Analysis Exclusive

Both right-wing Labour councillors attempting to challenge Haringey’s black council leader and Asian deputy suspended – over racism complaints

Patrick Berryman and Dana Carlin suspended over separate complaints of racism

The ‘racist coup‘ against London’s only black council leader has hit a significant bump in the road after both would-be challengers to Joe Ejiofor and his deputy Seema Chandwani were suspended following complaints of racism.

Cllr Patrick Berryman was said to be standing against Ejiofor and Cllr Dana Carlin against Chandwani in what locals have described as an attempt by the Labour right to seize back control of Haringey council lost after controversial previous leader Claire Kober quit. LabourList reported the suspensions but did not mention their status as challengers.

Incumbent Ejiofor is strongly backed by local members, with some demanding that the challenge be abandoned because of the support he enjoys – but the suspension of both challengers has thrown the takeover attempt into disarray.

The complaint against Berryman centred on comments and an email – revealed exclusively by the SKWAWKBOX – after Muslim members asked him for a short break in a Labour group meeting to break their Ramadan fast. Berryman emailed a member accusing him of ‘weaponising’ Islam – and the same member has alleged that Berryman accused him of ‘playing the race card’ after the member complained about racist comments made by a former councillor about Ejiofor.

Carlin’s suspension comes after complaints that she used the ‘n-word’ – the SKWAWKBOX understands that it was allegedly used several times – during a meeting.

The attempt to remove Cllr Ejiofor as leader was dubbed a ‘racist coup‘ by locals after one former Labour councillor tweeted linking Ejiofor to chimpanzees and comparing him to an African dictator – and another councillor was suspended for alleged threatening language toward the borough’s 86-year-old Jewish mayor for agreeing with Ejiofor to delay an annual general meeting because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A councillor on the left of the party was also suspended this week, over social media comments he says were edited to make them appear antisemitic. Supporters of another left-winger on the council, Preston Tabois, have said the same was done to his social media to concoct a complaint – and it is certainly clear from the screengrabbed social media comments that he was replying to a man and not supporting the woman who authored a racist article.

The London Labour Party’s conduct in association with the various complaints has been less than exemplary. When the SKWAWKBOX contacted accused councillors for comment in July, Labour’s London regional office intervened to shield the councillors – even though one, because he was suspended over the alleged threats to the mayor, was no longer even a Labour councillor.

Yet another councillor, Julie Davies, has not so far been sanctioned despite an email mocking the English of a council colleague of Kurdish ethnicity – but Preston Tabois, who put his name to the complaint about her conduct, was suspended in spite of the obvious issues with the allegations against him.

The councillors did not respond to LabourList’s request for comment.

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24 comments

  1. I don’t know whether the councillors concerned are guilty of racism or not but I am delighted that our party under Starmer now appears to be taking allegations of BAME racism seriously. As I have posted previously there is no hierarchy of racism or discrimination. It is appalling that disgusting anti black, anti Muslim and homophobic comments have been allowed to pass.unremarked upon.Indeed people like Jess Phillips who openly mocked Diane Abbott and never gave her one iota of support at a time when Diane was suffering from unprecedented levels of racist and misogynistic abuse have been promoted within the party, the BLM movement has been trivialised as a “moment” and our BAME members continue to be seriously under represented at all levels with the party.
    If we are to be an anti racist anti discrimination party we have to tackle all forms of racism and discrimination with equal fervour and without fear or favour

    1. Fully agree, Smartboy… except the “under Starmer” bit. Sometimes things happen in spite of buckets of piss like Keith Starmer. Eg under Thatcher’s secretion WMD Blair, some positive things happened due to the whips offering them as rewards for voting for wars and other Bliar evils. Of course the liar and war criminal claimed the good things as its own and the true instigators remained silent thus allowing myths and deceits to persist.
      Eg the Good Friday Agreement. The work was started and finished by others eg Major and Mo Mowlam. Mo was then turfed out and others took the credit for her efforts. I always thought that hastened her end.

      1. Reply to Signposts and John Thatcher
        Just to clarify -I wasn’t being sarcastic I just worded the post badly. I have been disgusted by the inaction of Starmer in respect of racism ( except antisemitic racism) and I welcome the fact that it now appears that racism towards BAME members will no longer be tolerated in the party . I say “appears” because we will have to wait and see how things develop.

  2. I think you are being slightly over generous about “our party under Starmer”,or maybe it is sarcasm and I missed the cues.

  3. Off topic more or less.I have been trying out Brave as a search engine,and it works fine so far, other than that it will not allow me to support other posts here or make a comment.Anybody know how to deal with this?

    1. john, have u logged in? If not try that. Brave is one of the browsers i use. Tis great🌹🌹🌹

      1. Ah,I can comment,but I still can’t “like” other contributions.

      2. Ah! Strangely John, using Brave, i could not reply to your post, but i could like it. Quite odd. No reply button visible on Brave for your post, after liking it. Yet visible now on WordPress. The mysteries of tech!!!

      3. Hi John, i just liked your post below to test Brave. A pop up request your email, then to log in via WordPress r google or Apple i think. If my like does not appear below, then general problem. If it does, then something needs changing in your Brave settings. Ps i,v only done this using Brave to solve your query. I use different browsers for different purposes. Hope this helps. 🌹🌹🌹

      4. The site has changed in a few respects apart from emojis disappearing.
        I can comment with just my email, but to like a comment I have to log in with my email then click on the W, complete the popup email & password to log in again, sometimes two or three times, then click ‘post comment’ and the zebra bar cycles for ages. Click ‘post comment’ anyway and then I’m finally logged in until it times out.
        Still can’t like comments until I reload the page after all that.
        It’s definitely a bit clunky. I’ve seen no difference with chrome, firefox, or Edge. Haven’t got Linux on any of my old laptops anymore to test any of its browsers – everybody buying Toughbooks wants 10 installed even on the old slow stuff.

      5. David, have u tried Duck Duck Go? That definitely works. Brave works extremely well for other purposes, so was puzzled by it behaving oddly while trying to assist John.
        Try Aloha also. I use that lots now. 🌹🌹🌹

      6. ps also try Opera Browsers. Have used those for ages without a problem. There is an excellent Opera Browser that allows u to strip out videos etc and reduce the resolution of images etc etc etc, thus speeding up browsing considerably. U can set it to suit your needs ie speed instead of unnecessary intrusions 🌹🌹🌹

      7. Thanks, but I’ve tried those and more, even Safari and Edge (spits) – I keep ending up back with Chrome, and Chromium on Linux, mostly because they’re lighweight enough to dual boot on older machinery that I need for some older technical software that won’t even run on 2000 Pro – which wasn’t bettered until 7 imo, that I still run – 10 sucks shit bigly.
        I’m not a software guy at all really – hardware is my thing, especially Panasonic Toughbooks.
        I’d use my ipad for everyday browsing if the dumb fucks would add an on screen back button. Apple is in serious denial about that – beautiful physical design, screen & solid manufacture ruined by a shite software philosophy that refuses to see anything good in Android (which kicks IOS’s arse except for Samsung bloatware & updates) while not even letting you delete your own photos without faffing around in the cloud.
        Hate apple fanboys & lying bitch “geniuses” that tell punters back buttons are superfluous and apple phones only die of abuse and are always beyond repair.

    2. Sorry mate. You’d be better off asking Rees smog how to change a cacky nappy or clean a dish than asking me about computer stuff.

  4. There would appear to be rumours about rumours in the ‘woke’ world of see me see my colour. This fell out centre pages of the Guardian.

  5. Two middle class white people try to get rid of Black and Asian leaders within the Labour party. Shock horror!

    It has always been the way. Racism is only on the agenda today because of BLM, it will soon go back to business as usual.

    The Labour Party will I’m sure as themselves “Why cant we attract black male leaders?”

    1. They are very, very white, aren’t they?
      Those fuckers look like they’d get sunburn from opening a fridge.

  6. QUESTION: Are these suspensions encouraging signs that the NEC is (still) sufficiently left wing to do the right thing occassionally??

  7. I just did a search to see how much coverage – or NOT – the suspension of the two Harringey councillors was getting in the MSM (not much by the look of it), and in the process came across the following Jewish Chronicle article from a few days ago re ANOTHER Harringey councillor. Here’s the headline and a couple of clips from the article:

    Haringey councillor who asked local Labour party to drop ‘zero-tolerance position’ on antisemitism is suspended

    Cllr Noah Tucker – once a cabinet member in what became known as “Corbyn’s council” because of the dominance of left-wing Momentum supporters – is facing claims that he has repeatedly shared material that could be deemed to be antisemitic.

    In March 2019 a recording emerged in which Mr Tucker, a former Communist Party member, criticised the suspension of “one of our best and most honest and most loyal MPs, Chris Williamson, for the crime of speaking the truth”.

    He also claimed the decision of former MP Luciana Berger and others to quit the party were “nothing whatsoever to do with antisemitism and nothing at all to do with allegations of bullying” and that they were actually attempting “to protect the power, the privilege and the huge wealth of a tiny minority of people”.

    https://www.thejc.com/news/uk/haringey-councillor-who-asked-local-labour-party-to-drop-zero-tolerance-position-on-antisemitism-is-suspended-1.506283

    Yep, if you give your support to someone who was falsely accused of A/S, you TOO get reported to the LP for A/S!

  8. Allan, I hope you’re not suggesting that god’s chosen people don’t speak to the goys of the Earth on god’s behalf – I think you’ll find that god recently declared that to be antisemitic.

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