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Exclusive: staff laughed at thought left NEC member would miss vote whether Corbyn could stand for leader, reveals Subject Access Request

Infamous meeting to decide whether Corbyn needed nominations to stand as incumbent also saw right-wingers use underhand ploy to price poor out of vote as supporters

Jeremy Corbyn in 2016

Former Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) member Jamie Bramwell got a surprise when the party finally responded to his ‘Subject Access Request’ in December, months after the statutory deadline passed.

In July 2016, as the Labour right pulled every trick to try to oust Jeremy Corbyn, Bramwell was scheduled to play in a 24-hour football match to raise funds for injured firefighters on the day an NEC meeting was arranged to decide whether Corbyn could stand in the leadership election as incumbent, as the party’s rules dictated, without needing the nominations he would need if he were not already the party’s leader.

Bramwell contacted the party’s management to inform them that he was already committed on the day that the meeting was due to take place – and emails now disclosed by law have revealed party staff’s delight that, as a left-wing NEC member, he would miss the vote. These are his own words about how events unfolded:

Two of the returned emails show staff laughing at the hope that I wouldn’t be able to make the “NEC Special Meeting” because I was raising money for the firefighters charity.

It was rumoured that Iain McNichol was going to call a special NEC on Tuesday 12th of July 2016 as there has been a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the so-called Chicken Coup. On the Friday I had called Paddy Lillis the then Chair of the NEC and later Iain McNichol to ask that the “Special Meeting” be postponed till the following week as we had an NEC meeting then and I explained that I was playing a 24 hour charity football match for injured Firefighters at England’s St George’s training camp on Tuesday 12th.

This was for the Firefighters’ charity, an that a number of NEC members had actually sponsored me for. I explained that not only myself would struggle to attend but we had two other comrades on holiday in Devon and in France and pleaded with Iain McNichol to delay till the following week.

McNichol told me that he would try to avoid the meeting being held on that day because of attendees potentially missing but couldn’t make any promises. It wasn’t until the Sunday by my recollection that it was confirmed that the meeting was going ahead on the Tuesday and of course anyone could have predicted it would have, because the [right-wing] games being played were about numbers.

Now of course I wasn’t going to miss the vote to keep Jeremy Corbyn on the ballot paper and I explained that to the rest of those who were taking part and also on Twitter and FB to all those that sponsored me.

What is clear is that Labour staff responding to emails are clearly happy/hoping that I would not be attending the meeting, another example of the Labour staff working against Jeremy Corbyn to keep him off the ballot paper just like they didn’t want him to become PM.

I attended, we voted and we won 18-15 despite all the games played, but as the meeting drew to a close, I’d asked comrades was it okay for me to leave as I had to catch the last train to Birmingham and then get to St George’s Park to play the rest of the 24 hour football match which ended at 9am the following day.

They said yes, business was done. When I was at the station I got the message that they had pulled a vote on increasing supporters’ fees from £3 to £25. I still have got the paper work and this was not on the agenda and they waited for as many to leave as possible before pulling this out.

My only regret in my time as an NEC member was that I hadn’t stayed, I knew nothing of the vote it was not part of any agenda and I had to catch the last train to Birmingham.

But because of Jeremy Corbyn and my posts on social media, I did raise the most money of all 44 players – and that’s because I had posted that I’ve got to go and support Jeremy to remain leader.

These emails and there’s more have taken me nearly 6 months to receive from the party and I’ve written to them again demanding that other emails be sent as I believe there’s more, it was me filming John McDonnell in Liverpool on the 28th of April in which I believe it’s my name that’s mentioned, and in which staff are calling us lunatics. Another story for another day as I’ve the full request in emails to the full NEC to ask Owen Smith apologise for calling Jeremy a lunatic!

Now we have people condemning Donald Trump’s disregard for US democracy. but our own party tried to subvert democratically elected NEC members from voting on important issues like the rules for a leadership election.

(Emphases added)
The agenda for the NEC meeting – with no mention of a vote on ‘supporters’ fees

The attempt to deter supporters by increasing fees – and setting an extremely short window for them to register – was unsuccessful, with huge numbers joining to fight off the anti-democratic attempted ‘chicken coup’:

Even so, at least another 121,000 eligible voters were denied their ballot, but the right was unable to prevent an even bigger win for Corbyn.

The other NEC members who had to return from their holidays to thwart the right-wing coup were former NEC chair Andi Fox, who was in Devon, and Martin Mayer, who had to fly back from France for the meeting, both of whom have agreed to be named.

The Forde Inquiry into the leaked report revealing sabotage and abuse by then-Labour headquarters staff has still not reported its findings, which were originally due last summer and have been delayed again from December. Many fear that the Forde’s findings will not properly reflect the events revealed in the leaked internal report, but Bramwell’s disclosure makes clear that the anti-Corbyn stance of staff was not limited to the 2017 general election campaign and staff’s disappointment at the ‘Corbyn surge’ in that ballot.

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  1. Sqwarky I am finding it increasingly difficult and frustrating to make sense of your headlines, as they often don’t make sense and need a comma, or two, to understand. Slow down please and think about the headlines! Other wise I thoroughly enjoy reading your articles and will continue to subscribe.

    1. Yes I struggled a bit with this one and had to read it very slowly! However, I still do a superficial trawl through The Guardian despite it having sunk lower than the proverbial, and believe me Skwawkbox does much better than some of their appalling headlines and use of grammar.

  2. Has anyone seen McNicol, recently? He’s seems to have been ‘lying’ low, for an inordinately long time, now.

    If only m’lud Austin had followed suit.

    1. Hang on George peel surely you realise it is the establishment Caribbean island season “and our stars in parliament are still holidaying or trying to recover from the Xmas blowout amongst the bars of Westminster and Soho..And you must know how hard it is for these pigs to feed in the establishment troug at a mere 300a day and all the expenses for our Labour nominated Lords,I wonder if jeremy ever thought about the hypocrisy of putting so many vile individuals in the Lords when he and the rest of us were supposedly members of a democratic socialist Labour party.?

  3. It’s BS like this that has destroyed any faith I have in the cult of new Labour 2.0 and the stupid evil games being played out behind the scenes. There is no honour or honesty just screw over anything socialist in a supposedly socialist party it’s just sickening!

  4. This is disgusting but not really news. We all know how Jeremy and anyone who supported him was undermined insulted and slandered by right wing HQs staff- remember “smelly cow” and “pube head”
    The fact that these individuals were happy that a member of the NEC may be unavailable and the NEC might vote to exclude Jeremy from the ballot paper following Owen Smith’s challenge is unsurprising – it just once again illustrates the type of unprincipled, undemocratic and utterly childish individuals Iain McNichol employed and allowed to flourish in Southside.
    George Peel has said Mc Nichol seems to be lying low – if I had his disgraceful record I’d crawl under a stone and stay there. Regarding Ian Austin, putting on ermine can’t disguise the fact that he is a loud mouthed yob totally uncaring about the hurt his vile behaviour causes others.
    I will never forget how Ian Austin tried to shout down Jeremy Corbyn and yelled to him to shut up and sit down during Jeremy’s speech and apology for a Labour government waging an illegal war in Iraq which had resulted in the deaths of 172 British service people. The families of some of the war dead were in the gallery and witnessed just how cheaply Austin held the sacrifice of their loved ones. He couldn’t have cared less about them, their pain or the deaths of their family members. He disrespected them and shamed himself and our party that day. The Tories rewarded him for this with a peerage.

  5. They might be feeling smug now these centrists but history will not be kind to them.
    And I include Starmer in this.✊🇵🇸.

    1. Winstanly 1you might be correct,but the problem is these misfits represent us and apart from a blip of few years of a proper Labour working-class government its been all down hill for the working-class people that the Labour party are supposed to represent.Apart from a few “stars” amongst our elected representatives we have been treated to the hypocrisy of supporting apartheid education,peerages..Titles,monarchy,and the whole stinking swamp of entitlement by our elected representatives of the establishment Labour party.The difficulty is spotting the “stars” amongst them when they all have their “honurable” snouts in the trough.Nothing suprises or shocks anymore if like me you have served as they say amongst the establishment system of “low life” representation and pigs trough politics at local level which was no more than a reflection of the establishment farce of our parliament.I have always said that a bunch of parasites make a lot of money and assets from the support of the membership of the Labour party,with little or nothing in return other than contempt from those that allegedly represent us in parliament.Whatever “History” records it will never be has bad as the fact of being took for a ride by the democratic socialist Labour party for over half a century like I was.RIP the establishment Labour party.

  6. I always supported labour. I did start getting alarmed when Blair was in. Warmonger. Then making it hard for working people, disabled people and other groups. In some ways when labour got in in 1997 it was ok yet the longer Blair was in the worse it got. I have been a paying labour member since Milliband. He didnt really say much about how people were treated yet I had expectations of him. If you think of anti semitism, he was subject to it from the press the tv and social media. No one said a dickybird . That Owen Smitth was a twit. He only said what he thought sounded right. Why did those in the labour party treat jeremy Corbyn so abominably? Come on labour please get your act together or you will not exist. We already have one greedy clueless party in power we dont need one in opposition too. Your not as good as the Tories for sheer duplicity

    1. ITS a known fact that politics attracts some of the lowest forms of life outside of the legal profession and the titled class.,Unfortunately the Labour party and the conservatives attract the largest proportion of these sick individuals.Maybe we should just lock them all up in a secure insitution like parliament give them all a mix of jabs in a course of when available and throw away the key 🔑…We could even have a motion on it?now wouldnt that be a relief especially for “me Luds” .?

  7. When we’re discussing the MSM and the Tories lying about Corbyn and socialism and antisemitism and all the other shit they make up there’s not really that much to discuss in terms of the ‘why’ – but that’s where the arguments always end up for some reason.
    Since Twatcher’s big bang bubble the rich have become immeasurably richer, even allowing for the setback of ’08.
    When any of us get a better job or win the pools we spend up to our new incomes and that becomes our new normal – rich people are just the same.
    However much extra money they make, within weeks they’re convinced they couldn’t possibly live on a penny less, and that remains their main concern – their lifestyles adapt and they’ll do ANYTHING not to go back to owning only ONE superyacht.

    In the minds of the rich the poverty of others isn’t even remotely connected to their own excess – and poverty is for governments to fix anyway, isn’t it?
    Even if there wasn’t a planet to repair we’d still have to steamroller the fuckers – because they’ll NEVER accept any responsibility for poverty or global warming or plastic ocean death or anything else.
    In the eyes of the rich, poverty isn’t even the problem – the poor are the problem – and that’s us.
    It’s us or them, folks. We shouldn’t wait much longer before purging them.

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