Publication now expected to be after local elections, with Starmer fearing poor performance and candidates ‘dropping like flies’
Labour sources tell the SKWAWKBOX that the report of the Forde Inquiry, set up by Keir Starmer to investigate the events, emails and WhatsApp chats covered in a Labour report that leaked early this year – and, shockingly, the circumstances of its leaking – is set to be delayed by as much as six months and is not expected to be published until after next spring’s local elections. It had already been delayed from the original summer publication to this month.
Insiders say that Keir Starmer is keen to avoid publication before then, fearing the impact of confirmed revelations on an already precarious performance – with candidates in many areas so disillusioned, or keen to avoid a humiliating defeat in previously-strong working-class areas, that many are dropping out or, as one put it, ‘dropping like flies’ – and the party is struggling to find replacements.
The Forde Inquiry’s press office declined to deny the delay, with a spokesperson responding to a direct question to say only that:
An update on timings will be posted on the Inquiry website shortly.
Labour members will be deeply angered by yet another delay after Starmer’s slow and equivocal response to a report accusing senior headquarters staff of an array of misconduct including sabotage of electoral campaigns and unauthorised diversion of campaign funding – particularly as many consider the inquiry already fatally compromised by Starmer’s decision to pay former staff more than half a million pounds to settle a legal case Labour’s lawyers expected to win.
Former staff accused in the report have claimed that information on their discussions was presented out of context to make them appear racist or abusive.
Update: the Forde Inquiry has since published an update, but without specifying a publication date. Details here.
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