Analysis comment

Starmer’s BOD pledge could prevent Ashworth supporting his own suspended wife on pain of own summary suspension

Estranged couple could fall foul of Starmer’s promise if it is applied

Former party director Emilie Oldknow, who features prominently in the leaked Labour Party report, is among those suspended by the Labour Party in connection with the leaked Labour report that makes an array of allegations against senior party staff and former staff, according to a report by Novara Media. The report includes, against various staff members, allegations of racism, abuse, obstructing disciplinary investigations into complaints of racism, misappropriation of campaign funds, undermining the party’s election campaigns and more.

With regard to Ms Oldknow, Novara states that:

Oldknow’s name features hundreds of times in the leaked report, with some of the most shocking and offensive statements attributed to her.

In addition to describing another staff member as “pube head” and calling a colleague “smelly cow”, the report claims one conversation between senior management can be taken to show Oldknow suggesting allegations of racism made by BAME politicians were untrue.

It could also suggest that Oldknow thought the very idea of white privilege was itself something to mock and not to take seriously.

Novara Media

Ms Oldknow is the estranged wife of Labour front-bencher Jonathan Ashworth – and Mr Ashworth could easily find himself falling foul of party leader Keir Starmer’s promise to implement ten demands made by the Board of Deputies (BOD) during his leadership campaign.

One of many problematic Oldknow items in the leaked report

The fifth of those pledges states that:

Any MPs, Peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of antisemitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership.

Of course, any suggestion of a ‘hierarchy of racism’ would be unacceptable, so if Starmer is to implement his promise, he must apply the same standard to suspensions in connection to all forms of alleged racism. The pledge does not distinguish between those found guilty and expelled and those, like Emilie Oldknow, under administrative suspension pending investigation.

The investigation into the complaints against Emilie Oldknow has not yet been completed and investigators may conclude she is innocent – but, again, the fifth BOD demand that Keir Starmer has promised to implement does not care. It treats those suspended the same as those expelled, even if the allegations are eventually rejected by the party.

This means that, were they not separated, Jonathan Ashworth could have found himself in the position of going home at night to a wife he was forbidden to support – on pain of summary suspension if he ignored the stricture. Even separated, the ban on support could prove uncomfortable to say the least. Will Starmer enforce it?

Both Mr Ashworth and Ms Oldknow were contacted for comment.

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  1. It’s my opinion that had the suspended person been a Left Winger, Social Media would have been trawled for anyone who had ever supported them and a host of Summary Suspensions would have been issued. But as she clearly isn’t a Left Winger, it’s an almost certainty that this won’t happen in this case.

    1. There is absolutely nothing to stop you trawling social media to you hearts content should you so desire.

      1. I think that the point being made here is that a left winger will be dealt with as a hardened criminal, and a right winger with kids glove. Hierarchy of crime.

      2. SteveH perfectly understood what Terry was saying Marie, but he was looking to try and somehow invalidate what Terry said (in the minds of skwawkbox readers), and THAT was the best he could come up with, which was beyond pathetic. But that’s what shills are paid to do, and they constantly monitor the site so that they can get their ‘Reply’ in quickly, in THIS case – and on this occasion – within ten minutes of Terry posting his comment.

        NB Cheers Steve, that’s a bit more material for the book!

      3. Allan – You display a staggering lack of self awareness.

  2. In suspending these 7 it looks like the NEC followed the recommendations that Keir made to the meeting that decided the remit for the inquiry into the leaked report.

    “during the meeting it was made clear by Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner that the inquiry does not preclude disciplinary action by the party.
    One source said the new leadership team was not trying to discourage such action from being taken by the party in line with normal processes, and in fact “they’re encouraged” to do so.
    It is not expected that the newly elected leaders would comment on specific cases that should be brought forward, particularly as both are in favour of introducing an independent complaints system.”

    1. Steve H ITs not Keir….lets Give him the title he paid for by corruption and the man to go to for bent coppers whilst he managed the DPP for a Title SIR Keir starmer leader of the Labour party?

      1. Joseph – I do wish you would occasionally spare a thought for the millions in the UK who aren’t as fortunate as yourself. It is extremely selfish of you to constantly seek to undermine the electoral prospects of Labour when your own rentier lifestyle in the Far-East will insulate you from the consequence of another Tory victory.
        Have a thought for all those who, unlike you, desperately need a Labour government.

      2. SteveH, “rentier lifestyle” seems harsh.
        My understanding was that Joseph was working to improve infrastucture for local people where he lives, rather than extracting wealth from them – I must have missed any of his comments that imply he’s exploiting the people.

      3. David – I have not intimated that he was exploiting the people that live around him. The definition I am using of ‘rentier’ is a person whose money comes from investments and who therefore does not have to work If you do a search you’ll find it is a very common definition.

        A description which according to his own posts fits Joseph’s situation.

      4. Steve, in those terms anyone with the smallest private pension or ISA is a rentier – not being excluded by the dictionary definition doesn’t mean they should be lumped in with the wealthy land owning class commonly described.
        I don’t know whether Joseph is a member of that class or not, but he doesn’t express the right wing views they do.

    2. “Kier” as though Woodentop was a personal friend.Just give it rest will you SteveH you arse licking little creep.

  3. As I stated in a previous post just because the Report was leaked it doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. Skwawkbox states that the investigation into Emilie Oldknow’s behaviour has not yet been completed.This is incorrect – a full investigation was undertaken and it determined that she at seriously fault in a number of areas. We are now investigating the investigation – an utter waste of time as the evidence is documented and on record and cannot be ignored given that most of us read the leaked report.
    In relation to the Board of Deputies , I note that the report contains evidence that antisemitism complaints were not progressed properly and in some cases staff members deliberately obstructed and delayed investigation and/or outcome. I would have expected some strong words from the Board and also the Campaign against Antisemitism in respect of the despicable behaviour of the staff involved. However very surprisingly the silence from them is deafening.

    1. “I would have expected some strong words from the Board and also the Campaign against Antisemitism in respect of the despicable behaviour of the staff involved.”
      Hmm – it could concievably be that those very delays misled those august bodies into believing Corbyn was to blame… assuming they’re honourable men.
      If they wish to be seen as honourable they could make a start toward redeeming their reputations and their souls by coming forward right fucking now with a fulsome apology to Jeremy Corbyn.
      I don’t find the silence from them in the least surprising – it does however raise the question of whether the word “honour” is even in the Jewish lexicon, given that their religious leaders have shown none.
      ps I do know you were being ironic. 🙂

      1. There are plenty of “honourable” Jews,I read stuff from them literally every day.Perhaps you meant Zionists.

      2. Most Jewish people are honourable. Only the BOD and the CAA know why they have remained silent in the face of clearly dishonourable behaviour on the part of our paid staff. Given that they were very vocal about delays in dealing with antisemitism complaints when they wrongly believed that Jeremy Corbyn was responsible, they clearly have an obligation to speak out. As they have not done so they need to say why not. That is the right thing to do.

      3. john thatcher and Smartboy – of course most Jews are honourable – I deliberately skirted the edge of antisemitism to make the point to the Board that many people may come to judge British Jewry by their putative leadership’s actions – rather than those of JVL or the vast, unheard majority of decent, honourable Jews.

  4. If the reports of her comments are accurate, one thing is certain, Emilie Oldknow is no ‘Lady’.

    1. Reply to Jack T- Her name calling and bad language are infantile. You have to wonder how such a childish and immature person was ever deemed suitable for a senior role in our party.

      1. Due to the abysmal and apathetic turnout for most Union leadership ballots the influence that Union bosses exert is completely disproportionate to their actual mandate. It is high time that this apparent system of affiliated Unions appointing key members of staff within Labour’s HQ was re-examined.

      2. Maybe she had other special qualities we do not know/do not really want to know about……. 🤔🤔🤔

      3. Unions
        Bring in a lot of funding, what is beyond me is how the left do not clean up in elections and appointments
        What needs to be done to remedy this

      4. Jack T, Sabine may be on to something, but I’m not sure the sisterhood will see it that way 🙂

      5. David McNiven, I get your drift, I’m pleased it wasn’t a male who said it 😉

  5. I believe she is still holding a high ranking position in Unison , if so , then one wonders if that position is still tenable for her to continue with . Then again perhaps the rank and file no longer care ?

  6. Another point on party democracy is the role of MP’s, they are employees and should be treated as such and sacked on the spot when they fail to do the job
    Under PR they are part of a slate, it’s the numbers not the individuals that count, as for local ties with electorate again it’s the party that people are supporting, havnt had an issue that I would use an MP to sort out in over 20 odd years in Free Advice Sector
    We use recognised experts in their fields

    1. A correction and a comment. MP’s are not legally “employees” of anyone. Secondly, I note your comment on the advice / constituency role of an MP. As always some are better than others, but then so are individual CAB offices, for instance, All MP’s use caseworkers (I was one for nearly 20 years) and most caseworkers for Labour MP’s are “expert” in areas of work (mine was benefits, including acting as a direct lay representative at Tribunals) Other have specialisms in housing, legal issues and immigration and asylum casework. The comment you make is a broad brush generalisation, and is nowhere near the actualitie.

      1. Disagree
        Plastic caseworkers are one step up from MP’s,
        CAB have the best caseworkers in their field and access to the best specialists in the country

  7. After all the AS scam ,it really does look like the party is full of racists in key positions.and the knights supporters are institutionally racist.Whats going on and maybe Jeremy Corbyn should make it his business to enquire just whats being done to rid the party of these vile pathological liars and racist individuals as one of the main recipients of the smears that stopped the possibility of a Labour government and Jeremy Corbyn in Downing street…..time for the knight to own up and get saddled up and off over the horizon….!Maybe we can crowdfund to get rid of the knight has he’s spent the subscriptions on lawyering up his criminal friends inside the Labour hierarchy.

    1. If Starmer’s spending the subs on defending the people who threw away the election he might as well just cut out the middlemen and donate them direct to the Tory party.

  8. Those creepy ‘pledges’ aren’t worth the paper they are written on. UNLESS they are formally adopted by the Party. That is the acid test – even if the Blessed RLB of late prominence also signed up to to them.

    I reckon that *if* anyone was slung out of the Party on that basis, and it could be financially supported (the real problem), a legal case would be won.

    1. RH, Chris Williamson has funds and will consider supporting legal cases against the LP.

      1. Yes, Jack – and that would be good as a continuity fund. But there is another problem, I guess – demonstrated by the way in which Chris Williamson, despite winning his case, was still shat upon, and the reporting distorted.

      2. Theres not really a fag paper between you on this, legal remedy is all about the timing and Chris W needs to hold back just now, we need him back in the party as heir apparent to keep Keir honest

  9. That Doug , is my hope , well said , that CW will eventually re-enter the party with grass roots support and who knows eventually challenge Starmer . Forward Momentum is the only vehicle within the party at the moment to facilitate that route.

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