Analysis Breaking

Breaking: NEC chair Margaret Beckett abuses Pidcock during Zoom: “silly cow”

Beckett’s position has become untenable

Laura Pidcock, left, and Margaret Beckett

Margaret Beckett, the veteran Labour MP appointed by the right as chair in a ‘coup’ to prevent Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) having a left-wing chair, has this evening abused elected NEC member Laura Pidcock, calling her a ‘silly cow’.

NEC members have told SKWAWKBOX that Unite representative on the NEC, Howard Beckett (no relation), and others immediately demanded Margaret Beckett’s resignation. He also took his namesake to task for the use of such a gender-based insult in the week of International Women’s Day and pointed out that members have been suspended for saying far less.

Others weighed in, despite attempts by Unison’s Wendy Nichols to shut the matter down. Acting general secretary David Evans has apparently conceded that at least two complaints against Ms Beckett were already in play and would be investigated.

The Labour right broke party practice and protocol to install Beckett – on the NEC at the gift of Keir Starmer – in place of the left-wing vice-chair who had been due to take over. Ms Beckett has rendered her position – on the NEC at all, not just as chair – untenable.

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  1. Can we have some context, what did Laura do to provoke this response from Margaret?

      1. I owe you a pint Frank, you’re persistent and I like that

    1. No SteveH. What was said to make the supposed impartial chair of the NEC insult a fellow NEC member? A unintentional slip on your part displaying where your true sympathies lie.

      1. Paul – Thanks for your contribution, I note that you are also curious what led up to this.

    2. Steve I find your response deplorable, or is that the normal way you convene meetings

      1. tcliverpool – I’m not really very interested in your virtue signalling, I simply want to know what led up to this, don’t you?
        Why does it appear to be a secret.

    3. Having the audacity to breathe? The point is that swearing at people, name-calling is simply not acceptable behaviour.

    4. There can be no context in which levelling insults at a fellow NEC member is acceptable. Margaret has disrespected herself, Laura and the office the both hold by descending into the language of the gutter.

      1. Smartboy – Yeah OK I’m suitably impressed by your woke credentials, but why do we we still not know what led up to this.

      2. Steve obviously can’t read otherwise he would know what caused the abuse from Beckett. Blind to the truth, there’s none so blind that don’t want to see.

      3. As I said there can be no justification for this sort of behaviour and you do yourself no credit by insulting me for saying so. Every now and again your mask slips allowing everyone to see you in your true colours and its not pretty

      4. Smartboy – I’m impressed that you’ve managed to combine gas-lighting and virtue signalling in one short comment.

    5. Of all of the Labour NECs I have attended today’s was the most depressing.

      The motion to recall conference was refused, no vote taken.

      When @LauraPidcock questioned how this could be explained to members Margaret Beckett called her a “silly cow”.

      Truly shocking.

      1. You’d have to admit, since THAT is “what led up to this”, there is no possible justification for or defense of what Margaret Beckett said there. Pidcock asked a respectful, germane and entirely legitimate question and there is no excuse for Beckett’s response there.

      2. kenburch – Unless you are privy to more information than the rest of us then on the available evidence I’ve seen to date (Howard’s tweet) you are guiding the lilly there.

    6. She did noting to provoke or disturb this. It’s just about Beckett’s right-wing arrogance. Are you seriously going to play the “where’s the evidence?” card AGAIN?

      You know perfectly well Pidcock never indulges in personal invective against anyone.

      1. kenburch – How you could possibly know this is something only you are aware of. Do you have any evidence to support your assertions beyond the very scant details provided in Howard’s tweet. If so could you share it.
        Regarding Laura Pidcock’s general conduct like you I’ve not heard anything derogatory but I could say just the same about Margaret Beckett’s general conduct.

    7. Really? You can think of a plausible argument for an honourable MP to call someone a ‘silly cow’ at work? Why? Steve you don’t have to like Pidock to acknowledge that’s pretty awful behaviour from any work colleague.

      1. M – On the basis of the currently available evidence that I am aware of I must admit that it is difficult to find an explanation. This is precisely why I feel frustrated by the lack of available detail and why I want to understand what led up to this incident before jumping to condemn.

      2. Magaret Becket is very “old hat” these days. Her standards tend to demonstrate this and are not very edifying. Hold your head high Laura, no need to do otherwise.

    8. Your statement presumes Beckett was provoked to insult. Thats why your comment gives you away.

      1. M – Oh come on. unless Beckett just randomly decided to call Pidcock ‘a silly cow’ It is self evident that something provoked her response. Whether her response was justified or not is an entirely different matter.
        Unfortunately for the moment the details of what led up to this incident (for some reason) remain a secret so neither of us knows what actually happened beyond the briefest of details. I’m not going to jump to condemn either side or both sides until we have more information.

      2. Steve, what could Pidcock- a person who never treats anyone with any form of disrespect or abuse- POSSIBLY have done to “provoke” Beckett? There is no evidence that Pidcock has ever provoked anyone in any way at all.

        There was simply nothing that could have justified Beckett calling Pidcock what she did. There’s no conceivable mitigation.

      3. kenchurch – You can pretend to know whatever takes your fancy, it is of little consequence to me.

    9. The right wing fucker called our hero names cos she’s a piece of centrist scum, there’s your context

      1. There is an influential section of the party who view it as a possession, a personal fiefdom. They can act and speak without concern about the results. They vilify and damn anyone they want to, knowing that they will not be called out by the leadership or their chums in the media. Now if any decent person finds her words to be rude and in bad taste they are accused of being woke. Courtesy existed long before PC but it is unfortunately seen as a problem or unusual. What has become of politics. I know some union meetings can get rowdy but this is supposed to be a politician of stature and influence. Still knifing leaders etc are all part of the fun nowadays so Alf Garnet speak is of little importance. Stay and fight for change members. Really? Regards ☮️.

      2. It has been reported that GenSecDavid Evans confirmed it was a breach of NEC conduct and will be looking into it.

  2. I’m not convinced Margaret Beckett will be forced to resign. The only thing she may be forced do is apologise.

    1. I don’t think she will be asked to resign or even apologise. This party tolerates the abuse of Left members like Laura. For proof of this all you have to do is read the leaked Antisemitism report – comrades called smelly cow and pube head , the use of the F word and other vulgarities( used in workplace communications) pepper the report. However had Laura retaliated it would have been a different story- she’d be called a bully and an ageist and would probably face suspension. Instead she was bullied and you will find that with a few notable exceptions nobody in the PLP will care or will do anything about it.
      Laura should make a formal complaint about this blatant breach of Standing Orders and demand that Margaret is removed from the Chair until matters are resolved. We deserve better from the Chair of our NEC, our most senior committee

    2. Hit her in the pocket, If possible. Reputations, self-respect and loyalty mean nothing to this class, their faux politeness masks black hearts, social advancement and personal enrichment and a razor-sharp dagger pointed at the hearts of the working class and minorities. Fine them for their coarse, abrasive vanity. These people can remember every occasion when they bought the big issue. Fine them a fiver and they’ll have nightmares for year’s.

  3. What did Pidcock do or say to warrant such a discourteous response from Beckett who is not known for intemperate language or behaviour? Chances of her resigning appear slim. What does Pidcock do for a living now after the last GE defeat?

    1. That right Plain Citizen -Use the old Tory Trick – Go right ahead and Blame the victim

      1. Smartboy – Have you asked Laura whether she considers herself to be a victim?

      2. Nailing your colours to the mast tonight centrist dad

      3. NVLA – Not really, The lack of detail about what led up to this is intriguing
        I’m far more interested in what was decided at today’s NEC meeting.

        “Labour is set to address Islamophobia and anti-Black racism by introducing new codes of conduct and bringing in new training courses, while also making progress on the establishment of a new BAME structure.
        At a meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) today, it was agreed by members of the ruling body that the party should make new efforts to address Islamophobia and anti-Black racism within the party.

      4. Very really.

        It’s conduct unbecoming of any chair. Then there’s the issue that members have been banished for far less. Finally, what exactly justifies an outburst such as this? Wether Pidcock feels a victim is irrelevant.

        Still, we both know that nothing will happen to Bliars loyal minion.

        I notice she looks like Bliar, in that her soul disappeared some time ago.

      5. Smartboy – “Steve H – Do you think she was not?”

        I’m sorry but you’ll have to clarify what you are asking. I’d hate to make a mistake about what I’m replying to. 😉

      6. Steve H Side stepping the issue again I see. Well I won’t play your game. You know exactly what I meant in my 12.52 am post and if you choose not to reply we can all draw the obvious conclusion

      7. Smartboy – For goodness sake can’t you just clarify what you are asking me instead of trying to build a drama out of nowt.

      8. You mean wanting to know what actually happened is an old Tory trick? And they call you ‘Smartboy’? Must be some irony, sarcasm there.
        Well ‘smart’, you give us an account of what went on including the exchange between Pidcock and Beckett (M) so we are as well informed as you.

  4. It’s allowed. She’s from the right of the party and they ‘don’t mean anything by it’ and Howard etc should grow up and stop whining.
    That’ll be how it goes.

  5. She’s a divisive character, that Margaret Beckett. Under Sir Standby-of-the-billionaires, her ability to aggravate seems to have increased – but that’s probably down to Sir Keir’s heavy-handed ‘support’ and lobbying on her behalf, rather than Margaret becoming more markedly irritating.

    1. From M last November 24th

      “A dozen members of the NEC wrote to Labour general secretary David Evans to say that the longstanding protocol of the vice-chair — currently the Fire Brigades Union’s Ian Murray — being elected as chairman had been torn up.

      “They said that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had lobbied for veteran Derby South MP Dame Margaret Beckett, a foreign secretary under Tony Blair, to be elected under the “public reason” that she is the longest-serving member of the NEC.

      “But they added: “We believe the true reason for the leader lobbying for Dame Margaret, and indeed the reason that had been given by senior party MPs in private, is because the vice-chair, Ian Murray, was a signature to the previous correspondence sent to you seeking admonishment of the leader.”

      “Signatories to the letter are believed to include Mr Murray, Unite’s Howard Beckett and Jayne Taylor, TSSA’s Andi Fox, Aslef’s Mick Whelan, CWU’s Andy Kerr, BFAWU’s Pauline McCarthy, youth rep Lara McNeill, former Labour MP Laura Pidcock, councillor Yasmine Dar, Gemma Bolton, Nadia Jama, and Mish Rahman.

      “The leftwingers said: “We have decided not to remain in the NEC meeting today in order to show very clearly how factional the decisions of the current Labour leader have become.

      ” “We will be returning to future NEC meetings to be the legitimate voice of the membership and to continue to demand that the party unite and reject the current factional approach of the leader.”

      “Unite assistant general secretary Mr Beckett said that Sir Keir had personally lobbied to stop Mr Murray being elected NEC chair. He added: “The union representing Grenfell firefighters [is being] treated disgracefully.”

      “The online walkout comes amid anger from some NEC members at Sir Keir’s decision to withhold the whip from Jeremy Corbyn after the former Labour leader was reinstated to the party last week.

      “On Monday, Labour chief whip Nick Brown asked Mr Corbyn to “unequivocally, unambiguously and without reservation” apologise for claiming that the scale of anti-semitism in the party was “dramatically overstated for political reasons.”

      “Mr Corbyn had made the comment in response to an Equality & Human Rights Commission report into Labour’s handling of anti-semitism complaints that evidence has suggested was sabotaged by right-wing Labour HQ staff.”

      1. qwertboi – “longstanding protocol” are you having a laugh. What qualifies as long standing protocol nowadays.

    2. Wanting to control the party with a vice like grip and sleeping with ones face in one are beginning to gell.

    1. They are worse than Tories, because they worked out they could fool the electorate with the connivance of the media, and be cuckoos in the Democratic Socialist Labour Party nest. And that all started in the 80s and never stopped until 2015, when they made a miscalculation that saw the grassroots show what they all knew they needed.

      1. No, – if Sir Keir hadn’t pushed so hard to get Margaret Becket elected chair, it would have gone to vice-chair, Ian Murray who had signed a letter to Evans recommending “admonishment of the leader”.

        With disreputable people like Evans and Sir K seem to be, you really do have to take Deep Throat’s advice and “follow the money”.

      2. Smartboy – Your so called ‘long standing protocol’ was put in place during Corbyn’s tenure.

      3. Steve H you have addressed your comment at 9.19 pm o the wrong person. I made no reference whatsoever to a long standing protocol

      4. Smartboy – If that’s the case than I apologise for my mistake..

      5. Steve H Yes no problem- you’re getting a bit careless that’s all but watch out the powers that be won’t like it

  6. Howard Beckett
    Of all of the Labour NECs I have attended today’s was the most depressing.

    The motion to recall conference was refused, no vote taken.

    When @LauraPidcock questioned how this could be explained to members Margaret Beckett called her a “silly cow”.

    Truly shocking.

    1. There’s context – for everyone.

      I suppose excuses could be made for (Margaret) Beckett, being older and not, totally, au fait with the mute button, but should she have said it, in any case?

      Chairing an NEC Meeting, being responsible for keeping order then, advertently or inadvertently, being responsible for being the cause of disorder.

      A clear breach of protocol, to me.

      1. George – “There’s context – for everyone.”
        Oh come on, you’re very easily satisfied, I’m a little surprised that Howard’s tweet was so lacking in detail.

    2. Actually the comment from Beckett is very interesting from a titled person who is normally polite and doesn’t usually get ruffled .Theres definitely some chemistry between these two Pidcock and Beckett and both from a working-class background and both from very Catholic backgrounds.One has a father a Catholic priest and the other a sister a Nun.Both are normally polite and not the types to make off the cuff remarks especially “silly cow” one by Beckett. The whole meeting seems to be a reflection of just what the right wing think of the members and the opinions of members in the double edged answer “Silly Cow” .This contempt is nothing new but coming from Beckett it suggests a ratching up of the contempt and hostility to ordinary members who prop up the establishment Labour party..Beckett should go and if enough membership called for this I think she just might do it and hit the road in her camper van for a retirement that should have happened before reaching this point.Margaret Beckett is too old to chair the high pressure NEC.and if thats agest then so be it.

      1. How in the name of God can someone have a dad who is a Catholic priest apart from, taking up the position after being a father or an Anglican rebel. I don’t care so no answers please. This lot do what they want so anything is possible.

  7. This is the latest episode in a story that on the surface just gets better and better.
    The right wing of the party are demonstrating with open abandon their total unfitness for office.
    To paraphrase the statement Christopher Wren’s burial place in the crypt of St. Paul’s:
    “If ye seek their monument, look around you.”
    What on earth does their faux-credibility rest upon?
    Ordinary people, who would benefit from a serious Labour government are suffering the consequences of the Tories because of all this.

    1. “The right wing of the party…”

      The right wing of the party ARE the party!

    2. I feel awful for the decent people in the party. Some have given their all to see a better world for everyone. This is how they are treated in their thousands. Over and over, unrelenting attacks, personal vilification s yet still they volunteer and sub. I wish them well but the forces ranged against them are very dark and will not countenance their own downfall. They would rather see the country in ruins than buy a Big Issue.

  8. “The right wing of the party are demonstrating with open abandon their total unfitness for office.”
    And by doing so are reassuring the rich and powerful, the exploiters and slavedrivers, the capitalists and imperialists that they can be trusted with office.
    Their appeal is double sided: firstly they will do whatever the ruling class wants and secondly they will eradicate any challenge from below.
    What we see now is a right wing dizzy with its success in toppling Corbyn and absolutely confident that, by suppressing debate, fiddling elections, expelling opponents and silencing socialists, it is earning for itself (which is to say a few hundred officeholders, bureaucrats and their clientele, comprising much less than one per cent of the population) guaranteed and enormous rewards.
    The grin on Margaret Beckett’s face reflects a belief, shared by Starmer, Evans and the rest of the crew that they will never need to work or worry again.
    The Trilateral Commission must be proud of them.

    1. drwilliamlarge…..Steve H is a paid troll ,shill intoxicated,posting from his bolthole in the Caribbean and laughing at the movement of the working-class.He probably does more damage than good for the right wing Labour party parasites,and for that he promotes the left wing by being such an arrogant clown.Hes too gutless to use his real name because his paid propaganda makes many enemys.He must be a glutton for punishment or he belongs to some perverted Cult….?

      1. I think he does use his real name Joseph. Frank found him on Twitter (@boxcartrend).

        The question really is what is his motivation?

        I actually believe that he is not a paid troll. More that he is deluding himself that the bliarist style of labour is the way forward (winning is what matters as not winning means no power).

        My understanding of politics has changed dramatically during lockdown. I had to do something with the time apart from keeping in shape (round is not an ideal shape).

        Steve is best described as a useful idiot. But, useful for who?

        You’ve probably noticed how left and right are really just distractions? I first noticed this when Brexit won. So called left and right found common ground. The system is better described as top and bottom.

        The attacks on us have come about due to the beliefs held by those at the top. That belief is nominalism. We are individual. Nothing else. Since the 70s, we have seen well organised attacks on everything that describes us as a collective (religion, class, gender etc). The final collective description is humanity itself, and they are gunning for this also (see the great reset). Many on the so called left have been useful idiots by participating in this destruction of identity.

        All around the globe, people are beginning to feel threatened. Silently, unconsciously noticing the dangerous changes happening around us. This was what gave us Trump (because he was the only option apart from more nominalism from Clinton).

        The simple question for centrist dad is;

        Do you believe in collectivism or the individual?

        An honest answer will fill in all the blanks created by Skwawkies resident troll.

        To anyone doubting this. Are you an oligarch? Are you a member of the Chipping Norton set? If you cannot match the above, then you’re at the bottom. They don’t care of you have a big house, flash car and money in the bank. And they are coming for you.

      2. Thanks for that Never voting Labour again.I Now I Know who who Steve H is and what centrist Dad looks like,I think I will just call him “ginge” and drop the SH ..davidh aliases.

      3. Anytime Joseph. For the record, it was Frank who nailed him.

        Ginge lol👏👏👏

      4. Do the people of those lovely islands know he walks amongst them at night. I think that the Obeah priestesses should be told while there might still be time or is this a job for Van Helsing?

  9. This was an official meeting in a work capacity.

    How many supervisors/ middle management would get away with abusive language during a work meeting without losing their job or a black mark over their name on their HR file.

    Abusive language directed at 1 person isn’t tolerated in work meetings and nor should this, no matter any provocation.

  10. Being called a silly cow by Margaret Beckett, that must really hurt! When I was a Trade Union Rep @ Blackburn College, Jack Straw referred to me as that troublesome Scouser from Bristol. What a badge of honour. If you want insults, try playing football on a Sunday morning in the Liverpool Premier Huyton League as a ‘southerner’. The usual cry was ‘kill the cocknet twa.!’ but being called a cockney, that was what really hurt!

      1. Straw never missed an opportunity to throw a barb @ scousers. There is little to like about the ma, he even supports the wrong Rovers. UTG.

  11. It was on March 7th, or 5 days ago for those who seem to be confused about abusive language in the modern workplace, that Labour suspended a Council Chief for referring to a woman as a cow.

    So you can stop trying to pretend its not serious now. dave evans has already told you it is.

    1. MAB….youve played a blinder with that one.I ..Not only has Beckett questioned pidcocks identity as a cow,but her intelligence as well…I wonder if our former deputy leader of the Labour party realises that’ shes guilty of “iSMs

  12. Anyone heard owt off jess ‘mouth almighty’ philips regarding this?

    Or harriet ‘Wimin want pink buses’ harman?

    Or even stella ‘I have no idea what defines casual racism’ greasy?


    Then to me it’s obvious – Even as a bloke – that despite NOT being an MP, Laura remains a threat to them…In more ways than one.


  13. “why do we we still not know what led up to this.” – presumably because a complaint has been made and correct procedures are (now) being followed , for a change. Neither the complainant, nor the person complained about, nor the any witnesses, nor the investigating officer should discuss the case. Shame that, as appears to the the case in this situation, someone has made a little of the details public. Mind you, a large number of people who made complaints between 2015 and 2019 saw fit to run to the media to publicise their complaint. Was this in order to prejudice the outcome? All the more reason for the Gen. Sec. to have had the new policy in place months ago. Further, when I was convening discipline committees, if it came to light that someone on the committee had said something which implied that they thought that “something must have led up to this”, that person would have been removed from the committee because of the possibility of prejudice [i.e. having pre-judged the case].
    The party has suffered from a miserably useless policy, and still does. People are either suspended willy-nilly or nothing at all happens [see Rachel Reeves Nancy Astor incident.] In the case of Mrs Beckett the best course of action would to stand her down immediately from the position she held when she is alleged to have made the comment, gather evidence and convene a discipline panel and have the matter done with within two or three weeks.
    As regards abusive comments;- quite right that such comments are inappropriate in any context. It’s possible to make ones feelings/views clear, and very forcefully so, without resorting to abuse. This, however, should apply across the board. Could SteveH please let us know his views on vile abuse in relation to Mrs Hodge calling the, then, leader of the Labour Party a “fucking antisemite”, in public?


    Discussion got so heated that chair Margaret Beckett was heard referring to ex-MP Laura Pidcock as a “silly cow”. LabourList was told that Beckett apologised afterwards but a number of NEC members called for her resignation. One NEC source said general secretary David Evans confirmed it was a breach of NEC conduct and will be looking into it. As another NEC member put it to me last night, the ruling committee is “completely toxic at the moment”.

  15. I am often aware of SteveH calling for evidence when discuss some matters. What I would like to add to this discussion, the amount of times many members have asked for minutes or transcripts from the NEC meeting to be published or even better, live broadcasts. Transparent and recorded for doubters!

    1. ….. and whilst we’re at it why not publish the votes taken at NEC meeting, we know how our MPs vote why don’t we know how our NEC reps vote?

  16. Oh well, here we go again “One NEC source said “. This is a complaint leading to an investigation and either a decision that there is no case to answer or a decision that a disciplinary panel meeting is required. “One NEC source” is further risking prejudicing any decision. If the LP can’t do this correctly why would we expect anything better from it in government. Maybe everyone has so little faith in how anything will be dealt with by the Gen. Sec. and GLU that the only option they feel they have is to leak.
    Now, how about your views on the Mrs Hodge incident?

  17. Beckett (M) apologises according to BBC!
    The thing that worries me is that millionaire Beckett (H) running for high trade union office and wants to be a Labour kingmaker said he was ‘deeply shocked’ by the phrase ‘silly cow’. How is he going to manage when something serious happens if he’s deeply shocked and no doubt traumatised by the words ‘silly cow’? I’ll bet his mental health is at risk, poor chap. I think he’s ruled himself out of any important job now.

  18. Steve H don’t you get it? Howard’s tweet in its shortness gave you all you need to know. Ms Beckett got offended that there are members on the NEC who care about the members they represent unlike others on the NEC looking at Beckett (M), Akehurst and such like. She did not like tit in the least that Laura asked her a very legitimate and logical question. Ms Beckett’s arrogance is disgustng, but it shows where she is coming from.

    1. Sabine – I’m surprised that you haven’t spotted the difference between the two accounts.

      When @LauraPidcock questioned how this could be explained to members Margaret Beckett called her a “silly cow”.

      Margaret Beckett was heard referring to ex-MP Laura Pidcock as a “silly cow”. LabourList was told that Beckett apologised afterwards

  19. Margaret Beckett has never really stood for anything at all other than the career of Margaret Beckett.

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