Analysis comment

Exclusive: Formby on Evans’s attempts to justify his war on free speech by saying she did it first: no, I didn’t

Former Labour party general secretary Jennie Formby has spoken exclusively to the SKWAWKBOX about her (acting) successor and his attempts to justify his war on members’ freedom of speech.

Evans – as noted today in a letter to the party from top legal firm Bindmans – has written to constituency party (CLP) officers stating that he was following the precedent set by Formby when he banned them from discussing the party’s actions against former leader Jeremy Corbyn:

By 25 of November, of course, there was no ‘ongoing disciplinary case’ against Corbyn. He had been reinstated unanimously by a panel of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC), which had been advised by independent lawyers that there were no grounds for his suspension. Keir Starmer had then breached the EHRC report’s ban on ‘political interference’ in disciplinary outcomes by withdrawing the Labour whip – also in breach of Labour’s parliamentary rules.

But Evans needed to refer to disciplinary cases so that he could claim he was following precedent set by Jennie Formby.

However, in an exclusive statement to SKWAWKBOX, Formby pointed out the fallacy of Evans’s claim:

Yes it’s true that I advised CLPs that motions on complex disciplinary cases were not competent business and that if passed, they would not be discussed by the NEC. That is because there is a very specific process in rule for discussing and deciding disciplinary matters. The objective of writing to CLPs was simply to let them know that motions of that nature would not make any difference to disciplinary matters.

She went on to point out the glaring difference: nobody who ignored her advice and discussed/voted on motions anyway was disciplined in any way for doing so:

Many CLPs ignored my email but no one was disciplined. That would not have been an appropriate response. I respected the fact that people felt strongly about the issues but nonetheless they needed to be aware that formal disciplinary cases under rule are for the NEC processes alone to determine.

By attempting to piggy-back his own actions on those of Jennie Formby, Evans has in fact only highlighted the scandal of his own and Keir Starmer’s conduct.

In lashing out at members and their elected representatives who ignored his declaration of war on their human rights to freedom of speech, he looks weak, vindictive and Stalinist. Formby gave advice and members were free to act otherwise without fear of reprisal.

In the Starmer-Evans party, resistance and principle have been met with an escalating campaign of suspensions in an attempt to prevent any discussion or scrutiny.

The contrast between the current acting incumbent and the woman who genuinely filled the role before him could hardly be greater.

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  1. They are both passing the buck. Democracy in the LP is non-existant and it was the same under Formby.

  2. The contrast between the current acting incumbent playacting pretender and the woman who genuinely filled the role before him could hardly be greater.

    1. Did Jennie Formby have a free hand? No, she had to work with the dregs of McNicol’s Quislings.
      Was it she who abused the process with delay, interference and deceit? No, that was the same shower of lying, traitorous coprophiles that you support.
      They abused the process she replaced and continued to abuse the process she put in place – they so thoroughly infest Labour’s administration that they could and still can subvert whatever process is in place.
      The mistake was in not firing every last one of you cunts and crowdfunding the financial hit. It would have been expensive but worth every penny.

      1. David – “No, that was the same shower of lying, traitorous coprophiles that you support.”

        Prove it, provide some evidence that I have ever supported these people.
        Relying on false accusations to discredit what others say is pathetic.

      2. They’re still in place and now working just as diligently FOR Starmite as they worked AGAINST Corbyn.
        You support Starmite.

      3. David – Or in other words SFA, is that really the best you could manage to come up with. 😞
        If you had confidence in your own assertions you wouldn’t feel the need to prop them up with lies.

    2. It seems to be a process that mostly just evolved rather than being a product of any (intelligent? ) design so had lots of exploitable weaknesses and loopholes that could be and were exploited by those not acting in “good faith”
      Interesting that Mandelson suggested that if the “rules” were made clearer and fairer they be used by the Left to frustrate the Right

  3. Freedom of Speech in the Labour Party was attacked by Formby who failed to protect members who dared question. No-one should be surprised @ Evans Campbell; Formby et al as Julian Assange remains in prison without support from the Labour Party.

    1. Do you imagine that was the fault of the tiny left wing contingent, or the massive right wing majority in the party administration and the PLP?
      We know those fuckers spent every minute undermining Corbyn and Formby – so what exactly would you have done differently in her place?

      1. It was Formby who signed off on the suspensions/expulsions of decent anti-racist Socialists. She had absolutely no reason to do it unless she agreed. If she didn’t agree and had no other option, she could have taken the honourable course and resigned. She patently failed to protect members from the witch hunters.

      2. I was under the impression that the rules demanded suspension for serious accusations, and that expulsions were the sole preserve of the NEC.
        I don’t believe the GenSec refusing to “sign off” on an NEC expulsion would either be constitutional or have any effect.
        I don’t believe the GenSec has the power to “protect members” against false accusations – and if Formby HAD resigned, her replacement would still have had those same McNicol-appointed employees undermining him or her.

        If I’m wrong on the rule book please correct me – I’ve only ever skimmed the thing once.

        Rules aside, putting the blame on Formby is exactly like putting the blame for losing two elections on Corbyn instead of on the treasonous, cheating, democracy-subverting scumbags where it belongs.

    2. David McNiven, if you were asked to sign an agreement with which you disagreed would you sign it? I hope you wont be tempted to give me a ‘politicians’ answer.

      1. If expulsion is, as I believe the rules insist, exclusively an NEC decision, the GenSec’s “signing off on it” would seem completely superfluous and I have no information – other than your allegation – that says Formby did so.
        The GenSec may be consulted on suspensions – again I don’t know that for a fact and I’m not convinced that you do either, given your tendency to believe anyone a zionist collaborator who doesn’t support your view.
        “Signing off” on suspensions by a GenSec also seems superfluous to me – my understanding is that it’s virtually automatic on first accusation, and is intended to be “suspension pending investigation.”

        If investigation and determination of cases had not been unjustly delayed I’d call your complaint totally unreasonable.
        As it is I believe you should direct your anger and accusations to those who deliberately delayed cases to keep victims in limbo and the antisemitism scam in the news.
        I don’t know for a fact what part Jennie Formby played in any of this and neither I suspect do you, so please stop constantly parading your victimhood.
        Everyone in the country including you, me and Jennie Formby is their victim because Corbyn – their prime target – isn’t PM.

      2. ps if you call that a “politician’s answer” – fuck you.
        Would I resign rather than sign something to which my signature would make no difference whatever except to my pride?
        That would depend on who was asking.
        I’d refuse to sign any false document and I’d blow the gaff on those promoting a falsehood unless I was convinced by people I respected that signing it was in the left’s best interest – it would have to be a very well-fucking-reasoned argument though.
        I’ve spoken out against popular opinion here on Skwawkbox too many times to let any cunt imply I’d bend under pressure of any kind.

      3. Yes, you have given me a politician’s answer and a particularly nasty one at that! Your language in an earlier comment to SteveH is also particularly disgusting.

        Who do you allege I’ve accused of being a Zionist?

      4. Who do you allege I’ve accused of being a Zionist?

        This a trick question?

  4. INTENT: The ‘forensic’ team, Starmer, Evans and their Trilateral Billionaires, are using the capacities that Jenny Formby and others maintained as a last resort. The Billionaires home team use antidemocratic and regressive measures to de-pwer the membership. Jenny and her predecsors didn’t. In fact, no general sec since Iain McNicol had even dreamed of using this facility. New management, old practices.

    Let’s make 2021 the year in which Labour removes and recovers from Evans and Starmer, the yes-men pathogens of the trilateral billionaires and their class.

    Merry Christmas.

    1. qwertboi, I’m not sure how the Labour right manage to run rings around the Labour left (lets be honestthey usually do) its not higher intelligence is it organisation & discipline or funding?

      Merry Christmas to you and the other Swawkbox regulars

      1. Because the left are not devious and duplicitous and deceitful, whereas the right ARE. Surely you realised that by now!

      2. They also have the totally corrupt MSM on their side peddling their lies and falsehoods and smears to millions of people.

      3. That and the fact that the “Labour” right support the establishment and the establishment supports them as the emergency backstop to the Tories – anything to prevent socialism taking hold, because who knows where that will end – they might lose the privilege they’re convinced is their absolute right whatever the cost to the 99% of us.

      4. It’s because the left are committed each day to socialist ideals whilst the right have a meeting each morning & ask themselves “How can we undermine the left”. They always come up with something.

      5. Diogenes, yes, odd isn’t it? The right do seem to have the ability to outwit the left. Dark forces at work. Regards ☮️ for the next round.

  5. Done differently? I would have campaigned to reinstate Clause 4; Free Julian Assange & change the anthem from D.Ream to Bob Marley; from ‘Things Can Only Get Bitter’ to ‘Get Up! Stand Up! & that’s just the 1st day.

    P.S. ask Jack T for more information about being suspended on Jennie Formby’s watch. without knowing why? Without knowing what the accusation was or who made it? Just asking ‘difficult questions.

      1. You’re not allowed to say that…..might upset Starmer’s mate, Ephraim Mirvis. Happy Holiday, timfrom!

        PS “Everywhere is war”……Bob Marley would have made a great poet laureate!

  6. It is absolutely clear that in the interests of natural justice CLPs etc should not comment on or pass motions ( for or against) individuals who are being investigated as part of the disciplinary process. However Jeremy Corbyn is not being investigated under the disciplinary process. He has been denied the whip by the leader without due process and the disgusting attempts by Starmer and Evans to silence discussion about Starmer’s abuse of power in relation to this is fooling very few.
    What these two fail to understand is that most Labour party members have an in- built sense of fair play and decency and are disgusted by their machinations. At the first post Covid Conference if not before they will be called to account. I cannot see Evan’s appointment being ratified. Neither can I see Starmer surviving a leadership challenge which I hope will take place as soon as the Covid crisis is over.

    1. Smartboy, I agree with everything you said. Out of interest, who do you see as a suitable candidate to replace Starmer because at the moment, I cannot see anyone who would be acceptable to me?

      1. I would love to see Jeremy back as leader- he would be my first choice – but after the wall to wall spite insults and smears he has had to contend with I don’t think he would want that. Who can blame him.
        Apart from Jeremy one of the best MPs is Sam Tarry. He didn’t run last time because he was only newly elected but he is a genuine socialist. He is also very capable. He has a Trade Union background which means he is probably a sound negotiator, can think on his feet and knows the Rule book inside out.
        He also strikes me as a young man who is afraid of nothing and who would give the bullies and malcontents in the PLP as good as he got. I’d like to see him put his hat in the ring next time round.

      2. I tried to post a comment earlier Jack T but it appears to have disappeared into cyberspace.I would lobe to see Jeremy back as leader . My second choice would be socialist and Trade Unionist Sam Tarry a clever man whose afraid of nobody

    2. Smartboy, if their constant abuse of every process in every case had the least acquaintance with natural justice we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
      We’re not guaranteed to win by speaking out, but by staying silent we’re guaranteed to lose.
      Sorry for the tedious repetition but only by pulling the teeth of the corrupt MSM do we win.

    3. Natural justice & confidentiality aka secrecy. How do CLPs know who is being investigated; the reason why & who made a complaint? No action taken against false, vexatious accusations in the name of confidentiality. There is no glasnost & perestroika in Head Office;accused are advised that breaking confidentiality they would be automatically expelled; you are therefore kept isolated.. Members often do not know what is happening & investigations/suspensions left for months; expulsions can then be made without adequate reason & without legal challenge. You have a basic human right to face your accuser.

    4. Could always spread rumours that JC wants to fight for leadership again. Hey, hey, totally baseless of course but a bit of fun.

    5. sense of fair play and decency and are disgusted by their machinations Agreed the Labour right doesn’t have this but thats not the whole reason why, I think some of it comes down to discipline and organisation

  7. The fact is that anyone on Labour’s left achieving any power or position is constantly attacked and undermined by the decades-entrenched, overwhelmingly larger Blairite right – and they can always count on the support of the media and even the Tories against the left.
    Instead of recognising that and concentrating on what might be done to overcome those insuperable odds we’re here blaming our friends and leaders for “failing” to do what nobody else could have done in the same circumstances.

  8. I would suggest that anyone pinning their hopes on suing the Labour Party for ‘Breach of Contract’ have a read of Mike Sivier’s own account of his very recent ‘Breach of Contract’ case against Labour before getting they get too exited about their chances of success.
    in the hearing this afternoon, Deputy District Judge Whiteley said he could not uphold my case against Labour because the party’s Rule Book does not say that it must follow the procedures it has created to investigate complaints, or that it must adhere to the DPA…….

    …….The judge also said that Labour had not breached its contract with me by failing to investigate the complaint against me according to its own procedures, because those procedures were not enshrined in the party’s Rule Book and therefore it had no obligation to follow them.

      1. Jack – Given that all I know about the case is what you have presented above this seems to have been a fair outcome. However it is undeniable that Mike Sivier’s case actually did go to court and he lost.

      2. SteveH apart from this case, don’t forget that Chris Williamson took the Party to court and also won and was awarded costs and compensation.

      3. Jack – …and look where CW is now. I’m not going to spend the rest of the day arguing the toss over various cases. I posted the above reference to Sivier’s recent court case (Nov20) to illustrate that suing the Labour party for ‘breach of contract’ is not going to be as simple as some naïvely imagine.

        If you can’t see the significance of what the judge said in the above quotes regarding Mike’s case then get a friend to explain it to you.

      4. SteveH, I was making a general point that it is possible to take the Labour Party to court and win, despite their often used defence that they are an ‘unincorporated body of members’ maybe one of your friends could explain that to you. Whether you respond to my posts or not is of no concern to me, however others may be interested in information of which they have been unaware.

  9. Pointless bothering, jackanory. The sense of triumphalism will always prevail in stammer’s favour with the steve h one.

    Yes, the party can do as they effing well please with YOUR data and there isn’t a dicky bird you can do about it.

    Nevermind the implications for anyone and everyone else – stammer got his win. Isn’t that right, wee stevie?

    But they can’t survive without your subs and they most certainly cannot govern without your vote.

    If the Sivier outcome isn’t a case to withdraw both from the rodents, I don’t know what is. Fancy paying for them to lord it over you and do as they please against your wishes; and while it was (pathetically) ruled to be NOT against the law; it most certainly goes against any and every moralistic code of conduct.

    Look what happened the last time they tried that…

    1. The Impression I get with the compliance unit & Lbour right is they make it up as they go along, so legal action has a reasonable chance of succeeding, theres local elections coming up next year May I think a member strike during them will put the cat amongst the pigeons at HQ

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