comment Exclusive

Excl: Starmer’s ‘diversity panel’ so far set to be all-white – and party’s most senior BAME employee ‘sidelined’

Starmer announced ‘diversity audit’ on anniversary of election of black MPs, but party’s most senior BAME employee has been ‘sidelined’, according to Labour sources – and diversity panel so far includes only white LOTO staff

Keir Starmer

On the 33rd anniversary of the election of Britain’s first black MPs, including former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, Labour leader Keir Starmer has announced his intention to tackle anti-Black racism – including a ‘diversity audit’ of the party’s representation of black, Asian and ethnic minority staff, with an ‘action plan’ and targets to follow the audit.

The party’s official Twitter account has also put out tweets about Ms Abbott and about other black MPs to mark the anniversary, while Starmer’s Twitter feed featured a video statement about the ‘great debt’ the party owes to Abbott and ‘rife’ racism and inequality in society and his desire for black members to “be able to put their trust in me”.

Now more than ever it’s incumbent on political leaders to face up to and address the injustices that exist in our society. Now is the time for action…

…It’s not right that Diane Abbott faces vile racist abuse daily… We will tackle any anti-Black racism within our party.

Keir Starmer’s statement on Diane Abbott’s anniversary as an MP today

But Labour sources have told the SKWAWKBOX that Starmer’s diversity panel so far includes no black people – nor even the party’s most senior BAME employee – and is set to consist of LOTO (leader of the opposition’s office) staff who are all from white backgrounds.

Further, the BAME party director has, according to various sources in the party, been ‘sidelined’ and many of his duties have been re-allocated to a more junior – and white – staff member; one whose name appears in the leaked internal report accusing senior staff of serious misconduct.

That report accuses other senior then-staff of behaviour including racism (against Diane Abbott among others), obstruction of investigations into racism complaints and undermining election campaigns – but so far, not one current or former staffer appears to have been suspended, while the party has spent a six-figure sum investigating staff who compiled the report and those it suspects might have leaked it.

LabourList’s announcement on Twitter of Starmer’s ‘strategy’ met with a barrage of angry comment from current and former members outraged at the lack of action on the report’s accusations, particularly when members even fallaciously accused of other misconduct have been rapidly and summarily suspended:

Keir Starmer has been contacted for comment.

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  1. Besides Starmer’s undoubted establishment credentials, what exactly are his links to the security services, the Murdoch flagship, his allegiance to a right wing US oligarch and why did he assist in the continued persecution of the political prisoner Julian Assange. In addition to being the main architect of the disastrous refusal to accept the democratic process. This journalist poses these questions to him. Well worth a read!!!

    The public deserves answers about the UK’s new opposition leader and his relationship with the British national security establishment, including the MI5 and the Times newspaper, his former role in the Julian Assange case and his membership in the intelligence-linked Trilateral Commission.
    By Matt Kennard
    Dear Sir Keir,

    Congratulations on being elected the new leader of the Labour Party. I have been researching your former role as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for England and Wales. I wrote to you with some questions recently but received no reply, so I am now writing you an open letter to pose five critical questions which I believe are in the public interest:

    Why did you meet the head of MI5, the domestic security service, for informal social drinks in April 2013, the year after you decided not to prosecute MI5 for its role in torture?

    When and why did you join the Trilateral Commission and what does your membership of this intelligence-linked network entail?

    What did you discuss with then US Attorney General Eric Holder when you met him on 9 November 2011 in Washington DC, at a time you were handling the Julian Assange case as the public prosecutor?

    What role did you play in the Crown Prosecution Service’s irregular handling of the Julian Assange case during your period as DPP?

    Why did you develop such a close relationship with the Times newspaper while you were the DPP and does this relationship still exist?

    1. How did those clowns who voted for this establishment “Stooge” think that it would improve the opposition to the most vile and ruthless government in living memory?The minority of party members that voted for the knight must have been blind to the fact that “we are a democratic socialist labour party” .and those that didnt vote have a lot to answer for in the destruction of the Labour party.Any of the nonentitys on offer in the PLP chosen candidates would have been better than a motivated “Plant” inside of the Labour party with a mission to destroy the so called opposition.and leave the country to the vultures of the Conservative and unionist party

      1. Most of the ‘clowns’ were no doubt right-wing members and, as such, knew exactly what they were voting for.

  2. Jonathan Cook cuts to the chase, as per usual:

    ‘Tearing down statues isn’t vandalism. It’s at the heart of the democratic tradition’

    Rather than oppose the protesters for targeting Colston’s statue, or worry about the fate of similar statues, critics should consider why it is that so many British cities are stuffed with art works commemorating Britons who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    What does that say about our supposedly glorious past or about the wealth that paid for our cities? Is that a history we should continue to glorify? Should we shrink from the truth, pretending it never happened? Or is time we confronted the past honestly?

    1. Just came across this in my inbox in the latest notification from JVL. David Rosenberg……

      ‘Don’t put them on a pedestal’

      Last Sunday, slave trader Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol was daubed with paint, pulled to the ground, jumped on by joyful protesters, rolled along to the harbour and dumped in the River Avon. The events caused quite a splash. As Colston sunk ignominiously to the bottom, what rose to the surface was a long overdue national debate about statues that grace or rather disgrace our towns and cities, and reinforce a dominant history.

  3. This article highlights the under representation of people from a BAME background in our party. All the people on the so called diversity panel are white. There are no black staffers in the LOTO office. The Black party director has been sidelined so that a white member of staff (who in any other work environment would be suspended) can take a lead role. Totally disgusting and leaving us open to justifiable allegations of racism.
    I am pleased to see support expressed for Diane Abbott even if it is belated. It is outrageous that no place can be found for her on the front bench or shadow cabinet. I note however that Jess Phillips, chair of the Women’s PLP, who mocked and ridiculed Diane and who gave her no support whatsoever while she was receiving more abuse than the rest of the female MPs put together has been promoted and is sitting snugly alongside Keir.
    There should not be a hierarchy of racism or any other discriminatory behaviour.However it appears to me that such a hierarchy exists in our party e.g. Keir has been in discussions with Jewish leader about tackling antisemitism but has yet to meet with any leaders from the various BAME groups to discuss how we should deal with BAME racism within the party and in society generally where it is widespread. Black MPs who served in senior roles under Jeremy were sacked by Keir and replaced by white MPs. Individuals like Jess (who was called a “white feminist” by the BAME members of the Womens PLP) have been promoted without being required to apologise or even express regret for their failure to support Diane Abbott.
    Casual racism exists in society too.We have all seen disgusting scenes during sporting events . Our city centres are littered with statues erected in memory of fascists, slavers and other such undesirables. People like Stella Creasey MP post vile racist cartoons without even realising how hurtful and offensive they are- just a joke about a black person so what? appears to be the attitude.
    We need to tackle BAME racism head on and we should start by apologising for our insensitivity in failing to have BAME people on our Diversity Panel and rectifying this immediately. The Black party director who was sidelined should be given his place and the white staffer should be suspended pending investigation. We need to appoint BAME staffers in the LOTO’s office and in the shadow cabinet and front bench so that we can demonstrate our commitment to racial equality.

    1. I enjoyed your clever post. I just have never heard of this Black party let alone it’s leader. ☮️

  4. The solution to the laughingly called opposition is now in the “Streets” not parliament or the local councils.who are as far removed from the public as they were in Colstans time.The Knights opposition is a sign of the cancer destroying the fabric of the country.and it comes as no surprise that the opposition comes from the protesters.and the Streets.

    1. I am with you on that Joseph , so glad I am now putting my efforts into supporting Forward Momentum , Starmers Barmy Party is fucked, and as can be seen by the evidence before our very eyes , as corrupt as hell , a stinking cesspit of dishonest liars as bad now as the Tories , hopefully they will never get elected to Govt , their actions and policies will be no different as proven by war criminal Blair imo .
      Mind you that’s exactly the plan , it makes no difference to the PLP bastards as they will continue to keep their snouts in the trough and have no real responsibilities of office , they can’t even do , real opposition , to this murderous Tory Govt

      The hypocrisy of Starmer and his supporters turns my stomach , just sicking to see him and Raynor taking a knee , fuck me the utter hypocrites.IMO the covert systemic racialism runs deep in the Labour hierarchy and this ain’t a lie like the anti-Semitic bullshit smokescreen used by the bastards in the PLP to destroy a good man Corbyn .This has to be challenged WELL DONE SKWAWKBOX


      Much better now to vote for the Forward 24 Momentum slate and to build a proper socialists organisation within Labour , then breakaway and challenge all non socialist Labour MPs at the ballot box.
      Chris Williamson is right , it is a forlorn hope to try and change the party from within , look at what is happening again right now with these appointments .It is not defeatism to understand when you are wasting resources and energy fighting a battle that was already lost 20 years ago , but intelligent use of your assets to move to a battle ground that favours you not the enemy.

      GTTO support a new Democratic Socialist Party

  5. If there is one thing guaranteed then it is that I will vote TORY at the next election! My reason, I will use my vote to detract a vote from that NeoLabour Tory Bastard! Tories are Bastards, they make no secrets or pretence about it, we will suffer as we are now and have for the past 40+ Years of Tory Domination! NeoLabour are Tory Bastards, but they lie with a smile, they are your best friend in your face and then unlike the Tories the stab you multiple times in your back! I would rather a Tory that I know is a Bastard than a Tory who pretends that he’s not a Bastard!
    The more we suffer under the Conservative Tories, will wake people up and with a bit of luck we will see the establishment of a Socialist Party in the HoP! All those people who caused us not to have a Socialist Party in 2020 and are all now crying long tears about this Government and this PM I want the to suffer another 10/15/20 years of Tory Dictatorship so that they don’t make the same stupid mistake again! You might think I am doing the same now, but that means you think that the people who caused 2020 are a better alternative to the current Tories and must surely mean you have not noticed who and what they are! We have NO party in HoC who will stand for the People, NeoLabour will be even worse than Conservatives, especially now that it is clear they are the Establishment’s New Darlings! Better the devil you know!

    1. Aha! Someone who actually says they WILL vote toerag…

      Your thoughts on you and your 70% that have driven people to this, stevey boy?

      Any feelings of culpability; any contrition on offer? No?

      Thought not.

      1. Toffee – Thanks for pointing out that I’d missed replying to your comment.

        Ignorance rarely leads to a state of bliss. I suggest that you put aside your rather disappointing personnel opinion that Jeremy Corbyn is an irrelevance and watch what he has to say.

        It says a lot about you that Corbyn has in your eyes gone from hero to not worth listening to in such a short space of time.

  6. I left the Labour party as a councillor in the Blair period and rejoined under Jeremy Corbyn.I should have never have pushed to rejoin and acepted the refusal from MCNicol the traitor,that the Labour party was still in the hands of the right wing.We live in hope but being played for so many years I will not repeat the mistakes of remaining in such a blatantly still corrupt undemocratic non socialist Labour party.

  7. Well, I live in hope that those who voted for Starmer are starting to realise the big mistake they made in voting him in. Forming a BAME panel without a BAME person in it is really the height of hypocracy. If he really wanted to tackle racism in the party, he would have taken a different approach to responding to the leaked report, and given BAME a real voice and influence by appointing BAME members.
    So in my view, one will be a whitewash and the other just pretence.

  8. Regardless of the irony of forming a “diversity panel” containing only white people, the word “diversity” should set the alarm bells ringing. I’ve watched the Arts Council closely over the last 40 years. Its reign has covered the decimation of theatre-in-education, universal music lessons, free youth theatre provision & out-of-school arts activities, the closure/cutting of radical/left theatre companies, the purging of radical directors/programme makers from the BBC/channel4 etc. ad infinitum. All the while it has used the magic cloak of “diversity” to carry out anti-working class policies. Meanwhile today’s musicians and actors are increasingly likely to have been privately educated. I’ve posted a typical AC link below; I’d say nearly half of its web pages trumpet the words “equality” and “diversity.”

    Indeed, the current Tory cabinet is quite “diverse” in Starmerite/Arts Council/liberal terms. These “diversity” audits might increase the number of non-white people employed by the party but you can be damn sure they’ll only be employed if they’re stooges of the bourgeoisie. The first test of all party employees/members should be their loyalty to the working class and to socialism; that should be the ground pattern over which all other tests of “diversity” are overlaid.

    1. Identify politics have always used by the elites to divide and rule whether it’s race, creed, religion, gender etc hence why Blair et al refused to accept the notion of the working class and the same ideology is still prevalent amongst the apparatchiks in the Labour Party plus the establishment which with our new knight of the realm leader are one and the same.

  9. It’s the officially approved, snowy white peaks of New, New Labour soaring above the mixed race hinterland. This moribund party will go far as putty in the hands of the US, Israel and the established, bloodstained dark forces.

    1. welcome back , nice to see you commenting WIIT , so glad I resigned from it over Starmers appalling handling of the leaked report on corruption in New NU Labour

  10. I care very little for MSM enthusiasm for the new ‘populist’ ideology ‘anti- racism’. It seems to be a reflection of last year’s fashionable ideology ‘Extinction Rebellion’. Both have much in common, but predominantly an opportunity for the bourgeois liberal elite to shine their liberal badge & do………..nothing except signal their virtue. The irony is the same journalists who constructed the narrative of anti-Semtism to stop the formation of a ‘Socialist’ government, now construct another narrative to provide instant copy & prevent any analysis of the ‘class struggle’ Another heat without light narrative that will change nothing. It’s not that I am particularly racist & don’t care about the planet, it’s just I don’t trust MSM nor the comfortable middle classes to do anything other than feather their own nests.

    All my life, I have actively fought against racism & climate change, but both have now been sanitised………anything but point serious fingers @ real problems. Tearing down statues & changing street & building names will provide something for smug bourgeois journalists to write about, but whitewash history. During the 1960s, statues were mocked by young people “here comes the equestrian statue, prancing up & down the square”……courtesy of the Bonzo Dog Dada Band. Statues have been erected for hundreds of years @ great expense, to celebrate the lives of the elite wealthy merchants & landowners who own & control wealth & land…..& still do.

    Statues & street names construct a narrative of oppression that is not just relevant to black African slaves & their descendants, but also the enslavement of the white working class whose lives were owned & controlled by these monsters. The poor have never had a day in the sun, as life expectancy, especially during the industrial revolution, could seldom be measured in much more than two decades. The statues are a constant reminder of control & oppression by elites; I want to see their faces & know who they were, because the past never ends. They are the focus of my contempt & a constant reminder to remember there is a constant class struggle to be fought & Blair was wrong. It may make good headlines destroying statues, but changing the name of Penny Lane changes nothing.

    The legacy of the slavers can be found in the City of London; in Tax Havens & elite career pathways for public schools. Most of our Universities were founded by slavers & still they turn their back on the poor. Nothing will change.

  11. PPS
    ‘Police in Bristol want to interview protesters about harbouring a known criminal.

    1. Steve Richards
      Hope you meant it
      Feel sorry for those towns and cities who dont have a harbour

      1. Feel sorry for anyone who lives more than ten feet from a harbour 🙂
        Sadly the ducks, swans and terns seem to have deserted us for the time being.
        I don’t know if that’s a seasonal thing or just that people haven’t been around throwing them bread for so long.
        Don’t envy me – being stuck in a boatyard isn’t much fun, even if it is right next to the water.

  12. Rob, if we all agreed on everything , we would have what Corbyns detractors used to say on Labour list before they closed the comments section because the right wing trolls were fighting a losing battle, of an echo chamber. But we both agree Starmer is a bought and paid for lackey of the establishment and is being manipulated by them plus his string pullers amongst the right wing billionaires in the US.

    1. I have no argument over that , unlike others who voted for him despite the evidence of his past actions , it was always crystal clear to me , choice given to us was shit but RLB was the lesser shit of the heap . Starmer … well truth is now coming home , hence my resignation from the Party ..I cannot be part of a party so utterly corrupt

  13. Due to the abuse of power and privilege, UK history is heavily soiled with recognition and awards for racism, slavery and the rewriting of history, all falling into the hands of the white slave owners, slave drivers, racists and power abusers themselves. e.g. Churchill.

    Let’s take this opportunity for an overdue clear out and a chance to start again. Let’s begin carving bronze statues and giving accolades from on high to the real, unheralded heroes of our past and present who merit it.

    Where memorials are concerned, working class people of all colours for example are seriously under-represented, alienated, overlooked & have been for centuries.

    So much so we’re feeling invisible here at the cutting edge of where all the valuable, laudable, essential labour that keeps the country functioning is done.

    1. very true WIIT , gob-smacking for me to learn that only in 2015 did we the UK tax payers finally finish off paying compensation to those fucking slavers descendants ,propping them up in their lavish lifestyles that was created off the backs of 1000,000 of dead slaves .
      The establishment is pissing itself laughing at us plebs !!
      Why the fuck didn’t any of the preceding Labour Govts gut this travesty of a compensation scheme !
      Incredible !

      1. For the same reason they did nowt about the obscene banker’s bonuses that have gone on unchallenged and unfettered by governments of all colours since the crash that left just about everyone but the elite worse off by a whole generation and more

        Crimes against the (little) person mean nothing. Crimes against (the elite’s) property mean everything. The corporates have far more protection than the individual, and successive governments haven’t, and do not have plans or the will to change that.

    1. Sorry Toffee it is not silly, he hated Black South Africans and supported the British in Annexation of Zululand among many other very nasty things in his lifetime. This is just testament of Partial, Hand Picked, Candid and Poor Education!
      I hope that this is so much bigger than ‘picking’ on a few lumps of metal I hope this is the moment where History gets dissected and taught in ‘Technicolour’! NOT just the version written by elites and pushed by the establishment. I hope this is the moment where History Teachers are judged on how many pupils ran out puking at the disgust, horror and fear of the Monsters that were ‘wo/men of honour’ once! Perhaps if we start teaching truth and facts we will see a less divided and a more equal society in every aspect.

  14. Mc Bullshit, with many of the posts you have made, I can see why so many are dead in the water 😁

  15. Do you really believe the comfortable bourgeois elites will teach a ‘true record’ of British or World history. Was Ghandi a racist supporting the caste system or Emmeline Pankhurst an imperialist who stood as a Prospective Tory MP, whose slogan was “For King; Country & Empire”. In the established narrative set in a small Polish town called Auschwitz, many of the key characters, such as the Sinti or the Romany have been deleted from history. British History as seen through the eyes of the working class, now there’s a novel idea. When I suggested this in my college, I was accused of bringing politics into the classroom. We all have axes to grind.

  16. Starmer and Rayner got their down on one knee photo opportunity completed while doing nothing to discipline those who made Diane Abbots life a misery in the Labour Leaks, thats all you need to know about Labour’s BAME policy

    1. Diogenes – It may have escaped your notice but during Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure the leadership was specifically separated from having any involvement in the Labour Party’s disciplinary procedures. Also most of the people exposed in the report appear to be either NEC or Union employees so their sacking is an HR issue for their employer it has absolutely bugger all to do with Starmer or any other member of the PLP which is legally a separate body from the NEC.. Any interference from Starmer would lay the party open to legal challenge from those who will face HR disciplinary procedures

      It has obviously also escaped your notice that there is currently a detailed enquiry going on into all aspects of the leaked dossier (due to report mid-July) and the treasonous behaviour it exposed. The remit and the membership of the investigation panel was agreed and voted on by members of the NEC (have a look at the make-up of the NEC).

      It should also be noted that Keir Starmer has also very clearly stated that in his opinion the setting up of the enquiry does not preclude the NEC from proceeding with the normal disciplinary processes of the party.

      I suggest that you wait for the outcome of the investigation instead of blaming people for things that clearly lie outside their scope of responsibility and who’s interference would likely expose the party to both considerable damage to its reputation and substantial financial liabilities.

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