Analysis comment

New right-wing NEC BAME member ‘spoke against including racism’ in scope of ‘Labour leak’ investigation

Labour First-supported BAME representative Carol Sewell wanted to exclude racism from terms of reference of Starmer’s report into leaked Labour report, say outraged NEC members

A recently-elected BAME member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) spoke against including racism in the scope of the party’s investigation into the leaked internal report that accused right-wing HQ staff of undermining Labour’s electoral efforts, obstructing disciplinary investigations and potentially racist discussions, according to other members.

Carol Sewell, a Unison activist backed by right-wing pressure groups Labour First and Progress, did not want racism to be included in the terms of reference of the investigation when the NEC met to set them earlier today.

However, she ultimately voted to include them.

One NEC member told the SKWAWKBOX:

[Sewell] spoke against including racism because it ‘predetermined the outcome’ and voted against it. It was outrageous.

We were eventually able to make sure sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination were included in the end, but it shows their contempt for the membership and for equalities.

Another said that Sewell then changed her vote:

She changed her vote when it became clear which way the wind was blowing – it was one of the few votes the left won. But she seemed set against doing anything to strengthen the terms of reference. The contributions from all the new members [the three who won the NEC by-election announced on the same day as Keir Starmer’s leadership win] were pretty bad, actually.

It’s remarkable that a reason for not including racism in the scope of the investigation was that it would ‘pre-determine the outcome’.

Starmer’s investigation has been criticised for appearing more concerned with targeting the whistleblowers who released the report rather than the behaviour of the staff and ex-staff accused by the report, two of whom now hold senior positions in Unison.

Ms Sewell was contacted for comment but did not respond.

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6 comments

  1. Don’t know her, never even heard of her before – but BAME people in public life have occasionally said there’s a pressure to avoid being seen as “making everything about racism.”
    If she’s a right winger I hate her on principle obviously, but I don’t see a racism issue in the leak investigation either.
    I stand ready to be corrected though.

  2. It is imperative that Labour comes. up with an honest and intelligent analysis of this leaked report… no whitewashing please.

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