Analysis comment

The questions Keir Starmer must now answer about leaked Labour report – but has not yet responded

Labour leader must publicly guarantee that none of the former staff involved in leaked WhatsApp chats and obstruction of investigations ever hold any position in the party again

The SKWAWKBOX asked Keir Starmer the following yesterday. He has not yet responded:

In view of the Labour report now circulating publicly, will you confirm that Emilie Oldknow and others mentioned will not be considered for any form of party position, now or at any time?

Anna Hutchinson, who participated in the WhatsApp chats, is still NW regional director. What will be done about her involvement?

Please respond no later than noon on Monday 13 April.

He has not yet responded.

Emilie Oldknow has been touted as Starmer’s pick for the position of Labour general secretary, with the press claiming that incumbent Jennie Formby had failed to tackle antisemitism. It is now beyond dispute that the party’s failures on antisemitism were created and prolonged by the behaviour of right-wing staffers.

Oldknow’s comments in secret WhatsApp groups indicate that she was working against Labour’s elected leader, hoping to lose the 2017 election and encouraging other staff not to try to win key seats, as well as part of a group withholding information about campaign funds from the leadership for their own purposes.

In addition, Oldknow made abusive comments about colleagues that make her unsuitable for any party position:

Starmer must also confirm that he will permanently withdraw the Labour whip in the House of Lords from former general secretary Iain McNicol, who was also involved in the WhatsApp discussions working against Labour, so that he can never speak as any kind of voice of the party again. Starmer must confirm that a full and independent investigation will be undertaken and that those found guilty of undermining the party and/or obstructing disciplinary processes as outlined in the leaked Labour report will be expelled for life.

The new Labour leader owes these actions – at the very least – to the hundreds of thousands of Labour members who worked hard for victory in 2017 and again in 2019, against a campaign of media attacks fuelled by the actions of a right-wing faction that would rather see Labour destroyed than see a socialist government.

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21 comments

  1. If the comments attributed to the various Labour staffers are correct and made to and about other party employees, none of them are fit to hold any office of employment in or for the Party again.

    1. I totally agree with you plain citizen, they are unfit to hold any office or employment in the party. I am reading the report bit by bit and it horrifies me that we paid good money to these people . Workplace disciplinary proceedings should be instigated against anyone still employed by us and membership disciplinary proceedings should be instigated against those who are members.

  2. My opinion is that had this report been in the public domain before the leadership election the result might have been rather different and that in the light of the report, the result should be annulled and the contest run again, preferably with JC as a candidate.

      1. They don’t ‘work’. They scheme, collude and connive and disrupt. The only ‘work’ they do is sow discord.

        Ashworth…Pfft! I saw him for what he was the second I first laid eyes on him.

        So go on, how many of you still believe he was ‘sold out’ by his tory friend?

        Godawful whiny-voiced wee shitehawk that he is, he’s got THE easiest brief in that shadow cabinet and he’s still utterly shite. And as for his tart…what a charmer that seems to be?!

  3. I fully agree with the suggestions made here. But as for Starmer taking assertive action on the matter, I’d be very, very surprised. This is ‘New New Labour’ we are talking about. Removing people from the right of the party is not something that really fits with the move, already well underway, back to soft Toryism.

  4. I’m not holding my breath over this. It’s like asking Johnson to sack his brain they call Cummings. To deliberately fight to LOSE two elections can’t be explained, it will be denied and ‘Trots’ blamed. A Party that lauds people like Mann and Philips is NOT a ‘Labour’ Party.

  5. Aside from all the deceit and the plotting don’t you just find the language used in the conversations quoted unbelievably childish. Do we really need a General Secretary who talks like my children did when they were fifteen?

  6. A “them or us” petition from supporters telling Starmer et al that they will have to choose: whether to investigate fully the plot and expel all those involved or carry on without the support of decent people.
    It is of the essence of Blairism that radicals, socialists, honourable party members and honest people have no alternative but to vote against the Tories. And therefore can be ignored, insulted and exploited.
    This is also a cue for Lansman, his last chance to show that, besides being an unprincipled schemer, he will defend the interests of his supporters-the very people who were working so hard in an election that the Party machine was intent on losing.
    My own belief is that Starmer and his PLP supporters were well aware of what their friends in the party secretariat were up to. It is impossible to conceive of McNichol and the rest of them acting this way without being assured that it was OK in the eyes of the leaders of the right wing PLP. Watson certainly ought to be in line for disciplinary procedures.

  7. Either force the mistitled co-operatives out, or leave the aprty so it becomes just the co-operative party and form a proper, socialist labour party.

    Because the co-operatives are your problem.

  8. Not a lot of your labour co-operatives are shitkickers, but a lot of your shitkickers are labour co-operative…

      1. OBFUSCATE…….I blame the american spell-checker (it can’t be my fault) as I hang my head in shame & I printed the spelling mistake in block capitals!!! Good grief, I trust none of my ex-students read it, bad enough you did.

  9. The time has arrived for the party leader to display the forensic skills he is attributed to having ,ensuring human rights and justice is upheld. One would expect transparency, honesty and integrity in any process and the members of the Party to be fully informed through out.

    1. One would expect transparency, honesty and integrity in any process and the members of the Party to be fully informed through out.

      Yes – One WOULD expect all those things.

      …But NOT from starmer.

      1. Starmer’s response to this will either make him or break him. I believe now that they have put out a holding statement about investigating the leak of the document, immaterial now.

        What’s more important is what are they going to do about those still employed by the party and those who left and are implicated in the document? Starmer’s choice in how he proceeds will show us if he wants transparency or not. I fear he doesn’t and has an inclination to protect the staff mentioned, but one thing is for certain the membership should not take any prisoners on this, they should put pressure on Starmer to clean out this cesspit not matter who they are, MP or staff.

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