anonymous ‘staff’, published in the Huffington Post in a ‘disgraceful’ attack on Jeremy Corbyn’s chief of staff Karie Murphy, have been dismissed as ‘literally unbelievable’ ‘absolute lies’ for which ‘not a jot of evidence’ was ever presented and no complaint was ever made, according to a senior Labour source.

The article publishes claims against Murphy, including allegations of physical assault.

The Labour source – which was not Murphy – told the SKWAWKBOX:

The claims are absolute lies and the article is an absolute disgrace. Not a shred of evidence was ever presented and there was never a single complaint. If she assaulted someone, as the article’s anonymous source alleges, it’s literally unbelievable that there wouldn’t be any kind of complaint.

Several union figures, former Labour colleagues and others have also gone on record to dismiss the allegations and condemn the article that regurgitated them:

The Huffington Post’s article refers to a response by Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby to a letter sent – supposedly – on behalf of anonymous staff. The SKWAWKBOX has obtained that response. It is reproduced in full below and is clearly responding to a document that was vague and unevidenced:

Thank you for your letter dated 3rd December that you emailed to me on 20th December; I am sorry not to reply sooner but I returned to the office yesterday following the Christmas break.

You make a number of allegations, some of which are extremely serious, but the letter does not appear to be registering a grievance, which is of some concern to me. The Labour Party has a duty of care to all employees and I therefore strongly believe that any issues of the nature raised in the letter should be investigated and if substantiated, action taken to resolve them.

However, as the allegations made are anonymous it is impossible to ascertain whether or not they are true. This is not only worrying in relation to members of staff who may be feeling anxious or unhappy; it is also very unfair to the SMT against whom the complaints have been raised but who are in no position to explain or defend themselves.

I should also advise you that a significant number of individuals in LOTO have made contact wishing to distance themselves from the letter, with several of these people saying that they do not recognise the behaviours that have been outlined. Having said that, I am of course aware that this does not mean that the concerns expressed are not true; simply that it makes it extremely difficult for me to be able to judge the seriousness of the situation and how widespread it may be.
I would therefore strongly urge you to pass on the message to any individual who has a specific concern to follow the formal grievance procedure.

I can guarantee to you that all employees can do this with confidence that they will be treated fairly. You are unclear as to why you have no faith in the HR process but I can assure you that xxxxx and the team she manages are highly professional and confidential and I have not to date had any concerns expressed to me that would lead me to doubt that.

Turning to the questions you have raised I will try to address each one although I have grouped some into one answer as they are linked.

1, I agree that training is important and have been discussing this with HR, including training on management skills and on equality and diversity training. I have raised the latter in particular because of concerns I have about the lack of BAME staff working in regions and we are therefore also examining how we recruit staff to all positions to
ensure greater diversity. Having said that, LOTO would appear to have a higher ratio of BAME staff than any other area or team within the party with the exception of Community Organising. I have also raised this issue on several occasions with Executive Directors and with Regional Directors who are very supportive.

2. There is already a compulsory annual gender audit of our staff but I am happy to consider a race audit to support the objectives as outlined above and I will discuss it with the HR team.

3. You mention independent mediation where relationships have broken down. We already have this as a tool that is available where the grievance process identifies difficulties in relationships but I would stress that there needs to be clear evidence of this before we would consider employing any external body.

4. I am a little surprised at the question regarding responsibility for HR as this has always been an element for which an ED has had responsibility, in particular in relation to resource allocation, and that has not changed. This is absolutely appropriate as I cannot take direct responsibility for these issues when, for example, I am the person
who will hear final appeals against disciplinary or grievance issues. However, if you could be a little clearer about your concerns in this regard I will hopefully be able to answer those concerns in more detail.

5. There is of course respect for the role of trade union representatives and you have my personal guarantee that representatives will always be allowed to carry out that role without fear of intimidation or victimisation. If you have any specific complaints about this please let me know immediately so I may resolve them as I will not tolerate any
attempt to prevent trade union reps from carrying out duties for which they have statutory protection, irrespective of my own very strong views on the importance of this matter. Separate to this correspondence, I have also asked the HR team to speak with the union reps to ensure that they all take advantage of the training provided by their respective unions. It is important that all our reps are fully equipped to carry out what is a very important role, including having an understanding of how to deal with individual/collective grievance and disciplinary issues, and collective bargaining.

6. I am not clear what the concern is in relation to the last question relating to the press and policy teams. Of course the Chief of Staff has overall responsibility for the operation of LOTO and for setting the work programme. However, there are Executive Directors for each of the teams so if there is lack of clarity, have members of the teams raised the issues with their respective EDs or with their direct line managers? I would urge them to do so as it is of course very important that every employee understands the line management structure whatever level they are working at.

I hope this is helpful but please let me know if you would like any further clarification on any of the points I have raised above. However, I would again urge you to encourage any individual who has a concern about any of the issues raised within your letter to register a formal grievance so they may be properly dealt with through our procedures.

I would also reiterate my commitment to openness on all issues relating to staff without any fear of repercussions. That is a principle to which I have been completely committed for my whole working life and I do not want any employee to feel they are unable to raise genuine concerns with any manager within our organisation.

Another senior Labour source said:

The right of the party are clearly so desperate to discredit Corbyn and the entire left that they are making things up wholesale. Old scores are being settled and they’ll sink to any depths – and these smears against Karie are the lowest ever.

Huffington Post political editor Paul Waugh, whose name is shown as the author of the article, was contacted for comment on why he had decided to reproduce the complaints and on the Labour sources’ dismissal of them as ‘absolute lies’.

Some sources are reporting that Ms Murphy has initiated legal action.

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  1. They hate her for the same reason that they hate Chris Williamson. They fear nothing worse than democracy. “Socialists” they can deal with-hypocrisy is the first thing that such careerists learn. But democracy is the one thing with which they cannot coexist.
    Karie represented the course of democracy- turning what has become an electoral machine, run by office seekers with an eye on the troughs, into a democratic popular party involving the working class in its self emancipation, formulating its own policies and ensuring that those elected to represent the membership and the people do so, with humility, loyalty and courage.
    Let Karie wear their hatred of the corrupt and careerists as a badge of honour.

    1. I agree bevin but I hope she doesnt join the corrupt gravey train the Lords.Socialists do not prop up a corrupt archaic establishment sytem and I hope she doesnt capitulate.,Shes better than that!

      1. Joseph – Don’t you think its quite safe to assume that Murphy has already confirmed with JC that she will accept a seat in the Lords.

  2. ‘However, as the allegations made are anonymous it is impossible to ascertain whether or not they are true. This is not only worrying in relation to members of staff who may be feeling anxious or unhappy; it is also very unfair to the SMT against whom the complaints have been raised but who are in no position to explain or defend themselves.’

    How ironic that this should be published on the day I learn I have been suspended for a further two years without the opportunity to defend myself.

    1. What for Kathy? And how long had you already been suspended?

      Some coincidence eh!

  3. Here’s a link to the Huffpost article:

    Re the alleged physical assault, this is what it says:

    One of the most shocking allegations is made by someone who worked at LOTO during the 2017 election campaign.

    They have detailed to HuffPost UK how one day they were called in to see Murphy. The discussion centred on the worker’s responsibilities on a key element of the campaign.

    “I was called in to see her in a tiny room at the top of Southside [Labour’s HQ in London],” they said.

    “We were standing up the whole time – there was one tiny table. It was not a room you sit in.

    “She was like: ‘I’m not arguing with you any more.’ I said: ‘Well, we haven’t reached a conclusion.’

    “She was like: ‘I’ve had it – I’m telling you this is how it is.’ And that is when she pushed me up against a wall.

    “She physically came towards me and put her hands at the bottom of my neck. She’s had me up against the wall by my neck.

    “She said something like: ‘You’ve got to change or you’re off.’ Then she left and walked out of the room.”

    The staffer swiftly told a colleague of the incident. The colleague said this week: “They were very upset. It affected them for a few days afterwards.

    “It’s just unbelievable. We are supposed to be the party of the workers.”


    Oh how fortuitous that it should happen in a tiny little room at the top of the building with no-one else around! It is of course complete and utter B/S, and the saboteurs have obviously spent weeks concocting it all. The giveaway for me that it’s all contrived is that they come out with the line – ie (It’s just unbelievable) ‘We are supposed to be the party of the workers’.

    The only assault that’s taken place is against Karie Murphy with this litany of lies and falsehoods. I wonder if John Ware was involved!

    1. Allan Howard 02/02/2020 at 3:23 am
      “Oh how fortuitous that it should happen in a tiny little room at the top of the building with no-one else around”

      That argument could be applied to support either party. Who it was ‘fortuitous’ for will hopefully be revealed in the fullness of time when these accusations have been properly investigated.

      1. Oh, right Steve, so Karie got her up in a little room at the top of the building well away from everyone else because she planned to strangle her. It is of course complete and utter B/S.

        The point I was making is that NONE of it happened. If you’ve read through the list of allegations and claims, then if Karie was constantly screaming at people in front of other staff etc, then why would she think to have the person come up to a little room at the top of the building to give her a rucking. When people fabricate stuff, there are usually holes and inconsistencies in their lies!

        NB And now that it’s all out in the open, what possible reason would the person who made the claim that she was assaulted by Karie have for NOT report the matter to the police now.

        Hundreds and hundreds of Jewish LP members have written letters to the Guardian or whatever stating that they have never experienced A/S abuse by anyone in the party, but the ten people who appeared in the Panorama program claimed they were repeatedly abused, and as we learnt shortly afterwards, seven of them were (and still are) executive committee members of the JLM and one of the others their former Campaigns Officer, and another one of them involved with the BoD.

      2. Allan – Unlike yourself I see little to be gained from making wild assumptions either way. You weren’t there, you have no particular insight so your idle speculations are just that.

        As I said above we will no doubt find out what actually happened once a proper investigation has been completed.

      3. Thankyou for responding so quickly, as you so often DO (what with you monitoring the site all day long every single day!).

        THIS ‘story’ is precisely a good example of what the im-posters are on here to do (and why they monitor the site 24/7) – ie to counter those saying that the claims are all B/S. And the joke of it is that apart from anything else, SteveH is saying this despite having read – AND commented in prior to what he says in his above post – the more recent article skwawkbox posted in which 21 staff signed a letter of support AND don’t recognise the Karie Murphy painted in the allegations.

        And as per usual, he doesn’t respond to any of the valid points I made, and does the Dismissive jobby – ie “wild assumptions” .

        You’re such a fraud ‘SteveH’!

      4. Allan – Unlike you I am not passing judgement either way. I am simply pointing out that you don’t know what actually did or didn’t occur. and that instead of dreaming up dumb fantasy theories we should wait to see what the investigation reveals.

      5. Funny isn’t it Steve that fourteen minutes BEFORE you commented on my post, you ‘replied’ to a post by rob (just a little bit further down the page at the time) in which he said re the claims made about KM ‘what a pack of crap, pathetic lies’, and yet you didn’t think to say to him what you THEN said to me. I wonder why that is!

        You’re so transparent ‘SteveH’ it’s a joke!!

      6. Allan Howard 03/02/2020 at 2:01 pm · ·
        ” and yet you didn’t think to say to him what you THEN said to me

        Allan – Are you bragging or whinging.

  4. I guess in reality we will have to wait and see what evidence is presented to the House of Lords Appointments Commission before we will really get to know the truth of this

    Before passing judgement on the veracity or otherwise of any of the accusations I would strongly recommend that people read the HuffPost article in full which besides the numerous accusations, from different sources, also includes a number of statements in support of Murphy .
    HuffPost UK has seen an email sent to the House of Lords Appointments Commission that states Murphy is “completely unfit to be allowed to enter the House of Lords”.

    It says that the complainant, a former party staffer, has “evidence of her aggressive behaviour”. Murphy denies any wrongdoing.

  5. what a pack of crap , pathetic lies , one grows weary of it all


    1. Rob – I thought most of the members of Left Unity had given it up as bad job once they realised it was nothing more than an ineffective echo chamber Didn’t they all abandon ship to join the Labour Party.

      Why would anyone leave Labour and join an inept talking shop like Left Unity.

      Why choose to bleat from the sidelines when you can be a member of Labour.

      1. SH no they didnt but I notice the moderates are out playing again… listening to a old record playing and I didnt like it years ago when your lot were in charge…moderate what?.I. Thought the bleating comment fits into your twisted rambling and you should consider joining the Torys with your veiws and contempt for socialist members and the working class..!

  6. It’s all very well for Skwawkbox’s followers to ridicule this fake, but mud sticks, especially to those on the left. She must sue.

  7. We live in dangerous times.

    I have no idea about these particular allegations – or their refutation.

    And that is the point.

    It goes beyond the individual. Fake news has always been a problem (see the current revival of the Keeler/Ward case). But, following the election, it is clear that there is a vast rubbish tip of PR, lobbying and downright lies where there should be journalism.

    I’m just re-reading Nick Davies’s ‘Flat Earth News’ – a detailing of the decline of journalism which was written over ten years ago. It’s depressing – but the fact is that it’s all got much, much worse and even more sinister.

    1. That is a good book. And he appeared in the recent BBC series ‘The Ripper Files’ which was a very interesting and disturbing programme.

    2. So you know that the vast majority of the A/S claims and allegations are contrived and smears as such, but you ‘have no idea about these particular allegations’. Yeah, sure RH!

      Funny, isn’t it, that such claims should only come to light now! It’s blatantly obvious to me that the saboteurs spent many hours thinking of just about every single way they could blacken Karie’s character.

      The only thing that surprises me is that they didn’t have one of them claiming that she contemplated suicide as a consequence of Karie’s bullying, but then again they already used THAT particular Big Lie in the Panorama hit job!

  8. Shes a clear and present danger to the moderates and they wish to get her!.She knows that they will persue her to the grave(the lords).Shes too good for them Labour scabs in the Lords.!

    1. Joseph – Surely Karie Murphy’s accusers have a right to have their very serious complaints against her thoroughly investigated. One would have thought that now the accusations against her are public knowledge that she would welcome the opportunity to clear her name. If she’s innocent then she has nothing to fear.

      1. They throw mud because we all know it sticks no matter what the truth.
        This is exactly what the innocent have to fear in today’s gutter journalism.

      2. Yes EXACTLY Florence, but SteveH is WELL aware of THAT, but feigns to pretend otherwise, AND he spouts his B/S knowing full well that such claims are impossible to disprove (or prove for that matter), and it’s a case of on the one hand ONE persons word against another, and on the other hand, a case of a number of peoples word against Karie’s. And the damage is already done anyway of course!

        And as I said further up the page, a whole bunch of people made very serious claims in the Panorama program, and yet we ALL know – including SteveH – that it was all black propaganda lies and complete and utter B/S. Oh, right, but this is different isn’t it Steve! Yeah, sure, and Jeremy’s an anti-semite and a friend of terrorists……

        Be real Steve…… oh, but I was forgetting, you’re NOT real, are you!

      3. Allan – On this occasion it looks like an official complaint has been made to the House of Lords Appointments Commission so hopefully this will result in a thorough investigation.

        I find your rather cavalier and partisan dismissal of these accusations disturbing. How many instances have we seen where our society has come to regret dismissing complainants. Karie Murphy is about to be appointed to one of the highest offices in our political system, as this is a lifetime unelected appointment it is of particular importance that we ensure that she is fit to hold that office.

        It would be a gross dereliction of their duties to us all for the parliamentary authorities not to carry out due diligence on our behalf.

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