Exclusive

Exclusive: the emails that saw Haringey Labour right council leadership challenger reported for racism

Muslim Haringey councillors and members say they were denied 15 minutes to break their Ramadan fast by senior councillor and accused of ‘weaponising’ their religion

Haringey councillor Pat Berryman

A senior Haringey councillor challenging London’s only black council leader as part of a ‘racist coup‘ is the subject of complaints to the Labour Party over ‘Islamophobia and racism’ after denying Muslim councillors and members a 15-minute break from a meeting of the council’s Labour group to break their Ramadan fast of over 17 hours – and accusing them of ‘weaponising’ their religion when they complained.

Cllr Pat Berryman, who is secretary of Haringey council’s Labour group, sent an email to a complainant when he messaged councillors about the issue:

And the same member alleges that Berryman also accused him of ‘playing the race card’ for complaining that tweets by a right-wing former councillor comparing council leader Joe Ejiofor to a chimpanzee and an African dictator were racist:

The limp response of London Labour – which has intervened to protect councillors accused of racism, including one suspended over threatening messages to the borough’s elderly Jewish mayor – to the behaviour of right-wing Labour councillors in Haringey has been so poor that the Muslim member has questioned whether he and other ethnic minority members have a place in the party:

Labour members in the Borough have strongly backed Ejiofor, with several votes passed supporting him. Attempts to blame Ejiofor and his team for development contracts in the area have been misplaced, as the council has been saddled with contracts already signed by Haringey’s previous, right-dominated regime.

Berryman has mounted a leadership challenge against the popular Joe Ejiofor, London’s only black council leader, which if successul would also mean the removal of Seema Chandwani as deputy council leader.

Cllr Berryman has been contacted for comment.

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15 comments

  1. How does someone get to be a “senior councillor” without having some training on racism?
    Whatever his feelings or suspicions about “weaponisation of religion” behind the request for a short pause in proceedings he ought to know better than to verbalise them.
    We know of another religion that’s been weaponised for political gain so it’s not impossible – but one needs to be certain of one’s ground before making accusations.

  2. There isnt a fag paper between Red Tories and cheap and nasties
    So change the language
    No room in Labour party for those who prefer a Tory government

    1. You keep saying “change the language” without explaining yourself.
      I might agree if you could clarify what you mean by that.

      1. Speak human
        In Parliament your not allowed to call someone a liar but nothing stops you telling lies
        So call a spade a shovel
        Yesterday Liz Truss repeated the lie that John Mcdonald called for the lynching of one of her colleagues, I’ve forgotten her name
        A reasonable response would be
        ‘And your a lying toerag’

      2. Extend that to removal of every scrap of parliamentary and regal pomp, circumstance, deference and bollocks and I’m with you 100%.

    2. Doug – “No room in Labour party for those who prefer a Tory government”
      I agree, but if we take them at their own word that would automatically exclude a few of SB’s contributors from membership.

      1. I suspect you’re referring to the Toffee’s “I’d rather vote Tory” (than Starmer iirc).
        Toffee can speak for himself but it seemed like hyperbole to me.
        Not much of a gotcha.

      2. David – “Not much of a gotcha.”

        I agree, but it was never intended to be one.

  3. Pat Berryman doesn’t even know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” His message is sadly lacking, and so is his grammar.

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