Analysis Exclusive

Exclusive: right chickens out of ‘racist coup’ against Haringey’s black council leader – but left turns tables. Plotters humiliated by landslide vote in support of Cllr Joe Ejiofor

Right-wing tries to abandon manoeuvre after media spotlight and member anger gives some cold feet – but council’s left members insist vote be held anyway

Haringey Council leader Cllr Joe Ejiofor

Earlier this week the SKWAWKBOX revealed right-wing manoeuvres in the borough of Haringey that had been condemned as a ‘racist coup‘ against London’s only black council leader, Joe Ejiofor.

Right-wing Labour councillors and their allies had called an ’emergency’ meeting – just days after a private meeting between Labour leader Keir Starmer and the Haringey right and in the absence of any emergency – to hold a no-confidence vote in Cllr Ejiofor, in spite of his successes and popularity with local Labour members. Abuse directed toward Ejiofor included tweets comparing him to an African military dictator and a chimpanzee.

Shockingly, Labour’s London regional office intervened to protect councillors involved from media scrutiny – even one councillor who has been suspended over complaints of antisemitic and threatening language (toward Haringey’s elderly Jewish mayor for her agreement with Ejiofor over postponing the date of the council’s next annual meeting because of the pandemic) and is now sitting as an independent councillor and is not a Labour one.

But the glare of publicity, a string of messages from angry members and the outrage of the more than 2,000 people who signed a petition condemning the manoeuvre seems to have resulted in cold feet among the right – because the SKWAWKBOX has been informed by local sources that they tried to pull the no-confidence vote from the meeting’s agenda.

However, realising that this attempt to abort the coup was a sign that it no longer had enough councillors brave enough to back it, left-wingers on the council insisted that the confidence vote proceed.

In spite of their appeals to the party’s regional office representative present at the meeting, the right-wingers were unable to prevent the vote going ahead – because they had tabled it and now two of the left had proposed and seconded the ballot.

Even though the vote was being run as a secret ballot, only one right-winger was brave enough to cast a vote against the council leader – and the rest abstained, leading to a 17-1 vote expressing confidence in Cllr Ejiofor.

The result was a humiliation for those involved in the attempted ‘coup’, who were forced to make do with the consolation prize of a September date for the group’s AGM instead of the original May next year. However, since the overwhelming confidence result came after the vote on the AGM date and the ’emergency’ was not an emergency, there is a strong case for disregarding the result of the AGM vote, since the excuse for the no-confidence attempt was Ejiofor’s and Mayor Sheila Peacock’s decision to hold the next AGM in May.

But the embarrassing result for the right should not be allowed to distract from the scandal of a Labour regional office defending right-wing councillors when the left-wing council leader had been subjected to racial abuse – even more so when one of those defended is not even a Labour councillor because of a suspension over allegations of antisemitism and threatening language.

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14 comments

  1. Same old Labour party,2 partys under the collapsing Broad Church dogma.ITs killing the democratic socialist labour party and causing all of the trouble thats been going on for years and years.IF we learned anything from the Corbyn Socialist surge it must be that our right wing have no longer any justification for the corrupt immoral stance that they take.These vermin belong in the Tory austerity party and have no place in what should be a working-class led movement of the people,not a corrupt knight led hypocrites and all failed yesterdays followers.Get rid of the Cancer from the leadership,PLP and HQ and install a strong working class to do the massive clearout.,No more Slick Lawyers and carrerests,We need somone that actualy “Cares” untill that happens,and it will then The Labour party will bleed.

    1. The only way to achieve this Joseph, is adopt all the tactics if the right and play them at their own game. Yet more cul-de-sac adventures… Dunno about you, but I ain’t got much life left to squander and it seems stupid to keep repeating the cycle of going nowhere. Hope never got out of the box…

      It’s a tempting cause, but starting over is the logical way forward.

      The right automatically loses control of party apparatus. Right loses control lines established over decades. Right loses the ability to make conflicting statements or to piss into the tent.

      To compound this, rules can be laid stopping all the old school ways of being ignored by an MP who doesn’t care about you.

      If Labour was a car, most of us would be walking because it’s simply not fit for purpose. It steers to the right, brakes to the right, leans to the right and breaks down every time something involving the left appears.

      1. Yes, and in a left side driving country like ours, this unfit-for-purpose Labour Party with its ubiquitous veer to the right is actually VERY DANGEROUS. Without fail, it inclines towards leaving the carriageway and colliding with on-coming traffic.

        YES, we need to get these centrist and the damage the do to our Party’s steering looked at.

        DON’T leave Labour – it’s a working class party for working class politics. Champaign centrists don’t own Labour. We do. Stay and Fight.

  2. If enough left members stick around for next years conference it could be a lively affair. The rights attempts at stitch ups on votes from the platform should be given the opposition it deserves

  3. Can someone ask the usual Cockwombles why they tolerate attacks on their own community when it suits them
    Anti Semitism is a hate crime and until we prosecute nothing will change
    Advice to good folk of Haringey knock yourselves out with this, take it as far as you can, force Starmer, JLM, BOD and CAA to respond
    Then they can address the vexatious claims

  4. FANTASTIC that Jo and his left supporters on the council shamed the cowardly, brain-dead centrists by DOING THE RIGHT THING. Wonderful. Proud of you. Great example to us all. Thanks.

    B U T the most unpleasant aspect of this entire charade is the leader’s inability or unwillingness to persuade his ideological centrist supporters to call-off the shameless coup attempt, or the fact that maybe the vile plotters did not even have the honesty to inform him of their malicious intention.

    Truth is, these centrist extremists are very unprincipled and very destructive of the democratic nature of the Labour Party.

  5. Well done joe and those that forced them into a corner, cheered them up and spat them out
    And well done skwawkbox
    mmmh some of tthe commentators on skwawkbox posts are “surprisingly ” quiet …

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